Archive | January, 2015

One Year Sober

17 Jan

One year sober. One whole year.

This is the post that I never thought I’d write. A whole entire year free of the tyranny of alcohol. And it feels amazing. I am so proud. So thankful.

People told me it gets easier the more time you have under your belt and I didn’t understand how this could be true. Intellectually I understood it, and of course I trusted my sober friends, but I couldn’t wrap my head around how I could get through day after day after day without alcohol. Well I have, and it’s bloody glorious.

Here are a couple of things that have really helped me over the past year, some things I’ve learnt that spring to mind and gems of wisdom from others that have changed my mindset:

1) Being an alcoholic is not a moral failure-
for months and months of trying and failing to stop drinking I felt like I was a bad person for being in the grips of alcohol. Not true. It’s a powerful, “baffling” beast and it exerts a mysterious power that can entrap anyone, sinner or saint.

2) If you think you’re drinking too much, you definitely are- someone once pointed out to me that normal people don’t worry about their drinking. This thought, combined with the fact that trying to quit drinking took up vast amounts of mental space confirmed everything I needed to know: for me, stopping was the only option.

3) “You don’t want to drink, you just want to change the way you feel”- Lisa Neumann from Sober Identity said this to me very early in my blogging journey and it was probably the thought that had the single biggest impact on me in coming to terms with the knotty problem that is alcoholism. I hadn’t really considered that I needed to work out how to handle my emotions, rather than just focusing on quitting the substance. Reframing my cravings with this thought was absolutely invaluable.

4) Some people can drink, others can’t, and that’s life- I spent quite a bit of time wallowing in the “it’s not fair” stage of grieving for the loss of wine. Why could so many around me drink without consequence? I remember someone at AA with over 30 years of sobriety answering his “Why me???” wail with the simple answer: “why not?”
The more I look around me, the more I see a significant proportion of people for whom alcohol is hugely problematic. There is a spectrum, it seems, of problematic drinking and where I fall on that I neither know nor care, I just know abstinence is the only solution for me.

4) You never wake up thinking: “I wish I’d had a drink last night.” Self explanatory, that one.

5) Sobriety is its own gift- when I first realised I needed to get sober I was devastated. All I saw was loss. Little did I know how much I would gain. My life is unrecognisable and I am the happiest I have ever been.

6) Sharing is key- without this blogging community and the help of AA I doubt I would have got sober. My sponsor always says that when you share with another alcoholic, you are likely to be helping others without realising it. You have all helped me so much, so thank you for reading and keeping me stable when I needed it most.

7) Doing something daily really helps- weaving sobriety into the fabric of my daily life has been so helpful. By this I mean doing something every single day to acknowledge my alcoholism or to try to actively stimulate my recovery and growth. This can be anything- blogging, listening to the Bubble Hour, going to a meeting, reading some sober literature, saying a sober prayer of gratitude. By doing this, I am constantly forced to reevaluate and give thanks for my sobriety.

8) Being sober is FUN- I have done so much this year, partied, danced til sunrise at music festivals, dated, been to weddings, left jobs and started new ones, travelled, the list goes on. All of these were made MORE FUN by the fact that I was sober and could enjoy each experience.

9) Sobriety is an ongoing process- the battle with wolfie is never won, but never entirely lost. With each new day we can walk further down the sober path and grow, as long as we are vigilant. I’d probably say forgetting I’m an alcoholic is the single biggest threat to my sobriety. It sounds silly, but the more sober time I have, the harder it is to remember why I stopped drinking, which is why connecting with other alcoholics feels so invaluable.

10) If at first you don’t succeed…- sobriety took me a year of failed attempts to get. The only thing I did right during this period was to keep trying and to keep a careful eye on what had tripped me up.

This post is a little jumbled and a little rushed, and for that I apologise, but I just wanted to write something today to mark the big occasion that has passed. It feels amazing to finally have a year under my belt and I feel like the world is at my feet if I stick with my sober clan 🙂

Thank you bloggers and commenters once again for everything you have given me. What a lovely bunch you are.

Haaaaapppppppy Saturday!

FFFx

Triggery Triggers

2 Jan

Today I have been reminded I’m an alcoholic.

I’m really nervous about something and all I want to do to get over it is drink. I haven’t felt like this for ages, but tonight I’d love to have a cool beer to wash away the anxiety in the pit of my stomach. In true addictive style, I reached for chocolate to numb the feelings and that just made things worse.

I don’t have much time to write and reflect as I would like today, but I just wanted to say out loud that I’m having a craving and I’m bloody well going to fight it.

Just 10 days until I’m 1 year sober. Nothing is stopping me getting there.

Happy Friday!

The Art of Keeping Going

A blog that's mostly about not drinking.

trufflesfreedom

Starting a life of sobriety and freedom.

waking up, being sober

and trying to make sense of what follows

Off-Dry

Sober girl, loopy world.

Hungry Girl Eats

Notes on the care and feeding of body, mind and spirit.

DominantSoul

The Erotic Art of Sensual Domination

lydia davies

author of 'Raw, the diary of an anorexic'

You Deserve a Donut.

Boo for Eating Disorders.

800 Recovery Hub Blog

Written by people in recovery for people in recovery

My Road To Abstinence

Sober, me? Really?

ainsobriety

Trying to ace sober living

tired of treading water

Ditching the drink and waking up

Shadow. Ash. Spirit. Flame.

Out of Shadow and Ash, Spirit ascends and blazes Light.

The drinking Stops Today

My attempt to quit drinking....

Good Morning Mercies

Seeking beauty and balance overcoming chronic illness and addictions

We Admitted We Were Powerless

A journey of recovery

A Woman Without Wine

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got

Mind-Full Mom-E

Being sober & clear headed with a mind that is full!

12 the hard way

ruminations on the twelve steps.

superbly sober

A girl trying to get sober in a boozy world.

Recovering From Powerlessness

A journey of recovery from everything

soberchoices101

One day at a time

nomorewine's Blog

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Ditch The Grog Blog

A Quest to Sobriety!

Lucy's New Life

Goodbye booze. Hello clarity, health and happiness.

The Adventures of a Sober Señorita

Follow me as I live la vida loca (but sober)

Party.0

Getting crazy with no consequences!

The Six Year Hangover

A BLOG BY A GAY MAN GETTING SOBER IN NEW YORK CITY.

And Everything Afterwards

How I quit alcohol and discovered the beauty of a sober life

Just A Rock

The trials of a young woman awkwardly trudging her way to happy destiny

Life Unbuzzed

Rowing my sober boat gently down the stream

Alcoholics NON Anonymous

Step 1: POWERLESSNESS is not real.

The Lotus Chronicles

Just like the lotus we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness and radiate love and beauty.

Living Free

A fine WordPress.com site

messyarts

lettuce turnip the beet.

Seeing Clear Lee

musings on becoming alcohol-free

Sober at 51

Enough is enough...

The Healing Hobbit

Live life abundantly.