Twenty things that scared the crap out of me before getting sober


  1. The future
  2. DUI checkpoints  
  3. Sounding insecure
  4. Small talk without a drink in my hand
  5. Checking my call history and outgoing texts the morning after.  (The worst was when I got “smart” and started deleting my outgoing texts during my blackouts)
  6. Losing my cell phone
  7. Looking people in the eye
  8. Being alone
  9. Not being alone

10. Failing as everyone around me succeeded

11. Eating.  My motto was often: “Eating’s cheating.”

12. Fear of letting myself down, and my family

13. Scared of getting caught in my own lies 

14. Fear of leaving the pot farm

15. Not being able to afford the material possessions that felt crucial

16. That everyone knew what I was thinking

17. Missing out

18. Maladaptation

19. Monotony

20. Extreme fear of never having enough–especially drugs and alcohol.  There was nothing more terrifying than that last line of coke, the last beer or bottle, and the knowledge that the strung out feeling of reality was about to hit again. 

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3 thoughts on “Twenty things that scared the crap out of me before getting sober

  1. glenn says:

    Through most of that list I checked off point after point thinking to myself “Yep. Uh huh. I want to respond to this point. Yep…” Then came numero twenty.

    It’s amazing how I could never get enough liquor or whatever the substance was (and there was a veritable cornucopia) at the time of using. “Luckily” for me I worked as a bartender for years and was never without something to smash into my mouth or nose and the only challenge was making certain I got enough of whatever it was into my sinuses, lungs, and most often stomach without too many people knowing. Sad stuff.

    Nonetheless, great list and thank you for sharing.

  2. Richard says:

    I was never afraid of eating. I usually just didn’t feel like it. I had no pot farm to leave either. Other than that, you pretty much nailed it for me too.

    Welcome to your first sober year.

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