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Sober Coping

Taking life and all that comes with it one day at a time.

A Sober Realization

Over the past few days I have been dealing with some pretty heavy emotional baggage. I have been dreading today for a long time, However, a kind comment from a stranger got me thinking. Last night I was ragged when I finally was able to close my eyes and drift off to sleep. I woke this morning to a comment on last nights post from Jackie, the author of a blog I really like ( I am adding her to the links page. Her words got me thinking. I am not going to let the things that happened yesterday break me down. I can be sad about them but they don’t define me.

I think there is more than just grieving old losses an heartaches here. I think I am still going through those five stages of grief. And there seems to be a lot I am grieving for. It is not just given situations or current circumstances. I think I may be grieving alcohol. That may sound silly to some of you, but to me it sounds perfectly reasonable. Kind of like a bad relationship. An abusive, hurtful and unfaithful relationship. Even when it is over you hurt for a while until the bruises fade along with the memory of whatever good you pretended was there.

Today is  going to be hard. But I am alive, which is more than what I wanted to be just a month and a half ago. So I am going to go out there and do the best I can to show the world that I am okay. Just like the tagline on this blog, that is the best I can do. It is not just taking life one day at a time. It is taking life and all that comes with it on day at a time. Taking the good with the bad and the beautiful with the ugly.

Wish me luck out there. I will pop back in for an update after I get this over with.

Be safe and be loved.


Sober challenge

Sober Stressing

This  is a late post. I won’t normally be making a habit of doing this but I had to go somewhere to vent. I am wound tight as a spring and just trying to get through the day. Better to do this than to go back to the bottle. I have been clean for a little over a month and I am happy with that, I am happy with my progress in that arena. But for some reason life keeps throwing these damned curve-balls that I am not emotionally prepared for. I cannot begin to make words out of the feelings I have inside over this.

Tomorrow I have to face another issue that is the direct result of drinking. I dread it. I hate it. Another instance of Drunk Ben bringing pain into Sober Ben’s life. The more distance I put between myself and my disease the more I come to resent the person I was, and that self loathing is something I would not wish on anyone. Somebody tell me how I can go back and make this right. How do I erase the decisions I made in that fog? I don’t know how to just make it through today, let alone the pain that I know tomorrow is going to bring. Being in this situation is so damned frustrating. For Christ’s sake I wish I could show the world who I am now, not who I was.

A comma is not a pause

It has been brought to my attention, that I use too many commas in my writing, and that I should tone back my use of them. I would be happy to oblige, however, I am a recovering alcoholic, not an unemployed English major, from, the, city, of, Cambridge,.

All joking aside I will attempt to get on top of my grammar game for those of you out there that take the time out of your day to read what I put down on these pages,  you all have no idea the amount of healing this is bringing me. In the meantime, don’t forget to subscribe! I moved the subscription link up to the top so it is easily found. And don’t forget to come like us on Facebook. You can do that through the link on the right of the page, or just going to

Thank, You, Again,



Swinging Sober

Praying for serinity

Praying for serenity

What did you guys think of Keith’s story yesterday? It is way better to hear him tell the story himself, but it is still good to read it. I was blown away at his honesty. And let me tell you something else. I was having a hard time yesterday. It was nice of Keith to kinda step in as a substitute blogger for the day so I could take a bit to recover. I know it must not seem like it, but coming up with material every day is actually harder than it looks. I carry a notebook around in case something catches my attention or if I get a good idea. Yesterday was another one of those long days where the sadness crept in and settled deep inside. That is easily the hardest part of this whole recovery thing for me.

I try to stay really busy these days. Exceedingly busy. Keeping my mind active is something I strive to  do every minute. I have this blog, which consumes a large part of my morning, then I have homework, this quarter in school is actually very time consuming. That is a good thing. After that I have another blog in development as well as a third I am thinking about. That takes up a little more time. Sometimes though, the words are not there, and sometimes I have to literally force myself to do it.

Yesterday I sat for a while and looked out the window through the trees and just let the pain take me. I cried hard and I cried long. I think that was good for me. Letting it all out and just surrendering to these emotions that seem to overwhelm me. Sometimes we have to let go of what is killing us, even if it is killing us to let go. I spent so long wearing a mask and I now know that is not the way to live. There is no running from the pain anymore. There can only be facing it. But why does it have to be so damned hard? Feeling helpless and alone with nowhere to turn is so scary.

