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Sobriety: The Gift that Keeps Giving

a person talks to a therapist about Alcohol Sobriety

It can be difficult seeing someone struggle with alcohol abuse, especially if you want them to stop drinking so much. People often don’t understand that they’re drinking too much and want to continue the party. They may not realize their actions hurt those around them and drive their relationships apart. A hard departure from abusing alcohol, sobriety is often a necessary step to repair what’s gone wrong. This blog explores an anonymous person’s first-hand account of their sobriety journey.

At Northpoint Seattle, we understand that getting sober is hard. It’s even harder when you have to do it alone. But remember, you are never alone in your recovery journey. There is always someone who will listen and help guide you through difficult times. Our alcohol abuse treatment programs offer support and compassion when committing to alcohol sobriety. Call 888.483.6031 to get started today.

The Birthday Gone Wrong

I’ll never forget how angry I was when someone suggested I give up drinking. I went out with some friends to celebrate my birthday. My birthday fell on a Monday, so we all went out for drinks the Saturday before. Things got a little crazy, as they always would with the crew. I don’t remember exactly how it went, but I was later told there was a point where I joined a girl up on stage, and as a result, we couldn’t go back to that particular club anymore. The next day I mostly stayed in bed, recovering with a bit of the “hair of the dog” to stave off a hangover. Monday, it was time to go back to work, and I continued the same “recovery” plan as Sunday. I wasn’t in good shape to work, but I pushed on. Plus, it was my birthday; they’re lucky I even showed up.

Around lunchtime, after an utterly unproductive morning, my friend and co-worker confronted me. He had been with me Saturday night and was the one who made sure I ended up home safely. “Listen, man,” he said, already obviously uncomfortable. “Saturday was a lot of fun, and it’s always a great time hanging out with you. But maybe you should lay off the booze a little next time. Things got a little out of control, and it’s not the first time.” I blew up almost immediately. I was in absolute disbelief that he’d attacked me for what I wanted to do for my birthday. He didn’t press the issue and just walked away. We didn’t talk much for a long time after that, and he definitely didn’t come out drinking with me anymore. After I’d cooled down, I didn’t understand why such a minor comment upset me. In retrospect, I get it. He was right. I knew it on some level, but I couldn’t stop.

My Addiction and How Alcohol Sobriety Changed Me

It took me months of denial, a lost job, and a lot of debt before I figured out something was wrong. Long story short, I went to alcohol rehab but didn’t commit to it. I relapsed after a few months, then went back to rehab. The second time I felt connected. I won’t go into the details of my recovery, but it wasn’t easy. It was hard work, with some miserable days mixed in. Think of your worst hangover, and then start hitting yourself with a hammer—that’s what it felt like. However, I’d do it all again—with extra hammers if I had to.

I’ve been sober for two years now and feel fortunate for many things I took for granted. Life feels different. I’m not talking about physical feelings, but things like time and fun. When I was a regular drinker, I underestimated the time I spent just drinking. I feel like I have twice as much time every day, and it’s so much fun just figuring out how to fill it. I’m not going out hang gliding every weekend or anything, but even simple things like watching movies are more fun now. I did that stuff before, but always with a bottle in hand.

How Sobriety Makes Me Happier

My alcoholism had gotten to a point where alcohol wasn’t just a “warm-up” to doing something fun—alcohol was the activity. Getting drunk was the point, not simply a by-product of some other activities. I wasn’t having fun; I was just drinking to drink. I’d binge just to prove I could do it.

Now? Everything makes me happier than it probably should. I feel like an entirely different person now. How? For example:

  • I got fired from a job I was indifferent to, and now in a job I love.
  • I lost about 20 pounds in roughly the first six months after I stopped drinking, despite not making any real changes to my diet or exercise habits.
  • I have time for new hobbies now. I didn’t even realize it before, but all I did for fun before was drink. Now I’m learning jazz piano.
  • I still have days when I want a drink. I just don’t.

Living with the Risk of Relapse and the Best Birthday Gift Ever

Once you fall into alcoholism, it doesn’t go away. It goes into remission. It can relapse at any moment. I live with the constant threat of having a “harmless” glass of wine sending me right back into the bottle. I still want to drink. But as much as I may miss that, I’m also aware of how much happier I am now. On some level, I think that’s why I’m so happy with my life now. I have an underlying fear of returning to how I was before, and thinking about that makes me appreciate everything now.

My sobriety is the best birthday gift I have ever received. These days, I joke with my friend about how he’s lucky it worked out that way because he forgot to buy me a birthday present that year. It was his courage that day, his willingness to present the problem, that started the ball rolling. I’d never before even considered that my drinking was a problem. I wasn’t thinking about how addiction is a disease or how it affected my decision-making without even being aware of it.

He planted a seed of doubt in me, and it was the greatest thing he could have done for me at that moment, even though he received an explosion of anger and profanity. It’s tough caring for someone who acts like they don’t even care about themselves. But he was the first to make me step outside myself and think about what I was doing. Every person after him who confronted me about my drinking problem cracked the armor of my denial a little more, and my protests got a little less indignant. Eventually, I came to accept it and looked for help.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Northpoint Seattle

At Northpoint Seattle, outpatient alcohol addiction treatment is available for those who want to regain control of their lives from the grip of addiction. Rather than staying in a residential facility, outpatient treatment allows individuals to continue living at home while receiving the specialized care they need.

Outpatient programs provide an array of therapeutic services, including individual and group counseling, medical intervention, and support groups. Each service helps individuals identify how alcohol use has affected their lives and how to create a better future without it.

At Northpoint Seattle, we provide comprehensive care that can help individuals regain control of their lives. We invite anyone struggling with substance use or addiction to contact us online or by calling 888.483.6031 today to learn more about our services and resources.