Sober Story: Em

Today’s Sober Story comes from Em, a 37-year-old living in Lower Hutt.


Mrs D: How long have you been sober for?

Em: 10 years, 9 months exactly

Mrs D: What was life like for you just prior to quitting?

Em: Volatile. Out of control. Wasted time, energy. A circle of despair, depression, darkness. So so black. Angry. Angry. Violent. Self destructive. Jesus, I was evil.

Mrs D: Sounds full on. What happened that got you to quit?

Em: It was work drinks and I knew I was on my last warning. Suddenly, I sat bolt upright at 3am. No recollection of the ‘fun’. I had blacked-out and been violent. Probably vomited. A year before hand, my best friend had said “can the real Em still come out and not drink?” My partner said to me, “you can choose booze or me.” I had hurt too many people. I chose him.❤️

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

Em: It was sobering (Ha!) in the early days. I had to face all my problems by not getting wasted. I had to deal with so many emotions. I took each day as it came. Each hour sometimes. I just had to get through each moment. Slowly, time ticked away as it has a habit of doing. Most difficult thing was remaining true to myself.

Mrs D: What about your friends and family, how did they react?

Em: Some of them were so accepting. Some of them still ask me if I’d like a drink at dinner…

Mrs D: Some people will never get it. Have you ever experienced a relapse?

Em: No but doesn’t mean the craving still isn’t there. Somedays I feel like I’d love to get wasted. Ugh, then I just think of the consequences.

Mrs D: Yeah, so not worth it. How long did it take for things to start to calm down for you emotionally & physically?

Em: I’m still fat!! I replaced drink with sugar.

Mrs D: Me too!!

Em: Recently I decided I really needed to overhaul my diet. I thought if I can give up alcohol, surely I can give up unhealthy options. I had a quick inspiring read of Living Sober and thought “I got this”. Emotionally I felt like a child at the start. I had to learn social skills. I’m still learning.

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

Em: I had some great advice from others who had been there. A wise sage told me to buy lemon lime and bitters in a brown bottle because it looks like beer. It took me at least a month, maybe more before I went out. Have a back up person at the party who has your back. Everyone starts talking shit around 10.30pm so it’s always a good time to leave then.

Mrs D: Oh god yes. Unless you  can find another person who is not boozing to squirrel away with in the corner. Was there anything surprising that you learned about yourself when you stopped drinking?

Em: The real Em can still come out and not drink.

Mrs D: How did your life change?

Em: I think you live twice the life because you gain so many hours. You gain respect for yourself and from others.

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

Em: I saved some money. I have no wasted moments. That awful hangover feeling of guilt and general seediness never has to happen again.

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

Em: Ha, sooner? But we got to go through it to learn, right?

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

Em: In the beginning, it is all consuming. Drinking was my life. Getting wasted, my coping mechanism. Slowly, the new day dawned and I felt like I could see through the haze. Gradually life became so much clearer. The dullness evaporated. Now, drinking doesn’t even factor into my life. I used to be obsessed as to the logistics of getting to the party/pub with the most alchohol and how the hell was I going to get home again. Now I’m organised and sorted for getting anywhere. Sobriety is second nature and I never thought it would be.
One day at a time. This is your journey. Ain’t no body else going to do it for you but there will be people out there who will help you. Especially if you’re honest. Be Honest. I get so much respect when I tell people why. Some people will try to hinder you. They can fuck off to the far side of fuck and stay there. Apologies for the language but I haven’t got time for negativity anymore.

Mrs D: Love the language! And so true of anyone who tries to sabotage someone else’s sobriety. Anything else to share?

Em: I am so happy that I am in control of my actions and my life. My children and partner are safe because of my choice. Living Sober has my back if any doubts creep in. If anyone ever needs me, I can be there, no questions asked, even at 2.30am on a Monday, you can rely on me to help. That means the world.

  1. Em 4 years ago

    Hi Shabby, that is so fantastic to hear. Support is crucial as is distraction. You’ll know your triggers so having a friend/sponsor to talk to you is a lifeline. The meetings helped me. The journey saved me. Have you got something special picked for you for your 100 days? I chose really nice chocolates for mine! Thinking of you especially during this time of year. You can do this ☺ love em

  2. Em 4 years ago

    Hi Emily, wow, you’ve just written my story. Time to put yourself first. If YOU don’t want to feel like this, YOU have to make changes. Change comes with help. Because change is scary but not as scary as loosing everything. This site is amazing for ideas, coping strategies, friendships and others who have been there. It’s not easy but it’s doable. You got this girl. Xxx Em

    • Esharp76 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for your reply! Nice to know I’ve found some wonderful support here. Had a few people roll their eyes at me as if to say “yea right heard this before’ or that i’ll never be able to be a sober person. And then there are people who know me well and still say “oh you’ll be able to learn how to just have a couple of drinks….ive tried that before and it doesn’t work. I have an addictive personality, wether its eating or drinking i have no self control. Feeling a little sad about the idea of not being able to have that champagne breky on Christmas Day (like an old friend will be missing) Guess this is what i have to learn now, that i can still have fun without the booze!! Going to check in on your posts as I can relate so well with what you say. This pounding head i still have from Sunday nights binge should be a real sign that enough is enough!! So great to have made contact with you, hope you’re having a nice day xx

  3. Emily 4 years ago

    Great post and exactly what i needed to read tonight. I too am named Em. Mother of 2 and just turned 40 years old. Last night I got wasted on wine at some Christmas drinks and as a result abused my fiancé again. He’s had enough and gave me an ultimatum. I get so angry and say the most horrible things. Im feeling really depressed tonight and can’t believe I’ve done it to myself yet agin. It takes me about 3 days to recover (the hangovers are so bad). Im so scared as know i have to stop drinking as i’ll lose so much and the man I love. I can’t deal with stress so find drinking such a relaxant and all my troubles are gone for the night but then next day I have so many more….how do I remember that its just not worth it??!! I am a party girl from way back and the daughter of an alcoholic father and heavy drinker Mother. Don’t want to feel like this anymore 🙁

  4. SueK 4 years ago

    Thanks for telling your story Em. Really inspiring.

  5. janabel 4 years ago

    Absolutely fantastic that you have your life back on track. Thankyou for sharing your story with us 🙂

  6. Lizzy 4 years ago

    Thanks so much for sharing this. How true that it’s all consuming in the beginning, I know that worried me, I thought I’d never be able to stop thinking about drinking and not-drinking all the time. It’s so encouraging to see that things have got better for you to the point where drinking isn’t a factor in your life at all. That’s what I aspire to, and I don’t think I’m alone! Thanks again. Xx

  7. shabby 4 years ago

    Dear En I am newly sober (72 days) going to Bridge programme fortnightly and covering my wrap plan daily.
    No problem so I am proud of that I am getting good support from the people who matter to me. Encouragement to attend AA to find a sponsor is a big one for me as I wish to do my step four possibly to step 12. Do you have any good advice for my recovery? Very serious would appreciate any others who may wish to put forward ideas. I am inspired by you own story and length of sobriety; Best wishes Shabby.

  8. Oceania 4 years ago

    Wow 10 years and 9 months ! That is epic ! Very inspiring ! Thanks for sharing

  9. Rodk 4 years ago

    Great reply, excuse the swearing ! Who needs another rock bottom. Time to look ahead and plan for Happy, joyous and free.

  10. JM 4 years ago

    So great and inspiring. You figured it out early. I’d love to get my 30s back! I’m going to borrow your phrase ‘the far side of fuck’ if I may. : ) Thanks Em and Mrs. D! x

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