I reckon the fact that I over think things all the time adds to my exhaustion, I think I literally wear myself out with it all. I don’t do it on purpose infact I can often be sitting here not thinking about a damn thing. But some things I can twist around and round in my little mind and build them up to something that they really aren’t. Oh I know the perfect example like me hoping that Lenny Kravitz’s concert gets postponed because of Coronavirus and wondering if that make me evil to think like that. It’s not evil at all it’s just human nature and plain I’m not in a position to go to his concert at the end of the month but I might be if and when he reschedules.
I was thinking that my drinking used to stop my mind thinking like that BUT as I type this I realize that’s not true either. I used to go into really dark thinking places while I was drinking and the only time it stopped was for the brief time that I was passed out. But being passed out never lasted all night and I would lay there climbing even deeper into my deep thoughts.
I guess that at least now my thoughts are not as deep and scary as they were back then and for that I am extremely grateful.
When I first stopped drinking I was excited to find a friend that didn’t drink and said that she just didn’t have time for it and didn’t like it as it made her feel gross. I was excited because all my current friends were drinkers and I just wasn’t able to be around them as in the first part of me giving up I just totally avoided any situations that I knew would have alcohol in them. I really like this lady and admire her for being so smart, independent and very hard working. To hear that she didn’t drink and that she didn’t even like it gave me hope that I had found someone I could spend time with and not ever have to worry about booze. In the early days it actually helped me to stay focused on not drinking because she showed me how you could have a great productive life without it.
Funny thing was when I hit around the nine month mark of being sober she started to let it slip that she was drinking and that she would drive herself to the beach and drink in her wagon. Sometimes she had been working so hard that she was would have some and then climb into the back of the wagon and fall asleep for a while. I was first off concerned for her that she was so stressed that she was drinking to escape it and REALLY concerned with the fact that she would drive home afterwards. She is a very head strong person and you can’t tell her what to do if she wants to do something but I did lecture her about the driving part and how it was dangerous not only for her but for the other people on the road. I don’t know if she did it again because we never discussed it again but I do see images going up on her social media of her with or showing off what she is drinking.
I would be a liar if I didn’t say that at first I was totally gutted that my first found sober friend who I looked up to and kept in mind whenever I thought of drinking was drinking after telling me how much she hated it. I was hurt and really surprised that she had been so adamant about it and then to be drinking like that. Now looking back I think wow that was really rude of me (hmm I don’t think that is the right word because I never told her of my disappointment) to project the weight of my sober journey onto the shoulders of a friend. It’s her journey, her choice if she drinks or not. Thinking about it now I think the timing was still perfect, her sober life was what I needed at the beginning of my journey and the fact that there was nine months like that to help get me started was a total blessing. I haven’t actually hung out with her much over my two years sober hmm only a handful of times and the rest of our relationship has been via text, email or messenger. It’s odd I still love her but it is different without that sober bond.
Thank you universe / higher power / God what ever it is that you call him / her for bringing me what I needed when I needed it most.
Haha is that even a word, I don’t know and don’t care it’s where I’m at and I’m owning it. This time two years ago I would of been sitting here drunk and possibly passed out by now and if not it would of been very close. I would of also been very scared and nervous and probably talking to myself saying tomorrow your starting day one again. This is the sort of talk that would of been running through my booze fueled mind. Tomorrow you are going to resist when your body screams out for you to go and buy more alcohol and your going to tell it to shut up you little alcoholic bitch. But for now, for tonight maybe I should of brought more booze so I could finish it off with a bang, shit have I only got a couple left I fucken knew I should of got more, what a dumbarse. But guess what you pathetic bitch you couldn’t even go and get more now if you wanted to, you can’t drive drunk and there is no, nudda, zip in the bank you have maxed out everything, and overdrafted to the limit everything you can just so you hopefully won’t figure out another way to pay for booze when your body is screaming for it. I do remember waking at some ridiculous hour and finding that I still had 3/4 of a bottle left, shit don’t waste it and tonight is the last night remember so I drunk that to before I waddled off to bed. I was so sad and desperately lonely and the self loath and regrets where all at an all time high.