It’s not that I am looking for pity. I am a strong person and I know I can get through this, but good God does it ever hurt. It is relentless. I am hoping today will be better and so far so good. Maybe I need to spend a little time reflecting on that prayer that we in recovery know so well. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

I may pop back in later with an  update on how today is going, and maybe even fill you guys in on a few of the other irons I have in the fire.

Be safe and be loved.


Sober Guest Speaker!

Today we are going to try something new at Throughout this journey I have met some awesomely resilient people. One of these people have actually been mentioned in this blog before. I contacted him and asked him if he wouldn’t mind sharing his story with us. First of all let me introduce him, and for those of you that didn’t read the blog post, here is a little history.

I did inpatient counter-conditioning treatment in Seattle. When I first checked in, I saw a gentleman in a wheelchair in the hallway. He was almost catatonic, and non-verbal. He also looked to be about 70 years old. This was Keith. Keith came into treatment with a habit that makes me look like a tea-totaler.  Over time however, as he slowly dried out, Keith’s body began to heal and he opened up. He is one of the funniest, most inspirational people I had the honor of going through treatment with. His strength is astounding, and his stories are legendary. Below I have included his very brief, but very touching account of his battle and recovery. I have edited some of the words in the account for privacy and legal purposes, those words are in italics.

Give it a read, Keith’s story is amazing. Have a fantastic Monday.

“For most people the choice to have the first drink is one you make, in my case at age 2 my father made that choice for me. And for the next 8 years he continued to make that choice..At age ten I made the choice to keep drinking, stealing alcohol from an alcoholic’s booze cabinet. At age 16 I made friends with the cashier at the local liquor store and I was on my way. Over the years I did the weed, and coke, acid, meth, crack PCP but I always returned to my first love, the bottle. 6 times I was hospitalized with alcohol poisoning, the highest being .41” and I had a doctor tell me I was lucky to be alive. Still I didn’t get the message; I ended up in detox 7 days after spending weeks drinking a half gallon of vodka a day. In 30 days I was right back to the bottle. My wife found me unconscious with the front door wide open, I guess 2 cops 3 paramedics and 4 fire fighters responded, I woke up 4 hours later in a hospital. But I didn’t have a problem. Finally on March 14th 2016 I ended up drinking 3 fifths of vodka in 8 hours. And well, the day to pay the piper had come. I checked myself into treatment, with my wife by my side. I spent 6 days I don’t remember in detox, with a nurse by my side 24/7 and got to re-meet a bunch of people I met during detox after detox.


That is when my life started again, I have embraced my sobriety, after spending my time at treatment, and sometimes life has tried to slap me across the face since I’ve been home. My employer had locked me out from returning to work. I Spent two weeks alone bouncing off walls and found myself just staring into space some days wondering why I wanted this new life. But in the end, I remained sober and  I count the days till my re-cap when I can return and wear my greens again. On the days I really struggle I can go to face book and post on a page where people will support me. I look at what I can do when I’m not laying drunk on a couch 24/7. I don’t have to worry about if this is the day I kill somebody, or kill myself or end up in Jail? I’m learning who my wife is after so many years of marriage and have embraced her support rather than push her away as I have so many years before. I tell those who I shut out for so long the truth about how I feel. In the end I can only say this, today as I write this I am sober, I have friends who understand, and I have a life. I thank all those who befriended me at treatment, those who supported me, and will never trade my sobriety for imprisonment again. It’s not easy and I struggle everyday, but the life I have now is worth more than the bottle I lived with for so many years.


I will end this with the simple message, sobriety is truly freedom and after 50 years of drinking I’m finally re-born and alive. Thank you (Facility name removed) , my friends at the wisdom table, and to those who have supported me.”

Sober Reflections

Good Sunday morning everyone. I woke up early today and went out and got some actual coffee. I mean the kind with caffeine. The chill in the air seemed to match the one in my bones, so I felt that something with a little more octane than my usual decaff was warranted, I am now sitting at my desk looking out the window at what looks to be a promising day. The sun is shining and the air is still. As I was driving I was going over today’s topic in my head and trying to figure out the best way to approach it. How does one reflect on current sobriety and come to grips with a less than sober past? That is the million dollar question.

