This week’s Sober Story comes from Jamie, a 29-year-old living in Boynton Beach, Florida.
Mrs D: How long have you been in recovery?
Jamie: 6 years, since May 2012.
Mrs D: What can you tell us about the last months/years of your drinking before you gave up?
Jamie: I had a lot of run-ins with the law which consequently almost resulted in getting a couple felonies. Luckily, I feel like God was on my side and nothing come of it. I was drinking every day, with no job at all. I would lay in bed watching re-runs of day-time television until I felt I was getting sick enough to warrant me getting out of bed to get more alcohol. I was finding all kinds of manipulative ways to get money to support my habit, often calling family members telling them I needed money for food. Near the end I was almost 18kgs (40 lbs) under my normal weight.
Mrs D: What was the final straw that led you to get sober?
Jamie: I saw my best friend in a grocery store while I was buying alcohol. He told me he would come over later that night to bring me fast food (which I no longer eat now, haha). He worked in the treatment industry, so no later than the next morning him and his friend were going to take me to detox. I think the final straw was me getting arrested. That was certainly a boundary I didn’t want to cross.
Mrs D: How was it for you in the early days? What was most difficult?
Jamie: The hardest part was probably my early sobriety anxiety. I felt like there was so much I had needed to do, which in result gave me crippling anxiety. I managing to get over it by finding time away from alcohol and connecting with my higher power.
Mrs D: What reaction did you get from family & friends when you started getting sober?
Jamie: Everyone was extremely delighted! I got lots of support from family and friends.
Mrs D: Have you ever experienced a relapse?
Jamie: Yes many times, I had gone to nearly 6 treatment centers.
Mrs D: How long did it take for things to start to calm down for you emotionally & physically?
Jamie: Probably 6 months in I felt like things were starting to come together. Once I hit the 1 year mark, I was doing tremendously better in my spiritual life and career.
Mrs D: How hard was it getting used to socialising sober?
Jamie: For me it was hard. Most likely because I already suffer from anxiety. The early months of adjusting to life without a substance made it worse. Today though I have nearly no anxiety at all.
Mrs D: Was there anything surprising that you learned about yourself when you stopped drinking?
Jamie: That I was an extremely motivated individual. I thought I was going to be forever average.
Mrs D: How did your life change?
Jamie: I got married, started a business, bought a house, and have tons of friends and family to enjoy my life with.
Mrs D: What are the main benefits that emerged for you from getting sober?
Jamie: The ability to learn and grow as a person. My career and business have really taken off since I got sober.
Mrs D: Would you do anything differently given the chance to go through the process again?
Jamie: Probably nothing, the last time I decided to get sober I did just about perfectly with some minor flaws. I took every suggestion I was given.
Mrs D: What advice or tips would you have for those who are just starting on this journey?
Jamie: Get a sponsor, home group, take suggestions, and find sober friends with lots of clean time.
Mrs D: Anything else you’d like to share?
I recently started a new website called opiates.net, it’s a guide for people to find help with opiate and heroin addiction. It was my passion to build a site like this, since I got sober I made it possible. Today I am web programmer, social influencer, web marketer, and designer. None of this would be possible without God and AA.
Lovely to read about the turn around in your life Jamie. 6 years of sobriety, that is so awesome. Congratulations and thank you for the inspiration to stay sober forever, today…..
Nice website! You’re an inspiration.
Congrats Jamie on completely turning your life around! Thanks for sharing your story, and congrats on 6 years+ sober!
Thank you for sharing your sober story. It was really helpful to me. I’m 7 months sober and needed to hear about long-term sobriety. Congrats on your sobriety and best of luck, one day at a time.