I haven’t had a drink with alcohol in nine years. The first thing I would have told you back then was that I am not an alcoholic. I have always had a stop button. Alcohol was not my problem. I stopped at one-and-a-half martinis. (Actually, that’s quite a lot.) I never fell down, got arrested, cracked up the car, lost my job, or made a spectacle of myself. Well, I did make a spectacle of myself once or twice in heated political discussions. But that may not have been just the alcohol.
Anyone who likes vodka more than food is going to get loud. I admit that once, after my kid was newly sober, I preferred to stay home and have a martini to taking the sober kid to dinner. After all, the sober kid had stood me up so many times and done so many bad things I couldn’t even begin to count.
Drinkers Do Know They Drink
I knew the day of standing up the sober kid, that alcohol actually mattered to me. Surprise. The fact that the sober kid was still a whiner at the time, wasn’t loving life yet, and didn’t seem to care much for me, was not the point. See, if you’re a drinker you think about it all the time, even if you only drink in moderation. Alcohol and substances are powerful tools to alter your moods. Sugar and caffeine are intoxicants, too. Hundreds of millions of people are dependent on alcohol and other substances. No judgment. It’s just the truth. I’m having a coffee right now.
Quitting Is Weird And Changes Your Life
I quit alcohol and substances because I wanted to honor my sober kid by not having a valium when I was terrified on a plane, and not having that one martini every day at 5PM. I wanted to know what being sober in a drinking world felt like. I did it for solidarity with “the sober community.” I found out that not drinking in a drinking world is weird. But wonderful and much less expensive. My sober kid actually cared. But the major benefits of sobriety were to me and only me.
Eight Years Later My Life is Really Different
- I like not thinking about alcohol.
- Life is fun and funny all the time. I crack myself up.
- There is a lot less turbulence and drama.
- I don’t have to worry about driving home impaired.
- I don’t need Xanax or Valium either to sleep or to fly.
- I have grandchildren. And much Gratitude.
- I am more tuned in to nature.
- They say I’m nicer.
- Relationships are awesome.
- Whatever happens, I am not afraid.
Now my favorite drink is Lemonade. I have one and a half lemonades every single day.
Reach Out Recovery Exclusive by Leslie Glass
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Leslie Glass is the founder of Reach Out Recovery and the winner of the 2016 ASAM Media Award. Leslie is also the creator of Recovery Guidance, the information website for those seeking addiction and mental healthcare for professionals nationwide. Leslie is a journalist, director/producer of award-winning documentaries, and the author of 15 bestselling novels. Leslie has served as Chairman of the Board of Plays For Living, was a member of the Board of Directors of Mystery Writers of America. She has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education, as a VP of The Asolo Theatre, and was a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation.