Sammy J, Birmingham, UK.
Joined Sobersistas: September 2017
“This is how I’m feeling and where I’m at!!!!! …. I have succumbed and I’ve bought myself some (lots of) wine tonight, and I feel guilty, but am enjoying it. I know I’m going to feel like crap tomorrow. I am going to commit to Sober October, so tomorrow is my way forward. I felt so strong on Thursday, but today came (Saturday) and I just felt it was my “let go” day???”
“Helloooo just got home from a few days in Keswick, the Lake District. It’s an absolutely beautiful place. Did lots of walking – never would of done this whilst I was drinking the poison ☠️ Day 103 and loving my life …. GO SOBERSISTAS ?♥️?♥️?♥️”
Why did you decide to give up alcohol?
There’s no one reason why I decided to quit, there are too many. My main one was for my children, I could see how much I was hurting them with my behaviour (always hungover and angry with zero-tolerance). Everything they seemed to do annoyed me and I found I wasn’t myself anymore, just wanted every day to end so I could drink wine.
I had a very nasty relationship with my x-husband, who was an emotional bully. I’m now with my amazing partner who can take or leave a drink, but I was always drinking and not giving anything to our relationship. I honestly think he would have left me if I had carried on much longer.
I noticed none of my old friends asked me out anymore. We went on a girls holiday to Ibiza and I managed to upset everybody one evening and couldn’t remember a thing about it. When we got home all the invites stopped coming (including a wedding and a christening) I took no notice but it hit me hard emotionally….. so I just carried on drinking without them.
There are many more reasons but they are the most prominent examples in my head.
How long did it take between thinking you should give up and actually committing to it?
I honestly thought about stopping drinking for about 8 years, I’d stop for a few days then straight back on it, harder each time. I knew at the beginning of this year I was going to do it at some stage. I joined Sobersistas last October and kept my eye on everyone’s stories. I think I was contributing but I had a few private chats with Jules.
My trigger to stop was my partners birthday in April (20th). I got so drunk and didn’t remember it. He was very quiet for a few days and I felt awful, god knows what I did or said as I’d been blacking out (not literally but memory loss) every night for at least 12 months. I set my date, for April 25th, I told my partner but he’d seen & heard it all before so I knew it fell on deaf ears. Something just clicked and I knew I was going to do it and succeed this time ….. I felt a strength I’d never had before.
What was the most difficult thing about giving up?
To be honest, the giving up wasn’t as hard as I thought, It was the thought of giving up, that I prolonged for so long – not believing I could do it. It wasn’t a breeze but the fear of giving up my daily crutch was harder than the actual deed of doing it.
How did you manage your triggers?
My main trigger for me was 6 pm, this is when I’d have my first glass of wine (now I refer to it as “poison, soul destroyer”). Prior to giving up I’d been to see my GP and told her everything, she prescribed me two weeks of sleeping tablets and referred me to my local abuse support group.
I joined a woman’s running club, which started on my first day of being sober. I got home after running and had my favourite meal, curry, and I was ok, I never used to drink after eating (I never used to have my dinner until about 10 pm, never remembering if I’d ate or not until I went downstairs and saw the plate). I took the sleeping tablet and I had a good nights sleep. I kept going onto Sobersistas Facebook group to keep my positive mindset, the stories, support and encouragement made me determined. I walked every evening at 6 pm and ate when I got home. I also had a hot chocolate and a chocolate bar at 9pm!!
Did your social life change?
I didn’t have a social life, I was too afraid to go out, knowing I’d get drunk and not remember a thing. I now love going out sober!!
Do you understand why you drank?
I realise I drank to forget when I finished with my ex-husband. I was alone with two very young children. When they were settled it was my time. I’d open the wine and have a few glasses, over the years it ended up at least 2 bottles a night.
How did others treat you when you told them?
When I first gave up I didn’t get much response as I kept it quiet … except my sister and partner knew. I told all my friends and work colleagues I was determined to lose weight so the booze had to go! As the weeks went on I started going out, still saying I was serious about dieting …. I now tell people I don’t miss it so why bother drinking – I’ve got away with it I think!! I’m also a stone lighter in weight and I don’t have a bloated face or tummy, in just under 3 months, I’m amazed!
What tools have you used to support your journey?
The main tools for me initially were my sleeping tablets, walking, eating chocolate and Sobersistas group. I was constantly on Facebook reading stories and posting my own. I do not think I could have done this without my online help from the sistas.
I also read a lot of books during the first few weeks, all sober related material, sober diaries was my favourite. I downloaded an app “I’M DONE DRINKING” this really spurred me on, I’m still using it and will continue to do so.
I meditate with apps and YouTube every night before bed. I also have a couple of Becks blue (alcohol-free beer) when I’m out or chilling in the garden.
What was the easiest thing about giving up?
The easiest part of giving up was actually giving up! I wish I’d done it sooner! The thing is I was ready to stop and I was determined- still am!
Do you think you’ll give up permanently?
I know in my heart I will never touch alcohol again.
What does the future hold?
I want to have an amazing relationship with my children, I’m almost there!!! To marry my partner/soulmate and eventually be able to work in an environment where I can help other people with substance abuse of any kind.
How much money do you think you’ve saved since you gave up?
I am 81 days sober and have saved approximately £850!
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about sobriety?
The most surprising aspect of being sober is my calm attitude that I’ve not seen for years!! I am a very laid back person (well used to be) and it’s coming back! I don’t lock horns over ridiculous things anymore. I don’t have a nasty streak, but I did when I was hungover. My children have really noticed and I’m finally being the mother I should be. I’m a better partner and person in all. I have my bad days but I deal with them in a calm way.