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Rethink the Drink BOOM!

Rethink the Drink BOOM!

By Boozemusings Community

Welcome to the Boozemusings community BOOM! Rethink the Drink. We are a private community, available on the Mighty Networks platform. Just download their free app and search us at BOOM Rethink the Drink- you can also find us online at www.boomrethinkthedrink.com. If you're drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break, in a world where you may be questioned for not drinking with the crowd, we’ll help you to find your own path. These are select readings from our Boozemusings blog. Resources, perspective, inspiration and sober stories. The spirit is not in the bottle. It's in you
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A Tuned in February Sober Inspiration Song Contest - My Best AF (alcohol-free) Things
A Tuned in February Sober Inspiration Song Contest - My Best AF (alcohol-free) Things
Fresh vacuumed carpet and pedicured toenails Pine-scented candles and “no unread emails” The utter confidence when a child sings These are a few of my best AF things Almond-milk lattes and butterscotch pudding Touchdowns and field goals and he does the cooking Playing a poker game hand filled with Kings These are a few of my best AF things Notes from my daughter with her unique spelling Kids getting ready for school without yelling A tiny hummingbird whizzing its wings These are a few of my best AF things. When the wine witch, Comes a calling, When I’m feeling off, I simply remember my best AF things,And then I don’t feel so lost. PJs and warm socks and long cozy mornings Old Christmas music that plays on my heartstrings Watching as winter birds fly on bright wings These are a few of my best AF things! Waking up early and feeling so smitten With bright eyes lacking their ugly old bruising Crystal clear memories wrapped up in love These are a few of my best AF things Bright shiny eyes and the coffee‘s a brewing Mornings are great and I don’t feel like spewing Shame and regret are gone spreading my wings These are a few of my best AF things. Bright winter mornings with birds on my feeder 6 hours of snoozing while my baby’s sleeping Grocery delivery no wine he will bring These are a few of my favorite AF things! When the Blues Bite! When I’m Lonely When I‘m Feel-ling Sad I simply remember I’m finally FREE and then I don’t Feel Sooooo Bad! When the wine witch, Comes a calling, When I’m feeling off, I simply remember my best AF things, And then I don’t feel so lost. If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us. We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking”
02:56
February 07, 2022
The Magic of the Sober Toolbox to Power Your Will
The Magic of the Sober Toolbox to Power Your Will
What kind of helpful, positive things CAN we do or reach for in those low-cycle times when we’re feeling depleted and vulnerable? These are the tools in your sober toolbox. Will you meditate for a few minutes? Hit the yoga mat? Do some breathing exercises? Pick up a fascinating book you can’t put down? Play a GREAT recovery or comedic podcast while you do some dinner prepping? Take a short walk and connect with nature? Jump on a trampoline, hit a punching bag, or throw some darts? The possibilities are endless and it’s going to be different for all of us. TODAY, I’m making plan that takes me right through the early morning, high-energy good times, into the crash of late afternoon, and on to a peaceful alcohol-free bedtime. If are joining me on a sober journey through today’s beautiful hills and lovely valleys, holler YES! Now Lets get that Sober Toolbox Packed! “Toolbox” is the buzz word around recovery groups. Maybe you’ve read about people building their sober toolbox? It’s a common thing to do in early sobriety or even leading up to stopping drinking, but some folks in recovery for years say they need to dust off their toolbox and bring it back out now and then. A sober toolbox is anything and everything that we use to support our sobriety plan and goals. It is the power in Will Power. My sober toolbox is an actual physical box filled with tools. It is also a virtual toolbox filled with mental and physical tools and ideas to support my sobriety. Let’s get specific. First, if you don’t have a toolbox have fun building or purchasing a big box. Decorate and write on it anything that supports your sobriety. Craft stores have great boxes ready to use with all sorts of coverings on them in all kinds of sizes. This “sober journey” is about you. Your sober toolbox should reflect you! My Actual Physical Sober Tool Box Contains : My box started with all kinds of books about alcohol use and abuse and recovery. I had to move my box to a bookshelf because now over 2 years later I have 40 + books.   My books now relate to areas in my life I want to grow such as forgiveness, understanding codependent relationships, healing the inner child …. I buy most of my books “used “ to fit my budget. (Actually, this allows me to buy more books !) You can find a comprehensive library post with lots of reading ideas on our Boozemusings blog- the introduction is written by me:) just search Boozemusings and lookup - Books to Help you Stop Drinking and Fuel Your Sober Momentum My Virtual Sober Tool Box Contains : This BOOM Rethink the Drink community is a huge tool in my virtual sober toolbox. There are so many ideas on our public Boozemusings blog and inside the private blog of the BOOM community  If you’re in here with us your toolbox will overflow with ideas and resources. Trying to live a sober life with only one tool and that tool being “willpower“ will get old and rusty really quickly! More for your Sober Tool Box : HALT – 4 Triggers That Slip People Up When They Stop Drinking Simple Solutions to Beat the Binge Drinking Routine
12:09
November 09, 2021
How to Stop Drinking – How I Became and Remain a Motivated and Sober Parent
How to Stop Drinking – How I Became and Remain a Motivated and Sober Parent
When I would tell myself that I needed to do something about my drinking I thought that I was aware of my problem, but I was only looking at the surface. It is easy to say “I drink too much” but quite another thing to fix that problem. To drop that dialogue of denial- “maybe I’m not that bad … one more drink can’t hurt…I’ll stop tomorrow” – I had to dig deep. Make This the Week That Your Sobriety Takes Off The way that I finally stopped drinking was based on developing self-awareness of my habit. What it took to stop drinking for me was really taking responsibility for what I was doing by looking at it honestly and openly in a safe space where I could talk it through with a group of people who understood the behavior because they had done it too. I joined an online community where I could post anonymously and privately to other people like me.  