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Guest Blogging | Seeing Yourself

Every once in a while we post find a wonderful blogger who blogs about addiction recovery. As you might have heard, if not, then I’ll be the first to tell you, we are working to build our sober community by offering guest blogging opportunities about alcohol and drug abuse treatment. This month’s guest blogger, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been sober for nearly 3 years and has been blogging on his own sight Off Booze for nearly the same time.

It’s not exciting, getting sober. If it is, I can’t complain, necessarily; it should be something, so exciting might fit the bill. But exciting is not the first word I’d use to describe getting sober after extended years of binging behavior and drug use. I’d say hard is more accurate. Or excruciating. Or frightening. See, yes, frightening is better. And one better on top of that: It is frightening without allowing fright. I.e. you’re not supposed to be scared to be sober.

You’re not supposed to prefer stank-drunk immobility to sobriety. Because even the stank-drunk thirty beer weekend is preferable to sobriety? Because sobriety is terrifying? Because being with yourself is somehow impossible?

Frankly, yes.

That’s you I’m talking to. Yeah, you in the corner. My past self.

You’re not supposed to prefer to be drunk all the time. I don’t just mean the socially sanctioned times, either, though you should really try not to be totally stoned on booze through those times either. I mean all the time.

How do you know if you have a problem, you might say?

Is this really the time to ask? Here’s a quick question, then. Have you ever had more than six drinks at a time? More than 3-4 on a regular basis for 5 days or more in a row? Have family members that have alcohol problems? Family members are a big one.

Here’s the real way to know if you have a drinking problem: you just know. If you’ve ever wondered about it, then you do. Yes, I cast a broad net.

I’m not trying to rain on your parade or stop you from having fun. If you’re to get sober, you won’t do it for me. You don’t even know me. But you can know at least that I was frightened too, that I was as scared as they come. That multiple repeated panic attacks I had at 5am after heavy boozing (panic attacks that through me into a weird half-drunk lucidity, heart slamming about, room blurry and then stabilizing; panic attacks because I’d gone out and gotten drunk as sin, yet AGAIN, when I swore I wouldn’t)—couldn’t even touch. I basically had to have the woman I love tell me she was leaving if I messed up as bad as I did one more time. It wasn’t messing up related to alcohol, not to her; it was just messing up. My whole life was a mess-up, I thought, and she said no: it isn’t. Not everything is wrong; just one thing. Stop making excuses that it is all too complicated; that it is too entrenched, or that you suffer uniquely.

You don’t.

We all do.

And it can get better.

But first, well, you know what to do.