Today is my 18 months soberversary and to be honest it feels a bit flat which is such a rip off. It’s not the anniversaries fault rather what I have been through over the last week that has sucked the life out of me and there is actually fuck all energy left to get excited with. As I type this I am starting to feel a sense of growing pride inside at the thought that I have made it to this point and would have to say that this last week has been such a tough week. I have survived it without drinking to numb everything, without drinking to take a break from everything and stopping the over thinking. In light of it all I think this really is the appropriate time to list 18 things that have improved since I have given up drinking.
- Sleep – As long as I am not worrying about anything or my body giving me pain I can sleep like a baby once I fall asleep.
- Mornings – I freakin love mornings especially waking up with a clear head after a great sleep.
- Walking My Dogs – Previously I would of been thinking either I’m hung over from the night before so we will just skip the walk this morning OR hurry up so we can get home and I can crack open a bottle.
- Showers – OMGosh I love long showers and standing there just feeling the sensation of the water on my body WITHOUT the nausea I used to stand there feeling while my body had the shakes.
- Breakfast – Not only do I have a cup of coffee now but I also have a bowl of cereal because I can as there is no nausea.
- GROSS ALERT Pooping – No I don’t love pooping but I love how my toilet habits are now regular and normal. I think true alcoholics will understand how this normal thing is not to be taken for granted now.
- Driving – While drinking there was countless times when I would be driving to work and wondering if I would still be over if I got breath tested.
- Working – My job is not my dream job but I am still blessed to have it AND it is so much easier doing it and adding to my tasks without having to cope with a foggy brain and body from the night before.
- Home Made Lunches – I love that in the mornings now I have time and the will to make my own lunches and they are healthy lunches.
- Being Able To Drive Home Past The Liquor Outlets – In my first few months of going sober it was horrible as there was no way for me to drive home without going past at least one liquor outlet and my alcoholic brain would be screaming out to me to stop and go and buy some booze.
- Not Arguing With MYSELF – That’s right I no longer argue with myself, my mind used to be it’s own worst enemy and we would often argue with you deserve a drink, no you don’t because you don’t want to drink, you have had a hard day you deserve a drink just tonight, no you don’t because if you really want to treat yourself don’t drink and you won’t be full of regret tomorrow. Get the idea it was a never ending battle with my alcoholic brain.
- Reality – This one is debatable but in my sober journey I have had to face up (and still am noticing some things) to things that have ended up fucked up by myself in my life while living the 20 years as an alcoholic. The difference is now I am facing up and I am either dealing with or figuring out how to deal with them so things can only get better from here.
- Movies & TV – It would not be possible to count the amount of programs and movies I “watched” while drinking that I would not be able to tell you what the hell was happening in them. You really don’t take in anything of what is happening nor can you keep up and when you pass out you wake up and it can some times take a bit to realize you are now watching a totally different bloody program. Now there is so many good and interesting things I can watch including the one’s I “watched” (not really) previously.
- The Results Of Therapy – I have enjoyed going into therapy and finding out that I am not as screwed up as I thought I was.
- Goals – I never set goals before and nor did I have the desire to do so.
- So Much To Look Forward To – I actually have to slow myself down and have to sort out what I want to do first. I have realized that there is just so much I am capable of doing and so much fun and enjoyment to be have in this life. I am no longing just turning up for life I am now wanting to live it.
- Doing Things I Never Thought Possible – Skydiving comes to mind when I type this, there is no way in hell that I would of even thought about doing this as a fundraiser for the animals. But sober me said oh hell yeah I can do that and not only did I do it I went another 3,000 feet higher than what people sponsored me to do.
- ME – Last but not least ME I have improved since giving up drinking. Me as a person and me as a whole. I think it is so easy to keep pushing and wanting to improve things be a better person, be healthier, work on being over weight, work on getting fitter but this anniversary I just look back to how I was 18 months ago and I have already come a very, very long way on the road to improvement.
Living life sober, raw & real is my gift to myself. I choose to live this way there is no one making me do it nor telling me I have to do it I am doing it because I knew that I had to for me.
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.
