I have created some before and after pics from drinking to sober. Holy Cow its obvious how much better I look now. My bloat is gone. I think that is the most obvious difference. Good sleep and hydration do wonders to make your skin glow, your eyes sparkle, and your hair shine.
I usually post about how happy and beautiful it is to be sober. And it is. It is much much prettier and more beautiful to be sober. Me and my surroundings look better on our worst day sober than on our best day drinking.
I have energy and interest in maintaining my yard and my eyebrows. I am not wasting time drunk and hungover. I can paint my nails and my walls. I have money to invest in wrinkle cream and seasonal throw pillows. You get what I am saying.
So my after picture is the best picture of me. It is a picture of a woman crushing her goals. Training for a ½ marathon, running her own business, and nailing the parenting gig. I always brag about the ME in the after picture because I am proud. I really want everyone struggling to know that it is so good over here. You just have to give it time and when you get here you will see. I want to be a shining example, a role model of sober success and inspiration.
I'd like to note that even my after shot is really still just a during picture, because I am still a work in progress.
But yes, I have come a long way, baby.
Thank you very much.
You do not decide to quit drinking and then on Day 1 lose the bloat and start feeling happy happy joy joy at every turn. No, no, no. It starts with a very painful surrender. It starts with your wrinkled bloated face and your tired eyes. It starts with being unrecognizable to yourself in the mirror. It starts with the automatic, robotic, self hatred talk winding you up in your mind telling you that you are ugly and dumb and will die this way.
It is not a public heroic act sweeping through the city with a cape, declaring recovery. It is a quiet, scared conversation you have with yourself. It is you and your spirit afraid of failing, pretty sure you will fail, but being willing to try something, anything different. Even if that means giving up the very thing you depend on to feel better.
So you make a quiet commitment to not drink for a day. You are so hungover it doesn’t matter anyway. You decide you will just get through one day without a drink, even when the drink is the only thing that makes you feel better. You decide to choose misery and one day without a drink instead, because you can literally see and feel in your face and your body that this alcohol is killing you, and you don’t want to die this way.
This is where recovery begins. To literally choose misery and suffering over feeling better for a undetermined period of time. Without any guarantees of outcome or results.
That is why recovered addicts are the most badass people in the world.
I want you to love yourself right now.
Your bloated, tired self.
You don’t get to the after picture by hating yourself.
You start with the self love and forgiveness and then the after comes.
You have to do the work first.
You have to love yourself at your worst.
I do not want to hate my before picture. I want to love that woman as much as I love the after. The woman in the before pic was doing the best she could with what she had. She was trying every single day to get through. She was dealing with grief, pain and anxiety. She was trying to make herself feel better. She was trying to be a good wife, a good mom, and a good friend. She was tired and confused. I see her with so much compassion now. At the time I hated her.
Let this be lesson to you. If you are your before picture, that is the place to start. You treat yourself like the most lovely person on the planet, because you are.
Its amazing how good self love looks on anyone.