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A year of sobriety

13 Jan

I know, I know I went the easy route by going sober in a year that only had 365.25 days in it, instead of going for the leap year with 366.  Ugh.. you can say I do the bare minimum.

One year ago today, January 13th, 2017 was my first day without a drink, or any other recreational drugs (weed).  Both of which I had leaned on for so many years to make me feel “normal” and “level”… only to find out that, I never actually knew what that meant.  So how can you bring yourself back to a baseline if you never knew what that was to begin with?

After trying to “Quit” drinking several times before… I would just go back to it even harder than before.  I was so skilled in the art of alcoholism that people during the day had no idea there was even an issue.  Until the “Jekyll and Hyde” would happen in the evenings.  Couple that with severe depression and anxiety with a touch of self mutilation, you can say life was a bit uncomfortable, to say the least.  After about 6 months of sobriety I started to realize that there was something else wrong.  My brain, head, thoughts, anxiety, depression and obsessions were in overdrive and I couldn’t get out of my front door on most days.  This scared the living shit out of me.  Staying awake for days on end, constantly shaking with random panic attacks, calling out of work because I thought I was “dying”.  I knew after the summer, around 9 months of sobriety that I needed to talk to a professional.

I had toyed with the idea several times, but would later talk myself out of it by convincing myself that I was being over dramatic and ridiculous.  So I made an appointment, with help from my mom (I’m 33 and still and always will be a momma’s boy).  The best idea I/we had ever made in my entire life.  I now see a shrink every week and after a careful two month evaluation it was suggested that I talk to my doctor about going on meds.  Long story shortened a little… I am still sober with no plan of ever going back to that place and I take meds to calm the shaking and my mind.  I am still a work in progress every day (like they say in AA, we strive for progress, not perfection).  “One day at a time.”

So as I move forward I need to keep my head up, the creative juices flowing and just breath and appreciate the little bit of time we have here.  Living it, not in fear or pain but in comfort with who I am and how I spend my time.  Not blaming or looking for “the reasons” for why things happen.  Sometimes it “just is…”

If you know someone that has an addiction, please reach out to them.

Thanks for reading!! 🤠

 

Picture was from my 30th, almost 4 years ago….   IMG_0885

 
52 Comments

Posted by on January 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

52 responses to “A year of sobriety

  1. Lesleykluchin

    January 13, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Congratulations!!!! You are so brave to have made it this far!!!! It takes courage to change behavior so hats off to you for having the gumption to change what wasn’t working. And as far as normal… There is no such thing as normal.
    Having taught the highly gifted for 36 years before retiring, I can tell you that normalcy is all relative. Your poetry suggests a very intelligent mind. And throughout history, people with a high intellect have never fit in or found life easy. So, don’t ever worry or stress about that. Look at Van Gogh. They locked him up and yet his artistic genius is beyond anything I have ever seen. Beethoven was considered a madman too and every time I listen to his “Ode to Joy” and know he wrote it while completely deaf ,I am brought to tears. Writing is your gift. I would tell my students to write down their thoughts whenever emotions or life got difficult and they would find that their words could bring them peace and send them on a creative journey.So let your writing continue to give you strength and courage. And pat yourself on the back for your bravery!!! BRAVO! A year of sobriety. Well done!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

     
    • Joseph Emerson

      January 13, 2018 at 11:44 am

      Very sweet. Thank you so much for the congratulations, kind words and encouragement. Means a lot. I think you’re right, my girlfriend always says to me that there is a fine line between genius and insanity. There were too many years where I lost my love of my creative side. I play music, paint and write and for a while I couldn’t pick up any of it. Thanks again for the love, It is much appreciated ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Lesleykluchin

        January 13, 2018 at 11:53 am

        You bet! And be proud of your accomplishments. Being sober allows you to share your talents with the world. I’d love to hear your music and see your art. I know life sometimes gets in the way, but we must continue to express our creativity. What instrument(s) do you play? Years ago (in a galaxy far, far away) I was in the first all girl’s rock band in FL. ( in the late 60’s). So music is still my passion even though my fingers no longer are able to strum my guitar. And I started out in college as an art major. Now that I’m retired I’m going to take some classes and get back to it. So continue and please share along with your writing. 👍

        Liked by 3 people

         
      • Joseph Emerson

        January 13, 2018 at 11:58 am

        I only put one of my painting up on here so far and maybe a small quick one I made for a post. I’m very picky. I play guitar, bass, ukulele but my love is the drums. I would have loved playing back then.. the evolution of jam music would have been so exciting to be a part of. Rock-N-Roll All Girls Band is awesome. What an amazing time to have even thought of doing that.. It’s normal now, but back then it was breakthrough.

