Sober Summer #2

Summertime is over.
The kids are back in school.

Sober Summer Fun.jpg

I survived my second SOBER SUMMER!

The first year of my sobriety was easier than the second year. I totally didn’t expect the challenges I faced. I thought it would only get easier.

The first year I was fueled by my desire to prove that I could do it. I have always been motivated by a Challenge. If you tell me it’s impossible, you better believe I will prove to you that it IS possible.

Back in 2007, I decided that I wanted to learn how to play Poker. So I went to “Poker Night” (at a local bar, go figure) every Monday for weeks. Despite getting shit-faced drunk every Monday night, I learned how to play and ended up winning the Poker Tournament. I remember that night. I was so drunk, that I was chain smoking and all of the ashes from my cigarettes kept landing in my purse. After that night I and then never went back again and have yet to play a game of Poker again. To be honest, I totally forgot how to even play.  I often do things just for the Challenge, and no other reason.

This summer, was a struggle. My mind started to play tricks on me. I had proved to myself that I could do it. I got SOBER. I stayed sober for an ENTIRE year. I proved to myself & to others that I could do it. I even helped others get sober. I have grown so much. I have become so much more self-aware. I have learned new coping skills. I learned to drink LaCroix Waters at functions instead of beer. I’ve learned to turn to my sober sisters in times of distress. I have learned to immerse myself in Personal Development when my mind starts playing tricks on me & I feel tempted to revert to old habits. I had COUNTLESS ah-ha moments & realizations in the first 15 months, that reinforced why getting sober was the right decision. I realized that getting sober was one of the best decisions I have ever made, BUT I also realized that getting sober, didn’t erase my depression or anxiety. Getting sober didn’t fix our marriage problems. Getting rid of fake-friends who were only there for the party & the good times, was a blessing, but local sober friends are few and far between, and cleanliness can still set in (This topic is a whole different blog post).  When stress hit, when feelings of abandonment and overwhelm showed up in my life, I found myself craving alcohol. I found myself watching movies where people were doing drugs and thinking how I missed that “high” — you know when you feel happy & unstoppable because you have temporary relief from the pain you are feeling. I found myself rationalizing. I would catch myself thinking, “It’s been 18+ months. You have proved to yourself that you do not need alcohol. After all this time, You could probably just have 1.” Then I would think “What is the point of just 1 drink?” Then it would hit me, I HAD AN ALCOHOL PROBLEM – WHY TEMPT FATE? And then I would remind myself that, “that ONE drink” wouldn’t be worth it and “that ONE drink” would 6 months down the road turn into late night beer runs when the case of beer was almost empty.

I realized that getting sober was one of the best decisions I have ever made, BUT I also realized that getting sober, didn’t erase my depression or anxiety. Getting sober didn’t fix our marriage problems. Getting rid of fake-friends who were only there for the party & the good times, was a blessing, but local sober friends are few and far between, and cleanliness can still set in (This topic is a whole different blog post).  When stress hit, when feelings of abandonment and overwhelm showed up in my life, I found myself craving alcohol. I found myself watching movies where people were doing drugs and thinking to myself how I missed that “high” — you know when you feel happy & unstoppable because you have temporary relief from the pain you are feeling. I found myself rationalizing. The voice in my head would be telling me, “It’s been 18+ months. You have proved to yourself that you do not need alcohol. After all this time, you could probably just have 1.” Then I would think “What is the point of just 1 drink?” Then it would hit me, I HAD AN ALCOHOL PROBLEM – WHY TEMPT FATE? If I still think that “only 1 drink” was pointless, then I STILL have a problem. And then I would remind myself that I had gone through bad times, stressful times, and experienced sadness & had lots of things to celebrate and hadn’t needed a drink yet. I told myself that “that ONE drink” wouldn’t be worth it. I knew that “that ONE drink” would lead me right back to where I started. NOT overnight, but “that ONE drink” today, would end up with a case of beer in 6 months (or less).

