Monday, September 13, 2010

The truth can only set you free.

I heard that somewhere, I think my father copied it from a notebook of proverbs at one point. Until this moment, sitting in complete darkness with only the computer screen as light does the phrase, "The truth can only set you free" come through my transom.

And now, the truth.

For the last 17 days, starting on my former 10th wedding anniversary, I have not been sober. I had contemplated the move for months. I thought about it, rationalized it and stopped writing my blog. I researched moderation. I made a list of everything I would have to do if I would drink again. No tequila. No drunk dialing. No moving cars. Had to get back into therapy. Had to finish the book. Had to blah blah blah. The list I wrote started to get longer and more complicated. Yet, I felt justified. I felt as if I, at thirty six years old with a relatively successful life and a seemingly well established pattern of sober behaviour, could take nine years of being sober and turn around and drink as a normal woman.

I was giddy with excitement. I felt free of every personal responsibilty I've had over the last nine years. Sobriety Girl would end. I sat and said, "well, I'm just Kim. I'm just normal now".

The problem is, I'm not normal.

Three weeks into my very controlled environment of absolute chaos, I have already gone to a place I really can't live in. I lost control and allowed myself back into a space I had long long left. It was that easy. One single moment and I put myself back there. One single minute changed my life again. I made the very decision to end a long standing deal with my heart and soul. I sold out to my need to feel numb.

And I am sorry.

Now, I sit. I feel humbled and in a place I have never been. I feel compelled to write. I feel compelled to, once again, begin my journey over again. I pulled out my writing from a decade ago. I sat and re-read every single blog entry I have ever written. I've spent the better part of two days bawling my eyes out.

I sit here with an entirely changed perspective. I don't know how this will end. I am trying to navigate through this part of my life. I feel like I am no longer an inspiration but IN NEED of inspiration. I've let go of what has happened and I'm prepared to deal with what is happening right now. Being in national magazines, having optimal search engine placement, the collection of facebook friends matters less to me than where I am in my life and what I need to get to truly find out who I am.

I have resolve though. I believe I am done.

I'm sad. I'm angry at myself. I'm disappointed as many will be. I'm hurting and I still realize that. I have lost a challenge, but not the battle. I've come here to tell the truth, because I start a new journey today. Because the one thing I know how to do and do well, is write out those things that are the most challenging in my life. And this one is perhaps the greatest challenge yet.

And I've read the preface to my blog again. I haven't read it in years. And again, I start from the beginning:

One of the biggest fears of beginning any journey is the unknown. We do not know where the journey will take us and that can be quite scary. What will we uncover? What will we find along the way? The journey is as amazing as the final destination. We learn with each step. We learn we have the ability to go in any direction we choose. That direction is very much of our own accord.


Raechelle said... heart really goes out to you. I'm sad but glad you wrote this-as someone who has just one year of sobriety under her belt-I know those thoughts seep in every once in a while-someday maybe in the know how it goes. But reading things like this just hits it home-no can do...Thank you for the reminder and the honesty.

SoberSannie said...

Dear Sobriety Girl

I have been following your blog for about 3 month and notice there was no action. And I wondered. Today, reading your blog was a hard thing for me to do, because like you I have not been honest (or sober) for about a month. You are very brave. I don't have it in me to start over. I wish you all the best. SoberSannie

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for your honesty & immense humility. i am only 18 days sober, yet have played the devil-game of 'moderation' all too long. i can't ever drink again. there is my truth & the thruth really will set you free. be free, dear one in your sbriety & recovery~debbie

Chantel1971 said...

I love you, your honesty is to be greatly respected. I am sorry for what happened but I have faith you will get back up and move forward.
Chantel, fellow sister in recovery

poet said...

*gentle hugs*

Susan said...

I had 7.5 years sober and relapsed...very much like you and then really thought I could handle it-how wrong I was. Within a year I was arrested twice for DUI and I am a wife,mother, and physician. I had never been arrested. It was truly humiliating but my first bottom wasn't very this taught me a lot...about me and how much I love alcohol. It doesn't love me. It is always there for me but turns it's back at the first sign of trouble. Now that I have almost one year sober I must say it is harder this time but better. My mind still tells me I can drink one day--reality tells me I am pretty good now at getting arrested so I best not drink. Luckily I enjoy AA and loved loved loved treatment which I did not attend the first go 'round. Best wishes and be easy on yourself. Susan

Anonymous said...

