Well today is my anniversary and I have now been sober for 15 months AND it feels fucken amazing. I honestly would not of believed someone if they had told me you are going to become sober and your actually going to end up loving it and not be able to imagine yourself living any other way. Now keeping up with my tradition here is my list of 15 things (1 for each month) I enjoy now I’m living life sober.
Life – I love living my life, seriously I was just letting it pass me by in my drinking days.
Counting Blessings – I have so many blessings all around me at any given moment on any given day. I simply failed to notice them while I was drinking.
Amazing Friends – Being sober and hanging with your friends WITHOUT alcohol totally takes things to a whole new deep and meaningful level. You honestly get to know the real YOU and the real THEM.
Dreaming – I love day dreaming and being relaxed enough without anxiety to be able to dream, I have some freakin amazing ideas that come from taking the time to dream.
Dealing With Pain – Sounds odd I know but bear with me, had I not got sober and had I not had an amazing friend (refer # 3) who suggested therapy and I would not of realized that it is NOT my friends job to heal me and deal with past junk. It is my job and it was my job to go out and find myself a good therapist who helped me deal finally face past pain. Friends can HELP but its not their job to sort everything out.
Freedom – I can get in my car and drive myself anywhere 24/7 I don’t have to wait until I’m not drinking or feel that I am sober enough to drive.
Acceptance – I used to drink so I didn’t feel things basically to numb and block things out. Now I want to feel it all including the bad, if I’m not willing to feel the bad I am not leaving room for the good to come in.
Goals – I know how many 50 year old people do you know that don’t or haven’t had any goals???? I have never had goals or dreams or visions to aim for in the future. The future was just something I didn’t think about as I was too busy just planning getting to the next bottle.
Excitement – I am excited for my future especially my career, I can’t wait until I can start my studies next year and then working as an Animal Welfare Inspector. If just makes so much sense my current job doesn’t anymore.
Awareness – Being sober it is like someone has opened my eyes and shown me that I am capable of so much more, I can do so much better for myself.
Improved Health – I am still on blood pressure medication but while I was drinking heavily for years even that was only just keeping it below the danger level. Now without drinking my BP is the lowest I can ever remember it being since they started recording it.
Self Love – I’m not quite there yet with this one but I have come a bloody long way from hating myself and thinking I was not worthy, I am fucken worthy and I would say I like myself.
No Desire – I really don’t have any desire to drink anymore and I just don’t see the point nor can I see a reason that would make me think it would be a good idea for me to start again NOTHING, NO REASON.
Self Care – I am a people pleaser and I used to find it extremely hard to say NO. to anything they would ask me to do for fear of upsetting them. This came at a cost to myself and I have learnt that in order to be a good person to others I have to look after myself first.
Peace & Calmness – Inner peace and calm is the most incredible feeling and while drinking you just don’t get to experience them. When I was drinking I thought it was when I reached the point that I had drunk just the right amount to feel nothing and be totally numb, that point just before you get totally depressed and start self hating and loathing before passing out. THIS IS NOT PEACEFUL NOR IS IT CALM.
I reckon that living life sober is like living life in black or white versus living in full colour. The biggest change I have noticed is that I do not suffer anxiety as much as I used to. Put me in a room of total strangers I would still have an inner melt down but I used to live my life on edge all the time and just be anxious, nervous and feel not good enough all the time. It was really a constant battle of not believing in myself nor that I was capable of doing things. Now I’ve got this inner power and confidence building in myself. I have the desire to want to be better and I believe in myself that I can be and do better. There is also something growing inside me that is telling me that I am worthy and I do deserve to have and be better.