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • Lesleykluchin

        January 13, 2018 at 12:06 pm

        Yes, we were the only ones at the time in our area. The newspapers had a field day. We wanted to change the world. I had a Gibson Melody maker which I played in 1966 and 67. In the 80’s Joan Jett chose that as her guitar of choice. The neck is skinny and easy for a woman’s small hands. I played folk music before that being inspired by Bob Dylan, who I saw and met in 1966. In 67 and 68 I saw Jimi Hendrix play. I’ve never ever seen anyone play guitar like he did. OMG! Brilliant! I could tell you stories! An amazing time of innocence, rock purity, and of creative freedom. ✌️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • Joseph Emerson

        January 13, 2018 at 12:10 pm

        That’s so cool! I jammed with a guy that played drums for Joan Jett in Marlboro New Jersey, no foolin’ guy was totally out of his mind and screaming and stuff but totally brilliant. Weird thing was that he played bass while I played drums. He was showing us all these pictures and my guitarist said “Who’s that lady?” and the sound guy started laughing and said “Now I feel old” haha

        Like

         
      • Diana

        January 15, 2018 at 9:35 pm

        Goodness you two! I only meant to come to the comment section to tell you how wonderful your writing and message is Joseph … then I fall headfirst into a great guitar conversation 😊
        Pardon my eavesdropping but writing, and Tak and Strat n baby Taylor provide such richness to my life. I am nowhere near good/confident enough to perform though ..other than to close friends …and my old dog seemed to like it 😉
        Oh no – I hope I’m not coming across as the crazy lady in a coffee shop who barged into your conversation… just got excited and wanted to give you both a high (calloused fingers) five!!! Have a great evening!

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • Joseph Emerson

        January 15, 2018 at 9:40 pm

        More than welcome to hang out lol. This place is all about sharing and connection. As far as the music creating goes, as long as you are having fun and enjoying it. My performing days are in the past but the music never stops. And also crazy ladies in coffee shops are fine with me ✌️

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • Diana

        January 15, 2018 at 9:44 pm

        Hehe … well I’m not that crazy, just a softly spoken woman who gravitates toward musicians like a bee to a favourite flower. Life without music would not be worth anything to me. Except for the chocolate that is 😉 Enjoy your eve, friend. Or morning 😄

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • Joseph Emerson

        January 15, 2018 at 9:46 pm

        It’s evening haha. Now I want chocolate… Chocolate and caffeine mmmmm!

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • Diana

        January 15, 2018 at 9:55 pm

        No finer two substances exist to co-mingle! Raid the cupboards 😊

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • Joseph Emerson

        January 15, 2018 at 9:55 pm

        👍 Will do.

        Liked by 1 person

         
  2. Stigma Unraveled

    January 13, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    That is amazing! Congrats! I’ve been alcohol sober for 8 months. I crutch to weed for the voices in my head and the anxiety and panic. I have a really hard time letting go of that. I know that it is keeping me from achieving what I want to achieve but I feel like giving it up will give me great harm.

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • Joseph Emerson

      January 13, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      That’s awesome. Yeah the weed actually started to give me bad anxiety out of nowhere. So that was easy to drop. Drinking was like cutting off a leg though. Keep it up! Thank you for reading.

      Like

       
  3. Felicia Denise

    January 13, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Congratulations to you, Joseph, and much continued success! 👍💯

    Liked by 2 people

     
  4. Kiersten

    January 13, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    One year! That is amazing. You should be so proud of yourself. There’s nothing wrong with needing therapy, whether for a short time or long-term. Everyone requires different things in order to take care of themselves. For some (like myself) that requires therapy and medication. There’s no shame in that.