Loved that I found your blog. I had 6.5 years of sobriety from age 30-36. Drank for the past 7 years and finally back in AA with 16 days. The disease does progress. Though I maintained it for years, it took all of my time, energy and effort to not go to the other side. And then Life happened and this past year my true alcoholic self kicked into high gear and I was sneak drinking, driving while drunk and hitting new lows that I NEVER thought I would. I feel so relieved to be back into sobriety, but yes its much harder this time, but I have so much more to lose. Remember, you are not alone! Good luck.

dulce2104 said...

I have 5 days sobriety and went to my second AA meeting tonight...needless to say I wanted to know more about sobriety and people who have gone through if my own personal battle isn't enough...I suppose misery loves I googled sobriety and after a few link hit and misses I clicked on yours and was instantly drawn to your I scolled down reading your beautiful words I realized OMG she's helped me realize how precious and fragile this gift of sobriety is...I am 25 and want nothing more than a "normal" life...I want to be able to go out and have a few drinks with the girls or come home from a hard day of work and drink a cold beer...unfortunately I can't do so many people out there I am an Alcoholic and an Addict...I pray for your peace and strength to continue with your journey down this oh so very long and trecherous journey towards you gave a gift of hope...unbeknownest to you that thousands of miles away an aching and tormented soul searched on google for an answer to her need for sobriety...thank you sobriety girl...thank you Kim for helping me take it "one day at a time".

Jay said...

Wow Kim. I had no idea of your accomplishments. Some friend huh? I guess things got a little out of control their at the end.
I have been sober just over 8 1/2 years. I quit on my 27th birthday. I was a mess and I couldn't take it anymore. Made college look like a controlled environment.
But I quit. Right then and there. I counted the days and weeks for a long time. I've contemplated the very decision you made that your struggling with. It isn't easy. But it's a better life and I know it. You are right though. We aren't normal. But, you are not the "normal" type. I'm not either. I have spent my entire life avoiding normal and your soul and spirit should not be trapped in "normal".
Be you. Just be sober. Youk quit. That's all. Nothing else.
What did I say to myself when I quit? I realized my life was too hard to figure out when everything was viewed through a prism of whether or not I would be drunk or hungover. It was too damn complicated. For all the difficulties that the desire to drink confronts me, I find total peace in not drinking.
You didn't throw away 9 years of sobriety. You were sober and that hasn't changed. So you drank. Who cares? You quit and move on knowing more than you did before.
I think what you are doing is great. Keep it up.
Your Friend,
The Jewish Dentist
Oklahoma Jay

Anonymous said...

Like someone else who posted here, I just stumbled upon your blog today. I have been sober for only 11 days and it feels wonderful. However, not a day goes by without me wondering how I will negotiate my sobriety when I visit my family over the holidays. In our family alcohol is a key component to celebrations and to be honest, key to every evening. Well, that was the case for everyone in our family, except my mother who has chosen alcohol above all else and is slowly dying from her choices at the age of 63.
Reading this post has given me some peace. No one is perfect. We try and we try again. You should be proud of your many years of sobriety and feel no shame in your relapse. I do believe we all need reminders of why we have chosen certain paths. Maybe this is your reminder. I truly wish you peace as you begin this familiar journey again. You are not alone.

Addiction Blog - Lee said...

I'm 35 next week, and really appreciate your experience. I hope that you can find some way to find peace and resolve feelings of guilt, b/c recovery IS NOT linear, as some may have us think. It is a spiral. And continuity along the spiral can be measured by willingness and openness. Perhaps you can look at the experience of drinking again as another lesson moving forward, instead of a step backwards?

Anonymous said...

Sobriety girl.
Thank your for being honest. Keep being honest, keeping posting, keep telling the truth, even if your not sober your "slip" is a lesson to all of us who get complacent. I think we all go through rationalizations about drinking. I have a few friends who actually try and tell me that I am not an alcoholic, they have only known me sober, they have no idea what I was like, they don't know the disease progresses. When people question my alcoholism, my addict mind wants to believe them and rationalize that maybe I am different now...But I am an alcoholic and because of people like you, sharing the truth I can be reminded once again I don't need to test my sobriety. Thank you for sharing and please just for today, don't drink.

angelmeans2 said...

