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Sober is the new black!

I am 8 ½ months sober! I don’t know how that happened?! Lately the time just seems to fly…

Somehow I got here to this place where I am comfortable with not drinking, have found my sober feet and am in a contented state, well, most of the time.

Sometimes, there’s lots of fun stuff going on, I am in a really good mood and I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do. Other times it’s a bit flat. There are still moments when I really want a drink, or simply miss my old habits, my escapism…being able to check out of my own life for a while. But they do pass very quickly now.

Recently, I had a spell of nights out and was surprised at how much I enjoyed every one.

I don’t feel the sense of dread that I used to, when I thought about socializing without alcohol. I used to think it would just require so much extra effort on my part to either be or appear to be having fun. I am much more chilled about it all, my attitude has changed and I am just more confident with showing the world my sober self.  It feels like I have been hiding away, working out my sober muscles and rebuilding my confidence, getting to know myself again.

I’m really enjoy experiencing the different scenarios in a new light though my sober eyes. I like seeing the evening or event for what it actually is and not trying to force fun to happen artificially. I enjoy trying to have a good time without getting hammered.  I embrace the challenge of finding new stuff to do socially and feel like there’s a whole world out there that would have just passed me by had I still been drinking. I no longer have a one track mind and that is cool!

Sober really is the new black in my world. For the last 8 ½ months I have been on such an emotional but unplanned adventure. I thought that getting and staying sober was going be miserable but it’s just different, that’s all and I am a much happier person than when I was stuck in the endless cycle of drinking, shame and regret.

I don’t think that being sober is boring. Life can be boring, you can just be or you can stand up and challenge why it’s boring. I swapped my desire for chaos and drama for this sober adventure. I don’t know where it is going to take me or what shape my sobriety will take long term. For me, I believe that to stay sober my way (ie. Without AA, 12 Step, organised support groups) I will need to keep myself in check, and keep surrounding myself with the sober network that helped to get me this far. Whilst I feel super happy and excited about staying sober and what else will unfold if I let it, I am aware that there are easy pitfalls too.

The further away from the decision to quit that I get, the harder it will to be to remember why I had to quit. I worry about becoming complacent and thinking that I have changed so much that I could handle drinking again. I know all of this good stuff has only happened as a result of giving myself  back the controls of my life. I didn’t have that control 8 months ago. I was always trying to give up, failing almost nightly.

Two things reminded me of that tonight.

A display of French beer in the supermarket, reminded me of the Christmas I decided that banning wine and only drinking beer was how I was going to address my drinking issue. In fact, I bought a crate of that low alcohol French beer, which is about 2%. Well, obviously, I just drank loads of it and when I started to feel a bit bloated and unbuzzed, I ran to the local shop for some shit wine, leaving my husband to polish off the rest of the crate over Christmas because it just didn’t hit the spot! I decided to give up in the January. I think that was about 4 or 5 years ago. Frightening.

I was out running just before dinner (wouldn’t have done that before, didn’t really do anything productive after 5pm!) and thinking how if I was still drinking, I would spend the whole run obsessing. I would be totting up units, trying to factor in the upcoming weekend but feeling so healthy for being out exercising. I’d feel so strong at the time and would make promises to myself that I would never keep. Then I’d get home and within an hour undo all the good by opening a bottle and beating myself up all over again. Even while I was drinking it, I would feel weak, fickle, crushed…

Oh how I don’t miss those feelings and debates. I went out last night and it there was music and booze and it didn’t bother one bit that I wasn’t drinking. Most people were driving and taking it easy, it’s a Tuesday night! I was always up for a party, any excuse. That’s how I know that I am really not any different deep down…I still look in wonderment at how they have one, or even none, on a night out. Why would they do that? What’s wrong with them? Aren’t they enjoying it, don’t they need more? How do they switch the need off? I still don’t get that. I don’t crave, or envy, because I don’t want any of it now, but cannot fathom their willpower or blatant indifference!!

There are still lots of difficult situations to face, Christmas parties, Christmas generally…lots of people who don’t even know I have quit! That scares me a bit because I’m sure that they are going to be shocked, suspicious as to why anyone would not want to celebrate Christmas without boozing. I think that it’s hard to just brush it off over such a large scale at this time of the year. Certainly my attitude when telling people has recently been more like..I’m trying this not drinking lifestyle and getting shit done and all and I have found it’s really cool. I have just lowered the priority drinking has in my life and I am finding that I can..
a) Still have fun on a night out and look fabulous while doing it!
b) Discover a whole new world I didn’t know existed outside of the binge drinking social scene.
c) Get so much more from the rest of my weekend

I figure the only ones who seriously quiz me or give me any grief are the one’s who themselves have drinking issues and I am proud to be a positive advert for sober living in their eyes anyway.

