Let me paint this picture. My husband and I had a full-blown hootenanny, live music, BBQ for days, a chicken-on-a-stick late night food truck, a coffee bar, a cigar bar, drinks, boots a scooten, laughs, etc. in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. There was beer, wine, and a plethora of Grade-A cocktails (special shoutout to Treaty Oak Distillery for making that happen). But I did not drink any of it, and for the first time ever, I did not even miss it.
Let me make a few things clear.
- First, I am a full-blown alcoholic (currently in recovery). My sobriety date is September 8th, 2017. Prior to getting sober, I was the marketing director at Independence Brewing Company out of Austin, Texas. I chose to get sober after I made a wreck of my life, and tried very hard to bring everyone down with it. Then I hit rock bottom, I felt the gift of desperation (I’ll explain this more in later blogs!), and turned my will and my life over to God.
- Second, though I no longer drink alcohol (the world is a safer place when I do not!), it does not bother me when other people do! Many individuals, can take it or leave it, use it as a fun addition to a brunch, lunch, happy hour, dinner, or night, and not let it determine the course of their lives. I do not believe that alcohol is bad, I just personally cannot partake because I become… a monster…. Who resembles more of the early 90’s Courtney Love.
Though I got sober a little over 3.5 years ago, and it sometimes feels like an eternity (it is exactly 31,740 hours at the time of publishing this blog… but who's counting!?), I am still very new to this way of life. Being that I worked in the beer industry added a second layer to my challenges of getting sober. My career, hobbies, extra curricular activities, times with friends, etc, all revolved around alcohol. So when I chose to stop drinking, I had to re-learn how to live in social situations, choose a new career, find new hobbies, and become a contributing person in the human race without alcohol.
Something that I have always loved (that went hand in hand with the beer industry, especially in Austin) was live music, and large events. The energy and excitement of large events is just magical! And throughout my beer career, I got to play a major role in so many events whether I was the organizer, attendee, volunteer, etc. (and I was always able to drink!). It was infectious for me… I got to see how live music, incredible food, activities, drinks, and more could bring so much joy to so many people. But when I got sober, I no longer played a “role” in these events, and I had no idea how to act in a sea of people sober.
Think about it! For over 12 years of my life, anytime I was in a social situation I was around and/or partaking in alcohol. I never really had to deal with social anxiety, as I would medicate it with drink.
But I knew in my heart (thanks to my sponsor) that God had my back. He blessed me with the love of events and music, and one day, I would be able to enjoy them as a sober person. And on 4/3/21, God granted me that gift. I was able to get married in front of a few hundred people (many of which I barely knew… my husband’s family is huge), and not once did I feel uncomfortable or in need of a drink.
We all have different paths that lead us to God. For me, it was the abuse of alcohol, the realization that I needed to get sober to fulfill my purpose in life, and the actions I have taken with God’s help to do so. In my early sobriety (first 30 days), I was promised by old-timers that removing alcohol from my daily life would not put me in the group of “glum lots”, and I would one day be able to truly enjoy everything beautiful in life... Sober. And that promise comes true every day!
Written by Courtney Gomez