I’m now on my 17th day of sobriety and I’m now starting to understand why Alcoholics Anonymous is so important and why the wise words from the ‘Big Book‘ paaraphrase that only an alcoholic can understand an alcoholic.
Last night I went to my normal Monday night meeting and I will admit I was quite anxious. You see, my husband started a new job yesterday and this job will require travel, longer travel to work and longer hours. This means that the routines that I have established over the past 12 months will have to change. My husband is a normal drinker, and therefore doesn’t understand the ‘thirst’ that I get for drinking. I think that he was under the impression that I just need to go to a few meetings and keep myself distracted at night, therefore I won’t need to drink.
Importance of Meetings
I never quite understood why alcoholics go to meetings, now I do, it’s because at every Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, you hear stories from others at different stages of their sobriety which motivate you to keep on track. In the meetings, we are all the same, we are all alcoholics and we all get it. We all understand each other and realise what it’s like to be an alcoholic. However normal drinkers don’t get us, they just think we should ‘stop drinking’. I wish it was that simple.
At every meeting I hear something that reiterates why I want to stay sober, but I also hear something that also inspires me to stay sober. Last night one of the members received their 4 year token. After the meeting I congratulated him and he said to me that he was told the 24 hour token is for you, and the rest are for everyone else. I now totally understand that, because without these kindred spirits, it isn’t as easy to obtain our sobriety and therefore our tokens.
Importance of the steps
I am still very much in the early stages of the steps (I really haven’t even done the first one properly I don’t think. But I keep hearing in these meetings that these steps are imperative to achieving sobriety and all of the members who have achieved years, or decades of sobriety talk about how important it is to incorporate each of these steps back into our day-to-day life. At this stage I haven’t even worked these steps.
In the past I’ve been able to obtain periods of sobriety, but it hasn’t lasted, in fact when I go back to drinking I end up drinking more and more. I know within myself if I don’t deal with my issues, my feelings and my emotions I am going to end up loosing everything I have worked so hard to achieve.
How I feel today
Since recognising that I’m an alcoholic and that I need help, I’ve managed to achieve 17 days sobriety. I have panic attacks every night, but these are getting better each night. The biggest change I’ve noticed is during the day time, because i’m not seedy and hungover, I have gone 17 days without having any soda (Pepsi Max or Coke Zero) and I haven’t even tried to do this.
I’m also having to take less pain killers, probably because I’m no longer masking a hangover with them.
The biggest change I have noticed is how I am with my children. Overall I am feeling so much better as a mother, through the day I have much more patience, and also I’m able to devote real quality time to them reading books, working on my daughters speech and overall learning. This is the greatest reward and incentive to remain and obtain sobriety.