I was interested to see some comments the other day on one of my posts about how our relationships change with our friends once we stop drinking. It certainly did for me and it was really a combination of me and them that brought about that change. Previously we would get together and we would all drink and socialize but I wouldn’t stop there I would always have or get more booze so that I could keep going when I got home. While drinking with my friends I would be one of those people that was always a friendly drunk but I was a funny drunk as well and we would always have a good time. My next level after being funny was just being quiet and doing what is still one of my favorite hobbies of people watching. Once I turned sober I started avoiding situations that would put me around alcohol so stopped socializing with my friends. We did meet up a few times but funny enough we didn’t relax and I wasn’t as funny and entertaining for them. Truth be known I am funny and in fact I was funnier and actually made sense but I don’t think that is the type of entertainment my friends wanted. Not sure how to explain it but we just had a hang out, relax, have some fun and drink nights nothing heavy and certainly nothing bonding like the amazing friendships I have now. Now that I am happily sober I can be around alcohol and it doesn’t bother me, if anything watching the effect I see it have on people the more I hate it. But I have tried hanging with these friends and I get bored out of my tree. They talk shit and get drunk and there is so much more I would rather be doing. I still consider these people friends but our lives are on different paths now and I have decided to take a different path to them now.
I’m sure most of you would of read previously how freakin amazing my Soul Sisters are and just how great our relationships are. We lift each other up and support each other and also encourage each other to be the best version of ourselves. We accept and love each other for just who we are, no fakeness, no bullshit. We have very indepth and interesting conversations and I love it. Seriously life is just so much better without alcohol in it and I am much happier and comfortable without anxiety to sit around and drink coffee now a days. Once done I am still able to do what ever I want and I don’t waste time the next morning getting over a night out.
Living life sober, raw & real is my life and I am damn happy about that.
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.
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.
I have to admit that I hate the saying “One day at a time” I just hate the thought that as an alcoholic that I should simply take it day by day with my addiction. I want to see in the future for the rest of my life that there is nothing but sober in front of me. But then I have totally out of the blue lightening bolts like this evening when I was busy doing my volunteer work and I thought to myself “I wouldn’t mind a drink” and as quick as that my mind went “holy fuck what is wrong with you????? There is no way you are going to have a drink!!” Far out thoughts like that are sneaky little fuckers that just pop into your head. My message for you my little alcoholic voice, why don’t you shut the hell up, just for that I am going to tell you just one of the reasons WHY WE ARE NOT GOING TO DRINK.
One of the many exhausting things that I had while drinking was carrying the shame and having to hide my dirty little secret. I loved nothing more than to crack open that first bottle late afternoon and raise it to my lips. I can still remember how my lips would give a little quiver as the coolness of the bottle hit my lips, the smell of the booze entered my nostrils and that thirst quenching alcohol entered my mouth. The lips would always quiver on that first hit. That first bottle would be gone in about 15 minutes (I am talking a stubbie bottle of beer or the later years cider of 330ml) well actually if I was lucky it would last that long. Then the next one would be needed so often I would grab two out of the fridge at once so I didn’t have to get off my big fat arse to grab another one. Now if anyone just popped around and called in it would be such a pain in the arse because I would have to quickly hide the empties and make sure I was just sitting there with only one and no empties beside me or all lined up on the bench. I would of been so ashamed if someone had seen the extent of my drinking. No doubt you have all figured out that it takes more and more to reach the desired effect so I would have to sink around 8 bottles a night to be able to reach out pass out point. Actually just on a side note, how come now I’m not drinking all of this am I now skinny that part is such a rip off. Seriously there is no way I would still be enjoying the taste and it would of all been about feeding my addiction and my addiction to numbing out all feelings and thoughts and being able to pass out. God help anyone if they called, luckily I had caller ID so if it was my parents I would answer but try to say very little for fear of slurring. Shit I must of been dumb because everyone can tell when someone is slurring, oh actually even now when I’m extra tired it can sound like a lazy slur. But anything calls were just left to go to answerphone because I was to worried about people on the other end figuring out my dirty little secret of being a drunk.