The community system of posting and commenting, supporting each other from day one and before, to years and years alcohol-free, encourages you to reach back and help the next person coming along, which feels great to you but also keeps the community growing and working together. Everyone is invested in themselves and invested in each other. The definition of great teamwork! It is hard to break the status quo in a world where alcohol is the only drug that people will question you for not using. It takes teamwork! Getting your head around stopping drinking can take some time. This is simply because we are so well used to this method of dealing with problems and it feels easy and nice to simply drink the problems away. Stress will always trigger addictive behavior. When we’re stressed we experience ‘cognitive overload’ and feel overwhelmed. That’s when it’s hardest not to revert to tried and tested means to get away from those uncomfortable feelings. On top of that comfortable routine, buying booze, the decision to do so, the handing over of the money, releases dopamine in our brains so we get an immediate reward, release, relax sensation even before pouring the first drink. So to STOP drinking or CHANGE  this chain reaction we really do need to pull out all the stops. You do have to dig deep now and for the foreseeable and there really is no wriggle room on that one. Get excited; what you’re embarking on is hard work for sure and you’ll be digging deep time and again – BUT STOPPING DRINKING IS LIKELY TO BE IN YOUR TOP FIVE LIFE ACHIEVEMENTS. Start to grab back you, be able to trust you again. Commit to a lifetime of learning and personal development. Make stopping your No 1 priority for the time being: In the community post often and comment on other people’s posts mindfully. Read recovery books, films, blogs – everything. Understand your drinking problem: This is personal! Identify your triggers. What emotions and physical feelings come with them, what time of the day, week, month, year do they appear. Which situations or people make you feel like a drink? Can you set up boundaries to protect yourself? Start judging yourself less harshly; Talk to yourself as you would do a friend in need. Being mean doesn’t really help… Be responsible for yourself: You drink because of you; so stop because of you – other people are influences for the good or bad – you have a choice so make it the right one. With support you can do this; just accept it might be bumpy and difficult at times – but no one here who stopped regrets it and no one who said no to a drink ever regretted it. Rethink the Drink… You are Worth it! www.boomrethinkthedrink.com Read the entire text of this talk here  How to Stop Drinking – Make This the Week That Your Sobriety Takes Off
23:28
November 08, 2021
Letting go of Denial – Stop Drinking and Stay Sober on Your Terms
Letting go of Denial – Stop Drinking and Stay Sober on Your Terms
It is hard to stop drinking from a place of high functioning, or what is now commonly called Gray Area Drinking, for different reasons than it is hard to stop from a place of end – stage – alcoholism. No matter how dark and hopeless your secret drinking may feel to you, unless you hit a recognizable rock bottom, the world around you will encourage you to stay in that place of denial. Everywhere we look our culture encourages us to drink. To celebrate, to mourn, to relieve stress, to socialize, to achieve intimacy, to relax and enjoy everything that life has to offer. And our culture also tells us that the only people who really shouldn’t drink are those like Michael Clarke from The Byrds. So for me the trick in early sobriety was partly to get past my own denial and also to look at my culture’s denial. I had to work through my feelings about what alcoholism meant to me and what it meant to my culture. And I had to eventually understand that sobriety for me is not about how anyone else sees me or needs me to be. It is about becoming myself. With no mask and no label. And I rejected the WORD alcoholic and the stigma that goes along with it because for me getting sober and staying that way was all about finding MY truth and my EMPOWERMENT . In Alcoholics Anonymous meetings it is traditional for people to introduce themselves with their name, followed by the statement “...and I’m an alcoholic.” That system works well for many people when they are trying to stop drinking and stay sober, but it was never a good fit for me. I am almost five years alcohol free.  I had to stop drinking, but I never attended an AA meeting and I do not call myself an alcoholic. Many people would say that I am in denial, but nothing could be further from the truth. With the exception of fitting the classic mold of the High Functioning Alcoholic, I’ve never been a traditional Anything! I have broken every rule–every single rule that I was told I had to live by–not out of spite or rebelliousness but simply because the stuff that was supposed to work didn’t.  I had to find stuff that worked for me. The Spirit is not in the Bottle it’s in You … Rethink the Drink If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us.  We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here www.boomrethinkthedrink.com Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking”
16:42
November 05, 2021
Singing the Siren to Sleep - Community Support to Stop Drinking
Singing the Siren to Sleep - Community Support to Stop Drinking
The Siren song is a voice that I heard in my last few months of drinking. It was kind of magical and very seductive and beautiful, but it was dark and terrifying as well. That voice came near the end of the second bottle of wine drunk alone on an empty stomach and that voice said, “you are mine” “we are a team” “we are beautiful together” “we are powerful together” “everything is us” “nothing else matters”  And that Siren Song will still be there if I drink again… I can quite literally feel her there on the tip of my tongue, waiting, waiting for a chance to sing again…. “nothing else matters” “nothing else matters” “nothing else…. I have to turn away from that song. I turn away by NOT drinking. And my reward for turning away from that beautiful, seductive voice? EVERYTHING My reward is everything! EVERYTHING except oblivion which is where the siren lives. She lives in oblivion and will try to lure me there if I drink again. She can have it. I prefer to be awake – alive- present! I remember feeling that my bottle of wine was like a friend. A calm harbor at the end of the day. A lover who understood me and would sooth me. I remember the feeling of loss when I left my friend behind. The mourning for my lover. I remember it being so hard to imagine NEVER DRINKING AGAIN. I remember that very clearly even after two and a half years happily sober and I KNOW if I drink again I’ll be back to that place in a flash. when I stopped One day at a time I began to lose that fear. I began to KNOW that I could hold on. I began to trust myself. I began to think for myself and write what I was thinking and read it and LEARN from myself. I stopped Buying a lifestyle that was Killing my soul. I stopped making excuses for behavior I despised. I worked hard to hold onto my freedom and now I revel in that Freedom every day because Sober I OWN MYSELF! The addiction will always be there. But as long as I work my program a bit every day; write, read, listen, respond, feel, think, grow. As long as I continue to feed my soul with pride and dignity I will never give in to the desire to drown my spirit again. The Siren Song is gone for me now for the most part and I have got to tell you that sailing through life without the constant worry that I’m going to crash into the rocks because I acknowledged the “beauty ” of the siren’s voice – I S   F R E E D O M. Freedom is good – I like freedom – I used to think that I drank to feel free and now I have learned that the only way for me to be free is to NOT drink  But at first – maybe in the first year and a bit AF – that Siren song can be relentless and it is frightening to think that it will never go away. I could not have shut her down without the community support to stop drinking all around me in the early days. If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… Talk to Us. You can read more about us Here And join  Here  www.boomrethinkthedrink.com the private community that inspires the Boozemusings blog www.boozemusings.com Don’t let the shame of the stigma of addiction keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking”
