Choosing to Make Safe Choices in Sobriety
I can’t blame anyone but myself for my relapses.
Time and time again, I was weak. I wanted to fit in. I didn’t want to explain myself. I thought, “one drink won’t be a problem.”
The offers came along regularly, and each time I froze:
“Come over for a beer.”
“Let’s go out for a drink.”
Whether it was a work event or going across the hall to chat with my neighbor, I never stopped at one- it was usually nine or ten. If I was lucky, I went home safely without any falls, bruises, or bad choices. Usually, I drank more than those around me- so I would leave, stop at the store, or go to a nearby bar.
I used to regularly have to apologize for the texts I would send or the things I would say, and I often had someone walk me home, take care of me, or let me crash on their couch.
I was a problem drinker to the tee.
As an alcoholic, I always forgot about those terrible decisions and the consequences I would inevitably face. Always thinking “this time will be different,” I proved to myself over and over that I couldn’t drink in safety- but for years, I kept trying.
I’ve been asked out for drinks this time in sobriety- but instead of accepting the offer, I suggest coffee or a different activity. I tell people I am sober. If they continue to dig, I do tell them I’m in recovery- I can no longer afford to sugarcoat my situation. I can’t pretend that just because my life appears together on the outside, that I am miraculously cured or immune to the disease.
Whatever I put before my sobriety, I will lose- and that includes my career, my friendships, and my peace of mind.
I have finally learned to make make safe choices and no longer put myself in situations where I may pick up- and I don’t allow people into my life who are not healthy for me. Although it used to seem like a good idea to go out with coworkers or head across the hall for a beer, I know where I will end up- and I love my life too much today to lose it.