Conversation in Recovery: Jill

Name: Jill
Age: 44
Location: Arizona
Recovery Date: February 13, 2017
Recovering From: Alcohol
About Jill:Friend, wife, mom, sister, daughter, marketer, creator, entrepreneur, decorator, soberista

 

Q. Before you entered recovery, what did you think the “thing” you were addicted to gave you, did for you, etc.?

A. Alcohol gave me liquid courage to change who I was or wanted to be. It reduced my inhibitions. It gave me the ability to cope with my fears, my depression and my anxiety. Alcohol helped me tune out the noise and my extremely loud self talk. Wine, especially, helped me feed my insane sugar cravings.

Q. Now that you are in recovery, what have you learned about that “thing?”

A. I have never felt more comfortable in my skin since giving up alcohol 2+ years ago. I now know that alcohol only put a band-aid on my coping skills. It was a solution to a much bigger problem. It kept me in my fear and my self loathing. It kept me thinking and playing small. And instead of helping me with my anxiety and depression, it just amplified it and made it worse. I’m ten times happier without mommy juice, and I’m much more present with my family. I have more patience and less judgement. Life is good!

Q. How are you recovering (e.g., 12-step program, rehab, counseling, on your own, etc.)?

A. On my own – but I’ve met lots of sober women on Facebook and Instagram, and have met many of them at SheRecovers and at local and national get-togethers that I’ve helped set up. I make it a point to stay connected to my sober circle via phone, text, email, What’s App, and social media. Reaching out daily makes me feel grounded and accountable.

Q. In recovery, how do you give yourself what you thought that “thing” provided?

A. I read A LOT now. I walk in nature, spend free time playing board games with family, create and craft. I talk about my fears and doubts. I celebrate others who are seeking joy and a more healthy lifestyle. I write and journal. I walk my talk and help others know that recovery is nothing to be ashamed of.

Q. What was your “rock bottom” or “breaking point” when you realized you needed to change?

A. At the end, I obsessed about wanting a drink. And it was a daily obsession.I didn’t want to stop at just one glass of wine. After drinking 1-4 glasses of wine, I would go to bed and wake up around 3am, dehydrated and full of shame. I looked for social outings that allowed me to drink. I quite often hid my drinking and lied to my 3-year-old son, telling him that my wine was called “coffee.” (That way he wouldn’t tell his teachers that I drank wine at night, and he wouldn’t remind me at the grocery store that I forgot my wine…. Instead, he reminded me to get my “coffee.”) The worst part was the blackouts when I started forgetting things I said the night before. All of these things helped me realize I had hit my high bottom. But the blackouts hit the nail on the head. No one asked me to quit. In fact, many people didn’t have a clue that I had a drinking problem. I knew in my heart and mind that I did, and it was my decision to make.

Q. What has been the hardest part of recovery so far?

A. 1) Being public about my alcoholism. 2) Convincing my drinking friends that I am not going to drink again, and that life will go on and that I’m a better person without it. They see themselves in me and justify their own drinking habits.

Q. What about recovery has been easier than you had anticipated? 

A. Dancing!

Q. What has helped you the most in recovery?

A. Finding my sober circle of women who have my back

Q. Who has helped you the most in recovery?

A. My husband has been very supportive. He quit drinking as well (though he’s considered a ‘normie’)

Q. What has been the biggest surprise about recovery?

A. Fabulous sleep, energy, creativity, focus and new friendships!

Q. What role has family played in your recovery?

A. My family is very supportive! I’m very grateful. And my son will likely not remember active drinking in our home.

Q. Knowing what you do now, what would you tell your pre-recovery self about recovery?

A. What is taking you so long? Life is so much better on the other side!

Q. What would you say to someone who is thinking about recovery?

A. If you think you drink too much, listen to your gut. You don’t have to hit rock bottom to stop and have a great life. Quit now before it’s too late. There are amazing, happy, grateful, wonderfully kind and creative people in Recovery. We are here to help!

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