Tuesday, February 3, 2015

True Confessions: I am Sober

... Or, if you live in New England, you get to say "I am wicked Sobah" which is fun.

Part of my equestian journey, a big part, actually, is closely linked to my sobriety. December 2014 marked 7 years of continuous sobriety for me. It is my biggest achievement to date, and the one that I am most proud of.


I was always kind of an awkward kid, one that got along better with adults than my own peers. Being a big horse nerd certainly did not help my social status. I was the kid cantering up and down the soccer field. I could not fathom why my teammates cared so much about getting a stupid ball in a net when it was clearly much more fun to pretend to be riding.

My social awkwardness did not improve as I got older. It was as if there was a manual to life that other kids had that I did not. It was painfully uncomfortable to be me. I felt like I was walking through the world without skin on.

All that changed when I picked up booze. Alcohol was magic. It was an escape, an excuse, a way to be cool and tough and free from the constant misery of being stuck inside my own head.

But when I discarded the parts of myself I hated, I also set aside the good parts, the parts that made me who I was. One of those things was riding. Drinking on the weekends became my #1 priority. What we were going to do, where we were going to drink, how I was going to afford it became my main focus.

I lost more than a decade of my life to alcoholism. I only knew how to do two things well: Work and Drink. I woke up at 30 and realized I was desperately unhappy. I no longer knew who I was, and I wasn't exactly sure how I had gotten to the place I was in. Two months after my 30th birthday, I admitted defeat. I asked for help.

Getting sober was not always easy, but I it was the best thing I have ever done. I have made peace with my past. I can look back and say I have no regrets. Those years almost seem like a dream, like they happened to someone else.

Today, I am happier than I ever was at any point in my past. I have a life that is second to none. I often tell my husband, if absolutely nothing changed for the next 60 years, I would be happy. I think I appreciate what I have now more, because of what I did go through.

The only twinge I ever get is thinking about all those years I lost sitting in a bar when I could have been riding. The rider I could be today if I had never quit. But it doesn't haunt me. You can look back at your past, just don't stare.

Life is better through red ears :)

12 comments:

  1. life is definitely better looking through a pair of ears. Congratulations on your anniversary. It is a huge accomplishment.

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  2. Thank you for sharing. Congrats on your success. I'm glad horses help. I was the same awk kid too, but retreated more into horses. Glad you found your way out and back to the saddle!

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    1. Thanks! I wish I had retreated into horses, but that just wasn't my path.

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  3. Congrats! I got sober at 17 and just celebrated 17 yrs back in November! I have the exact same twinge about time wasted. The good thing is that we can make up for time lost, and have more money to spend on the ponies ;)

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    1. Wow Lindsay that is awesome! Congrats to you! Isn't it awesome the money you save being sober???

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  4. So happy for you and your amazing recovery!

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    1. Thanks Genny! Getting my riding back was worth it :)

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  5. Congrats! That is a huge accomplishment and I know the equestrian world is glad to have you back and keep you.

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  6. congrats - and thanks also for sharing. horses are so special, esp in how they can motivate us to make the best choices for our own health and happiness.

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  7. Kudos to you. :-) Big life changes are so hard, but following through and making them is awesome. Glad to have you back.

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  8. What an inspiring story! Thanks for sharing :)

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