The original begining you had with sobriety seemed to create "sobriety girl". It seems maybe you got a little lost in "sobriety girl" also. It happens, we are constantly transcending into new slips of life. Maybe you just wanted a piece of you back, a piece of you that wasnt connected with fans, books, blogs, or "sobriety girl". Maybe you just didnt feel like sharing you for awhile, and that is hard sometimes, makes you feel like you are not committed.This all started with you, just you, a desire to quit, so chin up,and imagine yourself in a glass bubble, all the little pieces of the puzzle flying around you like snow,now lie back and let the pieces fall, just rest and let it run its course, there is nothing you can do to slow nor stop them, but when they land,you put them together to free yourself outside the bubble, where you can breath a fresh, new air.

notanaddict said...

Your honesty moves me. And I can totally relate. After almost 10 months of sobriety, I relapsed. And it was so easy. I struggled for months to admit the truth to myself and then finally to others. Starting over feels harder this time for some reason. I feel more raw. More afraid. Afraid of how easy it was for me to forget all the pain and heartache I caused while using. Aware that the forgetting is so dangerous for this addict and alcoholic because in just a moment of forgetfulness, I took a step that has now left me lost and confused. Luckily I picked myself up and got a new sponser and am back at meetings, but I am amazed at how different it feels "this time." It is a journey. For me a journey out of hell and back to it in a blink of an eye...
But today I am sober. And grateful.

Anonymous said...

being honest is REAL. playing "cute" or avoidance or pretending is not real.

Being an alcoholic is REAL. Admitting it, turning away from it and living sober but always having that temptation and craving and "rationale" is HONEST.

I wish you strength in your constant struggle.

Please try to continue to post on your Blog. There are others who need to hear what you have to say, and you need to also say it to yourself.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I had been a chronic relapser (6 months, 9 months, 3 years..) I finally got it 10 years ago and haven't given it up, but I can assure you that I am still at risk. We all are.

I hope you grab hold of sobriety once again and recapture your peace. You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

I think I may have seen this site before, but what brought me here today was a weekend where I clearly slipped. It is safe to say that I have that same issue that so many can relate to: I just can't drink in moderation with the hopes that it might not lead to a mess. It is deep-seated in who I am, and is rooted in behaviors that originally served as an escape. But now, even if I faced everything, my constitution is such that I can't do it. Thing is, when sober, life is usually much easier to handle. I am usually happier.

tsujiban said...

My favorite version of that quote is "The Truth will set you free, but not until it is done with you."


So you drank again, OK. That happens to us. From what you wrote, it seems you pretty quickly realized that you don't honestly want that chaotic life. Now you are again wrestling with the path of sobriety. I want to offer you my encouragement. This is not an easy thing to do. Please don't believe in the despair that can seem so big and overwhelming. Life is not over until it's over! We keep trying, keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I often think about drinking again. I've been sober just over a year now. I reckon I will end up drinking again before I die, but I have too many things I want to do, and too many things in my life now that I am sober that I am not willing to give up at this point. I have every confidence that if I start drinking again, I will go right back to that chaotic prison. And one day, I may be willing to do that, but not at this point in my life.

Believe me, I know how hard this thing is, and you have my respect and admiration for being honest about it. Your posts will help people, and that's worth something.

"Never, never, never, never quit." -- Winston Churhill :-)

I also have a sobriety blog, at and maybe you will get something out of it.

Best Regards and Be Well,

Full Circle said...

Hi Kim! I have a sobriety date of July 10, 2008. I am a student at UNC-Charlotte here in North Carolina. It is amazing being a 30 yr. old recovering student! I have been working with our Wellness Promotional Department since September of 2011. Debbie (my boss) and this department have put together the start of a Collegiate Recovery Community, this is the official name for the "college recovery" centers. Your preface is wonderful, I love the 4 agreements, read it in early sobriety-lol. I really just wanted to tell you I appreciate your blog and admire the constant reflects I to look at on a daily basis. Please check out our blog, at! Look forward to following you...and thank you! Hillary