Taking A Chance At Sobriety – Tracy’s Naked Life

Tracy decided that taking a chance at sobriety had to be better than living a life stuck drinking. Her journey was one of finding balance and healing.

chance at sobriety

A Chance at Sobriety

I have been drinking every day for the last five years and was looking for a solution. I saw Sobersis on Facebook. For my birthday (which was last February) I thought I would give myself the gift of a chance at sobriety. That group was only partially helpful to me. Luckily, This Naked Mind was mentioned. That is when everything opened up for me!

I started to watch This Naked Mind podcasts on an almost daily basis. What I love about the podcasts is that it not only helps by offering information, but it brings in a variety of other professionals to help as well, knowing that drinking is the symptom of a larger problem. 

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Not Much of A Drinker

I was older than the rest of my class, so my dad is who took me out for a drink on my 21st birthday. It tasted disgusting! Prior to that, I drank very minimally with friends at parties, only a couple of times a year. I was never a party girl in high school or college. Instead, I was usually everyone’s designated driver. After college, I married and had three girls. I almost never drank during this time of my life either.

I was completely committed to being the best mom possible to my girls and wanted to be available to them at all times. Looking back, I now see that I lacked balance with regard to my girls and my parenting. I was determined that they would have a perfect life, and sure I could accomplish this for them if I just tried hard enough and sacrificed enough for them. It was overwhelming and exhausting for me, and probably them, too. Still, I soldiered on for 18 years that way.

Heartbreak

Then, two of my daughters experienced some of the most traumatic and intense moments of their lives and it broke my heart.

I felt betrayed. All my feelings of security and safety had disappeared right before my very eyes in an instant. In the book, Annie talks about the dangers of moderation, it really rang true for me. Wherever you are in your drinking, if something traumatic happens to you, you will inevitably drink more. I went from a person that almost never drank to a person who was drinking at least three glasses of wine every day to try to cope with my life. Often, I would drink until I got tired. I would go to bed at 7:00, just to wake up at 3:00 feeling anxious, depressed, and defeated.

Drinking Became My Best Friend

Five years ago those were the first two dominos to fall. At about this time, we had new neighbors move in who liked to party and drink. My husband has always liked to drink. This further normalized my drinking. I started to wonder why I ever abstained. At first, the drinking felt like my best friend. It came whenever I needed it and gave me respite from my turmoil. Over the past five years, though, I noticed that I was feeling more anxious and depressed than I ever had. This despite the fact that my daughters were doing much better. I tried different anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications, to no avail. I also tried massage, yoga, therapy, and meditation, with limited success. 

Seeking Equilibrium

When I listened to the podcasts about how our body seeks equilibrium and releases cortisol, a stress hormone, and dynorphin to achieve that equilibrium, it all made perfect sense to me as to why I was falling further and further down this hole. All this even though I was trying to develop some healthy habits in my life! I was sitting on my back patio, with a drink in my hand, remembering how I used to find so much peace and joy in this activity without a drink in my hand. I remember wondering why it seemed so impossible now, trying to imagine doing it without a drink in my hand. A light bulb went off for me when Annie explains how dopamine artificially stimulates the pleasure center in my brain, making it difficult for me to feel pleasure from naturally occurring stimuli!

Taking A Chance at Sobriety

Since February I have continued to drink, trying to moderate my drinking, but have done so with ‘curiosity without judgment.’ I am starting to evolve my thinking around alcohol. It used to feel like my best friend, numbing me from my pain. Now, I see that it was stealing from me on so many different levels! It stole my money, my pride, my time with my family, my health … the list goes on. I just finished This Naked Mind the book today, and this will be my sixth day sober. I am trying to approach my sobriety with an approach of ‘curiosity without judgment’ as well.

We just went to my nephew’s graduation party a few days ago. Of course, the liquor was flowing. I didn’t drink. One of my relatives noticed I wasn’t drinking and asked about it. It was awkward, and I don’t know if I handled it correctly, but I survived! My girls and my husband told me how proud they were of me on the way home. Even better – I am proud of myself.

Learning to Be Uncomfortable

I learned from Annie to practice meditation through Dan Harris and about acknowledging and accepting our feelings, even though they may be uncomfortable. It has been an extremely uncomfortable six days for me. Still, I already see that the practices I have been trying all along, to no avail, are starting to have some impact on me as the alcohol is dissipating from my body. I AM starting to see a glimmer of hope!

In addition, I also learned from Annie and Stacey Martino that I can’t control what other people do. I can only control my behavior and hope that I will be a positive influence on others. It is extremely important to me to be a positive influence on my girls. For the first time in five years, I feel I am doing that again and I will be forever grateful for This Naked Mind and the work that you all do in this world!!

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Are you taking a chance at sobriety with the help of This Naked Mind? We’d love to hear and share your story! Your words can encourage and inspire so many others!