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Why Many Of Us Embrace Midlife Sobriety

midlife sobriety

Laughter Thought Leader: Elaine Williams

I grew up in a highly dysfunctional family. I know I’m not alone with this.

There was drinking. There were drugs. And there was trauma. Moreover, that was just on the way to school in the mornings.

After my parents divorced, my father married a woman who became a raging alcoholic and addict. Both grandfathers and several uncles were also alcoholics.

Alcoholic Like My Stepmother Was:

Alcoholism didn’t just run in my family, it galloped. The first time I drank alcohol, I loved how it made me feel and I wanted more immediately.

I drank and did drugs in college but always managed to make decent grades, driven by a fear of flunking out and having to move back in with the stepmonster. Fast forward through lots of partying, bad behavior, and dangerous choices. I remember driving to work at the age of 30 and thinking: “Maybe I won’t drink tonight. But then worrying that if I really committed to not drinking, like if I said that out loud, I would not be able to not “not drink”.

So I kept going – working at the top restaurants in Austin, having a house sitting business and doing theater. I was driven to prove to myself that I didn’t have a drinking problem. After all, I had money in the bank. In addition, I stayed in beautiful houses. There’s no way I could be an alcoholic like my stepmother was.

Until one night, the cops found me in the gutter next to my car in downtown Austin. They should’ve taken me to jail but they poured me into a cab and I got away without consequences because I was a “cute blonde”.

“That’s when I finally fully embraced the program and truly committed to my recovery.”

Alcoholism Is Cunning, Baffling, And Powerful:

I told myself that the reason I was out of control was because I was moving out of state and stressed out about it. The next day I went to my first AA meeting in Austin, TX.

The day after that I flew to NYC. I went to my second AA meeting in a church on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Even though I went to meetings, didn’t drink, and did some step work with a sponsor for the first year, I had not fully surrendered. When the boyfriend that I’d stopped drinking for broke up with me, I hit a new emotional bottom. That’s when I finally fully embraced the program and truly committed to my recovery.

I’m sharing my story here because I feel compelled to. I’ve seen a lot of “dry January” things on social media, which I think is great, but can be misleading. Alcoholism is cunning, baffling, and powerful. I spent years working out and not drinking at times in order to prove to myself that I didn’t have a problem. I probably tried to do a dry January at one point.

Moreover, I’ve shared my story on college campuses and military bases all over the US. When I worked in NYC restaurants while I was pursuing acting, I was very open about my program and meetings; not to toot my own horn but because I knew that it helped people.

Alcohol In Your System:

I took many fellow waiters, comics, and actors to their first AA meeting. So that they knew where they could go when they were ready.

My point is that there are many “highly functioning alcoholics/addicts” out there. For many women of a certain age, the decision to embrace middle-aged sobriety can be a game-changer. Maybe you don’t drink every day. Maybe you don’t drink in the mornings. Or maybe you do. Maybe you only drink at certain occasions. It’s not about how often you drink or how much, it’s about having the personality change once you do have alcohol in your system.

4 Unexpected Gifts That Come With MidLife Sobriety:

1. Clarity and Mental Sharpness:
  • Sobriety isn’t just about giving up alcohol; it’s about gaining mental clarity. This newfound sharpness can be a superpower. No more trying to recall where you left your keys or forgetting the grocery list – sobriety gives your brain the chance to operate at its full capacity.

Humor Break: Say goodbye to the “I lost my keys again” dance. Now, you can gracefully waltz through life with a clear mind and a confident step.

“There are unexpected gifts that come with a sober lifestyle.”

2. Renewed Energy and Vitality:
  • Who said the fountain of youth only exists in fairy tales? Sobriety can bring a surge of energy and vitality, turning back the clock on fatigue. When you’re not hung over, you actually have time and energy to embrace new hobbies, hit the gym, or get shit done around the house.
3. Healthy Relationships:
  • Sobriety tends to have a magical effect on relationships. Many people discover a deeper connection with loved ones, free from the haze of alcohol-induced misunderstandings. Quality time becomes genuinely quality, and communication takes a front seat.

Humor Break: Say goodbye to those embarrassing drunk texts – your relationships are now drama-free and emoji-only when necessary.

4. Financial Liberation:
  • A subtle but significant perk of sobriety is the positive impact on the wallet. No more expensive cocktails or late-night pizza orders after a night out. You can redirect those saved dollars towards something more rewarding, like adventurous trips or charities you believe in.

Embracing sobriety in middle age is not just a lifestyle choice; it’s an invitation to a whole new world of unexpected gifts. From mental clarity to financial liberation, the journey of sobriety can be both empowering and humorous. 

So, raise your sparkling water and toast to the joyous ride of midlife sobriety – it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

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About the Author:

Elaine Williams is an award winning Video & Visibility Coach, Speaker, Best Selling Author and Comedian. Some of her credits: Saturday Night Live, America’s Got Talent, The New York Times, Hay House Radio & the Huffington Post.

Elaine’s clients have gone from never doing video/speaking live to having their own You Tube Channels, doing International Book Tours, and speaking for NASA.