Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Two Years Ago

330 Days of Sobriety

Two years ago tomorrow I started this blog.  I thought it might be fun to look back and see where I was and what I was thinking and how I'm doing in comparison today.

August 9, 2010

I was lying in bed last night basically feeling like a pile of crap. You see, I had just humiliated myself in front of my brother and his family. They had come to our house for a visit and for some unknown reason I decided to hurl myself off the wagon and under its wheels during their visit. This was after weeks of sobriety. It started out with the usual culprits, a couple of Jack Daniels (Damn that sumbitch) and diet Pepsi’s the first night, by day three I had a broken toe from trying to pirouette across our stream to save a drowning flip-flop and by day four I was flopped out on the bed trying to breathe. I did redeem myself in the following days, I’m good at redemption, but I’m sure their vacation at Aunt Kary May’s will go down in the annals of vacation, filed somewhere between Montezuma’s revenge and Dengue fever for fun value.

It’s been over a week now and I’m still haranguing myself and I’m black and blue all over although it’s not visible to the human eye (except for the aforementioned toe). I finally quit yelling at myself and said, “Okay God, I’ll shut up and listen now.”

Yes, I talk to God. And he talks back. Swear to God! I don’t want to get too heavy on the “God” thing right now but he insists on being a co-author. I don’t really care if you believe or not or what you believe in. He doesn’t either. That’s not what this blog is about. I just have to make me shut up long enough to listen.

“Forgive unto yourself as you forgive unto others.” (See, I know that’s God because I don’t use the word “unto” a whole lot)

“Dude, (I’ve had my 6 yr. old grandson for two weeks) that’s not how it goes,” I replied.

“Who says?” says God. “The point is, if your brother had done the same thing, would you forgive him?”

“My brother doesn’t drink.”

“You get my point!”

(I think he was gritting his teeth)

“You promised you’d start the blog”

“I want to wait until I have a success story,” I whined. See God and I had been talking about me doing this blog for years but I kept putting it off. I had kept a journal of my many attempts at prolonged sobriety but I kept waiting for those milestones. I thought l’d wait until I was sober for a year to start a blog so I could be an example for others. Hasn’t happened yet. 100 days? Hasn’t happened yet. 28 days? Nope.

I haven’t even been sober one day if you prescribe to the popular theory that an alcoholic has to quit drinking completely in order to gain sobriety. But never mind that, that’s not what this blog is about either apparently according to my co-author.

“There are plenty of success stories out there for people to read,” God said. (That made me feel a lot better.) I need someone to write about what it’s like to want it so bad but still fail…

“You can count on me for that,” I said drolly.

“…so they won’t feel alone.” God finished.

“You know, this could make a great book like Eat, Pray, Love except we could name it Drink, Detox, Live”

“No, book deals, Kary”

“…or movie,”

“No, movie deals, Kary”

“It wouldn’t have to be Julia Roberts that played me. It could be a lesser actress. Someone like Lindsay Lohan.”

“Lindsay’s just a kid. She doesn’t have your baggage.”

“So you’re saying there could be a movie?”

So here’s the blog per request of God. No success story, no advice, just my experience.

What’s its purpose? I’m not really sure. I guess one purpose is for me to succeed in reaching my idea of acceptable sobriety. As I’ve said I’ve tried journaling in the past, it hasn’t worked. I guess I, oops I mean “we” (should I capitalize “we” if God is included?) thought if I put this out there for public consumption it might give me more impetus and if I hear from others more support to help me reach my goal and maybe it will help others along the way. If I want support from outsiders why don’t I try AA or rehab? I have my reasons that I am not ready for those options yet, although a month ago there was a day that if I could have found someone to take care of my dog I think I would have checked myself in. They are both lifesaving options but I’m not ready for them yet.

There are several purposes this blog is not the purpose of. It is not here to judge, preach, criticize, or promote one form of recovery over another. I would love to hear from others going through what I am but please don’t shove your form of salvation down my throat. Believe me, if I haven’t tried it, I’ve at least considered it. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear about “your” experience with it.

