Be My Own Hero

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at

I have a profound respect for those who manage to get sober this time of the year. The near impossible requirements of early sobriety are amplified at holidays.

This was the time of year most of us seemed to fit in—finally, everyone else was drinking excessively too. We would blend.

To face one’s self with lesser pressures seems the easier route. To stop drinking after the holidays … yes, at the new year when all others were retreating with their resolutions to stop whatever-ing.

When I see a sobriety date that is anything November or December I secretly smile at the determination and inner strength of character. Sobriety isn’t for wimps. I, for one, could not make my New Year’s resolution effective until March.

So, at nine months sober I was facing my first alcohol free Christmas.  Christmas was on a Sunday that year. At the top of my Christmas list: Still be sober on Monday the 26th.

For the record, I did not stop drinking as a gutter drunk. I was an educated, white-picket fence, two kids, two dogs, two cars, one husband, career girl. There was still plenty for me to lose.

And at nine months sober I had only begun to comprehend the gravity of addiction—my addiction. I didn’t feel prepared to be sober, but neither did I feel prepared for drinking. It was that rotten middle ground.

I guess what I am trying to say is that for those few moments in time, when we think about maybe stopping drinking we get to look at what we have and what we don’t have. We get to look at what we’ve lost and what we are prepared to lose. And we get to decide. We decide, in that moment, if we can be our own hero.

My gratitude for all who have walked before me and paved a path so clear. I am confident I would not be here without you.

Thank you for teaching me there is never a good day to drink.
And there is never a bad day to get sober.
Thank you for teaching me to be my own hero.



29 Responses to “Be My Own Hero

  • I just love your writing 🙂

  • “…And we get to decide. We decide, in that moment, if we can be our own hero.”
    Yes! After all it’s we who decide… yet knowing this I still fall & it makes it worse knowing I’m my own enemy…
    I love the punch word “if we can be our own hero” yes, I do feel like a true hero when my abstinence is in order yet, I can be the opposite at anytime, that is what scares me most. It reminds me it is dormant & can awaken on a whim.
    I fool myself by talking myself into believing food is not as big a killer as alcohol but we all know obesity kills as many people.
    I am having such a hard time lately and always welcome your post knowing there’ll always be something in store for me… something like a surprise package 🙂
    The good news is that up to two weeks ago I had my first thirteen months of back to back abstinence which was my longest stretch, it felt like it was invincible!
    Thanks for sharing your strength!

    • “yet knowing this I still fall & it makes it worse knowing I’m my own enemy” … yes, but this is true for all of us… ALL OF US! No one is free of human failures. You aren’t fooling yourself (imo), you’re human. Be kind to you. Even in my perceived failures I have gained more than I thought possible. You are such a gift to me, my blog, and followers. And you are invincible, because the beauty of who you truly are can never be destroyed—not even with food. All my love my friend.

  • I love this post- it made me feel better about how tough the past 5 weeks have been! But it must get so much easier from here…

    Happy holidays!

    • Tough times always feel better when we are through them. 5 weeks is so incredible. You are one of the ones I think of when I write this post. You give me much inspiration. Know that you will be in my thoughts, my prayers these days … And if my heart can send you any strength then receive it. You are succeeding everyday. Believe it. Believe in you. with love, Lisa

      • Lisa what a lovely thing to say.

        And you know the wisest thing that anyone has said in this journey is a comment you made on one of my posts “Silly you… you don’t want to drink, you just want to feel different.”

        The number of dangerous moments that has got me out of! 🙂

        Thank you x x

  • I haven’t, until you pointed it out, taken into consideration the date of sobriety and the challenges one would face given the time of year. The strength and courage of the individual who works from one of those times is extraordinary, I must agree. This has been a thoughtful and, for me, inspiring post. Thank you for sharing!

    • With gratitude for your kind words. I always find that reading other’s blogs lets me think well beyond what I am capable of on my own. I see I keep good company.

  • Very nicely put Lisa.

