SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS: SOBRIETY IS AMAZING

13 Mar

Never ever EVER did I think I could feel this good.

If you said to me when I was coming to terms with the fact I’m an alcoholic: ‘Hey, you might be an alcoholic, but give it a year and you’ll feel AMAZING’ I’d have told you to stick it where the sun don’t shine. I honestly thought my life wasn’t that bad when I was drinking. In fact, it wasn’t bad at all. I knew that drinking was eroding me internally and that I had so much pain that was a result of it, but I didn’t think the rest of my life was in crisis.

As I’ve grown in recovery, I’ve had an experience that fits the old AA cliché- I truly am living ‘a life beyond my wildest dreams.’ And it’s not the life I expected. Of course I still feel acute pain, emotional turmoil and have down periods; I’m human. But as my sobriety grows and matures, my life is being infused with a profound sense of serenity that’s permeating every area of my existence.

In early sobriety, I used to talk about carrying a little sober flame inside me. Over the past 14 months, I’ve kindled that flame, protected it and treasured it above all else. And now the joyous heat of that flame is starting to permeate through every fibre of my being. I feel like I’ve turned into a MASSIVE hippy, but the best way of describing it is that I feel like I’m living a truly spiritual life. Not spiritual in the sense that my behaviour is particularly remarkable or commendable, but that I’m being guided by a spiritual connection to something. I feel like that if I trust in this spiritual path, the rest of my life will unfold exactly as it should do. My fear about the unknown is lessened.  The mystery of the divine plan intrigues me. (I should add a caveat about what I mean by ‘divine’ here, and I can’t quite articulate it, but my spirituality isn’t a religious one. I’m not looking at the big guy in the sky here).

I wish I could be more specific about how this shift is manifesting itself in my life without breaking my anonymity. But I can say this. I started the year off inching towards my sober anniversary looking forward to that momentous moment. When I hit it, I felt great, reflecting on what was achieved, but the weeks that followed were tough and low. I lost my groove and felt that being sober was such a TRIAL. I met up with some sober friends and had a bit of a moan about it all, if I’m honest.

That low period was followed by an intense period in my professional life, where I was assaulted by politics, uncertainty and financial worries. All I could do was tune into the spiritual principles I’d learnt in AA and trust that everything would be ok. I think that this was the first period in my life where I truly practiced acceptance. I didn’t begrudgingly accept, I fully accepted, on a deep level, what was happening to me. I let the uncertain experiences wash over me as I clung onto my spirituality, and it worked.

Now, I’m emerging from that period I feel like everything has clicked. My mental health, which is up and down at the best of times, feels like it’s underpinned by a new layer of strength. I have so much gratitude for everything in my life I feel profoundly free in a way I never ever had. The serenity I feel is so deep I feel like it’s penetrated my body on a cellular level. How crazy is THAT? I feel like this every day at the moment and the stress of the daily commute and work woes are just temporary ripples in the calm lake.

My self esteem has taken leaps and bounds. I blogged the other day about how, all of a sudden, my relationship with food seems to have turned a corner. It’s remarkable. I feel like the emotional connection I was bound to before has been dramatically severed.

I know this all sound gushing and quite possibly ridiculous, but it’s all true and I want to commit it to paper, to help me through the tougher times.

What mystifies me is how quickly things feel like they have changed. I wonder, in sobriety, whether the daily work we put in collects somewhere internally, having a cumulative effect that isn’t tangible immediately, but sometimes breaks through so we feel its abundance. That’s what I feel like. Like there’s a bathtub of little positive sober drops that I’ve deposited there over the past year, that’s now overflowing.

I’m going to go the whole hog here on the cheesy-over the top stuff. Bear with me. I feel like in the last 3 weeks, a shift has happened that will transform the rest of my life. Like for the first time in my adult existence, it has all clicked into place. Like I understand myself and the world around me on a more profound level than ever, and that life starts HERE.

I still haven’t worked out what shape my ‘higher power’ takes, and maybe I never will. But this I do know: I feel Her presence (because of course She is female) in my daily life and for that I am incredibly grateful.

If you are thinking about stopping drinking, I implore you to read some of my posts from 2013 and Jan 2014 and compare them to the person who stands before you today. On the outside I had it together. No-one but me sensed I needed to stop drinking. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and yet it has changed every aspect of my life beyond comprehension. It’s possible, it’s all possible and for me, finding a spiritual way through recovery was the only thing that did it for me. So if you’re relying on willpower alone, consider a spiritual approach. It might just change your life.

This paragraph of an old post really spoke to me today and how much things have changed:

I don’t actually know how I feel about my life because of drinking-am I doing the right job for me? Have I got my sights set on the man who would actually make me happy? Do I want to work in an office for the rest of my life? Do I need to consider changing career if I’m ever going to be happy? I have no idea. Not a clue. I have made some big life changes, as I’ve posted about before, in the last year which have improved lots of things, but there’s more work to be done. I’ll just have to see what the sober journey brings. Maybe I’m not designed to live in a big city, maybe I should one day think about a career change. These are the things which I’ll only know after a year or two sober, when I can learn to know that the voice that’s speaking is me the person, not me the alcoholic. 

