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 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 was one of those days where the shit just keeps flying at you quicker than you can dodge it (I am talking about problems at work). But I just dealt with each one totally calmly and rationally. Each team member was greeted with a “is anyone or anything going to die if I don’t deal with your case right now?”. If the answer was no they got an “okay just wait and I will get to you when I can give YOUR issue 100% of my attention. All I could think is that I would never of had a day so full of issues and problems while I was drinking and come out the other end of it happy. I dealt with them all and didn’t get flustered or grumpy because I couldn’t cope. I wasn’t tired or hungover which would of drastically changed the outcome for everyone. Shit life is so much better for me being sober.
Living life sober, raw & real really is the only way for me to live.
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.
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.