Jen A. / Sobriety Diner
I woke up one day about 5 months ago in a hotel approximately 4am on the floor, fully dressed from the night before sandwiched between the hotel desk and the bottom of the bed.
My contact lenses were still on and my pocketbook was somewhere. I am 42 years old, don’t remember how I got on the floor. Blackout scary. So in my drunken haze probably smirked it off albeit I remember the confusion and got properly in my pajamas, cleaned up and went into the comfy bed I should have been in. I brought my phone into bed with me and texted who would be my ‘recovery coach’ for the next couple months. I do not recall what I said but it probably sounded something like ‘I tried moderation, I tried what I thought would work, can we meet’ (which was to remain strong by making myself accountable with family— insert insane laughter now) and just asked for help and from someone who was a 3rd party.
Fast forward to yesterday. I met my former recovery coach to catch up over tea at the very same cafe we met for the first time.
What was amazing about this particular day is we haven’t been back to this same place since our first meeting. One of the first things that she said was that I looked really good and I didn’t take it as a standard greeting like gesture—I really look good compared to what I did that day. She remembered that first meeting. It was a day after I got back from my trip. I was so scared and I was also eyes wide open ready to do whatever it took to stop the madness of alcoholism. I was also very tired. I was bloated and sunken. I remember seeing her energy and also her kindness and knowledge and was just dumbstruck that someone could be sober and so normal. Yesterday showed me a movie track in rewind of what the past 5 months have been like.
So now you might be thinking, A fucking recovery coach?
Those cost so much money! You must be broke or really loaded? You privileged sanctimonious be-atch. NOPE. I cannot divulge any costs obviously but coaches work with all types of people. The treatment I received was not the “glamorized” view you may envision from tabloids or what you may know of celebrity-focused rehabs. They can adapt to what your state is and go from there. You just might need someone for a few days following you around to get you moving. Think about recovery of addiction similar as it as to investing in therapy. How hard is it to find therapy? Is there stigma attached to therapy as much as it used to be? I believe they can also take insurance if you don’t fear using your occupations well-being benefits. Think about the cost of getting well. The point is there is an alternative and my goal is to tell you about it so there is more awareness. I didn’t know. Invest in yourself. The return of investment is worth it and the most important thing you will every do—heal.
This is the wicked important part—what is it worth to you to get sober? Why did I need a coach? Well, I couldn’t get to AA (12-step) to save my life. I didn’t know how to walk into a room by myself and I also had ZERO clue about the program. My coach introduced me to the concept. I could take it or leave it. Nothing was ever forced on me (i.e. why 3rd party is good) Coaches have experience. They know what areas to focus on in getting the mocus-like brain to think about addiction in its physical, spiritual and current state. I couldn’t get myself to focus on anything. When left to my own will I was screwed. SCREWED. I know that one thing that was a positive motivator for me was to send her a message or call her every day. It got me use to connecting and reaching out as part of my learning to adapt to sobriety.
My experience was a God shot. Not everyone gets them or even notices they happened.
I found my coach through my husband. He had a friend who he knew could help. He also in his wisdom saw something she had that I needed. This is a similar sentiment that happens in AA. They tell you to find a sponsor who you see something in which you want that they have. Online is also a wonderful place to get group ‘coaching.’ I belong to a fantastic group that just checks in and we stay on top of one another well-being. Listen to podcasts. (See my lists in the top nav of my site.) Lots of good places to go. Coaches do move on, sadly they cannot stay as you cannot expect to be dependent on just them. so you learn to network through them as in the previous examples and other avenues they can show you!
I am sharing this information because I want those who may be unfocused or just shy to find help to reach out to anyone who you know might be able to show you a different point of view. This is my experience. I went from feeling like below dirt to letting the sun shine on my face. Everyday I change and everyday grateful. (not kidding – that word is HUGE)
This post was first published in a (slightly) different format with a (slightly) different title @ Sobriety Diner
About the Author
Jen is an alcoholic in recovery. After navigating 25 years of heavy alcohol use and realizing that living life on life's terms would be much better, Sobriety Diner was formed. Jen leans on many tools in addition to her blog including online group support, 12-step program, practicing gratitude and surrounding herself with positive energy. In addition to recovery, Jen's other life includes a career, a son and a husband; not to mention many hours logged on a bicycle.