Jeni didn’t think she would ever get to a point in her life where she would never drink again. Once she got naked – it got easy.
Counting On It
That is how long I’ve been sober for.
Doesn’t seem very long when I type it out but –
That is the longest I have gone without taking a drink in probably 7 years.
How Did I Get Here?
I was never a big drinker. I found myself pregnant at 21 and proceeded to spend the next 5 years pregnant. I never took a sip while pregnant – not even at 33 years old while pregnant with my 4th. Suddenly, as I approached 40, my second marriage was tanking and my 3 oldest daughters were all in their teens. I turned to alcohol as a crutch to deal with the stress, anxiety and heartache of dealing with their crazy father (my first husband) and all of their teenage angst, combined with a second failing marriage.
Need To Stop
Over the next 7 years I gradually went from 1-2 glasses of wine a night to relax to 2 bottles of wine a night to even sleep, which I was drinking every night until –
30 sec…. ago.
How Do I Stop?
I have tried to quit . I have tried so many times. Tried to taper my drinking … moderate … count my drinks … wean myself off…
Nothing worked. It just left me feeling like a bigger failure…
I would ask myself incessantly- ‘Am I really an alcoholic? Do I need AA?’
Should I go to rehab?
I was a very high functioning addicted drinker. Work, school, super mom, great wife… you name it. I have never had a DUI and I never practice drinking and driving. I never miss work for drinking or neglect my family … but I knew I had a problem and I was slowly killing myself.
Walking On Eggshells
My older daughters were well aware of my quiet drinking problem. It was a sensitive subject and due to the fact that I was high functioning, no one ever staged an “intervention”. They would just tell me that they wanted me to be healthy and they were worried. I would assure them I was fine.
My 3rd daughter developed a benzo -alcohol addiction at 19. It was the hardest thing I’ve had to go through yet in my life – to wonder every day if she would live or die. But she finally hit bottom and agreed to go to rehab and followed her program. She went through recovery, did drug court, and stopped and is now close to 3 years sober at this time. She works as a house manager at a sober living home and is going to college to be a drug and alcohol counselor.
And all the while her mom has had an alcohol addiction. Don’t think that didn’t make me feel extreme guilt, like maybe I caused it, maybe it was my fault.
No Way I Could Never Drink Again
My 2nd daughter spent a lot of time at AA with her sister and joined Al-Anon and got a sponsor and lives a lifetime commitment to being drug and alcohol free. This daughter harbors a lot of resentment towards me and, of course, I blamed myself for that as well. My drinking was just something that I felt I would never give up. I couldn’t imagine a life free of the chains of alcohol, I couldn’t bear the thought of going to a meeting full of desperate addicts and telling my story. I didn’t fit in there. I didn’t fit in anywhere.
Until…..I listened to The Naked Mind. I cried my eyes out as Annie told her story. I felt understood. For the first time, I felt like I wasn’t alone. I felt HOPE.
It was Monday morning …..I saw a Facebook friend’s post called “My break from booze”. It was a blog article. Of course it got my attention, so I read every word soaking up everything she said just searching for my way out of the nightmare. I found it interesting, but still wasn’t sure if taking a 30-day break was something I could even attempt. At the end of her blog she suggested reading material and one was This Naked Mind. Something just told me I needed to read that book.
Do you feel like you need to read This Naked Mind? Ready to say you will never drink again? Start reading This Naked Mind today!
As a result, I went to Amazon. I found Audible, downloaded it, and got my first book free. The book that would change my life.
As I listened to Annie’s voice and soaked in her words, I would just cry and then just feel so very hopeful and then cry and then feel saved. I made my decision that day that this was the right path for me. I finally took my last drink that night and I made the decision the next morning that I would never drink again.
It was just that simple. All the information was there. Alcohol is a lie. It’s a poison. It doesn’t make me happy, it has kept me in a prison of fear, worry, self loathing and guilt. Alcohol doesn’t relax me. It doesn’t make me happy. Alcohol spends my money and my time and my energy and my health on its lies.
The light came on. Just like that.
I WAS FREE.
Just typing that makes me tear up.
Finally, I am free.
I will never drink again.
As of today, I’ve dumped out every bit of alcohol in my house. I even threw away all my wine glasses. I have no need for them.
How do I know I won’t drink again?
Choosing To Be Free
I made a choice. I make it every day, every hour. Every evening at bed. Every time I walk into the grocery. I made the choice that I will NOT let a toxic, addictive, dangerous drug control my life ever again. One thing that kept me from quitting was the fear of withdrawal symptoms. I heard that I could have seizures or even die from going cold turkey off alcohol and I’m sure for some people that is true. When I listened to Annie speak of her withdrawal, I had already made the decision to quit, so I was going to just ride it out. Whatever it was going to take. I was ready.
So far, almost 5 days out, I don’t have many withdrawal issues. I have had a slight headache in the night and a little bit of irritability after work when I am not gulping down wine to numb out all life’s stressors. Having found something else I enjoy drinking – Simply Light lemonade – I fill my tumbler and sip my lemonade and think about how thankful my liver and the rest of my body is that I am not pumping it full of toxins. Now I’m replacing alcohol as my reward and happy place with walks, playing with my puppy, or even enjoying a small treat. I listen to Annie’s blog, read her emails, listen to the book all over again and I meditate at bedtime with a meditation app.
But no matter what I am doing and no matter what I find to help deal with some cravings, I have no doubt I will never take a drink again. I am committed.
Never Going Back
I am finally free and I never want to go back into that prison that alcohol had me in. I feel like a million pounds has been lifted off my shoulders. My husband and my youngest daughter are the only people that know. They are very supportive and loving. I am looking forward to telling my older daughters someday soon, but I want more time under my belt so that they see I am truly free. Thank you so much Annie, for giving me the tools to get my life back. Furthermore, I can honestly say you and your book are the best thing that has happened to me and I will forever be grateful that you told your story. Here is to a life sober and happy!!!
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