18:42
November 04, 2021
5 Gifts of Sobriety – Celebrating Sober With Thoughts on How to Stop Drinking
5 Gifts of Sobriety – Celebrating Sober With Thoughts on How to Stop Drinking
Does this desperate internal dialogue sound familiar? I have to stop drinking – Why do I keep doing this to myself? Why can’t I be like everyone else? I am so stupid, I am worried, I need help! I am not that bad am I? I know lots of people worse than me. I want these thoughts to stop. I can’t sleep, it’s so hot, I am so thirsty, I have to be up in another 4 hours. I wonder if I am still over the legal limit to drive? I want to stop drinking, I can’t keep living like this day after day, night after night. Making promises to myself in the night breaking them all by the following evening. Broken promise after broken promise. I am like a broken record. The brain fog is awful, present in body but not in mind. Functioning on autopilot. What can I do to fix this? How do I stop drinking? I can’t fix this in a public way. I can’t go to AA. I am too quiet, I would feel publicly shamed. I cannot face a room full of people and start to self berate, that would be humiliating. I have heard what happens in those meetings. I have seen the comedy clips and those scenes in the Movies “My name is…” I can’t bear to do that. I just can’t. But I need help. How did I let this happen to me? I refuse to be called an “Alcoholic” but I do need help to stop. I am smart. I know I can do this. I just need some guidance. My father stopped his smoking habit back in the day when no help was available. If he quit a habit so can I. I wonder what google can come up with? Okay, there seems to be a lot of advice out there. Lots of articles to read and sound advice. I keep coming across these articles that are suggesting they can provide the support I need. A community, I am not sure about this. There is probably some kind of catch. I am always very wary. Heck, what have I got to lose. I think I will join. Over a year ago I joined the Boom Rethink the Drink online community. Boom provides information and opinion from all walks of life and really helpful articles. But more importantly, the Boom community provides empathy and support. I was not alone. I had found a place that I could be honest without judgment. It is not a one size fits all attitude. People have tried many avenues to Sobriety.  Secrecy and shame kept my habit alive but writing it out and sharing it weakened the power my habit had over me. I began to trust others and to share some of my secrets. This has been liberating and healing and the process of writing my thoughts rather than drinking them down has set me free. If you have connection through a community, you are never alone. Today as I celebrate my alcohol-free birthday, what better way to celebrate than by sharing the gifts that my sobriety has brought to me, with you! Read Full Text Here at www.boozemusings.com  5 Gifts of Sobriety – Celebrating Sober With Thoughts on How to Stop Drinking Find our private online community at www.boomrethinkthedrink.com 
18:24
November 02, 2021
Hearing the Distress Call - How I Finally Quit Drinking
Hearing the Distress Call - How I Finally Quit Drinking
This process when we finally quit drinking can be excruciating, but my body was relieved right away. If I just focused on my body and the rewards were immediate. Working through my emotions was hard, and some of the early physical symptoms with sleep and headaches were tough. But even still my body was cautiously happy. After a month my anxiety went way down and continues to. My skin and eyes look much brighter; I look younger. My gut issues have disappeared. My sleep is downright glorious. I’m always well-hydrated now and I can’t wait to see my naturopath to see where my nutrient levels are. I got to a point while drinking where even though I was eating incredibly healthy, my body wasn’t absorbing the nutrients and I had a number of deficiencies. I have a feeling I am going to be saving money on supplements very soon! Although I do still have guilt about how long it took me to quit drinking, how I have treated myself all of these years, I am focusing on a new vision and a new future for myself. I don’t have to continue to hurt my body willingly. I don’t have to feel sad all the time and I don’t have to live with crippling anxiety constantly. Now that I am not adding to my issues, I have a shot at fixing what might need some extra help and at the least not cause myself more issues. I have a shot at living out my values for real, and being a good example to my growing kids. My future self will still have problems, but I will be open-eyed and primed to deal with them as they arise. Someday the years that I abused myself and ignored all of the distress signals will be behind me, a distant memory. And the thought of that keeps pushing me forward. Now that I have finally listened to that Mayday distress call I am present, aware, and connected. I’m not looking back. Will you join me? You can read this post in its entirety here Hearing the Distress Call – How I Finally Quit Drinking If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… Talk to Us.  We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here Don’t let the shame of the stigma of addiction keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking” More reading : Gray Area Drinking- The Truth About How Alcohol Damages Your Brain
08:31
May 28, 2021
Gray Area Drinking- The Truth About How Alcohol Damages Your Brain
Gray Area Drinking- The Truth About How Alcohol Damages Your Brain
