Getting Sober.

Part of the work that I am doing with the Handel Group, and receiving coaching as well as training as a coach, is making and keeping promises. Promises have been pretty loaded for me in the past; the promises that I most deeply wanted to keep (I will never leave you) I have rarely kept, so when I went about creating promises for myself, I wanted them to be doable, yet a stretch for me in some ways.

One of the many promises that I keep each week has to do with my sobriety. I stopped drinking alcohol, for good, on August 12 of this year. Some of the reasons that I chose to do that is to have a healthy body; to get more clear and focused on my goals; and to provide a healthier legacy to our daughter, than I was given in regard to alcohol. I also knew, deep down, that alcohol and me are not a good combination, and that I am probably an alcoholic. That was a hard word for me to use.

The promise is that each week, I will tell one new person in my life that I no longer drink, and why I no longer drink. Truth. This past week, I did not keep that promise. No excuses. So, my consequence is that I have to go to an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting with a friend. I DREADED that. I felt scared, uncomfortable, and out of place thinking about it, that is why I made it a consequence, so I WOULDN’T have to do it. However, here I was, needing to keep it.

Now, no one would know if I didn’t keep it, if I lied about the promise so never did the consequence. Well, no one but me. And, I know in my life today that I don’t want to be a liar, to others or to myself.

So, I contacted a friend who has been sober, fifteen years next month. She told me a few different meetings that she goes to that we could attend together. And, I did. I went last night. I was scared, and even feeling a bit self conscious, like I did, and didn’t, belong there.

Going to that meeting was one of the most meaningful times of my life. I heard my story in the story of others; I felt support; I felt hope. And, now I know that I will go back.

Because, I realized last night that it is okay to call out who we truly are; to get honest and real. And, that there are others who know, understand, and will hold you up on the way.

I am so grateful for getting sober.


7 thoughts on “Getting Sober.

  1. I’m so proud of you, Ness. Alcohol is such a difficult issue…it’s the “party” , the “celebration”, the “unwinder” and the “crutch”. It’s everywhere we go as adults and it’s accepted. No one questions why we hold the glass and they laugh along with us when we tip it back. But only we can know where that glass fits in our lives – or doesn’t. We’ve all personally been touched by alcoholism and know firsthand the damage it does to our families. Alcoholism has a way of reaching out and spreading itself through every part of our lives and changes relationships. You made a choice to replace that glass with something better – power. Power to share the love and strength you have. To change a legacy of fear and shame to one of pride and dignity for your daughter and family. As part of that family, I love you and thank you and am so happy that my children have you as such an example in their lives – and me, too!

  2. Vanessa,
    You are a gift. Your honesty and truth are a gift. Your real-ness is a gift.

    Know that these words today, they reach me very deeply. They do in their deep truth. And in that, Vanessa, you give others permission to be more open, more honest, more real. And that is deeply meaningful.

    Much peace and love,

  3. Isn’t wonderful when the “punishment”/consequence we set up for ourselves is really a blessing? By keeping your word, you got to experience a whole new place, let go of some fears and find the usefulness of AA. I commend your sobriety and integrity!

  4. Lance: You manage to “be there” for me at all of the right moments. I really thank you for that; because when you visit, and write your thoughts to me, I truly feel your love. Thank you……. Vanessa

    Tiny: It is a blessing, indeed!!! And, you have paid me one of the most beautiful comments ever- my having integrity. Thank you for that!!!

  5. The other’s comments say so much still I would just like to let you know that I read your post and feel moved by your honesty! Being open can so easily be mistaken for being vulnarable when the truth is, it is the lying and hiding that hurts. I love the fact that you talk about “promises to yourself” because that is truly where it’s at! Everything else is playing a part to please others and gets you nowhere. I totally support your evolvement and sober approach to life!! 🙂 Warm hugs!

  6. helen: Thank you sweetness!!! You are so right; the light of truth is where it is at; lying hurts so many, yet we all have learned to hide and to lie, in order to save face or to pretend to be someone we are not. No more pretending for me. Love! Vanessa

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