What Sobering Up For Me Was Like
Now I wish I could say I was one of those people who was able to sober up by themselves…..but I was not. I remember every Sunday I would swear I was never going to drink again! I would be so hungover from partying all weekend and not sleeping that I wouldn't even be able to leave the bedroom. I just remember watching hours of law and order and just praying I could call into work sick Monday. Only problem was I worked for my Mom and I didn’t want her to know how much I was partying. Obviously she found out because after my “little” New York adventure I was forced into rehab! And yes I mean FORCED! I would never have gone willingly, although I am super grateful now… 2 years later… it has been a hell of a journey. I just want to say, I am not making this blog to go tell people they need to sober up and never drink and that alcohol and drugs are bad, honestly if you don’t get blacked out every weekend and end up in a different country… by all means live your life! I’m writing this blog, first off because I love being able to express myself and second off if someone is looking to get out of the party lifestyle and my experiences can help them, then thats amazing! Its fucking scary making big changes like this in your life and I went through a rollercoaster of emotions.
I remember getting into rehab and after being striped search, and yes I mean full nudity… and questioned for 4 hours on every single substance I had ever taken in my 8 year drinking and drug career. I thought they were joking at first but they were not. In addition to as well as that awesome greeting, they then took away my phone and any form of connection I could have to the outside world as well as all my make-up… I literally had a moment of “what the actual fuck… my parents have sent me to prison.” I was clearly feeling super scared and way out of my comfort zone to then walk into a room of about 80 people all holding hands in a circle saying “God grant me the serenity to accept the thing I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” First words that popped into my head were “CULT”…. MY PARENTS HAD SACRIFICED ME TO A FUCKING CULT. Second words that came to mind were “okay where’s Ashton? “ because clearly I am on PUNKED! But nope this was sadly not an MTV show and it turns out I was wrong about AA being a cult. My parents told me I was going to be an impatient for 6 weeks and literally the first thing my Councellor said to me “this is a minimum 8 week program”! WHAT THE FUCK?? She was then like, “well darling your parents clearly lied to you.” I remember being so angry with my parents at that moment. I went through a lot of internal discomfort. I knew if I walked out the door, and I did try too.. a few times… that I would lose my job and finances. So, for the longest time thats what I told myself was keeping me there. Truth is I think deep down I was looking for a change in my life. I always felt like there was something missing inside of me, like this black hole was inside my little being and it always lingered there, never fully being satisfied with what I had. I toughed it out though, I stayed the full 8 weeks and guess what I still didn’t fucking graduate… they wanted to extended my stay because they thought I needed that much more help… and honestly they were probably right, but still I have some resentments and I would not stay a day longer.
People sometimes say to me “oh it must get easier now that you are over two years sober?” I reply with “you would think so, but no it does not!” Life does gets better though and I feel like that hole inside of me is gone and I am finally able to experience life to its fullest. When I say that, I mean I feel like I am able to feel everything thats happening around me and be present in every moment, I don’t have this ball of shame inside my gut just tormenting me. When you sober up though, drugs and alcohol are just a symptom of the actual addiction. What the real problem is….are all the behaviours that have come with it. Just because I am not using drugs and alcohol doesn’t mean I don’t have the same sneaky behaviours that an alcoholic has. This is where the term “dry drunk” comes into play. Being sober and choosing a honest life is something I have to work at every single day, but I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart I am so grateful to be able to live life this way. I have probably felt more pain than I ever have in sobriety but I have also felt more happiness and joy then I ever have in sobriety. Its amazing to be able to really feel all these things because for the first time I feel like I am actually showing up in my life, and because of that I am able to fully understand who I am.
Its hard to connect with people when you can’t connect with yourself. A lot of people will say they had a spiritual awakening in sobriety and they knew the exact moment it happened to them. I was always like “Well what the fuck? Where is my lightning bolt of enlightenment?” Truth is, the fact that I am still sober today is a miracle in itself I never in a million years would have thought I would be over 2 years sober. A miracle is a shift in perception and I clearly had a spiritual awakening of some sort because over time something shifted in me. Now by no means am I a poster child for AA….I should be going to way more meetings and be doing more service work of some kind, however I do make it to a meeting at least once a week. I never want to go but when I finally get my ass there and sit in the room with a bunch of random strangers I feel so much better when I leave. I feel better every single time and I was like kay… what the heck? sometimes the meetings aren’t even that good, but I still feel better!? I have been trying to figure out why and the one thing I settled on was… it’s a group of people coming together to connect with one another and be honest about whats going on for them. The more I learn about myself and society is that everyone in this world for the most part wants to feel connected and loved. So, I was wrong about AA being a cult its more of a place where people are willing to open themselves up to be vulnerable so others can connect to them. Its as simple as that. I am going to end this blog post with a quote I love! “Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.”