Entering into the sober world is like being born again. This world brings with it so many new things. Challenges and blessings come at me so fast that I can barely keep up, if at all. I cannot even begin to describe how I feel. I am not the same person I was when I was drinking. There was a paradigm shift of sorts that stripped me down to my foundation. When the end of my use came, I was badly broken. My choices and reactions to given circumstances in my life had put me on a road that cost me so dearly that the idea of living seemed like a task I was not up to . Sobriety does not change those choices. Sometimes I find myself daydreaming that my sobriety will grant me an amazingly brilliant mind that designs a time machine, allowing me to go back and counsel myself on my behavior. That is a nasty merry-go-round. There is no going back. I have mentioned this in other posts. I feel like I have been left holding the bag for another persons mistakes. It is in these times looking back, that the real pain hits. I remember feeling some pain back when I was drinking, but it is nowhere near the level of pain that a sober mind gives you the ability to feel. Seeing situations clearly does not always feel like a gift. It is hard sometimes to pull myself out of that cycle. Learning to live with the heartbreak and struggle created by alcoholism and the choices resulting from it is a bitter pill to swallow. The hurt I feel when going back and reliving moments in time where a word spoken or a decision made in the haze of alcoholism irrevocably changes the future is so real and so completely earth shattering. To me, the true essence of recovery is learning to cope with that pain in such a way that it makes you a better person.

I think that is really the only thing that I can take away from my years of use that is remotely positive. The fact that maybe someday I will be stronger and better because of the journey I am now on. Those future days are hard to see from here, but I will sit in my little boat and keep rowing towards the horizon, keeping the bow pointed towards the setting sun and a firm eye on what is gradually drifting away behind me. At least until I create that time machine, I could really use it.

Be safe and be loved.


Rowing Into Recovery

Rowing Into Recovery




Stigma and the Recovering Alcoholic

I have found that there is a definite stigma attached to being in recovery. People tend to look at you different once you tell them that alcohol is a problem for you. I don’t understand it. Those same people were okay with you last December when you were lit and telling lies at the company Christmas party. Why is it that people change their demeanor so much when an alcoholic decides to dry out?

I have been offered many drinks in my life. I have never accepted a drink and then had to sit through an interview on why I decided to have the drink that was offered to me. I took the drink because it sounded nice and because alcohol is delicious. Why is it when I decline a drink there is usually at the very least, that knowing look in the eye or a confused head tilt as if it is hard to process why somebody would not want to pour alcohol down their throat. That look is actually worse than the questions. It is a feigned look of concern and understanding. Maybe I am just cynical, but that look pisses me off. If I am strong enough to live this shit-show we call life without a drink, I sure as hell can make it through this awful party without your fake concern.



I just went back and re-read that last paragraph and it comes across really angry. I mean, I am not going to go back and change it or anything. It just sounds angry. Have any of you ever been given that look? I don’t think it is judgement, pity, empathy, or a wish to understand all on its own necessarily. I think the look is born out of a deep discomfort with the issue of addiction. Sometimes the look is followed by an uncomfortably awkward farewell because that person is no longer comfortable drinking around the non-drinker. Or my very favorite, out pops this question, “well is it okay if I drink?”. Why would it not be okay for you to drink? How much of an asshole do you think I am? Do you think I go around to social events with the goal of making guys like you feel bad about drinking? You sir, need a few drinks so you can relax……… NOT IN FRONT OF ME YOU PRICK! Just kidding.

I have a few relatives that have promised they will not drink around me any more. I don’t like that. I don’t want to be treated differently because I have a disease that makes me prone to addiction. I am strong in my conviction not to drink. I am not saying that it is easy, but I really don’t like the idea of going to somebodies house knowing that a hushed conversation has been had about the fact that Ben is coming, hide the booze. That makes me feel like there is something wrong with me (Wow, there is actually a lot wrong with me, but I am working on it). Accept me. Trust my strength. And please forgive my past. I hurt enough over it for the both of us.

Side note, I found this blog and I really like. Check it out!

The Road to Abstinence


What are you guys up to this Friday night?

It’s Friday Night! I told you I would be back, and look at me being impeccable with my word. Today was great. I actually got a lot done. I am working on a new business venture that I am really excited about. Maybe there will be more on that topic in the near future. I also FINALLY figured out some of this webmaster BS that I have been working on for a week now. I swear to God that computer engineers intentionally use language that consists of made up words and inside jokes. Getting to the point, Google Analytics is an awesome tool. I am learning all this internet stuff and loving it.

