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Recovery Diaries: Sober or drinking? Choose your hard

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

It's been six months since I've had a drink. Sometimes I can hardly believe it but I am still struggling. The road to sobriety is not for sissies. I'm tired and worried and can't see when it's going to get any better.

I don't want to drink but I don't know how to be sober.

I was feeling sorry for myself yesterday, wondering when all my problems would go away. I still have problems with relationships, my health and with money. Will this ever get better, I complained in a phone call to a friend, who has been sober for many years,. She has helped me through many hard days of not drinking.

This is how she helped me. I believe it might be known as tough love.


I don't want to drink but I don't know how to be sober.

"You might have health problems, but you don't have a hangover," she started.

"Your relationships might not be perfect but after years of your drinking and insane behaviour, people might not trust you for a long time. Some of them might never trust you again. You have to take that on the chin and try to do the next right thing."

Gulp. She was 100 per cent on the money.

"Your finances might be a mess but they would be a lot worse if you were still drinking. Concentrate only what you can do today - no matter how small - to address these problems."

I sat in shocked silence, expecting her to hang up. It seemed like she'd had enough of me, along with everyone else.

"No one said this would be easy - in fact I told I told you it wouldn't be a walk in the park," she continued.

"Sobriety is rough at the beginning. You're still learning how to do life without a chemical blanket. Drop the anaesthetic and you're raw. It hurts. It's hard. But it will get better."

I was speechless.

"I want to remind you of something else as well," she said quietly.

"Drinking is hard. Hangovers are hard. Not remembering what you said or did is hard.

"Choose your hard."


* These words - especially "choose your hard" have carried me through a further 8 years of sobriety. Every day, I've chosen sobriety, which even on its hardest day, is a thousand times easier than my best day of drinking.


If you're worried about your drinking or that of someone you love, give Elaine a call on 027 573 7744 for a confidential chat.


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