Oh first off though was the purchasing of the booze, I have said in earlier posts how I used to drive to different super markets or liquor outlets each night so the people working there didn’t notice that I was going through a box a day. But at the end of all the above was actually getting rid of these empty bottles, yep even that involved shame. A recycle bin would only hold so much and when your bin is the fullest in the street every recycle day. Now on to the crash, smash and bang as it got emptied into the recycle truck magnifies in your ears because you are sure the whole bloody street must hear it. I would sit here and think oh Jesus what must they all think, do the snigger because my drinking habit was worse than their own? Did they think oh poor thing? Did they wonder if they should put an AA brochure in my letter box? Maybe slip a note under the door with all the help phone numbers for alcoholics????? Truth be told they probably took no notice at all but I’m pretty sure I saw my house get some side ways looks as people walked pass and saw the bin out waiting on collection. Then there was the period when I was drinking so much that I would not only use the recycle bin but I would also wrap the empties in newspaper and hide in a plastic rubbish bag for collection.
This is just a very small list of memories of why I never want to drink again. Dear little alcoholic voice please go fuck yourself, life is so much nicer not living with the guilt & shame of living with my dirty little secret. I am living life raw & real and 100% sober and that is exactly how I want it to stay.
Just that title makes me happy and probably has very little to do with this post but we will see as I type tonight’s rambling thoughts on here. Actually I just came back up here to add this, yes I am much happier but I don’t want others that are using my journey to help them on their own to be deceived. My life ten months on sober is much happier but it’s not all Rainbows & Unicorns I still have a lot of work to do, I think if you want to break addiction you have to be prepared to put in the work. You also have to WANT to do it, it is not enough for others to want you to do it, YOU have to want it.
I have been sharing on here for a while with you all and for those of you considering doing it for either pleasure or as a release I say give it a try, you will soon find out if it’s going to be of any benefit for you. I have noticed my posts getting more positive and I am so happy about that but the next bit might seem a bit odd. I remember when I started on my sober journey or each time that I fell off the sober train and crashed and burned. Reading the posts on here would often help me to find the energy to get back up and try again. Each time you fall over you find that your self disappointment levels dip further down every time and your self esteem takes a huge knock. My moods really were so low and I would feel like suicide just to end the pain and also because I hated myself and thought for fucks sake what is the point to do another bloody round AGAIN. It isn’t easy and oh my God I know that and I know how hard and just how deep you have to dig to try again. What was different this time around for me?
When I started drinking again the last time I had been sober for 3 years, 3 years!!!!! and yet I fell off the wagon. There had been a huge event in my life that I had held my shit together for over a year but when it ended and I survived it I crashed and burned. I had been burying demons and putting on a huge display that everything was okay in my world, I had such a good act going that even I thought it was okay and I had everything under control. I really had no idea that all it was like was a simmering pot on the stove and when that event was finally over the whole pot boiled over and I could not cope so instead I turned back to the bottle. I was so disappointed with myself and that mixed with all of the over whelming emotions that I was going through just made me drink more. I sank back into heavy drinking every night and really didn’t care if it killed me, I did not care!!! I kept this up for I think around 18 months. Near the end I started to feel like a person drowning that was submerging and waving around but the beach was empty, the life guards had packed up and gone home. I did some stupid things in attempt to stop drinking e.g. spending all my money and running heaps of debt so I wouldn’t have any left to spend on booze (umm don’t try this yourself it doesn’t work, an alcoholic will always find money for booze).
I’ve told the story before about how a friend and myself were both drinking to much and we made a deal that we would support each other to take a break for 3 months. I am one of those people that when I make a promise to a friend I keep it combined with I can be one stubborn arse bitch when I want to be. I was determined I would make those three months but I was also sick and tired of booze having control over my life. I knew that I no longer had control but it did. I made it to the end of the 3 months and that was enough for me to be able to start to see a difference in myself to have me wanting to keep going. Right from the start I started blogging it out on here and getting out what I was feeling or going through. This not only helped me but I also started to get messages saying thank you and that by default I was helping others, this made me feel so awesome. I am now over ten months and I have no intention of ever touching alcohol again, EVER!
Things are so much better for me now and I have made amazing friends and built a support network around me with my tribe of Soul Sisters. Blogging & friends along with being so sick and tired of being depressed and sick and tired has helped me stick to this. I still have such a long way to go and am a work in progress. I have survived some really shitty things but I stand proud that I have come out the other side. Next year I am looking at starting some therapy to work out things so that hopefully they don’t just sit there dormant and raise their ugly heads again. If they do I want different skills to deal with them that does not include reaching for a bottle. I’m also not a cocky little shit I know just how easy it is to suffer speed wobbles and fall off the wagon but I know that I have never felt the desire to stay sober as strong as I do now. Living life sober is fucken awesome!!!
Trying to think what to write about tonight, there is normally always so much going on in this mind of mine that I am shocked to say that lately there has been quiet periods. I am not complaining at all but it just feels different.
