Day 3457 – The Last Drink I Ever Had – Or – Sharing Our Mistakes Publicly – repost

On September 29, 2014, I had my last drink, ever. I’m going to share my testimony at church about my journey through alcoholism, not taking sin seriously and what God changed in me at a later time. I’m super excited to share the full story, but I’m sharing it there first….I’ll (hopefully) get a video and I can paste the full text in a blog post. Since I’ve been working on this the last few months and fine tuning yesterday, not drinking has been on my mind.

I’m listening to How To Win Friends And Influence People In The Digital Age and it got me thinking about social media and the things we share online. Us humans are full of imperfections, mistakes, failures and just all around screw ups. I was thinking, what if we all openly shared our mistakes? What if, instead of making ourselves sound good and that we have it all together, we shared our mistakes? What if, instead of hoping no one finds out our secrets, what if we shared them?

I’m finding through being open about my drinking problem, that it is so much more freeing to discuss it in the light. The power it once held over me (What’s wrong with you Jen? How can you deal with this?) now is one I’m happy to talk about (Wait until you hear what God did in my life!)

I challenge you today, bring your sin out into the light. It’s a lot easier to deal with it there than hiding in the dark corner.

Here’s the bottle that spurred today’s post….funny enough, it was sitting outside the library….this is the last beer I had….not the same bottle of course…. 😉

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Originally posted 11/13/15

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Day 3444 – The Benefits Of A Sober Friend

– You always have a designated driver.

– You have someone to watch your back if you’ve had too much to drink and some random person is hitting on you.

– You’ll know if you have boogers in your nose.

– You’ll (depending on the sober friend) have someone who can go grab you more to drink.

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Day 3427 – repost – “Can You Go Into Bars?” “Can You Hang Out With People Drinking?” And Other Common Questions About My Sobriety

I’ve shared my story about struggling with alcoholism before. It’s common knowledge that I don’t drink. I want to say at the start that everyone has a different experience with sobriety, alcoholism, etc. This is just MY experience and what it’s like for me. Don’t take this post as a “oh my friend doesn’t drink, so this will apply to them!”

I, thankfully, experience almost zero temptation and struggle with drinking. The only reason for this is God’s work in my life. This is not a will power thing. It’s all God.

Ok, let’s jump right in!

“Can you go into bars?”
Yes! I love hanging out with my friends and bars are a great place to do it. Happy hour specials can be fantastic! It’s a cheaper bill for me either way! 🙂 I will say, there are some times, especially when I went to Padonia Station/Ale House a few weeks ago, that I think about memories (ha ha, or non-memories) of my drinking experiences. I joked with one of my friends there, oh yea, I remember throwing up in that bathroom and that one. Fun fact, I was driving home from Padonia Station the night I was arrested for a DUI. So, I will say, there are SOME times that I think about these things. But it doesn’t make me sad or make me want to not go to a bar. It makes me SO thankful that God did not leave me where I was. Thankful that God had mercy on me during those times and kept me safe.

“Can you hang out with people drinking?”
Yep! If anything, I may be a bad influence to those who are drinking….I get drinks when they need them…this is especially true if I’m driving. Again, not everyone has the same experience with drinking. Some people can actually control themselves and not make a mess of things. I am not one of those people! So, I’ll just drive the ones that can! 🙂

“Are you tempted to drink?”
I would say, there might be a little temptation here and there. Bret has a box of wine in the fridge right now and I’ve had the passing thought – “I’m an adult, I can decide to drink a glass, I’d be fine.” But since I’m sober when I’m thinking this, I realized, um, no, I’d not be fine. My biggest weakness was after that first glass, I’d HAVE to have as much as possible. So, any time I feel a slight temptation, God very graciously reminds me of what I gave up.

“Will you ever drink again?”
No. I have no intention of drinking again. There is absolutely no reason for me to do so. I can celebrate with friends with a can of coke just as much as a shot or glass of wine. I can go to Ireland and tour the Guinness factory and not have a drink (one day soon, I’ll share about my first brewery tour – which was actually the brewer of the last beer I drank). It was making this decision that finally sealed my sobriety. Every time I would “quit” before, I would find an excuse to drink down the road. So, no, no more alcohol for me.

Are there any questions I didn’t answer, let me know in the comments and I’ll do another post!

And for lack of a photo that really fits, here’s a “shine” that I do drink. 🙂 (oh my, I crack myself up)

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Day 3418 – How A Movie Reminded Me About My Drinking Days And Sharing My Story

Yesterday, I watched Walk The Line and it touched me in a way I didn’t expect. I had started the movie the day before but had to stop because, for a number of reasons, it reminded me of things I didn’t want to think of. I turned it off and honestly had a good cry about it.

While working on reports for our business, I thought, you know, part of life is pushing past things, I’m going to finish it. I’m so glad I did.

What I didn’t expect was being reminded of my own time getting sober. Thankfully, I didn’t have a major detox time….at least, when I finally got sober, there were some harder times when I tried (and failed) in the past. We see Johnny struggling through, and during the time, his mind is filled with key points in his life that shaped him into who he is now. I realized I have gone through something similar, just in a longer time frame.

The first few months of my sobriety, it was all about not telling anyone I was sober (I’d tried and failed many times before, I wanted to make sure “this was it.”) Then, it seemed there were a lot of things going on that took my attention away from doing the work of recovering. Getting sober wasn’t just about not drinking anymore, it was also about finally dealing with things I drank to ignore.

I drank for a lot of reasons because I was happy…and sad….because I was celebrating…and commiserating. I didn’t HAVE to have a drink every day. I wasn’t itching to drink when I first woke up. But boy howdy, when I started, good luck getting me to stop.

It wasn’t until months after I got sober that I realized I definitely drank to not deal with things I should have dealt with. One of the harder parts for me has been actually having to face those things. But oh friends, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The movie also reminded me how sharing your failures, struggles, and let downs can really help someone else. That’s why I keep writing about my drinking. That’s why, even though there are days I don’t want to think about it or talk about it again, I know someone out there just might need to hear it today.

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Day 3412 – How To Make Your Sober Friend Feel Special

Sometimes one of the harder things about not drinking anymore is that I don’t get to order fun and fancy drinks. It’s a totally silly little thing, and it’s not something I dwell on often.

But sometimes, I go to a restaurant that has a really cool drink….for me…..a non-drinker. I was so thankful that Olive Garden has such a wide variety of non-alcoholic drinks. I felt special and important. It’s a little thing, but it means so much to me.

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