Last night someone asked me exactly that question – “What finally made you stop drinking?” And as I typed my answer I don’t think I have told the below to you all and it is a very important part of my journey so I wanted to make sure it was documented in here. Below is my answer –
I wish I could pin point just one thing for you but it wasn’t a light bulb moment or anything like that. I was sick and tired of drinking, I sat in a supermarkets car park crying because I wanted to go home but didn’t have any booze at home. My wages should of gone in but they hadn’t and I couldn’t afford it until they did. I sat there refreshing my bank account on my phone until it got later and later wishing that money in. It was starting to get dark and I wanted to go home even more, I wanted to close the door to this shitty world and my addiction and just be with my dogs and drinking so I could forget about how sad and desperate I felt sitting in my car right then. Finally I left the car park without the booze and went home crying. I sat there thinking how pathetic I was and knew that it was time, I had warning signs like while walking the dogs I could feel the heart palpitations and would seriously worry that I would drop dead. My blood pressure was through the roof and I was on strong medication for that. I felt desperate, trapped, alone and my option was either suicide or try again to stop drinking. Thank fully I choose the stop drinking option because it wasn’t until I had been sober for a while that I could actually start to see the benefits of being sober. I hope that helps and am more than happy to answer any other questions you might have. XOX
I really had reached a point were I just couldn’t face living like I was anymore. I was so depressed and it wasn’t rare to have suicidal thoughts and make plans to do exactly that. I had been living like this for so long I really had nothing to lose by trying living life sober instead. I’m not an expert and there are other people that have more knowledge than me on the subject of addiction and alcoholism. But if there is any part of my journey that you think might help you in your journey feel free to ask me about it. I’m pretty freakin open and honest about it all. I seriously believe that one way to make good the shitty parts of my life is by using them to help others if I can.
Today I am 13 months sober and I thought I would share with you a few of the lessons I have learned so far.
- It does get easier the longer you stay sober.
- You will need to be honest with yourself.
- Put your big girl panties (or if your a guy your boxes) on and start dealing with shit.
- You will start experiencing feelings that you have been numbing.
- There is no hard and fast rule in what does or doesn’t work but keep trying until you find what does what for you.
- You are not alone.
- Reach out for help if you need it, if you get turned away don’t stop reaching out.
- Books are freakin amazing and you will find you can actually read them and focus.
- It is not possible to calm your mind when it is drunk, numb or hungover.
- Sober friendships are deeper, honest, loving and based on what is real not a boozey friendship.
- Everything will be cleaner and tidier – trust me.
- You can start making goals for yourself.
- We all deserve better than living the life of an alcoholic or addict.
I was going to apologize for sounding like a broken record and maybe too those of you that are still struggling and thinking please would this bitch please stop ranting about how fucken wonderful it all is when you are still stuck. I want to reach through this computer and give you a big hug and tell you that YOU too deserve to break free from your addiction.
Living life sober, raw and real sometimes really does suck. I don’t always sugar coat it on here. A lot of my ramblings are trying to unload my mind or deal with shit that I am still working on / going through. I can say from the bottom of my heart this is better than doing what I was which wasn’t even living.
- Dax Sheppard
- Shania Twain
- Bradley Cooper
- Rob Lowe
- Eva Mendes
- Ben Afleck
- Russell Brand
- Kendrick Lamar
- Brad Pitt
- Pharrell Williams
- Gerard Butler
- Kat Von D
- Colin Farrell
- Edie Falco
- Samuel L Jackson
- Eric Clapton
- 50 Cents
Seriously who would think little old me would have anything in common with these well known people? Well we do, and so do many of you that are reading this. We are all choosing to live our lives 100% sober, I like how one friend described it “without anesthetic” that is perfect. But you don’t have to be famous or wealthy to give yourself the biggest gift all you need to do is stop drinking. The difference is hmm like living life with the lights off 24 / 7 versus life with a spot light you can turn on when ever you damn well want. You can feel everything and stop numbing it, oh and if your one that drinks because you are feeling good and want to amplify that feeling you can enjoy it longer, harder, louder what ever it is your doing without eventually dulling it at the end.
Thank you ME for gifting ME the gift of sobriety just like the people above have. Living life sober, raw and real is fucken awesome.
Well today marked my eleventh month anniversary so in my normal style I am marking it by coming up with eleven reasons why being sober really does feel like magic. I have included things that ARE better and things that I am working on to be better. NONE of these would of been possible had I not given up drinking. This list is not in any particular order.
- LIFE –Living under the hazy cloud of being an alcoholic isn’t living, I was just turning up and going through the motions with very little feeling involved.
- FEELINGS- The GOOD & the BAD emotions, I’m feeling them both now and sadly it’s impossible to have one without the other but that’s okay because I am dealing with them and no longer burying them.
- FREEDOM – I was a prisoner of my own making with my drinking. Once I got home from work or that magic 5pm on the weekends happened it was time to crack open a couple of bottles (the first one always went to fast) then the next etc. After those first 2 I was always too nervous to drive anywhere (thank God) but now if I want to go somewhere I can at any time.
- AUTHENTICITY – I am working on this one this year and want to be true to myself. I simply want to be myself not what others want me to be.
- MOTIVATION – Living a life where all you do is drink, sleep, go to work repeat really sucks. Now I find myself motivated to do more and be more.
