This post is Grassroots, meaning a reader posted it directly. If you see an issue with it, contact an editor.
If you’d like to post a Grassroots post, click here!

March 4, 2019

Sobering Up: Why I Decided to Live Alcohol-Free

I was 31 when I quit drinking. I was not an alcoholic. But my husband was.

Our lives were centered around drinking, especially in our 20’s. Whose wasn’t? Weekends at the bar, cocktails on vacation, wine in the evenings to unwind, beers at friends’ gatherings, concerts, reunions, weddings, funerals, events, weekdays.

It was all-consuming.

We didn’t go anywhere without a drink in hand. It dominated the landscape of our adulthood. It was part of the culture. It was the grown-up thing to do.

There was just one, teeny-tiny problem. My husband was an alcoholic. All those entertaining outings with friends quickly turned into a drama-fest. Our social life was thriving but our relationship was in shambles.

From the surface, we were a shiny package: young, attractive, and crazy in love. But underneath the radiant smiles and perfect hair, we were tormented by our bad behavior. If we didn’t start fighting at the bar, we were sure to be at war by the time we got home. It wasn’t an occasional occurrence. It was constant. Even if we were mindful of our pattern of drunken dogfights, it didn’t matter. Anything and everything was a trigger. What began as a carefree night out quickly spiraled into an all-out brawl. It seemed we were addicted to the chaos.

It was mortifying to be such a colossal mess. But we couldn’t stop.

Until I did.

I just couldn’t do it any longer. I couldn’t contribute to this incredibly toxic dynamic of alcohol-fueled dysfunction. Not only was my marriage failing but my kids were suffering. They were witnesses to our fighting. They were irreparably affected.

I needed my kids to have at least one sober parent.

The last drink I had was at my best friend’s bachelorette party. The year was 2011. After that, I decided to give up drinking for good, for the sake of my marriage and my kids. I had long known that my husband was an alcoholic, but his decision to quit had to be his own. I had to be in control of myself. So I quit.

It changed my life.

When I was drinking, I felt out of control, overwhelmed by intense and exaggerated emotions. Hangovers last days instead of hours. I was a good mom, but not a great one. My focus was dulled, my temper short, my body run-down, my patience non-existent.

Sobriety brought me many miracles. My health improved. My self-awareness grew. My spirituality blossomed. My coping skills multiplied. I re-learned who I was, what my passions were, who I wanted to be, who my real friends were, and what my core beliefs were. (Ever notice how alcohol diminishes your morals? Your drive? Your inner peace? Your connectedness to yourself? Yep).

I was finally able to be the wife, daughter, mother, sister, and friend that I wanted to be. I was able to start living a truly authentic life: a life full of gratitude, healing, joy, and positivity.

And then another miracle happened. My alcoholic husband got sober as well.

Today my kids have two sober parents who are able to give them all the love, attention, focus, compassion, and patience they deserve. They are able to see firsthand how much fun living sober is.

Because being sober is just that.


Read 1 Comment and Reply

Read 1 comment and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Melissa Neeb  |  Contribution: 295