What exactly is the gray in gray area drinking? It’s that place between obviously bad, and not that bad, that keeps us hanging on to a slow, spiraling addiction. But now that they are saying this ‘No safe amount’: All alcohol consumption ‘harmful to the brain’ any amount of alcohol would seem to be a bad idea. I don’t think it really matters how many headlines are thrown around proclaiming that any amount of alcohol is bad for you. People will still drink, holding onto hope that they aren’t – that bad. I was in that gray area nobody likes talking about, but I took comfort knowing I was not that bad. I didn’t have the classic hallmarks of an alcoholic. I didn’t drink in the morning.  I didn’t neglect my children.  I had dinner on the table every night. Bills paid, commitments honored.  I didn’t drink and drive. I was a good little gray area drinker.  Sure I slurred my words now and then. And maybe fell down a few times.  There was that one little, awkward concussion. With stitches. Life in the gray area wasn’t all bad. But it sure wasn’t good. Gray area drinking leads to a gray area life, and gray is not my color.  At age 62 my hair is gray, and I can’t dye it fast enough.  It’s not a beautiful silver some women are blessed with.  It’s that god-awful gray that’s god-awful drab. Mousy. Boring. The absence of color. Gray area drinking robbed my life of color.  And that absence of color made me want to drink more.  Crazy right? The gray veil of drinking was a creepy, constant thirst for something I could not quench. And it was blocking my joy, my passion, my spirit.  Like a dirty window, gray area drinking was preventing light from coming in.  I was not fully alive.  But I wasn’t that bad. Maybe you’ll decide you no longer want a gray, good-enough existence — living a mediocre life, slave to the false thrill of numbing your precious brain. Maybe you want to embrace a life of presence, authenticity and brilliant color?   I am staying alcohol free today.  Because I want ruby red slippers and chartreuse pants that glow in the dark.  I want to wrap myself in a big, fluffy fuchsia coat.  I want to see, feel and BE color in this dark, dreary world.  Today I’m alcohol free, because I choose color … and I choose fabulous!  Will you join me? If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… Talk to Us.  We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking” More reading : How I Escaped the Trap of Gray Area Drinking Are You Maybe Sober Curious? An Invitation to Imagine The Life that Sobriety Cultivates
08:29
May 23, 2021
Un-Drowning – Rising Up From a Legacy of Alcohol Addiction
Un-Drowning – Rising Up From a Legacy of Alcohol Addiction
Addiction and alcohol – Alcohol addiction. No one wants those words strung together to describe their family routine. But it did describe mine. I’ve come to recognize that yes, there is life outside of the bottle.   Once you say to yourself, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired”, the freedom of sobriety is right around the corner.  To think about drinking all of the time –  the “Decision Fatigue”-   it’s exhausting.  I think this may be the obsessiveness that just tires you out, and to feel better, you need it removed from your life.  I think that AA calls this emotion surrendering. I also have a saying. “Protect Your Quit”.  I think of my “Quit” is a younger, more youthful and innocent version of “me”. I want to be sober to honor her. I want to be sober to be a role model for my daughters. I want to be sober so that my grandchildren remember me as a fun, enthusiastic Grandma… and this honors the younger version of me at the same time. I know that one sip will transform and shift to one glass… to one bottle… to one night… to one weekend…. to one month…. to this summer…. and every time I fail, I hurt the real me that wants to be free of this vicious cycle.  And it’s my choice whether to take that one sip. Today, I will not drink.  I will Protect My Quit. It is scary to think of a world without booze, but be bold and believe:  It DOES exist! You can read the full post read in this recording at this link https://boozemusings.com/un-drowning-rising-up-from-a-legacy-of-alcohol-addiction/ More By This Author : I Was Afraid to Stop Drinking Beyond the Bottle – Loving Living Without Alcohol How I Stopped Drinking – Calling Out the Truth of What Alcohol Was to Me The Opposite of Addiction is Connection If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us.  We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here There has never been a better time to go alcohol- free. Stopping drinking is not about giving something up as much as it is about getting something back. We are talking about taking back your freedom of choice. Breaking the status quo. Putting down the booze not because you are weak and cannot handle it, but because you have found that you are STRONGER without it. Don’t let the shame of the stigma of addiction keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking”
13:07
May 19, 2021
Demystifying Sober – Survival Guide From My First 10 Days Alcohol-Free - Part 1
Demystifying Sober – Survival Guide From My First 10 Days Alcohol-Free - Part 1
Today is my one-year sober anniversary and I am thrilled. It has been the longest and shortest year of my life! Stopping drinking and then staying sober hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. I started with a firm goal of 10 days alcohol-free and hoped to reach 100 days sober. I never thought I could do the first 10 days, let alone the 100 much less a whole year, and now I’ve “made it”. But what does that mean? With the alcohol out of my mind and body, my anxiety is way down and I sleep so much better. Hangover free mornings will never get old. Without the nightly cocktails and wine, I can handle more, I can get more done, I can do life without feeling overwhelmed all the time. I am proud of all of the work I have done and all I have learned to make it this far. But I didn’t wake up this morning at one year sober to feel any different than yesterday. I haven’t solved all my life issues or challenges. I just now have a fighting chance to work on them. There is always more to learn and grow so I will just keep doing that. I will continue to just put one foot in front of the other, which is a pace that I think we as drinkers hate. But patience is such a key in staying sober. Patience with the process, patience with ourselves, and sometimes patience with time itself. One of the biggest tools in my sober toolbox is the wisdom of those with more time sober than I. I would not have learned without the examples of others. I have tears and a heart full of gratitude for those that reached back to help me, that traveled with me, and continue to do so. I owe so much to this online community BOOM Rethink the Drink! I would not have made it without BOOM. Today I graduate into a beginner “person with more time sober” as I cross the one-year threshold and I would like to be a resource to those starting out or having trouble gaining traction. To this end, I’m going to share the tools that helped me in my first month alcohol-free. I don’t think I came up with any of these on my own so I’m just sharing my collection of resources. Take the mythical impossibility out of getting sober and staying alcohol-free. I have learned it’s about opening yourself to the ideas shared by those who went before you. Accountability, trust, honesty. Community. Here is my Sober Survival Guide from my First 10 Days Alcohol-Free : Day 1– distract/read/research Day 2– white knuckle/willpower Day 3– have a personal mantra Day 4- Goals This is part 1 of two recordings.  You can listen to part two at this link - Part 2 https://anchor.fm/boozemusings-community/episodes/Part-2-----Demystifying-Sober--Survival-Guide-From-My-First-10-Days-Alcohol-Free-e112dsg You can read the blog post at this link https://boozemusings.com/demystifying-sober-survival-guide-from-my-first-10-days-alcohol-free/ If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us. BOOM Rethink the Drink  The Spirit is not in the bottle it's in you! 