Can you see now just what a sad person I was, I was terrified of how life would be without booze as my coping mechanism. I was scared that I would be even lonelier if I didn’t have the booze to numb myself and to drown out the lonely feelings. I was scared that my depression and anxiety would both go off the charts without the booze to numb it and give my mind a rest and escape from it all. I honestly had no idea the journey I had ahead of me and I had no idea how much work I had to actually commit to in reaching out for the help I needed and to be honest and admit my own problems and insecurities. It really is still a work very much in progress. Tomorrow I will wake up and it will be my 2 year soberversary and I know right now that I will be waking up hangover free and proud as hell with myself.
Dear social media, you know how you keep asking if me if I know this person and if I want to add her as my friend or contact? Well yes, yes I do know that person as she is me but she is a much different version of me than the one you have before you today. You see she opened those accounts when she was drunk and the sober me doesn’t know what passwords she thought she was so smart making up. Some of the profiles were so she could explore the lesbian side of her. Some was trying to set up a profile for employment and some were just trying to break away from her past. Every time you keep asking me if I want to add that person to my list of friends or contacts I feel sad. You see neither she nor me can remember the passwords nor oddly enough the email addresses we used in setting up those accounts so neither of us can shut them down again either. It’s a little bit sad how you keep sending emails to my work email address as well because I can’t seem to login to shut down her account there either. Hmmmm don’t know whether to laugh or cry about it. At least when she use to do internet shopping while drunk it was a surprise when the parcels arrived, you know a bit like having an unexpected birthday or christmas present. At least most of the things that arrived were awesome. Hey social media you know how there is times you ask for a person to present ID to prove that your real?? Could you send her one of those please verify yourself messages? She is gone and no forwarding address, shut her down.
Living life sober, raw & real means that I don’t do stupid things like this anymore. Oh don’t get me wrong I can do dumb arse stuff like take the dogs medication and then find my own still sitting on the bench (didn’t itch for a month) sort of stuff haha but at least I do it now while not being under the influence. Nor do I do things like the above all while thinking I don’t have a drinking problem and I’m not an alcoholic.
Today was the first day of Spring for us and it really was the perfect Spring day it was fantastic. Spring is in fact my favorite season, not to cold & not to hot it is just perfect, warm days and cool evenings which make sleeping beautiful. It was also Fathers Day and I got to spend some time with both of my parents so that was nice.
I got my normal walk in with my dogs in the morning and again in the afternoon so if nothing else had happened today I would be happy. I was intending to go for a bigger walk on my own but my foot injury is causing me a lot of pain at the moment and the swelling in my heel is making it hard to stand let alone walk some times so that was a bit of a bummer. Never mind not the end of the world and now that it is Spring there is going to be plenty of time to go for my bush and tropical garden walks.
However I did get to go outside and work in my garden for a while, I have tidied up the veggie garden and cleared out all the weeds so that it is ready for planting. There really is something therapeutic in working in the soil and preparing the garden for planting. Once I finished I must admit to standing there with a smile feeling very proud of my efforts.
I did go to the supermarket after having a debate of what could I buy and not go without. I am flat broke this week thanks to car problems so I had to raid the $50 I had put aside for the chiropractor (will rebook for after payday). I think this fortnight might play out like a game of survivor without any treasure to find on the island lol. Talk about thinking just what can’t I go without and funny enough at the top of the list was toilet paper followed closely by the dogs food, apples (instead of over priced chocolate) and lettuce to add to my wraps for lunch, crackers and a loaf of bread boom $50 gone. Lets see how that all lasts for the next couple of weeks.
All up I would say it was a very successful weekend and I am finishing it content, tired and happy, oh and with you lot 🙂 Could living sober be the best thing I have ever done for myself, OH HELL YES, oh except getting my dogs they are the absolute best thing that ever came into my life but that is another subject for another day. I did give you prewarning in the header that this would be just rambling 😉 I hope you all had an awesome weekend, did you? What was the high and what was the low?
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.