Okay this post is going off on a tangent I wasn’t expecting can you believe this all started because I was going to write about how different some things are? I was going to tell you all how the other day while traveling with the Animal Welfare Inspectors that we traveled some huge distances on some windy roads that just went on and on, round and round for a bloody long time. Now previously I would of been as sick as a dog from car sickness, I have not wanted to go on long journeys unless I am the driver because of knowing that I would end up sick. I was expecting to have problems but apart from one point when I felt a little bit ill (but shit anyone would of those roads were bad) I traveled just fine. Now I am wondering to myself was I not suffering from motion sickness at all?? Was it traveling with a hangover or because of the vast amounts that I had consumed the night before? As a child I did suffer from terrible motion sickness but now I am wondering have I been suffering from this as an adult or was it the booze?
Living life sober, raw and real has hidden surprises everywhere and I think that the longer I keep going with this sober journey the more dangerous I am going to become because I am going to end up being so fucken awesome in my own mind it could get scary as I find my inner power. Okay this was a weird post but that’s okay it’s getting this out of my mind and out into the universe.
Arrrgggghhhh I am sick and I hate being sick BUT it has reminded me that I am not sick as often as I was when I was drinking. I would have upset tummies more often than I was well. As a child growing up when we got an upset tummy Mum used to give us some Port & Brandy and this carried on into my adult life. It really does work as it gives your tummy a nice warm feeling and funny enough it would put you to sleep and you would have a good rest. I know, I know it probably knocked me out and now I wonder how many parents give their kids alcohol when they are unwell. But today the thought struck me that I would rather be sick longer and work through this than drinking Port & Brandy. I can’t even touch it as a medicine because I know that all it is going to take for me to fail is just one drink. There is no doubt that I would be totally gutted that I had let alcohol pass through these lips again. I would dive into depression as the self hate and loath awaken because I have taken that drink. The depression would in turn go into full blown self disappointment and I would be at high risk of launching myself full throttle back into drinking and in no time into total excess. Fuck that I would rather be ill because I will recover from this but to add the rest back to it is totally overwhelming and I can’t, won’t ever do it.
I am living life sober, raw and real and it is going to take more than being sick to change that.
I often find myself pondering just how much alcohol is out there and for people giving it up or have given it up there are always reminders every single day.
Right from a tender age it is often something that we view and see as an “adult” drink and which youngster isn’t busting their arse to be considered an adult? Once you turn 18 years of age in New Zealand you are legally allowed to purchase alcohol but there is no minimum legal drinking age. Just typing that my mind is thinking that is crazy, you can get a special licence to start learning to drive once you hit 16 years of age. You can’t join the Army until you are 17 years of age. How can we not have an age restriction on being able to consume alcohol, how is that even possible?
It feels like our adult lives are built around it. Invite friends around for a BBQ and it is expected that it involves beer, wine and as the hours pass something stronger. Go out for dinner and you are always presented with the wine list so you can select a suitable pre-dinner wine then after ordering they will suggest something that will compliment your meal. Get a promotion at work, lets all go for a celebration drink. It’s your birthday, lets celebrate with a drink or ten.
All the advertising I see is with happy smiling people who are having a wonderful time. Over here they sell it where ever you can get a wholesaler licence, corner dairies, supermarkets, bottle stores, online it is everywhere. I remember when I first stopped drinking I actually started ordering my groceries online and having it delivered to home so that I didn’t have to walk past all the booze for sale in the supermarket.
Shit I want to start up some of our own advertising and put up billboards with the true story. I think when I was giving up it would of been so much easier if it was like tobacco over here which can’t be advertised, the actual packets of ciggies cannot be visible and have to be kept hidden in a cupboard and shoppers ask for them. Then when they do get them there are health warnings all over them and really gross photos e.g. rotten lungs etc. Imagine if the did that with booze?
Living life sober, raw and real is the only life for me.
When I was drinking I was so depressed and is it any wonder???? Seriously alcohol is a depressant, the heart medication I am on is a depressant, I already had a depressed part of me because of things that had happened earlier in my life. I seriously thought that I was dealing with it by drinking and numbing the feelings because I was too depressed to deal with them. I spent over 20 years just in a numb state because I thought that was an easier way to deal with things. You see one of the sad things about being an alcoholic is that it not only numbs but it takes away your logic and reasoning ability.
