One of my favorite women in this sober community asked me a question last week in my stories. It was pretty profound and made me take a step back, so I told her I would answer it for my 3 year soberversary blog post. Her question was, "How proud of yourself are you that you started such a successful and inspirational place for women to share and bond? How do you go about telling non-sober women what you do when asked?”
On 11/14/16 when I stepped foot into detox I had no idea where I’d be 3 years later. I mean I didn’t even know if this was my “rock bottom”. I had tried to get sober two other times before this and thought I could moderate, and look at where it got me. Would that same mindset lead me to slip up yet again? Not this time my friends. This time was different. The hell of racing thoughts, blurry vision, and wondering if I was going to die from these withdrawals was what I needed to be like, “Alyson cut the shit! Because if you don’t you’re going to die.”
When I started drinking in high school I had no idea the damage alcohol could do. My parents were drinking, my friends were drinking, there were billboards with beer, and liquor stores everywhere so it can’t be that bad. Wrong. Alcohol kills more people per year in the United States than opiates. It’s not a harmless substance. IT’S A DRUG. No I don’t judge you for drinking, but what I want you to know is that what happened to me could also happen to you. I graduated from college, had a good job, and from the looks of it had my life together. That couldn’t have been farther from the truth. The people in my life that were privy to the behind the scenes knew I was struggling.
That’s just a snippet of the backstory from 3 years ago. You’ll get more of that when my memoir gets written one day. Hopefully within the next few years. Back to the original question at hand. There are days where I think what I’m doing isn’t even that big of a deal. Days that I have imposter syndrome. But then there are days when I’m like holy shit I’m changing not only mothers lives but their whole family. On those days when I receive a message of that nature or thanking me for what I do, then it hits me that this is a big deal. What I’ve created is no easy task. Am I the first sober mother to talk about alcoholism? Absolutely not. There are thousands of others who came before me to spread hope and awareness. Had I seen something of this capacity in the sober mom arena before I started it? My ego wants to say no, but there are other sober mom sites out there.
I know I’m bias, but this community is pretty special. The advice, comfort, encouragement, and resilience these women display on a daily basis in not only the Sober Mom Tribe private Facebook Group but on Instagram as well is nothing short of pure strength. This community wouldn’t be successful without all of you. Yes, I built it and nurture it, but if it wasn’t for all of you then this wouldn’t even exist. This isn’t just my success, it’s OUR success. The success of all of us doing hard things and changing our lives for our children. That’s what matters. I just built the container but all of you are doing the hard work. I can’t take credit for that.
Now onto the second question of how I tell non-sober women what I do for work. Not going to lie sometimes I’ve super excited and word vomit what I do. Other days like when I went to go get my nails done on Monday the nail technician asked, “Are you off work today?” and I said, “Yes, it’s Veteran’s Day.” At that moment I didn’t want to go into the whole I’m an entrepreneur who helps mothers free themselves from the control alcohol has on their life because I too struggled with addiction. There are days where I just want to be a mom who watches too much Real Housewives on Bravo. I don’t want sobriety to be my identity 24/7, because I am so much more than that. Yes, sobriety has given me everything that I never thought possible, but I’m also a pretty damn good entrepreneur. I’m going to pat myself on the back because I’ve spent too much time in the past comparing, criticizing, and trying to be “perfect”. It’s time to give myself a little credit for all I do and to boot I do it all as a single mom.
My point is if you want something bad enough, you will make it happen. One of my other favorites in the sober community posted about making sobriety your priority and she’s right. If you’re struggling and you keep hitting a wall, then it’s time to reevaluate what you are and aren’t doing. We live in 2019 where the options to get and stay sober are endless. If AA isn’t your jam, then try out coaching, courses, yoga, or therapy. That’s just a few of the things that could be in your toolbox. If you’re reading this and currently struggling, then know that you live in such a great period of time to help you succeed on this journey. The sober curious movement has sparked sober pop up bars, more mocktails in restaurants, more NA beers and NA wines, and most importantly more people talking and opening up about their addiction. When we share our struggles there is someone out there who will be able to relate and that’s how shame ends.
I hope to look back one day when I’m 80 and say that I led a sober mom movement and helped millions of mothers get to the other side. I found my purpose. We all have one inside of us. Remove alcohol from your life and you’d be surprised at the places you’ll go. If you don’t believe in yourself yet, then I do. I believe you are worthy of a life beyond your wildest dreams. Keep going.
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