four years of sobriety

There was a time when twenty-four hours was too much,

When the sweet taste of chardonnay made life worth living

And the guilt and shame that always followed

Was a price I was sadly willing to pay.

Today I celebrate four years of sobriety. I’m lucky that I never got to the point where I lost my child or my home. I did lose my job but things could have been a lot worse.

However, that doesn’t take anything away from the horrors that any addict has to go through before they feel the need to seek help. The shame of raising your hand and admitting a problem is too much to bear for many.

I reached a point where my anxiety got so bad that I was suffering with psychotic episodes. I was convinced that I was evil and that all of the bad things in the world were my fault. It sounds ridiculous, but it was the sad truth.

I still have moments where I think that people hate me, but I’m learning that a lot of the time I’m simply misreading the situation. My brain is sick and I need to be careful with what I let in there.

My brain may be a little wonky, but I’m in control now. Things have been up and down since getting sober (it hasn’t fixed all my problems, funnily enough), but I can deal with those peaks and troughs so much more calmly now.

Getting sober is the best thing that I’ve ever done. It’s been hard, but worth it. If you’re struggling, I urge you to consider quitting. It could take years to feel better but you will. I promise.

Much Love

Rachel xx

Reflections on 3 years sober

Crikey! Where do I start? I remember my last drink like it was yesterday, and then at the same time it seems so strangely long ago. And that’s because I’ve grown; something it’s impossible not to do when you sober up and start living a real and fulfilling life. In reality, I’m still a newbie in sobriety terms. Three years is nothing next to the thirty to forty years that I have seen others achieve. But God willing, I will continue on this road and get there too.

I just wanted to write a little bit about what drove me to take that scary step into sobriety because I think that it’s an important message to carry and the purpose of this blog is to inspire, uplift and help.

So, my journey began in August 2016 when I was pulled into yet another HR meeting because I had acted out. I was never malicious but my social faux pas were slowly mounting and this just ended up being the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was so humiliated and angry and frustrated and depressed although I spent every night drinking to blackout so I had no idea what these feelings were, let alone how to articulate them.

I ended up getting into a total mess after this quite traumatic meeting and I needed to be signed off from work. Yet again, I found myself at the doctor’s office, crying over my anxiety and depression. I admitted that I was having trouble with my drinking but I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t even get help with my mental health problems because no services would touch me with a barge pole, knowing how much I drank (and quite rightly so, not knocking them for that in the slightest!)

This doctor that I saw turned out to be the person who would save my life from being the shit show that it was slowly becoming. She pointed me in the direction of an NHS drug and alcohol service and told me not to come back until I was sober (she wasn’t quite that blunt, but she was pretty straight to the point).

I went to the NHS place and it was terrifying. I was frightened and ashamed but they gave me a handful of tools and sent me off to AA. I didn’t go for quite some time because I knew that I had an all inclusive holiday coming up and there was no way that I was going to get through that without alcohol. I slogged through the holiday and then I decided that enough was enough. But midway through the following week I caved and bought another bottle of vodka. I was shaking, I needed it so badly. I realised that I had officially come to the end of the line. The next morning I woke up at about 3am feeling really sick. I was living at my parents’ house because I was too much of a wreck to look after my own place and I was so embarrassed to let them hear me being sick that I ended up vomiting in the sink in the utility room. That was my moment. I wouldn’t say it was my rock bottom. That was unfortunately still to come. But it was when I knew that I could never drink again. It was 3rd November 2016.

Life since then has not been easy but the changes have been amazing. AA promises you that you will have a life beyond your wildest dreams and at the time I thought that meant money and ‘success’. Now I realise that it’s something far more subtle than that. Now I realise that it means that I’ll have a much better chance of living to watch my son get married and to enjoy grandchildren. I have the money to go on an extra holiday or buy something nice for the house. I can actually live on my own and not run the place into the ground like I did before. I can pay my bills on time and I can be a much more reliable friend, family member and employee.

I still have anxiety and I’ll always take tablets for my depression but I’m constantly growing and learning so much about myself and the world that I live in. Now I just hope and pray that others can enjoy what I have and that hopefully I can inspire somebody who is struggling to reach out for help. Go to the doctor, speak to a friend or send me a message if you like! We’re all here to help if you are struggling so don’t squander this wonderful thing called life.

Much love ,

Rachel xx