A strong sober network is one of the pillars of achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety. Each month we are going to hear the stories from people who are in Dylan’s network. Some will be people in recovery from drugs and alcohol but others will be people who’s positive lifestyle inspires Dylan. We hope you also find inspiration from these stories.
Our first story is from his mom, Maureen or Mo as she is called, who happens to be my mom, too. I sat down and asked her to tell me about her sober journey. My mother, father and both brothers are all sober, and together they make one incredibly strong team. It’s only right to start this new monthly blog series with Mo Money, the living legend. Together, we came up with this idea to highlight individuals within Dylan’s network and I’m so proud to share her story and kickoff Recovery Reboot.
Maureen reflects on her journey below...
"I got sober on December 13, 2003 so I am in my 18th year free from alcohol which was my drug of choice. I had my first drink when I was 13 at an 8th grade graduation party. I was a shy kid who didn't feel like I fit in. The first time I drank, it comforted me like a warm blanket. I went from feeling like a dorky, chubby red- headed kid to Cinderella at the ball. I chased this feeling for 31 years. Instead of feeling like a loser, now I was a cool kid. I drank every chance I got from that point on in my life.
I woke up on that December 3rd day in 2003, hungover for the last time. My kids had an early basketball game and I was the coach. I looked like hell and I felt like death. I knew that to be the best mom I could be for my kids that the wine had to go. By the grace of God, that was the beginning of my life as a sober woman.
I grew up in a large Irish Catholic family, the oldest of 7. In AA we say we are members of the CIA. Catholic, Irish, Alcoholic. My parents drank every night. Happy hour was at 6. It was part of every occasion. It was very hard to be the only one,” not drinking”, at family functions. It still is. They were my favorite people to drink with. My family network runs deep and I'm grateful for each and every one.
Alcoholism has many faces. In my case, I never drank in the morning, I only drank beer and wine. I didn’t need to go to rehab. I didn’t drink at work. I never drank when I was pregnant. I was dependent on alcohol to take the edge of life’s pressures off my shoulders. My rock bottom was more spiritual than physical. I had lost myself and my ability to deal with problems head on. My life immediately became more manageable."
I asked my mom what tools are in her recovery tool box? She said, “I was sober for many years without the support of AA. I went to a few meetings here and there but I was still looking for the secret of drinking like a lady so I left those first meetings still wanting to drink.
It wasn’t until Dylan got sober two years later that we explored AA further and found people who were just like us, allergic to alcohol. We can never drink again and because alcohol is so acceptable in society we have to approach our sobriety one day at a time. Each morning I get on my knees and thank God for another day of sobriety and to keep me away from a drink today.
I am now an active member of AA. I feel most comfortable when I sit in that chair, often in church basements with bad coffee. Those are my people. The pandemic was tough because this alcoholic is best with 3 meetings a week and everything was shut down. I listened to a lot of sober podcasts and did the occasional Zoom meeting. I had the blessing of attending a meeting at my home group yesterday after a year and a half of Covid chaos. If you think you have a drinking problem there are many routes to getting sober. I use AA as the backbone to my recovery. I also have a therapist, a sponsor and a large sober network. I meditate, pray and try to live life one day at a time."
Maureen embodies a pillar for achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety and will continue to co-write the Recovery Reboot series. Although Dylan and I are biased, we believe that Mo is quite possibly an angel living on earth. She has been a vital part of The Lefty Cycles Project, Inc. journey and most recently she volunteered at an event with Dylan to promote bike safety at an elementary school. Pictured below, Mo SAFELY reading to the kiddos and spreading the love.
Maureen was an educator for over 20 years in the New London Public School System and has influenced hundreds of children, including her own 5 ( plus Addison). Thank you for sharing your story, and helping me get my homework done.