- BONDING – Okay sure you have friends when you are drinking and they can be awesome people BUT when you are an alcoholic you really do shy away from having friends because you don’t want them knowing your dirty little secret. Now I have made a few new friends who I treasure so much. We have bonded on a much deeper level because I’m not hiding anything. I’m not worried about getting away from them so I can go home and drink more on my own (don’t want them to see just what a lush I really am now).
- INTEGRITY – I believe that I have more integrity now living my life sober. If I say I am going to attend something or do something I actually turn up and do it, previously I would of found a reason to be a no show purely so I could stay home and drink.
- HONESTY – With my super duper friends I am living a life of pure honesty and it is so much easier. There are things in my past that I am not going to share with just anyone but to these Soul Sisters I am totally honest and open. It really does make things so much easier because I think it also helps them understand me and my insecurities a lot better rather than just think I’m an insecure pain in the arse they understand why I have certain traits that I do. It is so much easier being honest because I don’t have to try to remember how much have I told them etc. If they have a question they know they can ask and if I’m not comfortable answering I will explain why I can’t yet.
- CLEANLINESS – I have noticed that my house is a lot cleaner because I actually have spare time on my hands to do things like housework. I’m talking more than just the basic laundry, vacuum, wash dishes. Things that I used to just put up with now I look at and I have the energy and time to fix it.
- TIME – Without sitting here drinking every night until I pass out and then wake up feeling like crap in the morning after a terrible nights sleep I find myself with a lot more time on my hands. It is amazing, no that’s not the right word it is fucken exhausting all the time and energy put into drinking at the level I did. Not just the drinking but the time wasted dealing with the side effects of drinking. I love days when I wake up early and I love seeing the sun rise, although I don’t get to do it that often because I am also a night owl BUT now I have the option if I want to I can.
- FRIENDS – Okay I have touched on this a bit in the honesty and bonding but the best gift I have received out of going sober (apart from sobriety itself because that fucken rocks! ) is my Soul Sisters and the love we share. They know my journey and they support me, love me and are there for me. In turn I am always here for them and love them and will always be here for them because they are now my chosen Sisters. The best gift is to be needed and in turn have them be there for you. These friendships are not based on drinking and partying, in fact I have never had an alcoholic drink with any of them now I think about it. These friendships run so much deeper because we really do enjoy each others company and love deep and meaningful conversations. I don’t know about all of you but I have never had such deep friendships with my drinking buddies.
Okay excuse any typo’s in here because I really am tired but it was important that I got this done today. I have absolutely no regrets at all for deciding to live life sober and fully intend to remain sober for the rest of my life. Living life sober, raw & real is exactly how I want to live and exactly how I am living. Now I have a month to decide what I’m going to do for my 1 year sober date 🙂 I have asked 2 of the Soul Sisters if we can do something and they have both said hell yes, well not in those words but you know what I mean. Hopefully it works out because with them both going overseas having busy schedules it might not so I might have to find another way to celebrate but I can promise you right now no matter what I do I will not be touching any alcohol for this celebration and I’m bloody happy about that.
You now how with alcohol you drink the first one that fast because, you know your real thirsty and all that? Like so fast that you grab two drinks at once so you don’t have to get up again in 5 mins to grab the second one? Yeah well, you don’t need to do that when your not drinking alcohol because the first one really quenches the thirst anyway and it isn’t full of ethanol (which surprisingly isn’t addictive itself) which causes a chemical reaction in our brains which in turn leads us back to wanting more & more and is one of the reasons that it turns to addiction.
You know how you keep drinking and have to keep running back and forwards to the toilet to pee (well that was how it was for me while chucking back the ciders or beers) pretty much after the third bottle you had to go each time you got up for a new bottle?Oh and if you are like me I used to get wobblier on my feet each time and I often would bang into things e.g. the door handle and then the following day think where the hell did these bruises come from. Yeah well, you don’t need to do that when your not drinking multiple alcoholic drinks. Because like I say one or some times if it’s yummy or your dehydrated two non-alcoholic drinks don’t pass through you quicker than a freight train.
You know how you would start drinking before you had cooked or prepared a meal and then you would start to really relax and instead of cooking a proper decent meal you would just think fuck it and just grab something to full the gap, well that was if you even still felt like eating. Yeah well, you can still find yourself just grabbing something quick when your not drinking alcohol lol let’s be honest here BUT you do actually take the time more often to cook and enjoy a decent meal. And as you have given up drinking and are starting to take care of yourself better the chances are it’s going to be healthier.
