48 Years Old – 25 Years of Active Addiction – In Recovery Since 08/20/2012
Life's Calling and Mission (Since Recovering): Creator and Host of Sober Gratitudes Podcast™️, Board of Directors Member for Mrs. Wilson's Treatment Center in Morristown, NJ, and Creator of The Sober-Autism Parent Support Community™️
Status: Married 20 years with 3 teenage children, 2 of whom are on the Autism Spectrum
Hometown: Chatham, NJ
Drug of Choice: Alcohol, Food
Initial Treatment: AA
My name is Sarah, and I am a recovered alcoholic & recovering dood addict. I have been sober from alcoholism since August 20, 2012.
My first drunk was at the age 14. I fell in love with this magic elixir, thus began my affair with alcohol that lasted until I was 39 years old.
Drinking was the best feeling I had ever experienced. Alcohol was the answer to all my problems. It took away my anxiety; my depression; my low self-worth and low self-esteem, as well as memories of sexual trauma by the hands of a narcissist.
Uncomfortable feelings melted away and memories disappeared when I drank alcohol. It numbed me. It also made celebrations more interesting and more fun.
I decided at that early age of 14 that alcohol and I would be life partners.
I made alcohol the center of my life. I dated and hung out with people who also liked to drink like me. So, for many years I was a functioning alcoholic. I would stop and start during specific times in my life, but I always knew those times were temporary.
I was constantly "drying out", with my drinking, and picking back up was never far from my mind. However, when I picked up again, my alcoholism had progressed, so I needed more alcohol to get the same effect.
The more I did this, the more I consumed and the less worthy I felt of living. I was trying to fill a hole that needed to be filled with love, not alcohol or food. I could never fill that hole. I hated myself more and more because my life was a mess and I felt like a failure because I couldn’t control my drinking–I always drank excessively.
I wanted to die. I considered suicide many times and tried a few times, but I failed at that too. I tried to REALLY quit for good on my own multiple times the last 4 years of my drinking career, but I could never stay stopped. Nothing I tried worked. My own human power–my will power–failed every time.
Over time, alcohol totally stopped working for me and turned against me. When I got intoxicated, I said and did terrible things, and awful things were done to me that were shameful and embarrassing and traumatic. I was angry and irritable and full of resentments and self-pity constantly!! I put myself and others, including my children, in dangerous situations.
One night in the Spring of 2012, I had a dream I was being drowned. I woke realizing that I was literally drowning myself in alcohol. I now believe that was my Higher Power sending me a very literal and powerful message!! A new thought popped in my head: "Google local AA meetings."
That night I went to my first AA meeting and since that night, I have never looked back. I met people just like me who felt the same. They too, were "sick and tired of feeling sick and tired." It was a relief and I started to feel less lonely.
I also spent years working with trauma specialists who specialized in PTSD to heal layers of trauma over the course of my entire life. I finally let go of the sexual abuse and spoke my truth! This secret is no longer mine to keep!!
The best part of being sober today is that I am the kind of person I always wanted to be but didn't have the confidence to do so. I am a better wife and mother. I live in the present. I don't look back with morbid reflection about my past; I don't make up false stories about my future and worry. I have confidence now, and believe I exist in this world for a reason.
In 2018, I began to be more outspoken about my sobriety, because I saw people dying around me and felt that being anonymous was not being useful in some areas of society. I felt called by God to broaden my program of recovery, so I joined Instagram and found so many others just like me who wanted to start a movement!! Recovering OUTLOUD!!! Because of this, I have been able to help SO MANY MORE people!!! I have also started a few Zoom meetings to help alcoholics and one that is specific to parents or caregivers (sober or trying to get sober ) who care for people on the Autism Spectrum. It’s called Sober Autism Parent Community, and we can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Zoom!
I also started a website sobergratitudes.com and a podcast called, Sober Gratitudes Podcast™️. It can be found on many podcasting platforms. Go to Linktr.ee/sobergratitudes for one click links to my podcast and more!
Sober Gratitudes has become a part of my program of recovery and doing it is my life’s mission. I get the opportunity to offer space for other sober people to share their stories. I often become close friends with those I have on as guests. Together, on my podcast, we get to share the hope in recovery!
I also created “Grateful Apparel” that you can find in my website shop!
My IG account: @sober_gratitudes_podcast also offers the opportunity to help others who are struggling in addiction and in recovery.
During COVID, I was honored to be elected to serve on the Board of Director’s at a local non-profit rehab for women in Morristown, NJ. It is called Mrs. Wilson's Treatment Center. Serving on the board offers even more opportunities to support the recovering community. Last year, during COVID, I had the opportunity to create and emcee a Zoom fundraiser, securing “Resurektion Jen,” a harm reduction and sober influencer on Instagram, to be the key note speaker. This event was the most successful ever in terms of total donations in the history of its existence.
I am so grateful my life was saved so I can live every day, one day at a time, giving back!
I understand how scary it is to decide to quit alcohol for good. But I can promise you it is possible AND better if you are willing to take certain steps. When I became willing to do what ever it took to stay stopped, I started to heal. I didn’t rely on alcohol anymore to solve problems or make things better.
Also, my healing journey never stops! Recently I came out as a food addict. I’m just beginning to work on my relationship with food and not using it as a way to escape or numb uncomfortable feelings. I feel strong and supported by the community I am a member of online and in person.
I believe that anybody who wants to, can live a more comfortable life in sobriety. When we trust our instincts and ask these questions: How is addiction serving me and others? Is it causing conflict and collision in my relationships? Is life miserable? Is something missing in life? Do you think about your drug of choice (how to stop or manage it) even when you aren’t drinking/using?
25 years of my life I believed that alcohol would make life easier and more fun forever. But over time, it turned against me, and alcohol and my thinking had become the cause of all my problems.
Eliminating alcohol from my life changed my life in the most incredible ways and I have a life I never thought possible. I get to be useful! I live a calmer life free of daily drama and conflict! I get to keep evolving as a spiritual being having a human experience! I am not trying to run the show and now I let God be my Director! When I live in God’s will for me, I am able to be more useful and go to bed every night feeling proud of how my day went. Even if I messed up ( I am human and imperfect), I get to make amends immediately and not sit in anger or frustration for too long.
I have a beautiful design for living today because of the 12-steps and my trust in God. I wake up each morning asking God “what will you have me be?” I also say a little prayer: “Thank you (God) for saving my life and giving me a second chance to live a life that was worth saving.
I am grateful today, because I have been relieved of the obsession to drink! I am in remission! I known that there is a solution to not feel uncomfortable, confused, or spiritually sick anymore.
I feel I am one of the luckiest, and I know you can be too!
I love you and believe in you!
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