During my first try at sobriety I didn’t drink for over 90 days.  I didn’t know what relapse meant, and my journey was fairly shallow.

I listened to The Recovery Elevator Podcast regularly and would hear the interviewer say things to his interviewee like, “I couldn’t string more than 5 sober days together” or “I saw more day 1’s during that bout of sobriety than I can count on all digits.”  I had no idea what that meant or how that could even be possible, it made no sense to me.

Then, in the summertime, I started to go to noon AA meetings.  I heard people say things like “I’ve been sober for 10 years.  Before then, I was on & off again sober for 2 years, I came to AA but my heart wasn’t in it, I wasn’t 100% committed.”   Again, I wondered what that meant, how can you go to AA meetings and not be committed– did you go to the meetings drunk?

My journey has taken me to a place where I get it now.  I know what it’s like to not be fully committed and to have a handful of day 1’s in a month.

I don’t always understand the why.  To help look at it in a scientific fashion, I put together an alcohol and sobriety cost/benefit table.  Looking at the table, sobriety clearly is superior to drinking.

                                             Alcohol Use Cost/Benefit Analysis
Benefits of Drinking Cost of Drinking Benefits of Sobriety Cost of Sobriety
I like the fuzzy brain feeling, especially during the first drink Wake up with headache, other physical ailments, body aches, etc Sleep better Physically uncomfortable when I get urges or cravings
Not having to count days and/or think about sobriety Wake up worrying about what I said or did Wake up feeling good Social anxiety when put in certain situations
Can’t hold a conversation, even if I want to talk about something, physically unable Significantly more time for hobbies & fun activities
Money Less anxiety, generally a better feeling of well being
Increased anxiety Spend more quality time with the family
Alienation from family The ability to drive at any given moment

As I mentioned in other entries, I DO believe that one day I will be 100% AF.  I certainly don’t feel like I’m “white knuckling” it during my periods of abstinence.  I am not miserable, I am happier than ever.  It is clear though, that I’m not working my recovery– or rather my recovery is not working for me.

I will work towards my goals and keep building my toolbox.  No one said that this would be easy & I have to focus on and appreciate the journey.  I have learned & gained so much in the past 8 months and I am grateful <3

Published by Organic Revival

I am a mom of boys, wife, furmom, gardner, walker, runner, teacher, reader, writer and cook. I am 42 years old and live in the beautiful state of Michigan. I love my job as an elementary special education teacher. The most remarkable quality of mine is that I'm a recovering alcoholic.

2 thoughts on “Odyssey

  1. I didn’t get it at first, either. I figured “one and done” was how it worked. After a year of attending meetings, it all makes sense. I managed about 80% sobriety this year, and hope to be at 100% one day also. I think.

    1. It really is quite an incredible journey isn’t it? Congrats on your sobriety — I am also hoping to be at 100% one day 😊

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