It’s ten months since I downed my last glass of wine and said ‘that’s it!’
Woo hoo! I really didn’t think that would be it for me but something clicked and here I am.
I don’t know when drinking stopped being enjoyable but it had become something I did compulsively, by myself, just me and my head most of the time. Sure, I still had social occasions when I drank and it felt ok, acceptable, fun even, but overall, even socially, it felt like a chore. I had to count units, drink slowly, wait for others to finish their drink, worry if there would be enough, more, more, I want more!
Looking back now I can’t believe the hold it had over me and I truly didn’t believe I had a choice or that there was any other option. I simply could not see a life without alcohol in it. But here I am with 300 plus days and the finish line is in sight…right?
A whole year sober. That became my goal once I had done 100 days, followed by another 100, then another. Experience everything sober, holidays, birthdays, weddings and the dreaded Christmas and New Year!”
I have lots of things in my ‘sober tool box’ that helped to get me this far
- A special drink in a favourite glass, usually elderflower, cranberry and soda or something with ginger in a wine or cocktail glass.
(I found it easier to carry on with having the same routines if I had that ‘prop’ in my hand and it really worked. I would forget after a few minutes that I wasn’t drinking and of course the drink in my glass actually tasted really good too. I still find it hard to empty a wine glass with the remains of an elderflower cordial down the sink? How bizarre is that?)
- Movies, I have watched more films in ten months than I have in the last ten years, my lovefilm subscription was a lifesaver
- Lots of treats, chocolate every day, cake at least once a week. Didn’t loose any weight for the first six months.
- Relaxing baths with scented candles
- Reading (finishing books and remembering what I have read)
- Having one person in real life that I can talk to about how I am feeling…my wonderfully supportive husband.
- The sober online community and the many supportive friends I have made.
- Blogging, reading blogs and listening to the Bubble Hour over and over
- Group exercise classes, making the most of the hangover free weekend early starts
- Staying in, staying in and more staying in. It’s not forever, just the first few weeks. Going out and socialising does get easier and will be fun again but is just hard work in the beginning.
- Early nights and lots of new bedding. I have such lovely restful nights now.
By far the biggest thing that I have put into my sobriety is time. There is something about crossing off days, clocking up time, digging in and just waiting for it to pass that counts beyond belief towards feeling better about being sober. Sometimes it goes quickly and easily other times it seems like a painfully slow, endless road to nowhere. But sticking with it, hanging in there, just being…heals. From six to eight months, I felt I’d taken giant leaps in my sobriety and again from eight to ten months it’s happened again. I can only explain this feeling (which is wonderful) to be down to time alone. It really does heal. Sobriety feels fantastic, like I’ve found the key to making my life work. I’m exploring who I am and have started to create a whole new life for myself. New routines, hobbies, interests and a more enthusiastic approach to my career are just a few of things I have embraced in the last few months.
So, when I wonder if I will make it to a year and beyond that, I am excited to see what happens rather than worrying about forever. I am really not frightened of ‘forever’ anymore. The effort feels more like it’s about my life as a whole than just my sobriety singled out.
When you get sober, yes, you do spend a whole lot of time thinking. But it’s not all about not drinking, it’s about sorting your shit out and getting more out of your life, especially if you feel like you’ve wasted a whole lot of it drinking and being hung over. I devoted enough of my life to drinking so I am more than prepared to give sobriety a bit more of my precious time. So, onwards to one year!