Recently I shared coffee with a new friend and fellow sober mama. It was so uplifting and refreshing since face-to-face connections can be hard to come by if you don’t attend AA in the area.
During our flow of conversation, I had the opportunity to share my story of how I got to this place, this life at now 692 days sober.
I realized as I started that it had been a really long time since I shared my story- out loud. After my wakeup call, the only people that knew were those involved. Then once the shame of it all quit choking me a few weeks later, I told a couple of super close friends. Then I shut my mouth about it.
A few months later, I started my own blog as a way to share my personal flow through the early days of sobriety. It was an incredible outlet, but it took me a solid ten months until I shared “The Day.”
So what is my story, you may ask? Well, in a brief-ish version, back in January of 2017 I was in single-mom-mode with our trio entering the work weekend with some sort of sickness brewing in me. My solution? Drink my way through it.
By Monday, I felt like death. Called out of work, took my kids to daycare, came home, continued to drink, napped, popped a Xanax because the anxiety of it all was suffocating me, and then picked our kids up. The next thing I know, I’m awaking to the face of our daycare provider and her daugher in our van in our garage. I had blacked out and passed out the second I put the van in park. By the grace of God, I didn’t shut the garage door, as the van was still running with all three kids buckled in the back.
It took until the next day, after yet another morning of steady drinking, for me to have my final wakeup call. Here I was stuck at home with all three kids because I couldn’t drive, partially due to a dead van battery (again, God’s work), and because I was on an uncontrollable bender.
My hangovers and withdrawals were really bad at this point in my drinking, so that was ultimately what I was trying to avoid with the all-day boozing. I knew I would not be able to care for my kids if I tried to quit drinking cold turkey, and my husband was not due back from his mission for another few days. Plus, being a military family, I had no family to call to help me out of this terrible hole I had dug for myself.
Then this feeling overcame me- I had the clearest drunk thought of my life! I was ready to sober up FOR GOOD! In the past when I had try to quit- once for 100 days and once for 8 months, I was never filled to the brim with this feeling. This feeling was different. This feeling felt like the first step towards true freedom!
With the fresh feeling riding high, I decided to walk across the street and ask my sweet neighbor for help. Together we called the police to set in motion a plan to get me to detox. Once again, I thank God because my wish came true. Somehow everything fell into place. My husband was able to catch a redeye home. My neighbor took care of the kids while the police and I made arrangements. Our daycare provider stepped up and took the kids for the night, and off I went!
After a quick stop at the hospital to get pumped full of fluids and receive a withdrawal medication, I awoke in a detox center on January 25, 2017. I quickly realized this what not what I had truly envisioned, so I checked myself out as soon as I could that day. I then was able to detox in the comfort of our home, thanks to the medication I had received.
After I had shared this story out loud at the coffee date, I felt this inner peace overcome me. I wasn’t full of shame. In fact, I felt sincerely grateful.
I wasn’t tearful. I was strong in my words.
I didn’t hesitate on the details. I was honest.
I wasn’t beating myself up, as I have made my own personal peace and received all the forgiveness I’ve needed from those who matter most.
Saying my story out loud made me realize how different my life truly is now. That girl I was, that mom who was struggling to keep her (emotional) head above water is not in our home anymore.
Because of that day, my faith has grown tenfold. My marriage is stronger, but slightly different. My relationship with my kids is honest and pure. Who I am is real and most definitely perfectly imperfect.
It’s taken a long time to get to this place of peace, but I’m there. I know this journey has no end, and there is still plenty of work to do. But sharing my story out loud shows that time really does wonders. It shows where I am at, as well as where I want to be. It shows how far I’ve come, and reminds me of who I will hopefully never ever be, again.
I know we all ride this journey at our own pace, and we all enter it at different points. But to give yourself a gut check on where you are today- I say, share your story. It could bring hope to others, as well as build a great deal of strength within you!
Alison Evans is a military wife and stay-at-home mom to three fun-loving, wild kiddos. She recently finished her second masters (like a crazy person) in Exercise Science, and is now a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. She will be rolling out health and wellness services for other sober mommies in the very near future. For now, you can check out her personal blog www.FromWinetoFine.com to read her other sober ramblings. You can also follow her on IG @teetotallyfit.
Authors - Various