Guest blog ‘The Myth Of Moderation’ by Lauren

My name is Lauren, I’m 37 years old and I got sober in May 2017 after binge drinking for 20 years. I started partying when I was still in high school, getting drunk on the weekends and that continued into my adult life. I always justified my binge drinking because I didn’t drink at home and wasn’t a daily drinker. I thought getting blackout drunk 2-3 days a week was normal because all my friends did it too. Ha! Turns out the joke was on me! The truth is that it's not normal and has caused a great deal of pain throughout my life. About 4 years ago, my son started using drugs, got arrested and quit school. He was 15 years old. It was a big wake up call for me and I tried to cut back on my social time to be at home more. That worked on and off but my circle of friends didn't change and they normalized our behavior. In January 2017, I hit my rock bottom. My son was in jail for the 4th time, my daughter had started to shut down emotionally, I was in another abusive relationship, was super overweight and absolutely miserable. I had decided I was done. To prepare for sobriety, I prayed, read my bible, journaled and started exercising but still kept drinking. As I was attempting to get my life together, my son entered rehab for the 3rd time. Seeing him begin the restoration process and hearing some hard truths about how my behavior has affected him was all I needed to sober up. I finally quit drinking on 6 May 2017. My children and I went through a lot of counseling which really improved our communication and relationships. For the first time, my life started to shift in a positive direction. God was moving mountains. Sobriety allowed me to see life like I never had before. It was painful at times but mostly beautiful. My daughter and I moved to the beach for a fresh start and to have somewhere for my son to live once he was finished with his rehab. Unfortunately, I became a little too comfortable with my sobriety and tricked myself into thinking moderation was actually a possibility. This was amusing because I do very little in moderation! I started having a drink here and there with friends but made sure I didn’t get drunk. I hadn’t told anyone the extent of the damage my drinking has caused in life. I most definitely didn't tell my children I was drinking occasionally again; hiding my behaviour should've been the huge red flag I needed but I ignored it. My son moved to be with us in May 2018 but relapsed almost immediately. It transpired he'd been using beforehand but i didn’t know. I didn’t understand why or how?! I was sad, disappointed and started spending a little more time with friends. I quickly relapsed. Opening the door to moderation quickly turned into me drowning out the pain and chaos with alcohol. Old habits and behavior confirmed what I had been denying; I am an alcoholic. The pain I felt and disappointment I saw in my children was all I needed to get sober. I’ve now been sober since Aug 6, 2018 and use my faith and Celebrate Recovery as my help and accountability. My son has moved out; I’m praying he gets clean. I am not my addiction. I am human & will strive to be a better one day after day. Addiction is so real but so is restoration, grace & mercy. Written by Lauren, edited by Sober Fish
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