I had been sober for almost 3 months and in my drinking days we booked a trip to California, I had always wanted to go there and yup, I was going! The stress and anxiety I had gone through leading up to the trip was terrible. How was I going to do this! The couple we went with at the time had been very close to my husband and his kids for over 20 years and I had to explain why I wasn’t drinking. Let alone tell them I was a member of AA. First let me explain how I was feeling, I was the “new” one in the circle, I was someone who had 2 children and a lot of baggage, they would look at me like I’m a loser, they would tell my boyfriend that he didn’t need this, he should just get rid of the headache (me). I couldn’t cover up my insecurities any longer, how could I possibly tell them that their dear friends new girlfriend is an alcoholic! Really!!!
I went over and over in my mind about what I would do and say until, I think it was our second night there, we were out on the balcony and I turned to our friend and said to her, “I have a confession to make, I belong to a really cool club” She says, “Oh, really, what club?” I came right out and said, “AA” Oh, I thought as I looked at her and held my breath, this is it, this is how it feels to say it out loud and really be honest with people and friends. All of a sudden, she took me in her arms and said, “That is amazing Kelly, good for you” Her daughter was also there, we were staying with her and her husband in LA, the look of shock and amazement on their face was a total relief. All of a sudden it was like a celebration of what I was doing. They were so happy and proud of me. Wow, I thought, this is okay, I think they still like me. The daughter then started making me really good non-alcoholic drinks and the party was on! So many congrats that night and the whole trip!
I was still struggling with the cravings obviously, it’s only been 3 months right! We went to Venice Beach for the day and hit up a bar for lunch, I had a coffee from Starbucks but the urge and the cravings were unbelievable! I told my boyfriend/husband, I can’t do this, maybe I’ll just drink on holidays, he said if that is what I wanted to do then do that. It was a suggestion to see if I would really do it. I said NO, I can do this. As miserable and unhappy that I was I pushed through. I knew I couldn’t do this as everyone, including myself, would look at me like a failure. What would my kids think?
Once back at the pool, I remember I had some T3’s in my purse for the cramps and backache I was experiencing, so I took 2 of those and got a little high, was having a good time, thought, oh this is good, I’m now having a good time with a little buzz on. All of a sudden I ran to the bushes and barfed!!! Hahahahah, I thought to myself, you are pathetic! Now look what I’ve done. Everyone, ya, everyone was there, asked if I was okay, Oh ya I said, must be the coffee on an empty stomach! I left and went to my room and cried thinking how on earth am I going to get through this! I slept a lot, shopped a lot and my mind was racing to no end.
This first trip sober was awful, but there was one night that I finally realized that I didn’t have to be drunk to do the things that I loved to do. We were in Palm Springs at a beautiful piano bar for dinner and a night of dancing. I was NOT looking forward to this at first but again I pushed through. I couldn’t sleep or shop the whole trip! My friends got me on the dance floor and away I went, I turned my mind off as best I could and just danced, my husband and I danced together, laughed, and had the most amazing time. That was one of the best nights of my life. The picture on here is that night, I’m the one beside my husband in the orange shirt. So happy and SOBER!!
The feeling you get when you realize you can do one of the things you really love sober that you thought you could only do when drunk, or alone, is a feeling of exhilaration! I was so happy that night that I conquered my fear of putting myself out there and really just being me. I didn’t care who was watching because I was in control, I knew exactly what I was doing and I was sober!
Today, I tell our best friends who we went on that trip with, it’s a re-do. I want to go back and really have a good time. No all day naps, no fear or anxiety.
I made it through that trip and have made it through so many more struggles on this journey by being strong and fighting through my own thoughts that held me in turmoil for so many years.
I was reborn on May 25 2009 starting from scratch to re-do my life. It’s been 7 years of learning, rethinking, and re-doing. I wouldn’t change it for anything!
This is, Being Me Sober