I recently received a message from a Rehab on Twitter. It was the same Rehab that took a blog post of mine and put it on their Twitter page without asking. When I played the video I became annoyed and angry. I don’t agree with most of what this Rehab is about. I want to help people if I can but not through a third party that I don’t share the same opinions with.
The woman in video discussed the topic of a “sobriety date”. This is what she said.
“It’s important to celebrate your sobriety date, count out the days, make it a big deal, and I feel if you don’t think a sobriety date is important it’s probably because you don’t have one”.
I personally found the whole thing condescending.
“Sobriety Date” is term used in 12 step programs. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol reported that 75% of people with an alcohol dependency manage to get and stay sober without any kind of program at all. There are specific reasons for this.
- Focusing on your successes and not dwelling on failures
- All improvements count even small ones
- Not passively going along with someone else’s approach
- Having a support system
- Learning the reason behind your drinking
- Learning you have a serious health problem
- Learning you have a mental health problem
I will be the first to admit that I have no clue what my sober date is. I can take a guess at the year and possibly be right. My best friend usually has to tell me.
In my twenties I was court ordered to a Rehab. They did 2 days of testing to see where I was physically, mentally, and how my cognitive skills were. (Again no one picked up on the Bipolar)
The Doctor came in and said “Your liver is enlarged and you have the brain of an 82 year old alcoholic man”. Then he left. What was I supposed to do with that information? What did he even mean? Who says that and leaves?
I’ll explain a few things. Celiac Disease causes problems your cognitive skills. Years of heavy drinking does too. Bipolar Disorder also causes cognitive problems. So do medications.
I have memories that are clear and vivid but I couldn’t tell you the exact day or year they happened. I have problems with my speech which is either related to the above or Conversion Disorder.
I will tell you that I am sober. I will tell you that I am alive. I will tell you that I don’t need a sober date to keep me that way.
What I don’t need is anyone trying to guilt or shame me for my choices that have worked for me.
My way might not be for everyone but I have been able to do it for about 9 years. My father has been able to do it for over 30 years. That’s enough for me.