What is “acceptable sobriety” for me? I’m trying to figure that out, too. I guess I’m following a form of moderation right now, allowing myself to have 2 glasses of red wine a day. I know, I know the American Heart Association says only 1 glass for women. I’ve tried total abstinence and I’m very familiar with the first week, somewhat familiar with the second week but after that it’s back under the old wagon wheels for me so I’m giving this a try. Oh, and yeah, I’ve tried this before, too. The only difference this time is that I have you, my loyal readers along with me. That is if I get any readers. I guess I may have to do it for any future loyal readers I may have.

At times it may seem that I am taking all this too lightly, believe me I’ve had too many nights lying in bed with my heart pounding so loudly that I couldn’t sleep, praying that it would stop and praying that it wouldn’t stop, swearing I would never put myself through this again to take it lightly. It’s just that self-deprecation is a lot easier to read than self-pity. Oh yeah, no book deals.

I can only make two promises: I won’t lie and I won’t give up. 

Update:  Okay, let's see how I measure up.  Am  I a success story?  Hmm...I think I'd call me a success story in the making, and that's what I'll always be as long as I don't drink.  I still don't have my year in but I think I'll make that but I now know that's not the measure of success. 

Has this blog achieved its purpose?  Yes, I think it has, it has gotten me to where I need to be and that is in a community of caring, supportive and knowledgeable people that have lead me and walked beside me into sobriety, holding my hand and holding me up when I couldn't stand on my own. you didn't give up on me and you didn't let me give up on myself and I hope, in turn, that I have done the same for some of you.  I have learned from so many of you  that have shared your own journeys with me but have never once tried to force me to take the same path, you have let me forge my own.

I did finally figure out what "acceptable sobriety" means to me, and that is total sobriety.  I think I had an inkling that is where I would end up.

I am very thankful for my loyal readers (Boy, doesn't that sound pretentious) because through your comments and your own blogs I have gained insight and solidarity but most of all I have learned to love myself again through the love and compassion that we show to each other.

It has been almost a year since I've had any of those terror filled nights and the first words on my lips every morning are Thank You God, I may be light of heart these days, but I never, ever take this lightly.

Finally, I'm very proud to say that I've never lied and I've never given up.

Oh yeah, no book or movie deals in the works as of yet. LOL


  1. "(Boy, doesn't that sound pretentious)"

    When I shut down my 1st blog 11-11-10 through 11-11-11, I had about 46 readers and I could NEVER EVER have put a year together without each and every one of them. Really, my blog was everything to me and I took it so seriously.

    Acceptable sobriety for me, is, of course complete abstinence. But additionally I need to be a woman continuously learning, growing , and improving,, mind, body, and spirit. I need to place God, my family, then service work in the right perspective and I need peace and real serenity. That's some acceptable sobriety. Sounds like you got it figured out as well. Yup, a work in progress.

    My sponsor used to tell me, "Dawn, you can look back. But don't stare"

    I like that! Great entry today!!

    I'm still serious about sobriety, but a little lighter on blog entries...

    Fun, isn't it? Reading backwards. Vison is so clear!

    1. Amen, to everything you wrote especially your description of acceptable sobriety. I had no concept of all the trappings sobriety would bring with it when I started this blog. They are the fringe benefits, the things that make sobriety worth it.

  2. Good for you Kary May! You have helped more than you know, including me. Although I am not were you are in sobriety you give me hope and the courage to think I can dpi it as well. Your words are encouraging so much that it makes the "reader" think life without booze might actually be fun! Keep writing-- I am going to need it! Thanks!

  3. Congrats Kary May -- you're going from strength to strength

  4. I'm glad you listened to God. :)

  5. Great post, Kary. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have you as a inspire me every day.

  6. I love love love reading your entries!!! I am your age...and can so relate to you. This is such a process!! And journey! I was 100 days behind you in my sobriety, until mid June....when I had one month of drinking. Until God decided it would take a health scare to to reveal to me He cares enough about me, to not have me continue on that downward path....I now KNOW....I want to LIVE....and live victoriously through Gods help!!!!
    Keep inspire me and so many!!!

  7. Crikey, what an amazing first post for your blog! Beautifully written, yet so heartfelt and the emotion really comes through. It's so inspiring to see the progress you've made over the last two years - makes me believe i can do it too. So yes, you would have helped a helluva lot of people out there.
    Happy bloggaversary! x