I knew I was an alcoholic for a few years before I accepted defeat on August 19, 2017. That was the day I landed myself in the hospital and eventually chose to willingly sign my rights over and enter into detox program followed by 4 weeks of an outpatient program. I vividly remember my hands shaking incessantly, the nurse had tears, and I signed my name on that line.
That was a life changing day.
Detox was overwhelming, from 6 am to 10 pm I was in classes to learn about addiction, healthy coping mechanisms, and meeting women on the same page as me. The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) was where I spent 4 hours a day, 7 days a week and endured behavioral therapy. I learned about codependency, how to create a Relapse Plan, getting to the bottom of my addiction, the “Why.” I left outpatient with a new sense of being, a clear mind, nervous but so excited for my future with sobriety. I thought just attending AA would keep me on the straight and narrow and I couldn’t have been more wrong. My first thing I got wrong was failing to keep a sponsor.
I BECAME THE DRY DRUNK I was an alcoholic who was no longer drinking, but I wasn’t really working my recovery or the steps. I stopped going to meetings as often as I used to. I was just taking it day by day proud to be sober another day (Just for today), I had abandoned the search for the WHY. Without fail, when life started getting hard, I found myself with a bottle in hand. When I slipped and fell down the rabbit hole, I knew I had to get right back up and do things differently.
I started creating my Recovery Portfolio (as Paul Churchill from the Recovery Elevator Podcast says. I started keeping track of how many hours a week I am committing to my sobriety and what I have done for others in their journey.
– I got myself back into meetings, this was my first order of action.
– I started my Chic Sobrietist Blog and Instagram (@ChicSobrietist). I have connected with nearly 500 strangers who I can turn to daily and watch their progress. We exchange ideas, stories, recommend recovery/self help books & podcasts, positive affirmations, recovery humor, check on each other.
– Listening to podcasts in the car. My job requires a lot of time on the road, so I spend a lot of time listening to the Recovery Elevator & Home (from the women at Hip Sobriety)
– I revisited my IOP workbooks to remind myself of the WHY.
– I start my mornings with meditation. I use the Headspace App as I was a beginner.
– Reading Recovery/Self Help books.
A few I recommend:
Undrunk: A Skeptics Guide to AA by A.J. Adams- Allen Carr’s “Easy Way to Control Alcohol”
“Her Best-Kept Secret: Why Women Drink—And How They Regain Control” by Gabrielle Glaser
“Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members” (I start each morning with this)
“This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol: Find Freedom, Rediscover Happiness, & Change Your Life” by Annie Grace
– Made a list of my “Recovery Team.” The important people who support my sobriety and I can call when in a time of need or in case of emergency.
– Recently joined a pilot sobriety program where I attend 3 weeks of webinars and group discussions. At the end of the 3rd week we ( test group of 35) are going to give our feedback to help this company create a program one can purchase that fits individual needs.
– I journal intensively. Each day I wake up and write down 5 things I am thankful for (Gratitude Journaling), I write down my thoughts on topics for my blog, interesting things I hear on podcasts that I want to research more, I scribble down titles of books, any thing that triggers me throughout the day, what I am feeling and how I can find a solution. I pour my raw emotions onto paper.
– Created a list of goals, 95% of people who do not physically put their goals into writing, do not reach them. I set my goals out in 30/60/90 day intervals and I revisit them weekly to make sure I am on track.
– I surround myself with people who support my cause.
I recently received a message on Instagram from ThriveSober which is a cause to, “Hoist a new flag for Sobriety & Build a Movement to raise humanity and serve those ready to THRIVE.”
The message: “Truly humble and grateful for the follow Lyss! We love what you are doing for the world! Welcome to the Tribe and a Thrive On”
I am hoping one one small voice my help change someone’s life that is battling addiction, for them to know there is a way out and it beyond the most amazing life you will ever discover when you recover!