All in all, today was pretty good when it comes to how I feel. Typical ups and downs. I realize I have a lot to be happy about, but sometimes the sadness still creeps in. No urges or cravings though. Driving by the convenience store is still the least of my concerns. Learning to cope with my reality remains front page. I will get there someday.

As far as friday night goes, I plan on sitting and doing a little prep for tomorrows post. I need to get back into some more serious but still light duty content. Enough of this emotional stuff. Thank you for putting up with my recent mood swings! Time to get the touchy-feely/happy-laughy ratio back in balance. You know what they say, all work and no play makes jack a bad blogger.

I hope you guys have a safe, fun, and sober (for you people like me), or mostly sober (for you normies out there) night! I expect to see you all back tomorrow when I talk about the stigma associated with being a recovering alcoholic (Someday I will be a recovered alcoholic, I realize I am still healing, but my convalescence does indeed have an expiration date).  Blogging-spock-funny-blogging-meme-friday-night

The Long Sober Road

Good morning and happy sober Friday! This morning, something crossed my mind that hit home. “I should be further along than I am”.  Yesterday was a long day, and very emotional for some reason. As I lay down trying to sleep, I had so much on my mind. Stress about life, some feelings of confusion and anxiety over not knowing where this crazy beautiful road is taking me. I woke up this morning and turned on the computer and sat and stared at the screen experiencing what must be writers block. I could not find my center, my happy place. That is not to say I am unhappy. My brain just isn’t firing on all 8 cylinders for some reason. The coffee is brewing though, and that will lift the curtains of grogginess that are muddling my brain.

Yesterday was the biggest day that this blog has had in it’s  brief time. We tripled our individual views and our organic hits were off the charts. (off the charts for our stats, not compared to big websites. It was a big day for Sober Coping.) Just for fun, let me tell you some of the countries we were read in. Sober Coping toured the United States, The UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand (Shout out to Mrs. D), Germany, and Vietnam. I find it reassuring that there are other people out there that are reaching out and grasping the same way I was. People all over the world that share this experience. I needed that boost this morning when I logged in to put thoughts to print. It lets me know that real progress is being made. But still I feel like I should be further along than I am.

I have been having this recurring thought that I should be further along than I am for a few days. I do not know why, but it really gets to me. I should be healthier, my words more fluid, my wit faster, and my progress greater. I don’t know why that is something that has been bothering me. When I look at the progress I have made so far I should be pretty happy with what I see. I don’t have anything to be unsatisfied with when it comes to progress. I am doing just fine. Maybe this thought that I should be further along is me simply trying to put as much distance and activity as possible between me and the past. Every day is one step away from the pain and one step closer to finding myself.

I have to run for now, but I will check back. Have a wonderful Friday!

Sober Ups and Recovery Downs

I find it so challenging to deal with some of the ups and downs that come with being sober sometimes. Day to day life for me sometimes feels like a roller-coaster of emotions that run the full gamut. Maybe this can be attributed to some post acute withdrawal or maybe this is simply my brain getting back in balance. Dealing with some of the issues from my drinking days, coupled with my new venture into sobriety makes for an emotional sampler platter of sorts. I never really know what I will be feeling from one minute to the next. Depression? Happiness? Anxiety? Contentment? Maybe a mix of all of these feelings at once. I usually find these intense swings during times when my mind is more idle. Driving from point A to point B, or when I am trying to fall asleep and my brain refuses to be silent.

Coping with these emotions is hard. I find myself white-knuckling most of these episodes and trying to take some deep breaths. Some of the time this helps, sometimes it just takes the edge off. I do not feel the urge to go back to the bottle necessarily but, to be honest, I do sometimes miss the numbness associated with my longtime love affair with alcohol. That love affair almost killed me, and the divorce was a nasty one. She took so much more than material possessions.  She took her fair share of me too.

I think it is times like these right now, when the depression and anxiety is making itself comfortable deep within me, that I need to put these thoughts down on paper. Get them out of me. It is like purging a poison that eats at my soul, and whispers lies into my too eager to listen ear.

Keeping it sober, feeling the fight,


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