  • ” I didn’t feel prepared to be sober, but neither did I feel prepared for drinking. It was that rotten middle ground.” It’s that horrible grey place that put me in a dark tail spin that would eventually lead to suicide as an actual viable menu item for my life. Life with or without? Horrid. But boy, that decision to continue with the not drinking really made sense, even though I feared it more than life itself. What would it look like? I couldn’t envision it. It was alien. But the fear of drinking was even worse, and I knew what those consequences were. And I knew in my heart that they would be worse.

    I love the idea of being our own hero. Our first real love-directed action. My first real step into healing, even though I was still scared as hell and unsure of the future. But I wanted to have a future, period. and as you so elqouently put, there were those who walked the path before me to show me the way, to tell me that it does get better, that there were ways to make the fear lessen, to lose that obession to drink.

    It’s people like you Lisa and what you do hear and away from here which is so inspiring and helpful.

    thank you again for a wonderful post 🙂


    • I believe I get as much from your comments as you do from the post. I love your line “Our first real love-directed action.” I have never quite thought of it that way. Thank you. And thank you for always, always managing to get over here and comment. What a joy. with love, Lisa

  • Lisa, this was a great read this morning. And so timely in my life. Recovery is hard at the holidays but it is not impossible. In fact, it is very much possible. Thank you for spurring this reminder. -mel

    • Yay, for reminders. I, for one, can say I was high-maintenance in the first years of sobriety. I was always so thankful for any inspiration, any possibility of change. What a wonderful gift we have in each other. Your words fill my heart with happy 🙂 Lisa

  • Love this post Lisa. My saving grace is to remember I’m not taking something away…I’m giving myself a huge gift. I feel grateful every day that I have the gift of sobriety – and the gift of all of you who support me.

    • I hear you. I, too, have to remind myself of the gain in many things, as my tendency is to go for the loss. It’s almost as if I thought I would arrive at this magical day and there it would stay for all eternity. Ugghhh … Disney movies. I took them too literally. Enough said.

      I am equally as grateful for your support. All of you allow me to remain sober too. None of us does it alone. (successfully that is) … much love, Lisa

  • Lisa, Just found your page. Day 7 today! It is so hard. I cannot see my life w/o alcohol, but seeing it with is worse!! Yes, the middle ground. Will I fit in? Will I be fun? And high maintenance…oh yeah! God bless my husband! Thanks for the great site.I will be visiting often. ❤

    • The questions you ask are valuable. Answer them in your journal. Will you fit in? Will you be fun? These are not the product of alcohol, but a product of self awareness. What, really, did we fit in with when we were drunk? Other drunk people. I wish you success in your recovery. It is the best journey I ever took. Please keep me posted and stay in contact. Lisa

  • Katherine
    11 years ago

    Lisa this is such a beautiful post! You always find a way to say something “loving” about the situation. It is all about self love and trusting ourselves to make the right choices. To be our own HERO! I love that. I’m going to carry that message around with me! 🙂

    • Thank you Katherine. I’m still working on being my own hero. Crazy to say, but every day, my ego wants to convince me otherwise. I don’t think about drinking, but life sure can get hectic. I’m reminding myself that whatever I get done for the holidays, it’s enough. My love and gratitude, Lisa

      • Katherine
        11 years ago

        I have used your A/B journalling many times this holiday season when things have gotten hectic. It REALLY works! Most times I have A/B thoughts or a conversation in my own head and every time the loving side mends things best. So incredible when I can put that ego in place. I’ve learned that I’m not in charge of everyone and everything and that I can’t control the world. Go figure! lol So I thank you for that gift Lisa!

  • It’s enough to make me want to be my own hero.

    • Pinky, Ohhhh
      Thank you.
      Funny how a tiny sentence (from a total stranger) can fill your heart.
      With love as you journey. Lisa

  • Funny enough, I am reading this on the 26th of December. As I read it, the line that stuck out to me: “At the top of my Christmas list: Still be sober on Monday the 26th.”

    When I say my morning prayers, the first thing I say is, “Thank you for X days of sobriety.” And today, as I said the same thing I have said every day for the past almost two years, I reflected on yesterday, and the drinking and merriment that I did not partake in, and my gratitude as I knelt there was more profound that I remember feeling in a long time.

    I guess I was my own hero yesterday, and I did not realize it until I read this post. Thank you for giving me something extra for which to be grateful!

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