I’m entering my third sober October. I never thought I would be able to say that.
I have documented this challenging journey in my Central Penn Parent blog. My first submission was “Being a sober mom in a wine mom culture” in August 2020.
I wrote that piece with shaky hands, with 30 days or so under my belt, wondering whether I would stay sober. I wasn’t sure.
But here I am, working towards three years of continuous sobriety.
I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of my experience as a sober single parent.
I thought I’d get more pressure to drink than I have. Turns out, no one notices or cares. Recent example: I went to a big networking award ceremony with an open bar last month and not one person asked me if I wanted a glass of wine.
Honestly, I wanted to have the experience of saying, “Oh no thank you, I don’t drink anymore.” But I never got the opportunity. I was a little bummed.
More importantly, I have been sober during some of the hardest experiences I’ve had to face with my kids.
Throughout my sobriety journey, my kids have been supportive, even if our relationship has been strained. They celebrate milestones alongside me and have told me how positively my sobriety has affected them.
But the past six months have been hard.
I shared in a recent blog that my son is moving out soon and my daughter has decided to share more time with her father. It’s been a rough road for this mama.
But guess who’s still sober? This lady.
It’s not without countless conversations with my therapist and supportive friends, but I was (and still am) able to get through these rough patches without even once picking up a drink.
Considering I used to drink at the slightest sign of stressful situations (or for any reason for that matter), this is a huge win.
I also discovered that I am not alone.
I’ve met countless individuals who share my story. We share similar pain, triumph, and “aha” moments. Some share publicly, while others choose to remain anonymous .
Either way, I know I’m not alone in this struggle.
But honestly, it’s not much of a struggle anymore.
In the beginning, going a day or two was hard. I created a routine and habit that had a strong grip on me.
I had found a crutch that helped me numb out the big feelings, especially the ones triggered by my kids It’s hard being a parent, especially a single parent.
I drank so I didn’t have to feel that pressure, only to wake up the next morning faced with the same pressures AND a gnarly hangover.
That was no way to live.
Today, I can wake up and go to sleep knowing there is a community I can rely on. I can handle whatever is thrown my way because I can think clearly about solutions, not how to escape. And more importantly, I can be a better parent for my kids.
Obviously, life happens on life’s terms and sometimes it knocks me down.
But today, I’m able to get up and face the challenges. Clear headed, stronger, and connected.
Going sober alone didn’t solve all of my problems. I had to delve in and do the work, and much of it was uncomfortable. And I had to learn to ask for help., I’m still learning.
This journey isn’t a race and there is no finish line. Just for today, I’m celebrating entering my third sober October. And that’s pretty cool.
I hope I can one day say, I’m entering my 25th sober October.
And if I continue doing what I’m doing, one day at a time, I can.
But just for today… I’m excited to celebrate and share this experience with you.
Thank you for being here with me.
*If you think you have a problem with drinking and would like to reach out to Beth, you can find her on Facebook or Instagram and email her at [email protected].