15:32
May 17, 2021
Part 2 ... Demystifying Sober – Survival Guide From My First 10 Days Alcohol-Free
Part 2 ... Demystifying Sober – Survival Guide From My First 10 Days Alcohol-Free
You can listen to the first part of this recording at this link - Part 1 https://anchor.fm/boozemusings-community/episodes/Demystifying-Sober--Survival-Guide-From-My-First-10-Days-Alcohol-Free---Part-1-e112ddl This is the second of two recordings from the post at this link https://boozemusings.com/demystifying-sober-survival-guide-from-my-first-10-days-alcohol-free/ Looking back from my first-year sober anniversary to my first 10 days alcohol-free  Day 5 through 10  Day 5- Stay Home – HIDE! Day 6 – Mrs P. and 100 new things in the next 100 days!! Day 7 – Understanding Wolfie and the Wine Witch or Beating the Mythical Booze Brain Beasts Day 8 – Understanding the Importance of Sober Treats Day 9- HALT(S) Day 10 – Faith in the Wisdom of those further down the road (further into sobriety). Today is my one-year sober anniversary and I am thrilled. It has been the longest and shortest year of my life! Stopping drinking and then staying sober hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. I started with a firm goal of 10 days alcohol-free and hoped to reach 100 days sober. I never thought I could do the first 10 days, let alone the 100 much less a whole year, and now I’ve “made it”. But what does that mean? With the alcohol out of my mind and body, my anxiety is way down and I sleep so much better. Hangover free mornings will never get old. Without the nightly cocktails and wine, I can handle more, I can get more done, I can do life without feeling overwhelmed all the time. I am proud of all of the work I have done and all I have learned to make it this far. But I didn’t wake up this morning at one year sober to feel any different than yesterday. I haven’t solved all my life issues or challenges. I just now have a fighting chance to work on them. There is always more to learn and grow so I will just keep doing that. I will continue to just put one foot in front of the other, which is a pace that I think we as drinkers hate. But patience is such a key in staying sober. Patience with the process, patience with ourselves, and sometimes patience with time itself. One of the biggest tools in my sober toolbox is the wisdom of those with more time sober than I. I would not have learned without the examples of others. I have tears and a heart full of gratitude for those that reached back to help me, that traveled with me, and continue to do so. I owe so much to this online community BOOM Rethink the Drink! I would not have made it without BOOM. Today I graduate into a beginner “person with more time sober” as I cross the one-year threshold and I would like to be a resource to those starting out or having trouble gaining traction. To this end, I’m going to share the tools that helped me in my first month alcohol-free. I don’t think I came up with any of these on my own so I’m just sharing my collection of resources. Take the mythical impossibility out of getting sober and staying alcohol-free. I have learned it’s about opening yourself to the ideas shared by those who went before you. Accountability, trust, honesty. Community. If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us.  BOOM Rethink the Drink  The Spirit is not in the Bottle its in You 
28:30
May 17, 2021
Sobriety is a Dirty Word
Sobriety is a Dirty Word
“Sobriety” in and of itself sounds and feels so sparklingly pure. Free. Liberated. An enlightening achievement. Sobriety I’m keeping my body “clean” and “free” from the poisons of alcohol. But saying you’re sober feels like announcing you are pregnant and going to have a baby. It sounds so fresh, wholesome, pure, and wonderful! Everyone celebrates and cheers the good news. But the flip side is it’s suddenly incontrovertible evidence that you’ve been doing the dirty… You can’t say ‘sobriety’ without the glaring evidence now that, yeah, you were drinking too much and all that it entails. Everyone cheers. You’re doing the right thing. But in order to get here, you’re also admitting you got dirty. Very dirty. And when you say you’re sober you’re announcing that to the world. I felt it. When I think of the word “sober” I’m reminded on a daily basis, of the things I’d rather not share. The secrets that I hid. The mud that I crawled through and the truly awful things that I’m not even ready to bring to the light of day. Things that inspire me to stay AF ( alcohol-free) and remind me it’s NAFD ( Not a F#%king Drop ). Now and forever. At some point, the pride and empowerment in the sober lifestyle just kicks in and the dirt is farther away. Read this post in its entirety at this link https://boozemusings.com/sobriety-is-a-dirty-word/ If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… Talk to Us.  We are an independent, anonymous, and private community who share resources, support, and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here Don’t let the shame of the stigma of addiction keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking”
08:53
May 16, 2021
Struggling With the Idea of Sobriety? Thoughts from 500 Days Sober
Struggling With the Idea of Sobriety? Thoughts from 500 Days Sober
Looking back from 500 days sober, I still remember that when I was struggling with the mere idea of sobriety. Even for a shortened stint like my first 30-day alcohol-free challenge, the questions flooded my mind. How will I stop drinking? When will I stop drinking? Sobriety? Seriously? Is that really necessary? What in the heck do I need to do/understand/think/be so that I can tell my monkey brain that: I can do this, I can live without alcohol My drinking is making my life worse and not better I know I can’t even say the words I’ve stopped drinking forever, for I’ve also read the stories of many with decades of sobriety who have relapsed.  Unfortunately, I am one of those people that, at some point in my drinking journey, crossed that line from drinking to addiction, and have realized that is why I can never go back.  I still struggle with that quite often, but now instead of fighting it I dig deeper into my past to uncover what brought me to this point.  I have to be honest with myself about that, and that’s been one of the hardest things to accept. Which brings me to the unintended consequences of sobriety:  Many sober people extoll the beautiful, raw lives they now have which allow them to embrace both joy and pain fully, but until I had some sober miles under my belt, I really didn’t understand what that meant.  I’d heard about their fears of being boring old bags sitting in their loneliness, and how that wasn’t the case at all with their sober lives. At 500 days sober, what I’ve found is that the only way out is through, you cannot get to the juicy, colorful, sometimes painful, sometimes boring, sometimes technicolor life on the other side while still drinking if you have a problem.  For me, once I’d learned enough to know that I was one of the people with that drinking problem no matter how I sliced it, I just needed the time to learn about how to get there.  Now when I miss drinking, I don’t wallow in the “remember when’s” or “why me’s,” rather I allow my clear and conscious mind to dig in and discover what I was trying to run away from all of those years. Then I accept it as part of my story without judgment, and turn to the mirror and say “I love you” and really mean it. You can read the full post on our Boozemusings Blog at this link https://boozemusings.com/struggling-with-the-idea-of-sobriety-thoughts-from-500-days-sober/ If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… Talk to Us.  We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here Don’t let the shame of the stigma of addiction keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking”
11:58
May 14, 2021
Learn it through the Doing
Learn it through the Doing
Lately, while working through my own illegible life script, I’ve been identifying some unsettling, troublesome bits. Instead of gently flagging them and continuing onward, allowing the questions of “why am I troubled by that? What does it mean?” to just be there in the background, I’ve stopped in place, gnashing my teeth and wailing “Why is this in my script?!? I don’t understand it!!! I don’t want it here! Give me something prettier to say! to work with!” I can’t afford to give the writers a raise so this is the script I’ve got. For now. But it’s a perfectly fine script. And I know the work to do on it . . . I know how to do it. And on my better days (and there are many of them, something else for me to remember) I also trust that in those troublesome bits, those riddles, some potential for transformation lies. But I can’t go at ‘em with hammer and thongs. Maybe personal revelation will come. Maybe it won’t. But in the interim, I’m getting work done on the rest of the script. And life goes on. Related Posts from the Boozemusings Blog: Breath and Allow Are You Maybe Sober Curious? An Invitation to Imagine The Life that Sobriety Cultivates Freely Feeling – Sober the Highs and Lows If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… Talk to Us.  We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here Don’t let the shame of the stigma of addiction keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking”
03:48
May 14, 2021
How Do You Stop Drinking When You Love to Drink ?
