And Other Lies I Told Myself When I Drank

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You’re not the person waking up in the morning with the shakes and taking shots of vodka at 9:00 AM, so you don’t have a problem with alcohol. You’re a hygienic person with a job. You work hard and deserve that bottle at the end of your day.

Yeah, that was me in denial too. I ‘didn’t have a problem’ because I wasn’t the homeless person sitting on the corner holding a sign with my trembling hands, begging for money.

I’m happy to list out some of the lies I told myself while I was drinking, but I’m going to…

And I’m scared sobriety will too

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I drank from the time I was 16 to 34 years old. 18 full years of pouring ethanol down my throat to escape from my life. Like most people, I didn’t realize at the time that it would become my core identity. Quite frankly, I didn’t think it was any part of my identity — until I quit.

I tried moderation for about 4 years. I tried setting up ‘rules’ where I could only drink on certain days, only drink during the weekdays, go for X amount of days before I could drink, you name it. I was always coming…

Let me count the ways…

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1. It’s Fun!

Translation: I’m more fun. Who wants a boring stiff that can logically make decisions and understand right from wrong? A moral code? Pshh… Snore! I’d rather make a decision that will FILL me with shame in the morning! I’m a wild child!

2. It Tastes So GOOD!

Translation: I feel more adult-like when I have this dirty martini that tastes mostly like rubbing alcohol and burns while trickling down my throat. I like olives though. When you say “olive juice” it looks like you’re saying “I love you.” …

#2 The intensity of intimacy.

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Sober Sex.

Eek. Those two words can be as terrifying as sobriety itself. But why? I decided to do a deep dive into my own closet of skeletons to figure out why sex was one of the more scary aspects of getting sober. This of course is subjective, and I am speaking solely from my own perspective as a single cis female. But I have a feeling, at least a few of these things are something that almost everyone in recovery can relate to.

The past year has brought me a lot of firsts. The first full year of sobriety…

A tale of depression and self-reflection

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Sometime in 2019, I stopped looking in the mirror. When I brushed my teeth, I walked around the bathroom or just stared into the sink. When I got dressed in the morning, I threw a hoodie and jeans on and went about my day. I stopped wearing what little makeup I usually wore. The only time I even remember “getting ready” for the day was when I had to go away for a weekend for work and I had to look nice to deal with the public all day.

I’ve always struggled with self-esteem, but this was a whole new…

I can’t blame booze for my imposter syndrome anymore…

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I have had writer’s block the past several days. I’ve been sitting in front of my computer, wanting to write something, to share something that resembles some sort of encouragement for anybody that takes the time to read this. But I’ve been coming up short because my mind is swirling with reasons why I shouldn’t bother.

I’ve been comparing my sobriety journey to others — convincing myself I don’t have the right to talk about quitting drinking, that I haven’t struggled as much as some other people in the throes of “real” addiction. I’ve been comparing my mental illness, anxiously…

5 Ways to Support Your Friend’s Sobriety Journey

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Your best friend/loved one is no longer drinking. Congrats! You have just gained your friend back…. your real friend, not just your drinking buddy. But I know it does not feel like that right now.

In recovery, we learn that we must grieve the loss of alcohol. I know that sounds weird, but it is so true. I have a year of sobriety under my belt and I am still going through it. I literally cried the day before NYE because I realized I wouldn’t be sipping champagne on New Year’s Eve this year. It sounds childish, I know. …

A self-love story

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I’ve hated Veronica for a very long time. She is the epitome of everything I’m not. She is confident. She is extroverted. She is hilarious. She is sexy. She owns the room when she walks in.

On the flip side, she’s also a liar, a sex-crazed egomaniac, and a narcissistic asshole who thinks the world revolves around her. She makes me feel like hell in a handbasket and puts me in all kinds of shameful predicaments.

Who is this bitch and why are we jumping on the bandwagon to embrace her?

She is me.

She is my drunk alter-ego that…

I cannot have just a beer with you…. ever

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I know the sobriety journey is full of ups and downs. Nothing in life is linear, after all. This week I’ve been fighting off the idea of moderation.

Cognitively, I know that this idea of moderation does not suit me.
I’ve tried it.
Multiple times.
For many years.

And to no avail, the outcome was always the same. I think that’s the version of insanity, right? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

While there were, of course, some days where I could have just a glass of wine or just a few beers, these days…

Addiction still whispers sweet nothings in my ear

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In all honesty, I did not want to get sober. I did not want to admit that I had a problem, that I had become a statistic, that maybe there is a gene for addiction, that I drank more than my friends, or that I was in denial for so many years.

I thought I could drink like a “normal” person (whatever that means). I thought that since all my friends binge drank on the weekend, that it was okay. I thought that as long as I kept a clean house, a full-time job, and good hygiene, that my drinking…

Maria Hayes

Full time daydreamer and aspiring vagabond. Passionate word nerd, sobriety student, and mental health advocate.

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