    Keep up the good work. Keep being you! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • Joseph Emerson

      January 13, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and the kind words. It’s been a long but cool journey and I plan to keep it going. I actually really enjoy the therapy, it keeps me structured and really helps me cope with the everyday situations. Thanks again,

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. DejectedSmiler✨

    January 13, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    This is amazing ✨ This is one os the finest poetry I have ever read! I’d love to write with you !

    Liked by 2 people

     
  6. Quillpen

    January 14, 2018 at 7:10 am

    Such a positive post! Continue spreading the messege…

    Liked by 2 people

     
  7. raynotbradbury

    January 14, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Awesome U 👍👍 well done!

    Liked by 2 people

     
  8. rothpoetry

    January 14, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Good for you! Hang in there, you can do it!

    Dwight

    Liked by 2 people

     
  9. iampharaohmaktuk

    January 14, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Again, congrats!! Keep it up!!

    Liked by 2 people

     
  10. janowrite

    January 15, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Congrats on this accomplishment, as well as all you accomplish writing! Best wishes for continuing healing, peace and happiness!

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • Joseph Emerson

      January 15, 2018 at 8:44 am

      Thank you so much, for the kind words and also for stopping by and reading ✌️. Also I always wanted to comment on one of your posts.., When my Executive Director likes something or wants to settle on a deal he yells “book em’ Dan-o!” haha

      Liked by 2 people

       
      • janowrite

        January 15, 2018 at 8:58 am

        Heh! (And thank you for reading, too)! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

         
  11. Marje @ Kyrosmagica

    January 15, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Well done, it must be so hard to battle alcoholism, and no doubt an addictive personality. Wishing you find the strength to continue in the same vein. By the way your poetic writing is awesome so keep that up, creativity is such a brilliant way to let of steam.

    Liked by 2 people

     
  12. Ellen Hawley

    January 17, 2018 at 2:09 am

    Many congratulations!

    Liked by 2 people

     
  13. Ihuoma

    January 17, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Congrats on this accomplishment, Joseph! Wish you continued success.

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

     
  14. Kally

    January 21, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Awesome! Congratulations!! You deserve a big hug for what you have achieve and been through.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  15. Courtney

    February 20, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Congrats! My last drink was on October 11, 2016. I walked into rehab on the 13th. I am just a little over 16 months sober and that first year is killer. My anxiety and depression were so awful. I also have bipolar 2 so my mind didn’t know what to do! Thankfully I am still sober and am currently the most stable I’ve been in years. Just keep workin’ it!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Joseph Emerson

      February 20, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      That’s so cool. Keep it up. Feels like yesterday I stopped and thought 90 days was impossible… Day at a time

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Courtney

        February 20, 2018 at 6:57 pm

        Yep! One second, minute, hour, day at a time!

        Liked by 1 person

         
  16. Russel Ray Photos

    February 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    I was never addicted to alcohol. I only drank on Fridays and Saturdays, but when I drank, man did I drink. I do tend to go off the deep end after that third drink, so I limit myself to two drinks in any 24-hour period. I used to limit myself to two drinks per day, but when I was out with a friend late one night, I had two drinks from 11:00 to midnight. As he pointed out shortly after midnight, since it was another day, I could have two more drinks! So I changed from day to any 24-hour period. That was back in 1980. Been successful with that tactic all the way to the present.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Joseph Emerson

      February 20, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      Very lucky that works for you. I’ve tried that. Not good. Definitely no self control in the department of self medications… Thank you so much for reading and commenting and liking. Means a lot. 👍

      Like

       
  17. rustyautumn

    March 9, 2018 at 11:25 am

    No shame in getting help it’s actually the tougher/braver thing to do. Congrats, You look great in the photo but the beard in your avi is epic!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  18. Stacey

    April 6, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    Congrats! Great words! I am finally being strong and today is Day 13 for me. I already am trying to figure what has triggered my drinking. Trying to stay positive. I hope I can reach a year, like you have! So strong!

    Like

     
  19. noboozehughes

    April 13, 2018 at 10:12 am

    This was incredibly relatable. I’ve not long reached my own first years sobriety…and it’s been hard at times but so incredibly worth it! I ended up turning to music and art as a form of therapy to deal with all the mess inside of me and it’s really helped! Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

     

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