Staying sober is SO worth all the heartache. It simply is. It’s glorious, sometimes. More pleasurable than the first sip of a drink ever could be for me now.
After Friday’s monumental struggles, I decided to get stuck into the weekend and make it a full one. In the absence of being able to run (still injured, dammit), I planned lots of other things to keep me busy. I saw FIVE different groups of friends over the course of the weekend which was just brilliant. I had some heart to hearts, lots of belly laughs and good old fashioned fun. I realised how lucky I am to have so many groups of friends to even meet in the first place. What a lovely thing in itself!
Of the five social things I went to, 3 of them involved sitting in pubs. If I’d drunk on Friday as I thought I wanted to, and spent the weekend in those pubs, I’d have consumed about 40 units over the course of the weekend, leaving me depressed and feeling worthless.
Instead, I polished off my sober tiara that I’ve let get a bit dusty of late and went the whole hog on the socialising. I turned up, enjoyed the company and left when I wanted to, rather than endlessly sticking around so I could drink more.
So all this is great stuff. But even MORE excitingly, an important shift seems to have happened too in terms of my self confidence at some point over the past few weeks. I was too buried in myself earlier this week to realise it, but I think the change happened slowly and gradually without me noticing immediately.
I’ve blogged before about my issues with weight, and eternally feeling fat even though I’m very athletic and reasonably slim. I was frustrated at not dropping weight quicker when I stopped drinking and suffering a real lack of confidence about my body image. At just over 9 weeks sober, that has ALL changed. My physical appearance has improved no end, as my face isn’t bloated, my skin is clear and I look ‘well’ as people keep telling me. My body has changed somehow, too. I’m not sure whether I’ve lost weight as I’m avoiding the scales, but my body FEELS different, firmer and more compact. It’s not being confused by the influence of booze calories, followed by dramatic calorie restriction in a misguided attempt to atone for the binges… It’s finding its balance between energy in and out, energy that’s all coming from food, not bloody booze.
But although the shift in my appearance is to some extent aesthetic, it’s about much more than that. I’ve gained a self esteem and a confidence that makes me feel more full inside, like a person of more substance and confidence, a person who has a little happy sober flame inside that is radiating a glow. And on a good day, this makes me feel sort of invincible. I love how I value myself more than I perhaps ever have done, and from the compliments I’ve been getting, I know this shows on the outside.
I read this back and thank GOD I didn’t drink on Friday. I hate it when I admit to myself that I’m too far down the sober path to ever truly go back to drinking. If I did drink, I’d only have to crawl slowly and painfully back to sobriety. Now I’ve had a taste of ‘de good life’ andf know how much better it is than the Road to Nowhere that is drinking, why start on that road at all.
What a weekend to be so happy and grateful to be sober, with such a close escape peeking at me from my rearview mirror.
Happy Sunday one and all 🙂