Strengthened by Sobriety
Being a Certified Recovery Coach means I wake up with passion every day. When a client reaches out to me and lets me know how I’ve helped them through a situation, it makes me feel alive. I no longer just “go through the motions” of a normal career. I’m here for a purpose. A defining moment happened one year into sobriety: I experienced heartbreak. Before, it might have broken me. This time around, it lit a fire to start Sober Mom Tribe. Every other day a woman will message me on my personal account or on this community of sober mothers. They need to know that someone has been through the same thing they are going through and that they are not alone.
Where it Started
Being a single parent is extremely stressful. Thankfully, I was able to get a really good job in the corporate wellness industry in business development. (My Bachelors is in Finance and “Real Estate/Urban Economics”). On the outside, my life looked fine, but inside, I was very unhappy. While I was making good money, ultimately, it wasn’t something that I wanted to do and I wasn’t passionate about it.
Everything came to a head in 2013-2014. My grandparents (who practically raised me) passed away within months of each other. A couple of months later, my boyfriend of three years broke up with me. My nightly glass of wine escalated to the point where I was falling asleep and waking up the next morning unable to remember the night before. My anxiety was so high that I began taking shots before work, driving to work, going out on lunch breaks to get wine, and then driving home to drink more. By 3 am, I was wide awake with vicious anxiety and I would drink more wine, fall back asleep, and wake up at 7 am. Then, the whole cycle started over.
On November 14, 2016, I woke up and knew I couldn’t keep living the way I was. I had to stop, for me, and for my son. I was the only one in his life. If I didn’t make it, he wouldn’t have anyone. That day, my sister took me to a detox facility.
Where Do I Go Now?
I started going to therapy and AA meetings every week. Slowly but surely, I realized that I didn’t need alcohol to get through the day. It was all about getting through the ‘firsts.’ I.e., My first time without alcohol on my birthday, the first time without alcohol for the holidays… One first followed another and all of a sudden, one year had passed. At that point, I began to ask myself what I really wanted to do in life – and it wasn’t staying in the corporate world.
A Women’s Sober Living House in Connecticut was looking for a new director of development. The position fit my background perfectly. One thing led to another, and I became certified as a Recovery Coach and a Life Coach. But before the coaching actually began, I created Sober Mom Tribe as a virtual platform for sober mothers to come together and share their struggles and stories of hope. Sober Mom Tribe exploded beyond my expectations. Our Instagram has over 10,000 followers!
Just Trust It
‘Mommy Wine Culture’ argues that moms need wine or alcohol to cope. I honestly believed it, and so do countless others. I was a typical person that didn’t want to tell people I was struggling because I didn’t want anyone to know I was weak. In reality, there’s no shame in having anxiety. Now, when I’m feeling overwhelmed or more anxious than normal, I’ve learned to ask for help and not hold it inside.
Looking back, I know that I used to have a problem with perfectionism. I wanted everything to be perfect and everyone to think I had a perfect life. I’ve since learned that being vulnerable and sharing your truth is a lot more fulfilling than putting on a facade. Authenticity is always better than a mask of perfection. Nobody is perfect. I can’t help everyone and not everyone is going to like me and that’s okay, that’s real life. All I have to focus on is getting through today the best that I can. And the truth is when you stop drinking, anxiety becomes much more manageable.
Everything isn’t going to be easy but everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. Believe me, one day at a time quickly turns into two, and then you have a week behind you, then a month, and before you know it, you’ve spent a year (plus) sober, literally one day at a time. The key? Keep your hopes up, hold on to faith, and trust the process. Just trust it.
Taking OneStep Forward
You are only one step away from finding help. Take one of these 5 steps Alyson took towards freedom:
1. Go to Therapy: I’ve been going to therapy every week since the beginning of my sobriety journey, every week. It is essential to be able to have a person you can talk to without feeling any judgment.
2. Reading books: Reading on sobriety, personal growth, and spirituality. A few of my favorites are My Fair Junkie by Amy Dresner, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, and The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray.
3. Podcasts: There are so many great recovery and sobriety-related podcasts to listen to when you’re having a rough day or to get you through your triggering moments. A few of my favorites are A Sober Girls Guide, Seltzer Squad, and The Addictionary Podcast.
4. Online Community: Finding support and connection is key to long-lasting sobriety.
5. Find Your Passion: Make your sobriety journey about sobriety and healing towards something you’re passionate about and less about leaving something behind. That’ll help you stay motivated to keep taking one step forward.