New Book Release Coming in November:
This Side of Alcohol…random thoughts and candid words of pain, hope, humor, love…and all that is possible in sobriety.
BY PEGGI COONEY, MSW
“Before I stopped drinking, I spent hours on the internet searching to see if I really had a drinking problem—more times than not, with a glass of sauvignon blanc in my hands. And, of course, the internet makes it possible to find a source to support any opinion under the sun, no matter how outrageously unscientific it might be. Just the fact that I was looking on the internet to see how “bad” my drinking was should have been my first clue, right? Nope, because I could always find a reason for concluding that things weren’t THAT bad, whatever “THAT” means.
I ignored that small voice inside that was telling me the truth the whole time; I refused to listen, because I just wasn’t ready. Until I was. Now I listen to that voice every day and I can feel in my head, heart, and body that alcohol has lost its grip on me.
How did it happen? Well, I did something that was in stark contrast to my usual modus operandi when things went south, which was to retreat, wallow in self-loathing, hide in my house, and drink. This time I reached out and asked for help.
I cannot adequately describe the emotional pain I was in for the first three months of my sobriety. My marriage was falling apart. I was so full of guilt and shame that I was physically sick. And in the middle of all this, my brother Bob suffered a massive heart attack and almost died. He was in a coma for weeks and in the hospital for what seemed like forever.
Three things kept me going: my children, my grandchildren, and that voice I heard on my last day one, when I was literally down on my knees in the bedroom of the Lake Tahoe cabin—the voice that quietly, but clearly, said to me, “Peggi, you are done—and you are going to be okay.”
I had to get uncomfortable, doing the things that I never would have seen myself doing before.
It was time to get busy. I totally immersed myself in everything sober by journaling every day, reading books, listening to podcasts, and then journaling some more. When the Sober Sis Reset program started, I had nineteen days of sobriety under my belt and poured myself (irony duly noted) into the daily lessons. The program also included being put into a group of about 25 women from all over the country. Called “Marco Polo,” the group relies on communication among members through video-posting, in a walkie-talkie-like fashion. Bottom line, I don’t think I could have gotten sober without the support of these women, with many of whom I have established extremely close friendships.
I know from my training in social work that it takes about 21 days to form a habit and about 90 days to make it stick. The more time I put in, the more confident I became that I could actually do this sober thing.
Here are some of the things I did in that first month: mani-pedis with my daughter and grandkids, along with almost daily visits; connected daily with my Marco Polo group; made plans to attend the Sober Sis retreat in Fort Worth; and made lunch plans with new sober sisters. I drove to San Francisco with a sober sister to meet another to celebrate our successful 21-day reset.
At about 90 days AF (alcohol free; this acronym took some time to get used to), I started posting observations about my new alcohol-free lifestyle on social media. I wrote about the incredibly dumb-ass things I had routinely done to hide my drinking, things no normal drinker would ever consider doing (or would have to do). I also posted observations on how my life was improving as my AF days added up. I had no plans about how long I would continue posting. I was living day-to-day, and the posts just made me feel connected and accountable to my recovery community. Although my family was supportive of my sobriety, they really weren’t into talking about it. I noticed how my writing was resonating with so many others. So, I kept posting. Every day. This book, one I never knew I would write, is the result of all those posts.”
Peggi’s book is raw and courageously written. We get to live in her skin through one of the toughest times in her life as she comes to grip with her overuse of alcohol to control her emotions and deal with the stresses of life. You will see yourself on the pages as she shares her deepest emotions and thoughts about what she experienced and her family as well, as she embarks her journey of recovery.
She bravely walks us through all the ups and downs of getting to the other side of alcohol and does so with wisdom and humor in equal doses. Painful to read at times, one cannot help but feel drawn into her story of love for oneself in the darkest of times and experience the joy as she finds the joy of living without alcohol. Peggi shows us that it takes hard work to get sober and stay there by candidly sharing her personal journal writings of her own journey to sobriety.
A must read. You will find it hard to put down and on it’s pages and in Peggi’s words, you will find the hope and strength to get to the other side of alcohol.
Preorders began October 1st