Sober Story: Boruch

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This week's Sober Story comes from Boruch, a 54-year-old living in the Midwestern United States.

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Mrs D: How long have you been in recovery?

Boruch: I have been sober for 18 years.

Mrs D: What can you tell us about the last months/years of your drinking before you gave up?

Boruch: I was a “high bottom” drunk and did most of my drinking alone. Most people I knew had no idea that I even had a problem. But, I had a problem, for sure. For years, I used to go home and get drunk alone in my apartment. There were some events that were bottoms, in retrospect. I got drunk at dinner with friends and acquaintances. It was embarrassing for them. They had never seen me like that. I knew they were embarrassed for me, and it caused me shame.

Mrs D: What was the final straw that led you to get sober?

Boruch: I actually got sober partly by accident. For medical reasons, I was told to stop drinking alcohol. It was only then that I started to see my life instantly getting better, and a bit more confusing… but it was a real eye opener.

Mrs D: How was it for you in the early days? What was most difficult?

Boruch: With God’s help, I have not struggled much with physical cravings for alcohol but I had (and continue to have) a lot of problems with true sober behavior. I tend to be a dry drunk. In the early days, I was irritable and easily provoked into anger or anti-social behavior.

Mrs D: What reaction did you get from family & friends when you started getting sober?

Boruch: Most people didn’t realize I had done anything because they didn’t realize I had a problem. When I told some people close to me, they told me I was mistaken, that I could not be an alcoholic. But yes, even if you get drunk on 2-3 glasses of wine, you can still be a drunk. (If you drink like that, by yourself, with the sole purpose of knocking yourself out, every night, for 10 years straight… you’re an alcoholic.)

Mrs D: Have you ever experienced a relapse?

Boruch: With God’s help, I have not relapsed, though I have had emotional relapses, where the “bad” addict side of my personality predominates – this happens when I stop working a proper program and stop understanding that God is the Higher Power in my life.

Mrs D: How long did it take for things to start to calm down for you emotionally & physically?

Boruch: It took a good 6-12 months before I saw that “turning things over” could work for me, and that if I trusted God with my life, God would help me live the way I needed to live.

Mrs D: How hard was it getting used to socialising sober?

Boruch: Very, because drinking had always been part of getting relaxed enough to deal with people – even if my social drinking wasn’t out of hand too much. It was a ritual that was hard to stop.

Mrs D: Was there anything surprising that you learned about yourself when you stopped drinking?

Boruch: Yes, I learned that I was an introvert. I don’t like loud noise and a lot of people around me. When I drank, it didn’t matter. When I stopped drinking, I started to notice how much crowds bothered me. At first I thought I was defective. Then, I realized that I am simply how I am and I started to accept myself.

Mrs D: How did your life change?

Boruch: In sobriety I have been a great deal more productive and creative. I have become financially stable. I got married and support a family of 5 by myself. I have written 8 books and undertaken other creative projects that I was interested in but never seemed to have time for.

Mrs D: What are the main benefits that emerged for you from getting sober?

Boruch: I am calmer and more focused. I have a tendency toward anxiety. Alcohol was a temporary, very poor quality fix for this problem. Without it, I need to trust God to help me – and that works better.

Mrs D: Would you do anything differently given the chance to go through the process again?

Boruch: I would look harder for a really good sponsor early on. I think I had a big enough ego that I thought I could figure out the steps on my own. I delayed too long.

Mrs D: What advice or tips would you have for those who are just starting on this journey?

Boruch: Find a sponsor you want to work with. This does not necessarily mean someone you like. A sponsor can become a friend but doesn’t need to be a friend up front. In fact, some distance is healthy.

5 Comments
  1. Cinderella 7 months ago

    Getting drunk with friends and acquaintances and add to the mix family and extended families and yes it becomes shameful and embarrassing!! Been there, done that. A really telling story, thank you Boruch.

  2. JM 7 months ago

    Thank-you for sharing your story Boruch!!

  3. sobermommy1013 7 months ago

    I’ve noticed so many people in these sober stories say that they are actually introverts. I find that really interesting. We use alcohol to help us be around people we may not necessarily like and in places we may not necessarily want to be. Thank you for sharing.

    • @Kate 7 months ago

      A very insightful observation, sobermommy1013. It’s really the crux of the matter for a lot of us.

    • Torea2019 7 months ago

      Interesting isn’t it?

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