3 Years Sober

17 Jan

Three Whole Years.

Who could have ever dreamed that this day would come. I turned 3 years sober on Friday, Saturday or possibly Sunday. I can’t quite remember where my sobriety date falls, because sobriety has become normality. What a departure from those early days of obsessively checking my Day Count. Sometimes several times a day, in the hope that I’d be shocked by the result: “Eight days sober, you say?! Goodness, when I checked this morning it was only four!” That kind of madness, you know?

How brilliant for 3 years to slip by quietly, unceremoniously and to be so immersed in My New Normal that I barely bat an eyelid at this massive achievement. Because it is an achievement. And I had make sure I dusted off this blog to underline that to myself.

In early sobriety, I read my old posts many times, to constantly knock myself over the head with the message: YOU ARE AN ALCOHOLIC. Now, I get a bit confused with the idea of being an alcoholic. A touch of the ‘What? Who, me? No… I couldn’t possibly be… Oh wait. I am.’

This morning, before putting pen to paper for the first time in ages, I decided to look at some posts and take myself back down memory lane.

Here is an extract from one I wrote one morning at work, barely able to type:

“I have empty bottles stashed in my draws and wardrobe. I threw up so hard last night, when I woke up this morning my teeth hurt.

I think I’ve probably spent more evenings drunk in 2013 than I have sober (that is definitely the case). November and December 2012 were similar, as were August and September. I don’t really recall October, which speaks for itself.

If *anyone* I know were to read this, they’d be shocked, horrified and really quite sad. I would be if someone showed me it and said I’d written it.

I’m here typing this with such a sense of detachment it scares me. I really need to sort this out, but I don’t know if I have the will power. Every time I start, I have a couple of good days booze free, think I’ll be fine if I have a drink and then spiral into 3-4 days of drinking every night. I need to read this back and remember that having a glass of wine with dinner when out will turn into sharing a bottle, needing to buy more on the way home and turning a casual Monday evening into an unnecessary waste of my health.”

I want to cry for 2013 me when I read that. I cannot believe I managed to hold down a job during that period and didn’t do myself more damage. That post was written at the stage where I thought drink was a temporary problem. Then it got worse:

Here I am, again, 6 months after I first started this blog to articulate my worries about drinking. 

The lack of posts indicates that things haven’t been going well. I’ve just emerged from what could be categorized as a 5 day controlled bender. When I say controlled, I mean I just drank a bit every night. You know, 14 units or so. 25 on one night.

I’ve been having therapy to try and work through some of the other issues I’m experiencing and this morning my therapist told me in no uncertain terms that we can’t continue to work together unless I kick the drinking. She almost threw me out of the session for being hungover (tough love eh?). Little does she know I turned up drunk to one of the evening sessions. Brilliant use of all that money I’ve been spending on the sessions eh?

I was full of resolve. I battled through the first period of the 100 days, thanks to support from this community and the wonderful Belle, who was an angel. It felt like she was some sort of divine being who spread her sober benevolence. And it was amazing to read the stories of other women getting sober, knowing I wasn’t alone.

I made it a few weeks, felt great, strong and confident and then:

Well I made it to day 24, then fell so spectacularly, it has terrified me.

I was doing brilliantly. I was full of pink clouds, knowing I was doing the right thing, socialising without booze, happy, fulfilled and calm. 

I knew a big work conference was on the horizon, talked about it with my therapist and lovely Belle, and thought I had my strategies in place.

Night 1 I went running, was happy, thrilled with not drinking, had a great time. 

Night 2, wolfie wrapped his hands round my throat slowly, decisively and throttled me. I got so drunk a colleague had to put me to bed, I fell over at a huge industry part, I was the talk of the town the next day, everyone was worried because I didn’t surface until 3pm. The list goes on.

I WAS SO WIPED OUT I SLEPT THROUGH AN EVACUATION OF THE ENTIRE HOTEL. 

I am so fucking ashamed. My anxiety has been off the scale since. I spent my 27th birthday mostly in bed, ashamed, or apologising. 

Sometimes I think I’m ok with drinking, but that incident shows why I used to drink so much on my own- to get the hit without the shame. 

I really do need to stop. 