How Do You Stop Drinking When You Love to Drink ?
If you're trying to stop drinking, how do you break the cycle of getting to day three, or five, or seven alcohol-free, and finding yourself drinking again because you talk yourself into thinking that you can handle just one or two? How do you get to the point where you don't retreat to old habits when you're feeling lost or bored or empty. Breaking up with alcohol can feel like losing a friend or leaving a toxic lover. I loved to drink. Drinking was a much-anticipated part of my daily routine and had been for decades! Giving it up felt like cutting off an arm. I knew that I had to cut the umbilical cord because my drinking had become dangerous and unpredictable. Time and time again, I found that no matter how casually my drinking might be at the beginning of the evening, one glass routinely led to a binge. But I continued to struggle, continued to think that THIS time I could have just one or two and that is what is often called denial. When people find themselves in the predicament that I found myself in, they often go to AA and start sharing their stories in a community of others who are doing the same. The AA routine of story sharing is a great way to break out of denial but AA was not practical or possible for me. So rather than going to AA meetings and telling my story, I wrote my way out of denial in an online community where I still write most days. Writing this post ( among countless others), One Glass Won't Hurt, has helped me remember clearly, even into my seventh sober year, why I cannot drink. Not even one. And why although I may remember loving drinking, I also remember the inevitable consequence of my opening that bottle. Read the entire post at this link : How do you stop Drinking When You Love to Drink ? https://boozemusings.com/how-do-you-stop-drinking-when-you-love-to-drink/ If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… Talk to Us.  We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking”
07:22
May 13, 2021
Are You Maybe Sober Curious? An Invitation to Imagine The Life that Sobriety Cultivates
Are You Maybe Sober Curious? An Invitation to Imagine The Life that Sobriety Cultivates
2 years ago, while searching around the internet for help to stop drinking, I stumbled over some words that were not at all what I expected to be reading. The title of the article was pretty straightforward, Guide to your First Month Sober: Why and How to Quit Drinking, but there was little in it about the dull, controlled and somewhat depressing world that I assumed was addiction recovery. I had no idea how much those words would change my life. I joined the online community, BOOM Rethink the Drink, that was recommended in that article, and 100 alcohol-free days later, I was loudly proclaiming that no drug was sweeter than my sobriety. It was like I’d found a portal into this magical parallel universe. Sobriety is an invitation to imagine.  We know we need things to move towards, and not just away from.  And I think our brains are rather easy to lead around, so I do like to keep it going forward by really envisioning what may be.  When you are older and wiser as most of us are by the time we get sober, you can more easily let go of the things you can’t manifest, so it’s ok to envision, move towards and then not attain something.   Not every dream can come true.  But plenty of them can.  And I just find sobriety really fuels the limitless possibilities in life.  After all, when you remove the garbage that was clogging you up and stifling you in your life, your self-development and achievements seem to escalate.   Booze demands loyalty to it number one.   Without that full-time occupation, you have the energy to burn on all the good stuff. So what MAY BE for you? You can read this full Blog Post at www.boozemusings.com Are You Maybe Sober Curious? An Invitation to Imagine The Life that Sobriety Cultivates If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… Talk to Us.  We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking”
09:25
May 12, 2021
For Those Struggling to Stop Drinking : Overriding Your Survival instincts or Walking Through the Ring of Fire
For Those Struggling to Stop Drinking : Overriding Your Survival instincts or Walking Through the Ring of Fire
Most of us are addicted to alcohol on some level when we decide to stop drinking. We may not be physically dependent but we are most likely neurologically addicted. If you drink routinely at a similar time under similar circumstances, your brain will learn that it needs alcohol in those situations. That could be every day at 5 pm or every Friday and Saturday night. Even with weekend binge drinking, it is possible to become neurologically addicted if you repeat the behavior routinely. Addiction works on your survival instinct or “Lizard Brain” Many people are confused by why it can be so difficult to stop but if you put it in the context of survival instinct I think it’s easier to understand. Survival instinct has NOTHING to do with rational thought. If you are starving you will likely kill for food. If you are in danger you will run or you’re body will fill with endorphins and you will fight. You will instinctively hunger for sex because that’s how we’re wired to keep our species alive. Survival instincts are not about making a decision they just are. If you’ve been drinking habitually, even if the habit is a habitual Friday/Saturday binge, it’s that survival instinct brain that will fight to get a drink when you make the rational decision to stop. You have to DECIDE to STOP drinking on a strong conscious level if you are going to override that subconscious survival instinct. You have to make it NON-Negotiable and get comfortable with being uncomfortable for a while. The way that some of us drink or drank is quite deadly, immediately dangerous, like Russian Roulette, and the only one who can make you not pick up the first drink is….. you. Learn as much as you can about your Lizard brain. You are ALREADY a survivor. You are a FIGHTER. Heavy drinkers are SURVIVORS! We survive all kinds of stuff that other people couldn’t, that’s how we get addicted. We are NOT lightweights. If you are a SURVIVOR and you’ve taught your Survival brain that it NEEDS alcohol by drinking habitually, your brain is going to FIGHT BACK HARD in all kinds of creative ways. Use your powerful ability to survive to