How to Stay Sober in the Wake of the Connecticut Shootings

Good afternoon. It is with a weeping heart that I write today, as I am writing to express my deepest condolences to the parents and families who lost children and loved ones yesterday. I am writing to help any of you survivors of those killed by writing about how to stay sober in the face of the acute and deep grief you are experiencing.

I do not have children, yet, I have a cat who is my child and I cannot imagine the grief I would feel if she were shot or lost in some other senseless, and devastating way. So, I can say that the loss of a child must be one hundred times more painful than the loss of my own “child,” my pet. I would want to drink to dull the tremendous heartache and grief.

This may be the case of any sober person related to someone who died yesterday. You are in such pain that the thought of drowning that sorrow in a drink or several must be tempting… oh, so tempting. Yet, with the help of your Higher Power, friends, family, and other sober people, you can get through this without a drink.

Try to separate yourself from your sorrow for a brief moment to consider where that drink will lead you… to total emotional meltdown, to possible DUI, jail, or other institutions. You could lose everything. And you don’t need that right now. It’s important to  stay present for your family, for yourself. So think the drink through.

Prayer and seeking comfort from others are so needed right now. Try not to isolate yourself; rather, talk to someone about your feelings, or go to a meeting of your support group and share about your feelings of grief. Allow your sadness, your sorrow, to surface and to be known to others. Even as I recommend not to isolate, it is important to allow yourself alone time to grieve, but don’t do it with a drink.

In the wake of this tragedy, these are a few thoughts about how to stay sober. These words seem so trite and lacking, and yet, they are the only ones I can muster at this time.

To those of you who are reading this, please join me in sending prayers and thoughts to the families of the victims, and the children who experienced this tragedy. Thank you.