This week’s Sober Story comes from Kim, a 35-year-old living in Robbinsville, NJ, USA.
Mrs D: How long have you been in recovery?
Kim: I’ve been in recovery since November 23, 2013.
Mrs D: What can you tell us about the last months/years of your drinking before you gave up?
Kim: Absolute horror. It was a very dark place filled with anger, hate and self destructive behaviors. I experienced so much loss of self respect, self care and self esteem. I saw no way out.
Mrs D: I can relate. What was the final straw that led you to get sober?
Kim: My husband at the time was arrested for his third DUI after a domestic dispute we had at our home. I saw in that instant that my son’s life would never be healthy if we continued. Both his father and mother were extremely ill. It was just a matter of time before I would lose him. I could never live with that.
Mrs D: How was it for you in the early days? What was most difficult?
Kim: The most difficult thing was the emotional aspect. I was like an open wound and I was not emotionally equipped to handle any of my feelings. I was extremely angry and it showed in all of my personal relationships.
Mrs D: What reaction did you get from family & friends when you started getting sober?
Kim: Honesly, I’m sure they thought “yeah, sure Kim, you’ve said all of this before.” They didn’t believe it to be true.
Mrs D: You showed them! Have you ever relapsed?
Kim: Not this time around. I was in AA in my early twenties but I was never sold on sobriety so I guess it’s safe to say I have not experienced a relapse.
Mrs D: How hard was it getting used to socialising sober?
Kim: I suffered from crippling anxiety. I did not want to leave my home, going food shopping and to stores was extremely difficult and at times I just couldn’t do it. I would leave parking lots and go straight home. I was filled with fear of the unknown.
Mrs D: How long did it take for things to start to calm down for you emotionally & physically?
Kim: Almost three years.
Mrs D: Was there anything surprising that you learned about yourself when you stopped drinking?
Kim: Yes! That I am quite creative. I feel inspired. Something I’ve never felt before. I want to share my story and I have no fears in doing that.
Mrs D: And we appreciate you sharing! Can you summarise how your life has changed since you quit?
Kim: I’m at peace. That is all I’ve ever wanted. I am ok with myself.
Mrs D: Any main benefits that have emerged for you from getting sober?
Kim: My family life is fantastic. I show up to all family events, clear eyed and bushy tailed. I’m alot calmer with my son. I see things differently.
Mrs D: Would you do anything differently given the chance to go through the process again?
Kim: I would do nothing different.
Mrs D: What advice or tips would you have for those who are just starting on this journey?
Kim: Bear down and do it. You never have to feel like this again, ever, I promise you.
Mrs D: Anything else you’d like to share?
Kim: Do not be afraid to get help. Do not be ashamed of who you are. This is who you are, accept that first and you will be fearless.
You can visit Kim’s blog here.