Sober Is Better

By Paula B.

Dear Jan,

I’ve had a delightful 4th, followed by a decadent night eating fresh raspberries, blueberries & watermelon while watching pure trash on TV. It don’t get no better than this. I left my email notification program on, heard the beep & wandered out to find your message.

I read your earlier message about being too-what-have-you to understand why you couldn’t stop, and I have a suggestion for you. Instead of thinking about all the things that you (undoubtedly) are, and why can’t you stop, try thinking that you’re gonna stay sober, no matter what, & see what happens.

I have friends on this list who are sober through family illnesses, family deaths, their own serious illnesses (I’m one), their joys in motherhood, their career successes & failures, being victimized by crime and accident and adversity, and all of us who are making it are doing it because, at times, we are willing to settle for an uncomfortable sobriety. For us, and perhaps for you, uncomfortable sobriety beats ‘comfortable’ drunk all to hell.

In my current sober life, I’m an unemployed 44 year old woman, living with 8 ferrets of my own, plus 4 evacuated ferrets from the Florida fires, one dog and one cat. Only one of my animals was store bought, all the rest are rescues or fosters. My rent is paid for several months, and I’m taking some time off to write my history because I want it recorded. I’m awaiting results of more testing to see if my cancer has recurred, and have stopped smoking to help make those tests negative. A lot of this stuff is uncomfortable (do you have any idea how much poop twelve ferrets can create???), but sober is still better.

This is MY life, and I’m living it free from chemical intervention or interpretation, and sober is better than drunk. Something happened with me to change my value system from wanting to be drunk to wanting sobriety. I think it had to do with how I looked drunk, with the loneliness of drinking at the end of it, with my contempt for myself and the lies I had to tell to keep it going…my drinking hurt more than sobriety ever could.

Maybe you can sidestep all the why can’t I stuff, commit yourself to sober, no matter what & see what happens. I hope so. While I wait to find out, I’m gonna let Cady the Dawg out, eat a bowl of Cranberry Almond Crunch with milk and Equal, pet Kelsey the cat, check on the ferrets, and set the sleep timer on cable for zoning…

Join us, Jan. Sober is better.

Best Independent hugs,