Amy Parrish a 44 year old sober woman! She has been married for eleven years and has two boys ages 10 and 7, two Australian Shepherds, and one guinea pig. Amy is a writer, a runner, and a yoga student, who love to talk, read, and write about life- the puzzles, the questions, the spiritual, the funny and the tough stuff. Her favorite place is outside in the woods tromping around. She likes music and turns the radio way up in the car so she can sing and still hear the music.She is excited to start her yoga certification in January. Please check out her fantastic blog Sober-bia.
1) Describe your ‘rock bottom.’
My very rock bottom was the morning I couldn’t get out of bed because I was so hungover. I’d drank so much- maybe two bottles of wine, and a few beers- the night before ( a pretty normal amount for me- about three times a week) and eaten these pot coconut oil things. My children came to wake me up and I couldn’t get out of bed, could barely talk. I had promised to make french toast that morning and help my oldest study for his class spelling bee and I couldn’t get out of bed until 1PM that day. I found a plate of cold french toast next on the bookshelf beside my bed. It was terrible and heartbreaking- my children had seen me so incoherent and out of it, then had to head off to school not knowing what was wrong. I had a clear vision of me ending up alone: my children ashamed of me, my husband moving on without me, and me alone and drunk. I knew I couldn’t take one more day, I saw clearly that there were two ways it was going to go: keep drinking or quit. So I quit.
2) What were your first 30 days of recovery like?
My first 30 days were hard and easy. I would drink seltzer and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice out of my favorite giant wine glass while I made dinner. Then right after dinner I would bundle everyone upstairs and into pajamas to play Crazy 8’s and read stories. I couldn’t be downstairs, I was afraid I would drink. I knew if I was in bed I wouldn’t. I would get up at 5AM to write and then do yoga at 6AM- my own free classes in my own living room! I wrote to my pen pal religiously every day, and blogged too. I didn’t really miss drinking- I was so ready to quit! The hard part was not knowing what to do with myself- it was so awkward to just live. I spent so much time drinking or trying to recover from my hangovers that I found I had a lot of free time. At first that was so annoying and kind of scary, but then I learned to stretch and try things.
3) What are the best things that have happened to you since you got clean/sober?
The best things are all the things! I have found such joy in my relationships with my family and have made friends. My husband and I continue to heal and find deeper love and understanding with each other. I am a present and loving mama. I have learned about myself- the kind of person I am, what I like, what I don’t like, the things I am capable of- like flossing my teeth every night! It’s such a pleasure to have a 9 o’clock in the morning appointment and be able to actually show up. The very best thing is seeing how drinking kept me in such a small box of miserable life, and how now that I’m sober I can be big and in the whole world.
4) If you could go back in time to you when you were drinking/using what would you tell yourself?
Get some help. This thing is bigger than you. Find a person to reach out to- even if that person is your own self. Surrender to what you know to be true- you are worth it. Face the shame you feel- the scariest things are the ones we can’t or won’t see. I would tell myself it doesn’t have a thing to do with willpower, or discipline- it has to do with listening to that voice that wants out: that’s the voice that’s telling the truth. Accept the alcoholic in you- don’t tell it to fuck off. That alcoholic is the part of you that needs extra love and care, try not to be shy around it.
5) What have been the most useful things you have learnt about yourself since getting sober/clean?
I am capable and reliable. I am able to make mistakes with grace most times. I have learned that I like feeling and feelings- even when it sucks. I have learned to stop trying to mold myself into some random idea of who I think I should be and be the person I actually am.
6) Tell me about something wonderful that happened to you recently that never would have happened if you had been drinking.
I signed up for MBCY-RYT teacher training! I’ve wanted to do yoga teacher training for years. I signed up four years ago and then developed an umbilical hernia and had to back out. Although I was quite disappointed (and totally not ready!) at the time, now I’m so grateful that it happened just that way: the sober woman I am today is ready for such a huge and glorious undertaking!
7) What are your favorite recovery slogans?
“It’s none of my business what you think of me.” I’ve spent so many years worrying and watching what other people think I am or what I should be. That’s none of my business! Other people ain’t me! I have to do the things that make me feel centered, safe, challenged, alive, and whole- that makes it all come full circle.
8) And lastly, why does ‘recovery rock?’
OH!!! Recovery ROCKS because it gives me life. It gives me BIG dreams, it gives me such a comforting feeling of being right where I’m supposed to be.