Last summer (the first summer) was fairly easy because I stayed busy. I also stayed in my bubble. I went to counseling several times a month. This summer, the kids were older, they weren’t around as much as they were last summer because they were older, with social lives.  We didn’t travel as much as we did last summer because we did most of our family traveling during the spring vs. the summer. But this year, I have made it through a trip to Hawaii, a trip to Punta Cana, Miami, Orlando and New Orleans and had was surrounded by people drinking and places that serve alcohol and stayed true to my commitment.

Mindy in Hawaii Sober.jpg

This year I got braver and started doing things/going places that I used to do/go, but just sober. I realized that the environment brought back emotions and memories that made me start craving alcohol.

This year I got braver and started doing things/going places that I used to do/go, but just sober. I realized that the environment brought back emotions and memories that made me start craving alcohol.

Ryan and I took Rebel out on one of his friend’s airboat one evening. Ryan bought beer for himself. This has always been a problem, but I couldn’t really explain why. To be honest, it wasn’t fair to expect him to stop drinking just because I decided to. I have always thought he had a drinking problem and still do, but it is not my place to make a decision for him or force him to quit drinking. He doesn’t understand, but it also really hurt because I felt that he wasn’t supporting me.  One of the main reasons I had quit drinking was because I felt it would repair our marriage & family.  I couldn’t put a finger on why it bothered me so much when he drank.

A flood of memories came rushing back that night on the airboat, from the moment I heard him crack open that first beer, watching him take sips and smelling the beer while we were out on the water, just like how it all started between us brought back a flood of memories. That was it…. I figured out why it bothered me.Everything I associate him with still revolves around our old life, and to be put in a familiar situation, it felt like I didn’t belong anymore. The only thing that was missing was me drinking. I have had to really focus on rebuilding a life without alcohol and letting go of those old memories and feelings of Me+Ryan+partying=life. It may have been the only life we’d known and spent the majority of our relationship living, but it didn’t have to stay that way. I also have had to remind myself to be patient. We spent over a decade living a life that revolved around partying….and 18 months wasn’t going to change things over night. But at the same time, I have found myself wanting to completely run away (again) and start all over alone, in a new town, with new people who never knew the old Mindy and re-establish life as the new me. It is a fantasy that I have where I start to convince myself that it would be easier that way.

Everything I associate him with still revolves around our old life, and to be put in a familiar situation, it felt like I didn’t belong anymore. The only thing that was missing was me drinking. I have had to really focus on rebuilding a life without alcohol and letting go of those old memories and feelings of Me + Ryan + partying = life. It may have been the only life we’d known and spent the majority of our relationship living, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. I also have had to remind myself to be patient. We spent over a decade living a life that revolved around partying….and 18 months wasn’t going to change things over night, especially since it was only me who had chosen to cut alcohol out of MY life. But it’s difficult when YOU decide to cut something out of your life, but still, share your life with someone else. I have found myself wanting to completely run away (again) and start all over alone, in a new town, with new people who never knew the old Mindy and re-establish life as the new me. It is a fantasy that I have where I start to convince myself that it would be easier that way.

To put it mildly, his summer has been a mind fuck!

I have come to the realization that I have to completely get to know myself AGAIN.
This time, it is the REAL ME, totally free of anything that would alter my being.
I have come to realize just how much time and money I have lost to my addictions.
I am coming to terms with the fact that sobriety didn’t fix my problems, but has given me the clarity I need to address each issue that I had avoided and allowed to continue to get worse.

This summer was tough, but I survived. I didn’t fall to temptation. I am still moving forward. This road is long, but I am not alone. The sober-community has been so supportive. And luckily this summer, I stumbled across Sarah Ordo and she gifted me her book, Sober as Fuck — it was the first book that I read about sobriety.

sober-summer-mindy-hord- sober as fuck.jpg

I have a lot to sort out. I have a lot to learn. I have a lot of work to do on myself, but I finally feel equipped to do so. I have grown up and am ready to tackle all of those things that the scared little girl that lives inside of me feared and avoided.

 

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2 Comments
  1. Congratulations on your second summer sober. I understand how it feels to think you can enhance your marriage by playing the part of the partying partner. But then you never get to evolve into the new you. It all works out in the long run, I think, because you also lose the insecurity that makes you feel like you are more fun while drinking. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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