You know how you would start drinking and then think oh shit please don’t anyone phone or call around. I don’t think I’m slurring, oh shit am I slurring how the hell will I know if I’m slurring as my brain is numbing and it doesn’t feel like I’m slurring….. shit to scared to answer the phone or the door now incase I’m slurring. Yeah well guess what?? Now that your not drinking alcohol you can actually answer the phone or the door and not worry about that good old slurrring. Shit you can even drive a car if need be!!
These all seem like basic things but really they aren’t. To me these are all parts of the puzzle that are now fitting together that show me just how shit life was for me while drinking. Basic things, yes I agree, but they all add up to not living my life in happiness and to it’s full potential. I don’t know if this was just relevant to me or if there are others out their nodding their heads as they read this. So much wasted time I can never get back from chugging away a the bottle. I don’t want to waste time on the little things anymore. Today I am living life 100% sober and for that I am blessed.
Well all I can say is thank goodness Christmas day is over for me and all I can feel is relief that it is done. It was a hard day but I knew in my mind that it was only a few hours and that afterwards I would feel the weight lift from my shoulders. I am now emotionally exhausted and will be hitting bed very shortly. It is hard work hiding your emotions and putting up a happy, smiling face for others so no one knows that inside you are suffering. I am so tired and numb that I can’t even really think or maybe a better word is I can’t express the emotions I went through today.
But what I do have the energy to write about here is the fact I have been around alcohol a LOT over the last couple of weeks and I am so happy to report that I have not touched a drop. I have smelt it and started to reminisce about that initial mouth full and how it used to feel but just as quickly my thought turned to, oh fuck off how about remembering how disappointed you are with yourself every time you drink. How disappointed you are with yourself the next morning. How disappointed you are when you have to start back at day number one again. Going back to the shittest nights sleep, the heartburn, the cloudy mornings…….. yuck, yuck, yuck FUCK NO!!!! Apart from today I have enjoyed this Christmas season being absolutely 100% sober and I have NO regrets nor self hate for it.
I was also thinking today that previously I have not done anything to celebrate the one year sober mark. I know it’s not until the 4th of February and I have a bit of time to go but this time around I want to do something. I’m not sure yet, I have a couple of Soul Sisters that know about and have totally supported my sober journey this time around (they were not part of my journey on previous attempts) and maybe I just ask them if they want to go out for lunch to celebrate or something. I’m not really sure but I know that this time I want to mark it in some way.
Living life sober, raw and real is a gift and I am grabbing it with both hands.
Last night I talked about some of the shame I carried while I was a drinker but tonight I want to talk about the pride I feel being sober. I really do have so much more respect for myself now I am no longer carrying the weight of my dirty little secret and no longer suffer the shame of trying to hide it. I am living life sober and I am fucken proud of that, I don’t openly go around telling people hey guess what I’m sober now. In fact I haven’t even discussed it with my family, but that is no big surprise. Some of my friends know but if the others were to ask me about why I’m not drinking I would openly tell them. My boss knows but that is as far as it goes at work, no one else knows. It’s not even that I am ashamed of it because I’m not it’s just that I don’t see the point. You really don’t need to tell everyone everything about yourself that is just stupid. Any way off on a tangent there, hmm obviously matters more to me than I realized. Let me try starting this again.
I feel as though I am slowly but surely rising from the ashes and I am respecting myself for doing it. I think I have a healthier respect for myself in many ways and I am liking how I am a more reliable person. I used to say I would turn up to things or I’ll see I might come etc but then I would bail out. First off my anxiety would be off the scale at the thought of going out and being with people but I couldn’t chug, chug my way through the bottles there. Of cause you can have a couple but you don’t really want people noticing how much you are drinking. “Oh hey anyone want another, oh shit look around and they weren’t even 1/2 way through.” So instead you just wouldn’t go and you would stay at home were you could comfortably drink the night away. I think I am saying you here simply because I am not that person anymore, I actually identify with my previous self as another person, well isn’t that insightful of me. Shit sorry I’m all over the place tonight, seem to be suffering them good old brain farts were I just can’t keep the focus.
Previously if one of the dogs got sick after say 6.30 – 7 pm there is no way I could of legally driven them to the vet. Oh shit I don’t know if I shared with you previously my Dad had a heart attack and I drove him to the hospital after many Vodka’s. This was through winding country roads into the city and not only that I had to drive it again to go home and pick up his meds for the doctor then back to the hospital with them and at the end of the night home again. How the fuck did I manage that, I really have no idea, there is another very shameful moment from my drinking days. Now should a family member or friend need me I can safely say I will be able to drive 100% sober so that is another huge point for being reliable now.
My main point of tonight’s ramble is that I am proud of myself for fighting this bitch and by doing so I have a level of self respect that I never, ever had before. Living life sober fucken rocks.