Happy Independence Day (Sober)!!!
Updated: Jul 5
Yes, yes, yes, I know, July 4th is about America’s Independence.
Today, while I am deeply, deeply grateful to celebrate America’s freedom in a country that I love with all my heart, I’m also so grateful for my own independence…from alcohol. My sobriety.
Alcohol gave me no independence whatsoever. In my last days of drinking, I was as dependent (addicted) as I possibly could have been and I didn’t own my life; alcohol did.
I celebrated, like all of you, with parades and parties and fireworks, but in the back of my mind, I just wanted to know when my next drink was going come. I wanted to enjoy the celebration with my friends and family, but I was too busy planning my escape, running back and forth between my closet, where I had a bottle stashed, and the party. That certainly doesn’t sound independence to me.
Now sobriety. That’s independence! Not being chained to an addiction that stole entire moments and events of my life away from me…that is independence. Owning my own life, that is freedom.
I know, sobriety is hard. We are living through some pretty crazy stuff right now and, what I want to tell you, is that whether you’ve been sober for one hour or 100 years, YOU ARE AMAZING! You have tasted what a sober life is like and a lifetime of it is there for you and me, if we keep working for it.
I believe (based on what I’m reading on social media--not actual scientific data) that this pandemic is just feeding the disease of alcoholism. I’ve been chatting with so many people who have said that they find themselves drinking more than they ever have, because life is pretty scary right now, and they need relief and unfortunately, relief in the form of a bottle is so easily accessible. I get it.
We’re told that isolation is dangerous, especially for someone trying to get sober. It’s dangerous for anyone, but especially for those teetering on the edge of depression, loneliness (because we don’t see people like we’re used to), anxiety, those who have lost jobs, family and resources. It’s all super frightening and nerve wracking and we know that isolation is treading into the danger zone, yet we don’t have much of a choice right now. If you’re feeling lonely and isolated, there is help. You are just a smartphone screen away from a Brady Bunch view of other people just like you! Online meetings are happening all over the world right now and it’s easier than ever to connect with people who can help AND with people YOU can be of service to. Day and night in every corner.
So, dang, friend…if you have managed to feel some sort of new relief from not picking up that bottle, GOOD FOR YOU! Good for you for finding your own independence; your own freedom from alcohol. Good for you for being able to celebrate your independence today!
This pandemic won’t last forever. It just can’t. It’s temporary, even if we don’t have an exact end date. But you have to work to stay sober, because I promise you, the last thing you want to happen is for this period of life to end and you now have to figure out how to get sober. That’s like adding fire to gasoline. An explosion waiting to happen.
Staying sober is so much easier than having to get sober.
So, reach out.
Ask for help if you’re struggling.
Find a way to be of service and help someone who is teetering on the edge.
Share your journey and offer hope to others.
Do whatever you need to do to stay sober.
Don’t let this addiction steal any more of your independence and freedom. You deserve sobriety!
“We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness”. ~ page 83 AA Big Book
Happy INDEPENDENCE day!
Wishing you love and sobriety,