There’s a lot of information out there about what changes in sobriety.
You go to bed instead of opening a second bottle for good time’s sake.
You meditate to escape the incessant critical voice inside your head.
It sounds cliche but it was true for me.
Not directly from not drinking, it’s not that obvious.
But gradually you realize no one is reaching out to you.
Maybe they never were?
Maybe it was you forcing relationships (and almost everything in your life).
When I gave up drinking I gave up forcing everything too.
This is also true.
This seems like such a little consequence for the value gained.
You sleep better and your skin starts to glow.
Your blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol return to normal.
These results are almost always guaranteed.
Being willing to change yourself is absolutely terrifying and often done only out of necessity.
The person I was when I started the sobriety journey is not the person I am now, at almost 4 years sober.
I am not telling you this to scare you.
I am telling you because if you are like me, sobriety seemed like the worst case scenario at the time. I wanted to stop the consequences of drinking but I didn’t want anything else to change.
I now see me changing through sobriety as my greatest gift.
This is because I have changed.
As a drinker, my main priority was drinking.
Anything that made that activity seem normal, casual, and fun was something I wanted to do.
I wanted to pass all the internet “Are You An Alcoholic?” tests.
I didn’t want anyone to know just how important drinking was to me.
This meant drinking until I was stumbling and slurring, but consistently waking up with my alarm and showing up to work on time.
Hiding the compulsive desire to drink from everyone, but also wearing t-shirts promoting drinking wine and petting my dog. This portrayed alcohol as a light hobby and not an actual concern for me.
This meant finding others to drink with, (preferably people who drank even more).
I was always combining drinking with mostly responsible parenting.
I would not go out drinking with a group of people who are not my friends, just for an opportunity to drink. As a drinker I would force myself to be in uncomfortable situations with strangers and just drink to tolerate it.
As a sober person, I would not add alcohol to every activity from children’s birthdays to sporting events. As a drinker I would be thrilled if someone brought up the idea.
I’ll just do the yoga.
As a drinker I would do yoga for punishment and detox, if I did it at all.
I now do it for self love and the high of connecting mind, body, and spirit.
I enjoy the hike.
I love the meditation of foresting and putting one foot in front of the other.
I do it for the wide eyed awe of the great outdoors.
I would no longer dull this down with a few beers.
This is my life.
I go to the grocery store.
I sit on the sidelines of my kids games.
I cuddle on the couch under a blanket and pet my dog.
I soak it in.
I can just leave.
I am always my own safe ride home.
I don’t sign up for activities I already know won’t interest me.
This results in some disappointing Friday nights spent at home in solitude.
I find these evenings far less boring and lonely than watching acquaintances slowly lose themselves into the abyss of alcohol.
Tucking in early with a good book delights me.
Keeping an organized house and healthy meal plan makes me feel accomplished.
Diving into building my business and nurturing my creative spirit gives me a rush.
Saying no is so powerful.
Not being included in everything is ok.
Not having everyone like me or understand me is ok too.
Not needing the approval of the whole word has been the most freeing realization I could have.
I do not have to take on tasks, responsibilities, and roles that drain me.
I do not have to live in a state of overwhelm, like I did when I was drinking.
I like alone time.
I like rest time.
I like quiet time.
I like to fully prepare for a night out, I get all dolled up!
I buy a new outfit!
I go to a better restaurant.
I see a more amazing show.
I stay out later.
I pack in as much fun as possible.
I have a weekly ladies night on the calendar and it fuels me.
It’s the best of all worlds.
More fun and more rest too.
Neither here nor there.
Not all in or all out.
I was just stumbling through the motions of my day.
Drinking enough and trying not to drink too much, and always getting it wrong.
As a drinker getting the drinks was my priority.
It’s been a huge turnaround and I’ve never regretted it.
For those of you just starting out, know that you will be a different person in a week, a month, a year.
You will be so grateful for it!
If you are honest with yourself, your life might be improved with some changes, scary as it may be.
FREE Sober Secrets Guide www.ditchedthedrink.com