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 πŸ™‚

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

Haaaaapppppppy Saturday!

FFFx

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46 Responses to “One Year Sober”

  1. tiredoftreadingwater January 17, 2015 at 7:16 am #

    Congratulations on your first soberversary! May it be the first of many for you. Blogs like this are an inspiration for others to make it to their first year too – thank you!.

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 7:41 am #

      Thank you- we all help each other on here πŸ™‚

  2. ainsobriety January 17, 2015 at 7:21 am #

    Congrats! Fabulous post! Inspiring and so very true!!!!!

    Anne

  3. primrose January 17, 2015 at 8:27 am #

    Just bloody wonderful – both the year and the post. You have such a fantastic and positive perspective on sobriety. All of which is true true true of course – you just put it so damn well my dear!

    Congratulations – many more good things to come πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ xxxx

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 8:57 am #

      All i can say to this is I love you Prim πŸ™‚ thanks for everything x

  4. littlemsjones January 17, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    I love this. Especially the bit about fun.

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 11:25 am #

      Ive honestly had more fun than ever πŸ™‚

  5. Annie January 17, 2015 at 10:14 am #

    One year sober! Congratulations! Your story really helps me as I strive to get a few days or weeks under my belt. But I’m still trying! Annie xxx

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 11:25 am #

      You’ll get there Annie, I know it. We alllllll have had false starts and then we keep trying and one day it clicks x

  6. lucy2610 January 17, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    I was thinking of you on the 12th and hope you had the most awesome of days πŸ™‚ You are a brilliant inspiration FFF and I can’t wait to celebrate with cake in February and give you a big hug xx

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 11:26 am #

      Thank you my love for all the support x x x

  7. Crystal Light January 17, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Congrats on one year ! I love this post and am going to keep it for my inspiration. I am on Day 180 and feeling better than ever. I signed up to follow your blog for added support.

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

      Day 180 is amazing. And you know whats more amazing? It just gets better from then on πŸ™‚

  8. Jayne January 17, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    Congratulations!! You have been a true inspiration to me in my continued attempts to be sober. I know I will win this battle. One year sober is a huge accomplishment- you are awesome!!

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

      “continued attempts to be sober”- this sounds very positive. Keep trying, we’re all here with you and for you πŸ™‚

  9. Sarah January 17, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    I love this. I love this post. I love your blog.I love your story. I love your honesty. And if I ever had to sum up sobriety in 10 points – these would be it! Just so thoughtful and articulate. Totally chuffed for you. Well done, well done, well done! And thank you for this. I have saved & printed for myself cause I want to refer back to it.

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

      Aww thanks Sarah! What a journey we’re on eh..?

  10. pp January 17, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    Congratulations on your year and thanks so much for this summary of what you have learned from others and for yourself during the year and the wisdom you gained. I’m going on 8 months and everything you’ve said fully clicks with me.
    Happy New Sober Life!

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

      Right back atcha PP!

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

      It does! On this promise I offer you a money back guarantee πŸ˜‰

  11. tryingsobriety January 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    Wow! Mega congratulations! Your blog was one of the first I read from start to finish when I gave up drinking. It really helped me get started, and continues to help me stay on the path. I wish you many, many more years of happy sobriety!

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

      And to you πŸ™‚ keep going x

  12. clearlee January 17, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    Hey hey! Congrats FFF! So happy for you. Yours was one of the first blogs I started to follow and I can’t tell you how much inspiration I gain from it- it helped me to keep trying when I was starting and stopping. You are proof that it is possible πŸ™‚ I now have 5 months and I can relate to everything you’ve written about here.
    You’ll have to add another F to your name- Fabulous! xo

  13. Viatoday January 17, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    Congratulations! Awesome!

  14. thirstystill January 17, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

    Congrats on one year! I doubt I’ve ever said this to anyone, but I agree with everything you said here. I really appreciate your blog, and it’s helped me a great deal on a few key occasions when I badly needed some help. I hope you celebrate your amazing accomplishment, though I know being sober is a celebration in itself! xo

    • FitFatFood January 17, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

      Thank you, and yes, It’s a sober party for one all day every day over here πŸ™‚

  15. Angie January 18, 2015 at 12:15 am #

    Congratulations on one year sober! And thank you for all your tips, they are really helpful. Your blog has been really inspiring so thank you. A x

  16. moretomethanthis January 18, 2015 at 9:09 am #

    Congratulations on one year, FFFF (extra F re clearlee’s comment!) πŸ™‚ So fantastic. And I loved your list… particularly this bit, because it really resonated with me: “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.” I spent so much time worrying about where I was on the spectrum, all the while missing the obvious bit – that abstinence was my solution, and that was all I needed to worry about, to stop looking at everyone else. And I love that you’ve had such a FUN year. Just great. xx

    • FitFatFood January 20, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

      Fun fun fun- sober is just a hoot πŸ™‚

  17. A Woman Without Wine January 18, 2015 at 9:16 am #

    Love number 4! xx

    • Lilly January 18, 2015 at 11:53 am #

      Happy happy birthday! Soooo proud of you. xxx

      • FitFatFood January 20, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

        Thank you gorgeous Lily x

  18. mishedup January 18, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

    One year is the best! Congratulations.
    I love this post and so relate to the idea of not wanting to feel feelings…that was my entire impetus for drinking at the end, and when it stopped working, when i STILL felt the feelings, with the shame and self-loathng about drinking on top of them, well….
    luckily i had help and stopped that spiral.
    I’m grateful you did too.
    Congratulations!

  19. Rose January 19, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    What a fantastic list, it’s full of wisdom and an inspiration for me, as your blog has been for a long time. Thanks for paving the way.
    Rose

  20. soberlegs January 19, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    Congrats on 1 year!! Been following your blog for some time, and so happy you reached this milestone. Thanks for posting this today – it’s awesome info – much needed right now. I am printing and keeping.

  21. carrieonsober January 19, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!
    You have been on an amazing journey to get here. Your honesty and relentless courage has and will continue to inspire so many others.
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am thrilled to see you so happy!!!
    Well done you πŸ™‚ xxxxxx

    • FitFatFood January 20, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

      Thanks you my loveliest supportivest Carrie πŸ™‚

  22. carrythemessage January 20, 2015 at 2:57 am #

    congrats! I have been watching this blog and your thoughts and I can honestly say there has been a huge change in things for you. It’s a miracle to observe. Your insights are spot on and you have reaped a lot of what you have sown. You are experiencing rewards and promises. You are seeing something that none of us saw in active alcoholism. I am so very, very, very happy for you. You aren’t rambling at all, and I too love what Lisa said (I love everything she says).

    You are blessed.

    Paul

    • FitFatFood January 20, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

      Oh paul you made me well up! Others see things we cannot πŸ™‚ thanks for all your support over the past 2 years

  23. Debbie January 20, 2015 at 7:31 pm #

    Awesome! So very proud of you πŸ™‚

  24. sillymelove January 20, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

    Simply awesome! so happy for you! Love reading your posts…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. ’cause I’m already standing on the ground | taking a new path - January 18, 2015

    […] then shortly after I read FFF’s wonderful one year sober post in which she tells the way she heard that message from Lisa at SoberIdentity. Lisa […]

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