I Used to Freak Out…And Everyone Paid for it!

What it was like…

When I drank, it was a constant, mostly mellow buzz and I had to “feed the beast” often.  I woke up in the night most nights had a little “something” to ease my shakes and the anxiety that made my head spin.  Certainly, there were times for me that included “wondering what I had said or did” but for 95% of my active drinking days and nights it was just keeping mySELF at bay.  That was how I “lived.”

The Fourth of July

In Maine our license plate motto is VACATIONLAND and has been my whole life.  And like many “Mainers,”  I take off for a long weekend at “camp.”  When I drank, I would work to maintain some even keel living before I left – a few “snorts” and grip the steering wheel with both hands trying to navigate the craziness on the highway as well as in my head.  Before I left town, if I hadn’t “taken the edge off”  everyone paid for it, I was snappy, nervous and extremely short tempered. I was detoxing, or at least now it feels like that was what I was doing.  I was like that when I returned home to the Big City, too. Managing the buzz was a full time commitment.

Things Have Changed – I Have Changed

When I got home last night, I noticed last night, I hadn’t gotten anxious driving to camp or back home.  The traffic is the traffic – on a Holiday weekend, people come here, spend money and time with their families – we share the same roads.  I also figured out that I didn’t get snappy before leaving to go to camp or from camp.  It was a level of acceptance that I actually noticed.

Early Sobriety

It has been 3 years now, the first year or so my anxiety level was thru the roof, especially around driving.  The weather, the traffic, snowy roads, all of it.  I started turning off the radio when I drove.  I played Tibetan bowl music in traffic.  It really helped calm me down, I am pretty sure it kept me away from MANY first drinks. I often wonder if the real FEAR was a hangover from drinking days of getting caught by the cops?  I was sober after all.


I took the long way home (by 8 miles) to avoid the part of the trip that makes my heart race the most.  And an extra 8 miles to stay sober when I would have driven 50 to get a drink, is some “One Day At A Time” thinking. I am glad to see I did it naturally.  It is the little things that make my life better.  Thank you for being here.










One thought on “I Used to Freak Out…And Everyone Paid for it!

  1. 3 years is truly wonderful….something no one can take away or give to you…. knowing that many times even one day seems like eternity. It’s is truly good that even after 3 years you are not taking your sobriety for granted and that you continue to grow, reflect, learn and dig (deep)…. it’s definitely a journey and not a destination….
    Someday I will share a bit about my 3 week hiking trip to Maine (solo).

    Keep on keeping on!

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