The High-Functioning Alcoholic

Understanding this Hidden Class of Alcoholics from a Professional and Personal View

The Challenges and Blessings of Being a Sober Mother

As a new mother who is in recovery from alcoholism, I have gained an enormous amount of first-hand experience into the unique challenges that motherhood brings for those either trying to get sober or intending to sustain their recovery. Read More

Using the Gifts to avoid getting the Gifts

First of Sarah great read.. Real practical for people in recovery. Sometimes it is hard to remember that just not drinking isn’t enough and if it was we would only need detox centers to get well. I don’t know about being a sober mom but I do know about being a sober dad. I believe that developmentally there is something that happens when you are older and have a child. More life experiences brings about a change we view things and place our time. Not having my first child till mid 30's and being in recovery for 10yrs has been a great combination.

It at times has given me a truth and a lie. Very simply put, I can use gifts of recovery to avoid getting the gifts of recovery. To put in an example. I can use the fact I have a newborn to avoid doing recovery. Well I can’t go work with others or go to a meeting or go to my therapy session because I need to FILL IN THE BLANK the/with newborn. This has the truth and the lie in it. For persons with long term recovery it is easy to buy into.

Of course we all need to live life. I am not suggesting to live in therapy sessions or 12 step meetings. I am suggesting healthy routines and acknowledging how sometimes what seems to be a good excuse may not be. Being a sober parent is frankly just more work! HA! And how beautiful is it to be given an opportunity to demonstrate the principles of recovery in my life in more areas!

Reponse to "Using the Gifts to Avoid Getting the Gifts"

Thank you for your comment and insights! It is interesting to hear a sober father's perspective. Your idea of "a truth and a lie" that we tell ourselves is so true and something to stay aware of and take action around. This reminds me of the saying that whatever you put in front of your recovery (including the gifts) can get taken away or lead you to distance yourself from your recovery...

Sober Moms

This subject is very close to my heart. Having found sobriety in 1978, my children had to endure far too many years with a mom suffering from alcoholism. It is my biggest regret of my life. As a result of some of my actions, they have made untrue declarations about themselves, e.g.,unimportant,stupid,in danger,etc.

While creating a sober life style is challenging, it is so worth the effort. It allows our children to truly connect with their parents and feel secure and loved.

What greater gift can we give them?

It was helpful for me to remember this when the drink tried to lure me back. I was fortunate to find support not only in AA but also in personal development groups. Because I too was torn between going to meetings and being with my children, nine years ago I actually formed a daily teleconference personal development group to support sobriety and teach the tools necessary for continued sobriety. I also wrote a book with daily lessons, the contents of which is available free on www.eclubsoda.com under the "Learn" tab. It is so important to know how to listen and respond to H.A.L.T. It is a call for action...for example, when we get hungry, we need to eat, not drink. When we are tired, we need to rest, not drink. In other words, we want to truly answer the need, rather than trying to drink or whatever it away.

Great article...and congratulations on your sobriety...your children will be forever grateful!

Response to "sober moms"

Our sobriety is truly an investment in our future and the future of our children...we may not always feel the benefit in the moment, but the long term internal and external benefits are endless. Our children deserve to be surrounded by positive energy and not that of active addiction

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Sarah Allen Benton, M.S., L.M.H.C., LPC, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and author of Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic: Professional Views and Personal Insights.

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