Alcohol along with your mind erodes your self esteem, numbs everything, makes you lonely, attracts weight gain, deteriorates your health, shrinks your bank account, wastes your life you have been blessed with. Nope I’m not being dramatic I just seeing now with a sober mind just what it did for me and that there was sadly fuck all benefits versus negatives. For me my self esteem had already had the shit kicked out of it and over the years I just bet up what ever was left over. I certainly was numb from the sad and the happy. Lonely well I didn’t want people around me, I didn’t want them knowing my dirty secret and I wanted to be able to sink bottle after bottle without worrying about Timmy keeping up with me so I didn’t look like a person with a drinking problem. Well the weight gain was a given you can’t suck in that much alcohol every day and not have it take effect along with the fact you are normally always just sitting on your arse guzzling. Ahhh my bank balance is a very sad story but that might not be common I don’t know but in the end with my fucked up way of thinking I spent everything and my logic was if I didn’t have the money to buy alcohol I would stop drinking. Ummmm wrong, credit card companies love alcoholic me!! The waste my life part doesn’t really need much explanation except now sober me can see OMG there is so much living and life I want to grasp with both hands and say thank you Higher Power!!
Hmmm trying to think of the benefits helps you fit in socially (well with the party side but seriously you don’t need the booze to do that) which is lame growing up I certainly didn’t aspire to grow into this funny, drunken, rambling, slurring idiot just so I could fit in with others in the same state but shit that was where I ended up for a while). Hmm it is a lovely way to reward yourself, help unwind, recognize the start of a weekend. Oh please what a load of shit, what a reward guzzling poison into my body so that I could unwind that much that I would eventually pass out and start my weekend with a shitty hangover or if I was lucky waking up with stink alcohol breath, a mouth that felt like the desert had invaded over night, a crook tummy for the day (probs cause I had poisoned the poor thing). Yep what a great way to start the weekend and then to just retreat because I’m not up to doing anything more than what I have to do and I avoid people because I can’t be bothered.
Living life sober, raw and real is the only life for me and tonight I did not start out to write the above but I am glad it has purged itself from my mind because that just reinforces that the best gift I have ever given myself is my sobriety.
Last night I touched on the feeling of stillness versus numb and the difference is as big as black versus white. I really can sit like this lucky lady and I can feel so much peace within myself that I can sit there an just be. It feelings amazing to be able to do this and to have a still mind.
Numbness: The only way I could turn off all of the thoughts and feelings in my mind was through adding poison into my body. My choice of poison was alcohol and I would drink it to excess every single night so that I would be so pissed I would not be able to think clearly. Then I would up it by drinking more until I couldn’t think. Next up it another level so that I couldn’t stay awake so I didn’t risk thinking or feeling at all. This would only work until around 2am when I would wake up and toss and turn with terrible self abusive depressing thoughts including feeling sorry for myself. I would lay there for hours doing this and if I was lucky fall asleep again around 5am so I would hopefully get another hour in before having to get up for work.
Stillness: When I have spare time or am stressed I will often just allow myself to stop and either just sit or lay on the bed and just relax. I don’t know why but I notice my middle finger and thumb always seem to join forming a circle, goodness knows why but it seems to add to the calmness. I can stop my mind and just let it rest for a while. It is so peaceful and when I stop it feels like I have had a power nap. It is like my mind is telling me it’s okay and it helps me afterwards to realise that no matter whats happening I’m okay. Be a nice person, do your best, look after yourself and rock on.
Living life sober, raw and real is freakin awesome and finding hidden parts of myself like this is like slowly opening up a treasure chest that I have been carrying but with the booze it was so buried I just didn’t see it. Don’t ever worry about being boring if you give up boozing, that is seriously far from what happens. You find so many new levels to yourself that booze was hiding away from you.