Staying sober is a constant battle you are always fighting. Sure I’m lucky because I have Colleen and my three beautiful girls on my side. They help me deal with any emotional stress and also just give me something wonderful to look forward to.

Even living with Gene is a great help because he keeps me on track and holds me accountable. Even sometimes the thought of what I’ve lost to alcohol, all the time with my family I can never get back, isn’t enough to fight the cravings. Sometimes I need a solid talking to with Gene or a call to my therapist.

It’s okay to hate your weakness, and you shouldn’t even see it as such. It is the strength to recognize that you need to ask for help.

Birthdays always were grand celebrations for my family. We go all out with cakes and balloons and parties. It had been a long time since I’d had a huge party or felt that people truly cared for me and that I was happy. Strange how happiness still can’t detract from the demon that is alcohol addiction.

We started throwing these massive parties again, and the first few years it was great. But after a while, it started to really bother me how my parties couldn’t be “normal”. There was no alcohol allowed, and I always knew where the aa meetings tonight were.

My buddies understood this, but they still managed to say obnoxious things like “sure could use a beer” as they slapped me on my back or “wish I had a flask”. They’re meant to be harmless and funny, I get that. But those quips could really dig in deep. Thanks for the reminder that you are suffering for my own sobriety and that what I am isn’t normal.

I began to detest my birthday and those little thoughtless comments until one year I tried to say I didn’t want a party. Colleen and the kids threw a fit. Why? It used to be my favorite event of the year.

I realized then that the parties were important for them too. It was a chance for them to see how far I’ve come, that I can party and have fun without alcohol. It was a celebration of my sobriety and what they saw as an important type of normal. I don’t hate my birthday parties too much anymore, not if I remember what it means to them that I am sober.

 

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