fight back against the addicted instinct to drink. You may have to fight hard, but you ABSOLUTELY CAN DO IT. KNOWING rationally that your brain will FIGHT to trick you into drinking because it has LEARNED that it NEEDS alcohol to survive … that is the key for a while … the first key. You’ll need to find more keys as you move forward. Reading this may help The Fuckit Bucket . But the first key is accepting and understanding that no matter what you do not NEED to drink. Find the rest of this blog post with links to many articles and several YouTube selections on the topic at this link Struggling to Stop Drinking : Overriding Your Survival Instincts or Walking Through the Ring of Fire If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…come join us We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only drug addiction that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here Download the Mighty Networks app here for easy access and search BOOM Rethink the Drink
08:07
May 11, 2021
Guide to your First Month Sober: Why and How to Quit Drinking
Guide to your First Month Sober: Why and How to Quit Drinking
If you had told me, only 6 weeks ago, that the first month sober would be anything other than a miserable, white-knuckled exercise in deprivation, I would have written you off as delusional or brainwashed by self-help books. I would have assumed that you didn’t know me, didn’t understand my life, or had simply forgotten how wonderful drinking really was. I would have been wrong. This is a recording of a blog post published on the Boozemusings log at this link Demystifying Sober for the Sober Curious - find more here on our Boozemusings Blog and here in our Private Community Boom Rethink the Drink If You're Drinking Too Much Too Often Talk to Us 
29:57
May 11, 2021
I Choose Freedom - Escaping the Alcohol Trap
I Choose Freedom - Escaping the Alcohol Trap
Stopping myself from drinking alcohol was so very difficult for me to do at first because it was masking the real problems.  It didn’t take me long to realise that for me it wasn’t that I was simply addicted to alcohol – it was much deeper than that. Alcohol was not the only thing I was dealing with. The real issue was that I wanted and thought I needed alcohol’s effect because it helped to cover up the root of my problems. Alcohol was the drug I had chosen to help me deal with and cope with the thoughts in my head – and there was a direct connection between my thoughts and my actions The overthinking, the covering up of historic hurts, the anxieties felt, the self-deprecating thoughts, the cognitive distortions and catastrophising. Cognitive distortions means that at times I have repetitive, negative, troubling and unpleasant thoughts and I can ‘blow them up’ completely out of proportion. Slowly as the days, months and years passed the reasons for me drinking alcohol appeared in my head in the form of thoughts, emotions and feelings. I faced my demons and tried to find methods and ways to face them head on without using alcohol –  to find other ways to cope. I have had to face ‘who I am’ and be accepting of times when I couldn’t – and sometimes still can’t – change things. Sometimes it was exhausting and my emotions were labile at times, but I trusted the members before me who told me to keep going. In the times when I could not seem to control my anxieties I protected myself by slowing down, by not being the one that everyone relies on, by avoiding stressful situations, by using distraction techniques and self care. My life is not perfect and it never will be because like everyone’s life it has its ups and downs.  But it’s my life now to live as I choose – alcohol does not have any power to control me anymore. I’ve escaped the alcohol trap. This is a recording of a blog post – Read the entire post at this link on the Boozemusings  Blog at this link https://boozemusings.com/i-choose-freedom-escaping-the-alcohol-trap/ If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us.  We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking”
06:27
May 11, 2021
Breaking the Spell of Wine o’Clock
Breaking the Spell of Wine o’Clock
I think that it was the author Lucy Rocca who coined the term Wine Witch. Belle, who writes the blog Tired of Thinking about Drinking, came up with a malevolent wine o’clock voice named Wolfie. In the rational recovery program, the smiling assassin’s Drink Now voice is called The Feast Beast. And indeed, what I felt for years as I slipped further and further into alcohol addiction was an almost supernatural pull to keep repeating the same self-destructive behavior. It didn’t matter how much I understood of the health consequences of my dangerous drinking routine. It didn’t matter that I was high functioning in every other way. It didn’t matter that I was otherwise responsible and together. The inevitability of my nightly wine binge was like walking toward a flame. An enchantment. A spell. Don’t become a statistic. This is a recording of a blog post that you can find at this link https://boozemusings.com/breaking-the-spell-of-wine-o-clock/ Open a Book, open a browser, open your mind. The keys are out there. You don’t HAVE to drink. Sobriety is Clarity, Creativity , Freedom Community connection is the first step. Talk to Us , Rethink the Drink ! If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us.  We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using You can read more about us Here And join  Here BOOM Rethink the Drink– community support 24-7
09:28
May 10, 2021
Sober Freedom - Feeling the Highs and Lows
Sober Freedom - Feeling the Highs and Lows
Feelings are hard. Freely feeling is not something I'm used to. Once I got solidly sober, when I started thinking more about why I drank, it was always with the intention of changing how I felt — making the highs higher, running away from the lows, or simply trying to fill the empty space of boredom. When I started drinking, I’m pretty confident I had “enhancing” the highs as my goal the vast majority of the time. But as the years went on, there were fewer highs to enhance, and more and more lows to try and hide from. This is a reading of a blog post found at this link Sober Freedom - Feeling the Highs and Lows on the Boozemusings blog - Boozemusings is the public face of the private community Boom Rethink the Drink If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… Talk to Us. 