I’m in touch with that voice today, that authentic voice of who I am and what will make me happy in life and that is so precious.

Now I’ve written this blog shouting from the rooftops how happy I am, I’m sure I’ll be back here in a matter of days bemoaning some terrible emotional low 😉 But it really does feel like my sober toolbox is better equipped than ever before. And for that I’m so grateful.

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29 Responses to “SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS: SOBRIETY IS AMAZING”

  1. lucy2610 March 13, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    Woop woop!!! ROCKING happy sober Friday night FFF and grinning from ear to ear for you 🙂 xx

  2. clairerich2015 March 13, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

    Bloody brilliant! Absolutely made up for you, it was so worth sticking it out for how great you feel right now 🙂 xxx

  3. moretomethanthis March 13, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

    Fantastic! This post was such a joy to read 🙂 xx

    • FitFatFood March 15, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

      Thanks MTM, and a joy to write because it came from a happy place.

  4. primrose March 13, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    I think you need to invent a whole new colour for the cloud you’re on right now 🙂 no, wait – I know – it’s LIFE coloured 🙂 🙂

    so lovely to read this, gave me a huge boost, thank you! xxx

    • FitFatFood March 15, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

      BOOOOOOOOST! (I’m not sure what that was). But thanks. Life coloured is so in vogue in the FFF household now 🙂

  5. ainsobriety March 13, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    Woo hoo.
    I agree wholehearted with all of this. Yes yes yes.

    It is not ridiculous. It is truth.

    Anne

    • FitFatFood March 15, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

      Ahhh thanks Anne. It feels like truth 🙂

  6. Annie March 13, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

    You describe something amazing. I’m so pleased for you. Annie xxxxxx

  7. donewithdayones March 13, 2015 at 11:45 pm #

    Such an inspiring to post to read as I am just starting my journey. I read through your entire blog this winter and it spoke to me SO much!!! I feel like I could have written half your posts myself 🙂 Anyway, just wanted to say THANKS for blogging – your blog is a true inspiration for me and I love with “fitfatfood” pops up in my reader 🙂

    • ainsobriety March 14, 2015 at 5:31 am #

      Yay for starting your journey! I’ll follow you! Just think, this time next year you can be writing your story of joy and amazement.

      • FitFatFood March 14, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

        Seconded 🙂

    • FitFatFood March 14, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

      Thats great to hear. I’ll look forward to reading about your journey x

  8. donewithdayones March 13, 2015 at 11:45 pm #

    Oops. *when not with in the above comment

  9. een March 14, 2015 at 1:17 am #

    ‘What mystifies me is how quickly things feel like they have changed. I wonder, in sobriety, whether the daily work we put in collects somewhere internally, having a cumulative effect that isn’t tangible immediately, but sometimes breaks through so we feel its abundance.’ awesome stuff fff. rockin’ awesome.

  10. clearlee March 14, 2015 at 2:19 am #

    So happy for you, FFF! You are an inspiration xo

    • FitFatFood March 14, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

      And you keep going lovely clearlee 🙂

  11. John Nicholas March 14, 2015 at 9:36 am #

    Well done, keep going and every one should share such a good new to give hope to others who think it’s impossible to get sober!

    • FitFatFood March 14, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      I can confirm it is entirely possible 🙂

    • FitFatFood March 14, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

      Thanks- i liked knowing that there were people ahead of me on the road proving it’s possible

  12. soberlearning March 14, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    I am 15 months sober, and have yet to get where you are. I hope it comes to me, it sounds amazing! I am so happy for you! Keep writing and sharing your insight, I can use all the help I can get. Fantastic post!

    • FitFatFood March 14, 2015 at 10:27 pm #

      I will and IT will, I’m sure 🙂

  13. girlonthelearn March 15, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    I so needed to read this today. Thanks. In fact I’m going to back and read your whole blog over again. I can so relate to where you say you were and I want to be where you are now!

    • FitFatFood March 15, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

      Good to hear from you. It’s not always roses but when it’s good it’s really good!

      Big hug x

  14. Rachel black March 15, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

    Wow. I want what you’re having!
    Please keep contemplating it until you figure out how you did it, them tell. I’m approaching 2 years ( next week!) and I’m ok, I’m good, but I’m not flying on life’s clouds like you are. Jealous? Moi?

  15. mehr15 April 25, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

    Thank you for this. I have bookmarked this one. I am just at the start of my journey but you are inspiring. I can’t tell you how much I identify with the bit about not knowing what I want. And I agree it’s because I have spent most of the time numbing myself. My inner voice is not working because its too busy fighting the addiction. Sending good vibes your way for this lovely post xx

    • FitFatFood April 26, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

      And good vibes right back at you, it is an amazing path x

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