My Personal Story: The case for sobriety

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The groups you are involved in on campus are meant to help you. The right club can remind you to do things you love, you can work on different skills you want to develop and they are meant to offer you support in whatever ways you need.

I am almost eight months sober. And as it turns out, time passes just as fast sober as it does when you’re blacking out almost every weekend.  I can’t believe it but here I am eight months after that night.

Courtesy of Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos/Flickr

Courtesy of Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos/Flickr

I haven’t taken a drink of alcohol since May. Well, except for the accidental sip of wine and the trace amounts of alcohol found in GT’s EnlightenedKambucha drinks.  Those two exceptions that I have to mention make me a wee bit uneasy. But I have to say that white wine in a regular glass looks a whole lot like water when it comes time to take a couple Advil. And Kambucha is just too good. Anyways, they have about 0.05%-0.1% alcohol (a little more than what you would get if you cut an orange and left it out on the counter for a few hours). The amount of alcohol in those drinks is not nearly enough to take this horse down.

In fact, if you know me, you know I cannot blame a low tolerance for my drinking. My problem was that I drank too much, I would just keep going. My last night of drinking was pretty bad. I mean it had to be if it finally made me come to terms with the fact that I needed help. I can’t complain because that morning of May 29, my friends helped me make one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

I remember the first meeting that I went to after that night. At the end, people were standing up to announce their accomplishments. I think they started with anything over a year and then they kept going down. One man stood up at nine months; I am one month away from that and I never thought I’d get here. Then they asked for anyone who had 24 hours, I stood up and received my first recovery chip.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Those words left my lips but I still felt hopeless. However, I felt a little less hopeless and it went like that for the next few weeks. After some time, I came to realize that it was not just others whom I was excited to show the new me. I was much more motivated by the chance to get to know myself.

If you have a problem with a substance, be it alcohol or anything else, you have to know there is a life outside that struggle. Maybe you know someone who needs help! I’m not saying that I have answers because even though eight months have passed, I still think about taking a drink pretty often. Sobriety is one of those things you have to take day by day.

Courtesy of Nanagyei/Flickr

Courtesy of Nanagyei/Flickr

A change like the one I made is a whole lot easier to make when you have the support of loved ones. If you or someone you know needs help than don’t be afraid to talk to them! Don’t be afraid to talk about these problems either. These are supposed to be some of the best times of our lives; if someone is drinking too much to have them, chances are high that there are reasons why.

I am hoping to work with others here on campus to build a support network. It’s hard to get to meetings in the city, maybe it would be easier if we had friends to go with! And it is sure can be hard to do the same things on the weekends that your friends do, but doing those things together might be fun! Having someone to call when you think about giving in to a temptation is really nice. However, having someone to talk to in person would be even nicer.

The biggest fear I had on May 29, 2012 was that I was going to commit to quitting drinking and that I wasn’t going to have a fun senior year. I quickly found out that I was strongly mistaken. I am the happiest I can ever remember being, I know myself and I’ve made progress! I would like to keep doing so.

I still go out with my friends. I guess it can make things harder, but I put myself in that position willingly. When I get uncomfortable in a situation, I leave. It’s that easy. If you are thinking of giving sobriety a chance, you have to know that there are options.

I do not think that alcohol is a problem for everyone. I do think that, for some, it can be. To be honest, I am not even sure what my future holds. All I know is that I am happy with who I am and what I’m doing and for now, I’m going to keep trying to stay sober.

So please email me if you’re curious about the group, have any input, want to participate, etc.  If you just want to chat sometime, please don’t hesitate. If you know someone who could benefit, I don’t think I can contact him or her. But please, sit down with your friend, tell them everything, be open, voice your concerns. If they’re willing, they will reach out towards your open hand.

Information on alcohol from University Health Services with links to resources for help can be found here.

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