“The first time that I got sober, I felt forced into it.”
I was trying to get my law license in 2014, and in addition to the bar exam, there’s a moral character application where you have to disclose any legal issues. I had a lot of legal trouble in my 20s related to substance use and abuse, so I was told to go to AA meetings, submit to random drug and alcohol testing, and attend a weekly class centered around addiction.
It felt like a punishment and a lot of hoops to jump through. Although I was sober for 18 months, I knew that I’d eventually drink again.
I ended up pulling my application because at the time, drinking was more important to me than sticking it out and fulfilling my goal. It’s something that I do regret.
I began going out again in 2015, and it started out just on the weekends but soon became every day. By Jan. 2020, I could feel my body breaking down and knew that I needed to get sober. The pandemic obviously didn’t help, and I tried that entire year to stay sober for longer than a few weeks or months.
Election night wasn’t the biggest incident with my drinking, but it was the last one. I got into a big fight with my mom and one of my sisters before going on a four-day bender. They gave me an ultimatum and said I couldn’t be in their lives if I continued to drink.
That really shook me because I’m very close with my family and had already lost a lot of friendships and relationships due to drinking. They were all I had left.
I got sober on Nov. 11, 2020. It was completely different this time around, because I wanted it for myself and that was the only way this would work. It went from “I can’t drink” to “I don’t want to drink.” I’ve also done a lot of work on myself, but it’s all driven by the fact that I want life. I want to live.
I’m proof that getting and staying sober doesn’t always happen on your first attempt, but those attempts aren’t thrown-away time. It all counts for something.
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