So, I will be out and about, here and there wearing my much cherished new sobriety like it’s the latest must have. And when I don’t feel like doing that, I will be topping up with support, hugs, treats and whatever else I need to stay sober this Christmas. It’s my first and as with any adventure, I am both terrified and excited…

27 thoughts on “Sober is the new black!

  1. I don’t know how I missed this before but I only just read it and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this too and it’s inspiring… and you know I will totally be here by blog, email, Facetime or text if you need some support and will likely be coming calling your way for some too. We can totally do this AND have a good time too. It is not going to be totally easy, let’s be realistic, and we’re bound to have pangs, but just think how amazing we’ll feel come Jan 1st? Rock on… xx

  2. Love it! This is so positive and helpful. I hope to feel like you do in however many more months! I am already starting to feel more capable of facing some social situations. I think you are absolutely right…it is different and interesting to be sober instead of drinking. xx

  3. I’ve been really anxious about how to handle the whole sober festive thing, so your post has popped up at just the right time for me. Thank you! 8.5 months is very inspiring, as are your thoughts on how it has changed you.

  4. ‘Staying sober: not miserable – just different’. That’s such a helpful thought. I have been dreading Christmas and assuming I will be miserable without alcohol. Shall think instead of sobriety as my invisible diamond tiara with the power to make me happy! 8.5 months is such an achievement, and helps others behind you believe we can do it too – thank you!

  5. Thank you for a great read, so encouraging, I am not yet sober, I manage 10 days and then fall back into that terrible trap. It is luchtime and I havnt drunk, so who knows as soon as I get back from work I will keep reading all these amazing blogs and maybe I’ll get through today.
    xxx Emma.

    • Hi Emma,
      I was you. thought I couldn’t be happy without drowning my life in wine. I have found that it can be done. Wine probably doesn’t make you happy for very long anymore anyway.
      You do deserve better and if you remove the booze and add some support you really can get out of the haze and find a better life. It’s not easy but it’s miles better. Give yourself a chance.
      Good luck.

      • 19.20 and sober…thank you so much for your reply, it was just what I needed to get me through those uncomfortable moments when I wanted to go out and buy some beers…I will be having a bath and an early night…
        Thank you

  6. I really like what you are doing. I also prefer to find my own way and although I spent some time in AA I have moved on and am enjoying life. I go out a lot to concerts, keep fit and have so many activities these days, that my days of drinking seem rather abstract. I have also restarted my blog which is is linked to my user name so drop by if you want.
    Best of luck for the future.

  7. Congrats Carrie! So very awesome! You wear your black pretty well! I love this post and the positively and inspiration that it brings. always have to remember that there will be difficult situations whether I was a sober person or a normie, they just are. This helps me remember that dificult situations are just part of life – something I always though was only happening to me! Lol! Hang in there and keep sober! – Thanks for sharing Carrie! Hugs.

    • Yeah, accepting my lot. That’s what I am working on. My life is quite nice and I have tons to be grateful for. I am trying to remember there’s a lot harder crosses to bear! Slowly getting there… Thanks Maggie x

  8. This is so encouraging to read! I’m on day 18 and I am going to do this, but it has definitely crossed my mind that I picked the “hardest” time of year to give it a go. But wait, my brain would tell me any time is the hardest time! There’s always an anniversary, a birthday, a holiday, summer, etc. Thanks for the reminder that it doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re up to, that the trick is learning how to live differently. Love it!

  9. Pingback: 10 Gifts of Sobriety | Maya June's Sobering Adventure

  10. I have been sober for 8 months. I know that I can only stay sober through the grace of
    God. I know He wants the best for me. It is very hard but I know the reward is bigger than myself. Pray my darlings, ask God to help you and He always will and my prayers are with you.

  11. Thank you for this! I’m 8 months sober in a week and I feel like literally every word of this was written by me! Of coarse it’s better because you found words to describe things I couldn’t. I feel like I’m at a point in sobriety where I’ve processed a lot of the raw emotions and am starting to gain enough courage to venture out and try new things, new jobs, going back to school etc. I wish you the best and never forget you’re not alone

  12. Back after turning into a “Golden Slipper” – will try this one day at a time…I do believe the rewards of sobriety will outweigh anything else…don’t want to live this way anymore. God’s love and blessings to all.

  13. Pingback: tunnel, towpath, or lock? | taking a new path

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