There are women succeeding beyond their wildest dreams because of their sobriety. Mary Karr


The last business trip I took with my husband was a major drunk fest. The kind of week-long party you need a vacation from afterwards because you don’t sleep, your liver hurts, and you’ve been on a roll for too many days. This year, the trip was different. I didn’t drink. I went from Monday night until Sunday night without a drop of alcohol making that an all-time first for me. How did I do it? Well, “I” didn’t. My Higher Power was in charge. I told Him He had to be take the wheel because I know when I think I’m in control, I know where I end up: Usually, it’s face down in my pillow, mascara staining the sheets, my memory blown and my husband pissed because I have embarrassed him professionally, again. I didn’t want this trip to be like that, but I was scared. So, I went to my therapist and to an AA meeting and I asked for help. Asking for help is still a new concept to me. I hate feeling vulnerable, but I knew if I were to stay sober, I had to reach out. I am not in this sobriety trip to recovery alone despite the number of times I drank alone. So, per the advice of those who have traveled longer and further, I planned ahead, I downloaded Bubble hour pod casts; I scheduled a detox spa day; I had my sponsor’ s number on speed dial; I had my journal and all my AA books; I knew where the nearest English-speaking AA meeting was; I had my husband’s support (with coded words for varying exits.) None of these took away my anxiety completely. But what did happen is nothing short of a miracle. I came down with a nasty sinus head ache/cold/pressure. It was marvelous. I was absolutely pain-free, but I sounded terrible. NO ONE questioned why I wasn’t drinking for the first few days. It was an absolute God-send. The sun on my face, warming me up felt fabulous. My ears were slightly clogged so I didn’t have to hear the “fun” as loud. The feeling was a perfect little bubble God put me into so as the week wore on, my strength increased. Truly, I felt protected. Once, the fuzz lifted, I had enough strength to say, “Nope. I am finally starting to feel human again; I don’t want to mess that up by drinking.” Ha. If they only knew what I meant! I have to digress a moment to the spa. One of my character flaws is being afraid to ask questions. I am afraid I will appear stupid so more often than not, I appear ignorant because I have failed to ask questions. So, I go to the spa and sign up for a marvelous detoxifying 80 minute treatment. I’ve had massages before so I didn’t ask questions. Whelp, I didn’t have a two piece bathing suit on as is recommended so I went in my birthday suit. Not really a big deal EXCEPT this treatment required the removal of the “mud” in a bathtub by the attendant. Thank God, I’ve had four kids so I am not a huge prude or am particularly modest. All the while as she is rinsing me, I think, “Why do you not ask questions? Why do you think you have a handle on this when you know NOTHING about this particular treatment?” I laughed to myself as I am working on being honest and now I know that includes me, too. I find loving myself and being honest with myself makes this sober journey much less stressful. So, a good, quiet, relaxing week without alcohol. I laughed, danced, played shuffleboard, went boating, went to several cocktail parties – all sober. It was fantastic! And what was really mystical about the whole vacation was that I learned above everything else that I can have a good time, without alcohol.

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