It has been close to 4 months since my last drink right before Thanksgiving weekend of 2013. My husband and I spent Thanksgiving on the Canary Island of Tenerife. I had initially envisioned this vacation as my last fling with drinking exotic sangrias on the beach watching the sunsets. But due to unforeseen circumstances this vacation would be a sobering up one. I did miss the sangrias a little bit, but the vacation was relaxing and turned out fun anyways. I probably didn’t miss out on anything by not drinking. Unlike a lot of people I never got hangovers no matter how much I drank. I wonder if I would have sobered up sooner if I had been in pain with hangovers….maybe not.
I started seeing an addiction counselor and going to AA to help me stay sober. I had done the whole AA rigamarole thing before and had attended at least 794 meetings over a 2 year period. I really had wanted to quit and sincerely worked the 12 steps with a sponsor and did everything I was supposed to do…..well, it just didn’t work for me. I had been very thorough and honest going through all the 12 steps, and I prayed everyday to have the cravings for alcohol taken away from me. Then I decided maybe I was just going to too many AA meetings. I went to see my pastor instead. We found out what I needed to pray for, and I started saying this prayer every day. I totally quit going to AA meetings. I discovered when I did not go to AA, I did not think about my alcohol problem and started exercising more. Finally after a while of not going to AA at all, my alcohol cravings just vanished and I didn’t have a single alcoholic drink for a whole year. I credit this with the Holy Spirit kicking me and by not going to AA meetings. Naturally after a year of being sober, I thought I could drink again as most normal people do….just having one glass of wine with dinner on a weekend.
So this is my 2nd time of staying sober. I went to AA meetings about 3 times a week for my first 3 months and got my 3rd month sobriety chip. I never did talk at any of these meetings. I am a very quiet and shy person. I just didn’t see how AA was going to really help me this time since it never had before. This time AA did not get me sober. Again God and the possibility of losing my job took away most of my alcohol cravings. My addiction counselor told me to be proactive, and so I decided to make my own recovery plan that would work for me. I started looking into other recovery programs like Rational Recovery and SMART recovery. Also I started reading a lot of books on success and adding their ideas into my recovery plan. I bought some small memo pads and started a “good habit tracker” in which I list all the good habits I am doing like running/playing music ect… It helps me be accountable to them.
Now that I have been sober for over 3 months, I feel mentally a thousand times better. I don’t feel depression or anxiety anymore. I feel much better physically. I have stopped gaining weight….lost a couple pounds and hope to lose some more. My hair stopped falling out. My blood pressure is very good now. I am starting to feel more confident. My cravings are becoming less and less. I hardly think about to have a drink anymore. I have replaced my wine, vodka and beer with lots of tea and water…and a little more chocolate. I am eating a lot healthier as well. My thinking is clearer…it’s like I am coming out of an alcoholic fog. To be continued….