Oh I know lets start with this as I was thinking about this a lot today. The morning after a Xmas Party now…… hmm I still laid in bed late this morning but that was totally my own fault having a long black coffee after dinner at the event 🙂 but there was still a difference waking up this morning compared to previous mornings after work Xmas parties. There was a calmness a nice relaxing stretch and a smile on my face as I looked at my dogs still peacefully sleeping. I rolled over and grabbed my phone from it’s charger and found a reply from my beautiful friend to a message I sent her last night. This started a round of messages back and forth as has become a lovely habit every weekend morning now. It is great checking in with someone you love and making sure your both okay and sharing what has and is planned to happen ❤ Nothing like feeling the love from each other and starting your day knowing someone out there in your tribe loves this habit as much as I do.
Ahhh one more stretch and then out of bed, OMG how does one hurt their knee just getting out of friggin bed???? I twisted it a bit and now when I go to use it a certain way and apply weight it grabs in pain, grrrrr it’s a bitch getting older (still prefer it to the alternative though don’t get me wrong). Actually well talking about getting older why the hell doesn’t anyone warn you of the possible thicker darker hair on your chinny, chin, chin then ah???? What is it are we to ashamed to talk about these things??? Seriously there is one little bastard hair that is thicker than the others and as soon as it sticks it’s ugly stubble out far enough I pluck that bastard out with the tweezers, vamoose you little shit. Oh and there are longer wispy hairs on my neck, what the hell is that all about?? Seriously I don’t have much shame on here so don’t mind sharing but I understand how it’s not something we talk about over morning coffees in the lunch room, but I’m pretty bloody sure one of them would of noticed and I don’t know how they kept looking at me without looking down! Oh maybe because they are getting older like me and their eyesight is failing them like mine. From now on I will be wearing my glasses when looking in the bathroom mirror a lot more that I can promise you.
Oh sorry I digress, back to starting my sober, hangover free morning. I hobble to the shower and stand there under the running water just letting my senses soak up the feeling of the water drops hitting my skin along with my body enjoying the warmth of the water. Following the shower and dressing it is now time to walk the dogs before the heat of the day makes it simply to hot. I LOVE walking my dogs and even more so now that I am living life sober. They really do make you stop and smell the roses as you are walking, seriously dogs have got it sussed. They take their time and they smell everything and don’t miss much. They are totally in the moment and they are focused purely on their time out walking. I never rush them and just lead them lead the way to be honest. I once read that to pull a dog away from it’s sniffing is like interrupting someone from a chapter in a book and I reckon that is pretty accurate. An hour later after we have finished our walk it’s back home for breakfast. This weekend ritual is just so soothing for the soul and I love it.
Now lets compare it to how it would of been for me waking up after a work Xmas Party. I would of woken up late and felt pretty rough. I would of had a crappy nights sleep which would of been broken by waking up at random times through out the night and tossing and turning until drifting back to sleep until the next wake up. I no doubt would of had to go for a pee at least once and that probably would of woken me up during one of the deeper sleep periods and most likely when I would of been nice and comfortable. I would say I would of had a least one really bad episode of heart burn that would of left a burning bile sensation in my throat and would of kept coming up in small doses of vomit which I would of kept swallowing. Finally I would of woken up with a dry mouth and cracked throat which probably smelt disgusting (never sniffed it myself) and I would of no doubt felt nausea and had a headache. I would of stretch which would of caused either my calf muscle or foot which would of caused me to dive out of bed to push down on the foot and stretch the muscle to break it’s grip. The dogs would of still been peacefully sleeping on the bed with me but probably would of been pissed off at having been woken so many time during the night. I most likely would of started the day without twisting my knee but who the hell would know if that would or wouldn’t of happened (fucken chin hair problem would probably still be there no matter whether I was sober or not lol). I would not of had the awesome message session with my beautiful friend. This is one of the friendships that has flourished since living life sober and real. I would of needed a shower and would of stood there with my mouth open trying to get rid of my dry horrors. Oh on to the dog walk, they still would of taken me for a walk but I wouldn’t of noticed any of the moments of pure joy they have and we wouldn’t of gone as far because I would of felt like crap and would be just wanting to get back home again and try to down a coffee.
The difference living life sober is like day and night, I freakin love being sober. Loving living life sober, raw and real.
