Sobriety Superhero? I think not

28 Apr


“Would you love me if I told you I couldn’t fly?
I got no cape on and no mask on there’s no disguise”

– Andy Mineo

It’s easy to fake it till you make it and never let anyone see behind the veils. It’s another thing to be real and show what weaknesses lay behind the disguise.

I didn’t become sober by pretending I was in control of everything. It was actually through admitting that I had no control whatsoever that I was then, and only then, able to achieve sobriety. I passed my one year mark early this month and it seems as if it should be smooth sailing. I feel like I should fly a banner behind me that reads “sobriety is easier than it looks”,while I don a carefree smile like a 50’s advert girl with that trademark innocence and trusty smile.

I’ve never aimed to be perfect, which is a good thing because with my track record I’d be hitting anywhere by the mark. I’d be like the amputee archer with glaucoma, shooting arrows on an impulse.

I had a close call the other night and I wanted to write about it because I don’t hear about the close calls a lot. You hear a lot of the legendary sobriety stories. You know the tale of the blue collared worker who lost everything during his bout of depression and stretch of alcoholism then one day sobered up and now has a new family and is dedicated to his job. The end. Sobriety happens.

Sobriety is fucking hard. Does it become easier? Of course it does, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to battle it out and shut down self sabotaging thoughts on the spot. In treatment we watched this video where this alcoholic said he knows he suffers from “First Thought Wrong”. His first response to anything is wrong.


Do you want to go swimming?

First Thought: “Summers day and beer would be bloody delightful”

Hey what’s that girls number?

First Thought: “I can’t remember. Maybe a rye and coke will give the ol’ brain a jogging.”

What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?

First Thought: “I bet pilgrims had barley beer. Beer.I better keep it traditional.”

Maybe the examples are over exaggerated, but in early, early sobriety your brain needs a serious re-training. But really, a true alcoholic/addict sees that their substance of choice compliments everything. (Until you sober up and see that sobriety amplifies and enhances everything GOOD about life)

Maintaining sobriety has become easier for me but I had a close call the other night. I wanted to go dancing with my friends, which is legit, a girl likes to put on pretty heels and get her dance on. Good idea for a recovering alcoholic? Maybe not so much. I took a drink of what I thought was my ginger ale and it turned out to be someone’s Rye and Ginger. I almost spit what was in my mouth back into their cup. The burning sensation in my throat sucker punched my brain and sent it for a spin. The next thing you know, I’m looking at my phone to see if I had enough time to get properly shittered before the bar closes or if having a drink would be a waste of time. I came as close to the edge as holding a shot of tequila in my hand could take me. I held it, for what felt like a few minutes but may have been moments and then I passed it off to my friend. I’m not a girls gone wild video on repeat. Not a Sons of Anarchy bar fight that never ends.

I’m in a new chapter, and the last one wants to remind me it won’t stay closed without a fight but I have more bite than bark.

I am only human, and I’ll be damned if I don’t have my fair share of weaknesses. These weaknesses are not tangible, I cannot discard them like last nights bar bracelet, they are inherent and can only be slayed by repetition. I slay my monsters on the daily but sometimes I get wounded. Sometimes when they rear their ugly heads, I think briefly of surrendering, of joining the other side. Sometimes I falter. But I remain standing.

Only my honesty will keep me sober.

Here’s to another year of slaying monsters and keeping it real.

With love,

Helen K


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