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Getting Sober — Advice from a Woman Who’s Been There

Are you thinking about getting sober but scared to do so?

 You are tired of the game, aren’t you?  You are sick of pretending, the guilt is getting the best of you, and you really don’t know which way to turn. You know you have a problem, and you want to get help, but you are scared to death to leave your kids and your family.  No one can take care of them like you can, right? You are even more scared of what you will come back to. People will know I was drinking a lot more than I should have.  What will they say about me behind my back?  How will I ever show my face at the soccer field again?  These questions haunt your mind on a daily basis. I know that when I was in your position, I had to drink just to settle my nerves when I thought about leaving to get sober.  The truth of the matter is, it wasn’t necessary.  It all turned out how it turned out.  The best advice I can give is that simple — it will turn out how it turns out.  But, sobriety is much better than pretending.

Will my family be able to survive without me while I get sober?

I know this is a bit blunt, but are you really any good to your family the way you are now?  I am going to go out on a limb and say you have a lot more to offer them.  All of your loved ones will be better off with you sober, not with you home worried about how to get sober.  Sooner or later, you will have to take the leap and get help.  Why wait? Your drinking causes your family pain, and you have it within your control to ease that pain and heal their wounds.  You just have to make a commitment to the journey.  However, you need to heed this advice before making promises you can’t keep.  The journey to sobriety is hard, and you will be given advice and directives that don’t make sense to you.  Therefore, if you can’t go all in and commit to what works, you are setting those who love you up for disappointment. You need to decide if you can commit to a program for sobriety, and then you need to make your mind up that you are going to work the program to get better.  Then, and only then, you will be able to give those who love you what they fully need from you — a functioning, healthy, and happy wife and mother.

What will people think of me after I get sober?  Will they judge me?

If I can offer you one piece of advice about getting sober, it would be to focus on you.  The rest will unfold however it unfolds.  If your biggest concern about getting sober is how it will affect other people, you are going to end up drinking right after you detox. Getting sober means taking the time you need to be selfish.  Your sobriety is about you and no one else.  You have to put yourself at the center of the universe; you have to keep your thoughts aimed at you.  Furthermore, you need to make sure that nothing compromises your one day at a time journey. The rest of the world will go about its daily business, thinking and/or judging however it sees fit, and you have to survive in that type of world — it just a simple fact.  The only way to endure the judgment you will face in an unforgiving world is to focus on you.  The bottom line is very clear — some people will forgive you and some won’t.  All you can do is apologize for your past mistakes and move on.  What others choose to forgive is up to them.  Take what you can get and chalk the rest up to a lesson learned. In every act of progress, there are casualties.  Write off those people who are unable to forgive as a casualty of your life lesson.  You can’t change anyone except you, and this way of framing your thinking will keep you sober for years to come.