But of course I didn’t. These posts go on and on until in January 2014, I took myself to Alcoholics Anonymous. It was the most painful thing I have ever done. Yet in 90 minutes of sitting in that room, my life changed. The first few months were so difficult I never thought I’d get through them, but around 100 days it got easier, and at 6 months easier still, until it become second nature to be a sober laydee. If you are struggling, please take know it gets better. Read Belle’s sobriety is like a little car post and know it feels easier every day.

I have gained so much in sobriety, which I don’t reflect on that often. Here’s a few things that have opened up in my life since I cracked the booze: being in touch with my true emotions, trusting myself, falling madly in love, travelling the world, getting the job of my dreams, being delighted with my body after sobriety has shaped it into a little happy healthy thing, skin that glows so much that people comment on it, buying & renovating a home, learning to say no, some crazy wild experiences I’d never have dreamed of having sober, valuing my own self worth, running marathons, discovering yoga, learning to say no, learning to say yes and supporting myself through the scary bits, living a life bigger than I can sometimes cope with, going it alone, letting people in, discovering my authentic self, starting to tell people about my experiences with alcohol, starting my own business.

Not bad eh, in 3 little years?

Giving up alcohol is undoubtedly the best thing I have ever done. Long may the happy years continue.

 

 

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19 Responses to “3 Years Sober”

  1. tiredoftreadingwater January 17, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    Wow! Congratulations, I’m happy for you 🙂

  2. lucy2610 January 17, 2017 at 10:53 am #

    The laydee who now climbs mountains by way of celebration! It is an honour and a privilege to count you as one of my sober brethren FFF 🙂 Big hug winging its way over the interwebs in lieu of being able to deliver it in person recently. 3 years!! – just imagine what you’ll achieve in 6? 😉 xx

  3. Adrian January 17, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    Congratulations!! What a wonderful piece. Please come back and keep posting every once in a while…. xo

  4. shehidbehindtheglass January 17, 2017 at 5:11 pm #

    Congratulations on 3 yrs! That’s amazing and this was such a wonderful post to read. I’m so happy for you 🙂

  5. ainsobriety January 17, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

    Congratulations
    It is s huge accomplishment.
    And the fact it is also normal means you are truly living…or that’s what I tell myself!

    Anne

  6. Chris Highcock January 17, 2017 at 9:20 pm #

    Fantastic. Great to read. Please keep writing.

  7. feelingmywaybackintolife January 17, 2017 at 9:35 pm #

    Congratulations on your 3 years sober! Wow! I am happy for you. 🙂
    xx, Feeling

  8. Belle January 18, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    hooray for you. what a sober rockstar. date of last drink was january 14th … i show day 1100 today wednesday! how’s that for a nice round number.

    • FitFatFood January 22, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

      1100 Belle! How wonderful. You remember the early days and my struggle, and I remember how your blog, the first ever sober blog I read, was like a little lighthouse during my storm. Thank you, aways

  9. Paul S January 18, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    Congrats!! This is fantastic! I am so very happy for you – and I love what you say here – lots of great nuggets of introspection and emotional well-being / sobriety. This is wonderful to read. Big smile here.

    Blessings
    Paul

    • FitFatFood January 22, 2017 at 8:09 pm #

      ThAnks Paul! You probably recall my early wobbling around on chicken legs, so it feels good to finally be on solid ground!

  10. Debbie January 19, 2017 at 12:08 am #

    You go FFF 🙂 That is so wonderful. Belle is a god-send isn’t she? Again, huge congrats.

  11. NB January 20, 2017 at 9:28 pm #

    Three years is incredible. Well done you.

  12. Odysseus300 January 22, 2017 at 11:53 am #

    Just hit 9 years myself and know what you mean. Well done – seriously, so much well doneness here – you’ve given yourself your life back!!

    • FitFatFood January 22, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

      Congrats on 9 years. Here’s to waking up! 🙂

  13. Lisa Neumann January 25, 2017 at 5:02 pm #

    Belated birthday love. Three years. Wow. How can it be that you’ve grown so, much. You are a beautiful, shining star. You inspire me with your love of life … even with all its bumps. ♥

    • FitFatFood January 29, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

      Thank you wonderful Lisa. Always there for me. I always remember you saying the words “Oh honey, you don’t want to drink, you want to change the way you feel” in response to my agonised cries about wanting a drink before I quit for good. It was a game changer for me, and continues to be a phrase that helps me in life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  14. Annie February 1, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

    I am not sure how to find you, as I think you may not be getting my messages. Can you contact me on the number I gave you? Annie x

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