10:52
May 09, 2021
Blogging Away from “Wine o’Clock” – A Sober Mom’s Tribute to “Redefining Me Time”
Blogging Away from “Wine o’Clock” – A Sober Mom’s Tribute to “Redefining Me Time”
Blogging and community outreach on the internet has become a passion for me. I went from a total incomprehension of anything “tech” to building a website and starting a private, anonymous blogging community like the one that helped me stop drinking 6 years ago. There is so much creative possibility with the internet. I have found that reaching out with ideas and compassion in a non-commercial, creative way has filled the void I felt when I first stopped drinking away my evenings. And that void has long since filled with me. If you’re drinking too much too often come talk to us. Don’t let the shame of the stigma associated with addiction keep you from saying “I think I have a problem with drinking” In a world where alcohol is the only drug that people will question you for not using, we’ll help you find your own path. BOOM! Rethink the Drink . The following posts, tell the story of why and how I stopped drinking by blogging my way sober. I hope that today, on Mother’s Day, these words inspire you. 
21:03
May 09, 2021
Maybe Knots
Maybe Knots
We all know there are people who do not have a problem with addiction and there are some of us who do. And most of us have been touched directly or indirectly by this. I took that recent Sunday morning and my hangover as a gentle warning, a sign from God or Universe, or the One or whatever you want to call Her or Him or It. As if to say, There is this thing you are ignoring, I invite you to listen. This time I will tell you softly, with only a hangover and lost Sunday. But next time may be different. I have seen the writing on the wall and I am paying attention. Are you? I asked myself and I ask you now, Does alcohol interfere with the way you want to move through life? Do you feel rested and open-hearted the morning after a night out? Or do you feel irritable, cloudy, and maybe even a little depressed? Do you agree, as Michael Brown said in his wonderful book The Presence Process (a book which changed my life) that Alcohol and drugs sedate authenticity? Maybe, for you, alcohol is not a problem. Or maybe it is. I want to greet each day, as much as possible, with loving-kindness and an open heart. I want to live my truth, which is that I am (as we all are), as Ram Dass says, “Loving Awareness”. Alcohol, for me, interferes with that. Continue reading Blog post here https://boozemusings.com/drinking-maybe-knots/ on Boozemusings find our community here Boom Rethink the Drink 
08:12
May 08, 2021
My Beautiful Mind at 1,000 days Sober
My Beautiful Mind at 1,000 days Sober
This is a recording by the author of a blog post that you can find at this link https://boozemusings.com/my-beautiful-mind-at-1000-days-sober/
08:54
May 07, 2021
Looking Back from 5 Months Sober
Looking Back from 5 Months Sober
This is a recording of the following Blog Post https://boozemusings.com/looking-back-from-5-months-sober/
04:29
May 07, 2021
Nothing tastes better than sober…
Nothing tastes better than sober…
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://boozemusings.com/nothing-tastes-better-than-sober-2/
08:18
May 06, 2021
Selling the Possibility of Loving Life Sober
Selling the Possibility of Loving Life Sober
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://boozemusings.com/selling-the-possibility-of-loving-life-sober-rethink-the-drink/
05:16
May 06, 2021
The Beauty of Life Alcohol-Free
The Beauty of Life Alcohol-Free
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://boozemusings.com/the-beauty-of-life-alcohol-free/
04:33
May 06, 2021
Don't Label Me Alcoholic Because I Choose Not to Drink
Don't Label Me Alcoholic Because I Choose Not to Drink
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://boozemusings.com/dont-label-me-alcoholic-because-i-choose-not-to-drink/
09:56
May 06, 2021
How I Stopped Drinking Without AA
How I Stopped Drinking Without AA
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://boozemusings.com/how-i-stopped-drinking-without-aa/ I’ve never been very good at following the rules. I don’t actually intend to be rebellious I just always seem to go my own way. When I knew that I needed to stop drinking and found that I could not do it on my own, the biggest reason I didn’t go to AA wasn’t my rebellious nature but simple practicalities. I don’t have options where I live. There is one English-speaking AA group in my city that meets once a week at the church where I used to teach Sunday school. Anonymity in that situation was hopeless so I didn’t even try. But it was also the steps. Which read like rules to me. A routine or discipline that has been tried and tested by many over the years and works. But they are never-the-less RULES. I did google AA online a few years back and I started reading the Big Book. I remember thinking about downloading it and printing it out but I just couldn’t. Although I was worried enough about my drinking to start reading the Big Book and I saw myself in those words, I could not admit to myself much less my husband that my drinking had gotten “that bad”. I was ashamed to imagine having a copy of the AA Big Book on my bedside table. I was ashamed of the stigma of alcoholism. In a desperate, guilt-ridden, hung-over state I did Google AA and I did read a bit, but I walked away. Not yet… not that bad… yet….. The thing is I saw myself very clearly in the words of the Big Book and in a way it made me feel safe to read those words. I felt like “YES!” out there in the world there were other people like me. People who understood! People who knew how to stop! But I had trouble with the idea of following the rules. Because I am not a joiner, not a rule follower, not someone who is ever comfortable being categorized or classified or pigeonholed in any way. Because I am so decidedly independent I struggled mightily imagining working those steps in the AA Big Book. Ultimately for me stop drinking turned out to be all about breaking the rules. It is the single most rebellious thing I have done in my life. Throughout the early months of my sobriety, I did have a lot of help indirectly from AA. I read stories of people who had worked those steps, followed the rules, and found recovery. I had mentors from AA in my blogging group who I sometimes agreed with and sometimes debated with. But whether or not you follow the rules of AA or follow your own path the choice to stop drinking and the discipline to stay stopped has to come from within. There has to be a moment when you look at the glass in your hand and accept 100% that once you start drinking you give up control and nothing is more important than NOT doing that anymore. In AA I think they call it humility and surrender. I accepted that I do not have control after the first glass and that it is a matter of life or death… and then I surrendered to a 100% commitment of my energy to stop No MATTER WHAT. I ACCEPTED that once I start drinking I CANNOT control how much I drink I accepted that self-abuse is NOT self-care I surrendered to knowing that sometimes I simply need to rest and that’s OK. I made a commitment to never drink again No MATTER what. I found a community of people who will support and encourage me to do just that. I reflect on how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking and who I am without the blur of mind-numbing, sensation blurring, energy-sapping nightly binge drinking. I ask questions, bare my soul, see myself reflected positively or not in the stories of others. I offer support and inspiration at every opportunity. Every day for the past four years I have been Conscious, Aware, Alive Sober!
05:13
May 06, 2021