So tonight we had our work Xmas party and I seriously did consider not going because I simply didn’t want to be around alcohol or boozing people. I knew that there was going to be a couple of kegs there along with some spirits and I just couldn’t be arsed going. BUT then I also knew that we would be able to have fun riding jumbo down hill scooters and I am so glad I went. Of cause there was the normal mob that just wanted to sit and drink but there was also a large group of us that spent two hours racing down tacks through the hills which carved through the bush. It was such an adrenaline rush and so much fun!!! We were literally screaming and yelling our way down each time to the bottom as we worked our way through to the most difficult track. Once at the bottom there were vans for us with trailers to cart the scooters back up the hills as they where steep and high, so brilliant. Yep I did crash once as someone behind me was screaming so hard I thought they had hurt themselves lol, I turned around to look at them and ran into a bank hahhaha. Didn’t matter straight back up the hill to go again.
Now my point is I am so glad that I went because I had a blast. I am also so glad we had something organised were we could do something different than just sit around drinking and eating. Once it went to dusk we went back up the top of the hill and had dinner with the drinkers. Have to admit that once I finished eating I did leave because I really couldn’t be bothered sitting with the drinkers who were starting to get rowdy and the music was turning to loud crap. I hate to think of some of their heads tomorrow and can honestly say I reckon that is the best work Xmas party I have been to. Being sober and having a blast is freakin awesome.
Feelings – Not only do you feel the bad & the sad but you also feel the happy, joy, excitement, hope & love
Clarity – Most thoughts are more clear, I still get brain farts, I still get over load, I still over think and even though some of my thinking is not always good it has so much more clarity than it ever did while drinking
Understanding – With the clearer thinking your understanding of yourself is clearer.
Higher Self Esteem – When drinking your whole self esteem is so low, I had absolutely no self worth.
Happier – Depression is a bitch and although I still have sad times I now understand that it is okay. Don’t drown it out with alcohol, feel it & learn from it.
Hearing My Own Body – I know sounds a bit weird but I am more aware of my body and taking notice of what it needs
Freedom – Just the ability to be able to make a snap decision to go somewhere and not have to sit there thinking how much have I drunk? Am I okay to drive this early in the morning since I drunk so much last night???
Pulling My Head Out Of The Sand – No longer just ignoring the financial shit I put myself in. With my depression one way to perk myself up was shopping and online shopping drunk can be quiet awesome especially when stuff arrives you don’t remember ordering. But I also got myself so far into debt because I was drinking and not thinking clearly and thought if I had nothing to spend I would not be able to afford to drink. (Don’t do it, you still find a way and then you also have financial stress.)
Having A Future – Feeling like your going to be around long enough to need to plan a future is so much better than thinking your weight and heart palpitations might take you out while working your dogs or even in your sleep.
Reaching 10 Months Sober – There is no way I thought I was going to make it to 10 months and had even given myself get out of jail free cards for not making it. Originally a goal with a friend to make 3 months to have a rest from drinking ten months didn’t even occur to me. Now, well now I can almost smell a year but I am not getting to cocky about it. I have seen others fall over here who have been doing really well AND I have fallen over previously myself, right flat onto my face fallen down.
Starting to notice people getting into the festive spirit and naturally because I’m on this sober journey I am noticing just how much alcohol plays a part in it all for so many. Not at all surprising really, advertising is all around us promoting how much more fun life and parties are with it. No wonder young people can’t wait to join the adult world and want to be able to drink because damn it looks so good to them.
There is another side that if you look around you will find. People stumbling along drunk while carrying another slab (carton) of beer or pre-mixes. Trolleys at the super markets are starting to have champagne added along with the normal purchases of wine, beer and ciders. Domestics on the increase as someone comes home drunk, late and often after spending money that was needed else where. Even while walking the dogs today I over heard a young lady talking loudly on her phone saying “because your drunk Allan, no one wants you here because your drunk, I’m welcome but I’m not drunk”. My neighbors are getting into festive spirit and it’s often late into the night the music starts getting louder and their talking along with it. Couples are splitting up as one of them has got drunk and flirted or worse with someone else, that one always brings on big regrets.
I would love to make some advertising showing the shitty side of drinking and not portray it all as sparkly glitter while riding around on your unicorns sort of fairy tale bullshit.
For those of you reading this that drink and if you are able to moderate and control your drinking I really do hope that you enjoy yourself this season but please, please don’t drive drunk this festive season. For those of you with problem drinking my heart goes out to you, believe me when I say I feel your pain. For myself, I will happily be able to be any friends sober driver this year and I’m actually excited by the thought of a Sober Christmas.