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.