Fighting my grizzly

My daughter turned 4 on October 28, and I have this romantic notion that it would be really beautiful to be able to say “I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since she turned 4!” Currently, that statement is true. My last drink was two weeks ago on October 27.

A sober friend sent me this post yesterday titled The Tipping Point by the wonderful Laura McKowen. In it, she writes: “Call it a disease, a condition, a bad habit, call it whatever—I came to respect [alcohol] the way I respect a tidal wave or a grizzly bear. I’m not going to pretend like I can play with either of those things.”

Gang, I just can’t mess with alcohol. It does as much good for me as a boxing match with a grizzly bear. The only difference is, with a grizzly, I’d very appropriately try to run and hide instead of booze, where I welcome it with arms wide open to tear me to a pulp.

There is so much inside me that just begs to be loved and cared for and understood, and alcohol just keeps me in the pit of thinking I don’t deserve that, that somehow I am unworthy of a beautiful life.

But it’s not true. And I’m starting to see this fight with addiction as being less about ditching booze, and more about fighting with all the layers of experience that have lied to me about my true self worth. Alcohol allowed me to just tap out of the fight for a while, and it was fine until it wasn’t.

That sweet daughter of mine? I never want her to have to know this fight. I want her to have an unshakeable knowledge that she is worthy. Of anything, anywhere, anytime. She is good enough, she is strong enough, she is loveable enough.

Alcohol stole these beliefs from me. My fight now is to take them back.

9 thoughts on “Fighting my grizzly

  1. Fantastic post. Really loved it. Sobriety is not about the actual drinking of the poisonous stuff, it is about dealing what we are left with when we remove it from our lives, facing up to what we were hiding from and ignoring and then finding out that we are actually pretty awesome and worthy of love and care, especially our own. Yep, don’t mess with grizzly bears or alcohol. They can both harm, damage and potentially kill you! Keep going. You can do this ❤️❤️❤️

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  2. “I’m starting to see this fight with addiction as being less about ditching booze, and more about fighting with all the layers of experience that have lied to me about my true self worth.” : THIS. You nailed it. Also, your post brought tears to me eyes. Your daughter is lucky to have you. Believe me – I have an alcoholic mother who bow has alcohol induced hepatitis and still won’t stop drinking. What you are doing is a true gift for your daughter. ❤ Big Hugs. xx Anne

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  3. So much truth in your words. You are doing a great job, I hear over and over that this part (around 2 – 4 weeks) is the hardest (that’s as far as I’ve made it before convincing myself I can moderate again…. Day 5 now and determined this time will be different). Anyway, about the kids – mine are 6 and 10 and one reason I want to get alcohol out of my life is I don’t want them to grow up seeing that it is part of every celebration, or I reach for it as a reward at the end of the day.

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    1. Yes! Kids are such a great motivator. So much more at stake when you consider the messaging they’re receiving. Which then leads me to ask – if I would never want this addiction for my kids, why do I even consider settling for it in my own life?

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      1. Exactly. My parents were moderate but regular drinkers – I never got the message like “hey this stuff can be dangerous”. Actually my mom seems confused why I would even take a short break, even though she has been concerned about my drinking in the past. So many mixed messages!

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