Honestly I just decided to bend over and let “the man” have his way with me…
At least that’s how I felt in early sobriety. I was “forced” to get sober through the court system. I pleaded with a deferral which required me to admit my alcoholism and claim to battle the root of my problems by getting sober and going to treatment.
I am actually baffled by people who choose to get sober without being forced by the law. I could not take any unsolicited advice from friends or family, if anyone in my life suggested my drinking might be problematic, I would either blow them off or totally cut them out of my life. Looking back, it was super obvious I was struggling with addiction. The first few months I told myself I was just going to get through the program and probably start drinking after the 2 year deferral sentence was over.
But what made me stay sober? Well at first, I had training wheels… along with the 2 year treatment requirement, I was also sentenced to 5 years with a Breathalyzer ignition interlock. It was so embarrassing having to blow into it, I didn’t really want guests in my car… but it was unavoidable sometimes. I even got really rude comments from some people, like auto mechanics who had never seen one before… their jaw dropped, “whoa! I hope you learned your lesson missy!” I mean… give me a break dude, I obviously have to deal with the device so please done stack the rude comments on top of it!
Some other things were happening in my life that made me realize that my party life was a big textbook phase… some of my friends stopped wanting to hang around me. Some people in my life stopped calling, some of my roommates stopped being available to pick me up at the airport when I returned from a tour. It hurt, honestly… I went in slow motion and in denial back into my awkward lonely cave of introversion.
The gaslighting boyfriend I had at the time made everything much harder… at first he would try to peer pressure me to drink with him and his buddies, so I would look cool for him… He said I wasn’t actually an alcoholic and he claimed he never saw me wasted (lies). He would mock me, saying there’s no way I would stay sober after my 2 year deferral. He’d compare me to his exes, and say AA didn’t work for them and it was all a superficial charade. Maybe part of the reason I stayed sober was to prove him wrong…
Speaking of AA… I never found a home group I really jived with. I know it’s really helpful for a lot of people, but the forcing of Christianity and the old timers breathing down my neck at most meetings kinda turned me off. I did have positive experiences at some meetings of course! I love hearing people’s stories and relating to them, and sharing my own insecurities and experiences. It definitely was helpful being around people who were struggling with the same problem. I just didn’t stick around long enough, I travel full time anyway so it’s hard to keep any kind of schedule.
Today I have over ten years. How did I get this far? I definitely have had moments I wanted to get fucked up… but I didn’t let it overtake me. Part of it is my own pride, I don’t want to let my friends down, and I don’t want to deal with the shame of failure. I had to go through a full life transformation- I shed my past life and created a whole new one… not bad for a high school drop out!!! 🙂