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Staying here…

It’s been so long since I have written a post…I’m not sure what to write about.
I’m 15 months sober.
Not drinking is totally normal for me now and I really feel like I am embracing long term sobriety.

But I worry whether I can live in long term sobriety without always working my recovery? I owe so much of my journey so far to the tools that I used almost daily in the first year. I emailed sober pen pals, blogged, commented, reached out to other sober bloggers. I met up with like minded people who were on the same path as I was, most of us were relatively new to sobriety. I wrapped myself in a virtual sober cloak for a year, while piece by piece I pulled my old fractured, disillusioned existence apart. I stripped myself bare of all the fronts and props that had been holding me back. It was a gradual process but a lot of the time I felt alien and raw.
With help, advice, encouragement and support, bit by bit. I built a new existence that no longer revolved around escapism and chaos.
Day by day, the cravings got easier to handle and over time I did a lot of overdue, emotional growing up.
I learned to take ownership of my feelings and responsibly for my actions.
Whilst all of this is incredibly hard to face, there’s a real learning process, a lot of pain, some anger and a whole load of tears…there is the other side of you that bounces back into life too!
There’s the happiness, the laughter, the fresh start, clear head, the joy of rediscovering the good stuff that got squished down along with the bad.
I cannot believe how high my highs are when they come. Ok, it’s not every night at 6pm but it’s real and it’s not followed by pain, guilt and remorse.
You know when you think about (or used to think about) a life without your precious tipple and you couldn’t imagine anything that could ever compensate? And when you can’t see your world with any sense of satisfaction or fulfilment without booze…When you feel sick and panicked at the very thought of it?
Well, take booze and replace it with recovery…that is the way I feel about my precious sobriety now. I couldn’t stand to have it taken away from me.
My life is worth so much more now. I value every bit of it and I can t believe I was so flippant and how I fucked around massively with my health.
I adore being sober.
I am finally content and at peace with myself. I respect me, and as a result everything around me has changed and benefited. It’s not a party all day, every day. There are still times when I want to shut out reality and have a bit of time outside my own head. But it’s no longer an option so I find other ways to temporarily switch off. I lose myself in a film, some window shopping or indulge in some treat food. All of these, like booze, are a temporary fix, but without the negative consequences.
Socially, some nights rock and other nights are pants…the only difference is that I own the morning after and the rest of the day or weekend. A shit night out ends when I decide to call it a night and not about two days later because I drank so much to pep it up and suffered a shitty hangover. I can get a two day buzz from highs of a fun night, spent in good company, laughing, chatting, eating and focusing on other elements to add the fun factor. I have stopped worrying about who/when/ how much boozing will be involved – I just don’t fret in advance anymore. I can’t tell you what a relief all of this is for me. I never pictured myself to able to exist happily without wine let alone feel so strongly that this is the best that I have ever felt in my adult life. It is and I am grateful to have found a way out of that life to this place.
Booze had stopped working for me years and years ago and yet I just couldn’t let it go. Now I have finally found something else that has made everything fall into place I am going to do everything it takes to stay here.

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21 thoughts on “Staying here…

  1. Love this post. Love it 🙂 I hope this is somewhere I can be in a year’s time. I love what you say about how, when you’re drinking the thought of living without booze is terrifying, and that’s how you feel about sobriety now, that the idea of being without it is so appalling. Such a good analogy. What a change to undergo. Thanks for the sharing the view from 15 months 🙂 xx

  2. Hi! Glad to hear from you… Almost everything you write, I am feeling, too. Not drinking is not even a way of life, it just IS. It’s a simple choice for me now, mainly b/c all I see are the bad things and wasted time of drinking. That’s all I see now, thankfully.

    I loved this line: I built a new existence that no longer revolved around escapism and chaos. Honestly, I do sometimes still feel like, Sobriety has stolen me/my life, but…not often. I do sometimes have pangs, but they’re not to drink, only to escape with the liquid. It’s more, I want (or miss?) that old “fun” me, that charge-around-reckless-me. I know I can’t have that, and that “that” is an illusion anyway. Thanks for this post, Carrie. A+ on your 15 months (I am at 450 days-ish, I think on Wed.)!!! Hugs, DDG

  3. Oh I loved reading this. I haven’t been around here that much due to busy/injury/sick but so glad I popped in and didn’t miss this one. As you have been all along, again you are an inspiration to me. And even though I am not quite that far along due to the backslides along the way I can still relate to a lot of this. Over time, being sober just comes to feel like the far *easier* choice, where it once seemed so impossible, and the idea of drinking ceases to be this desirable thing and becomes a negative instead. Funny, isn’t it. And you once couldn’t have told me that either but doesn’t that just show how far we’ve come. Yay you! I am so proud of you and so glad you have been here all along and been such a wonderful, loving, strong, caring, inspiring part of my story too. Big loves to you. xoxo

  4. It is lovely to read these beautifully positive posts to remind ourselves what we’re aiming for. That’s what I want life to be like too. I’m at an in-between stage. I’m almost at 180 days and I find myself wondering, ‘what’s next? Shall I just pack it in now and drink over the Summer and then stop again?’ But I know that will defeat the whole object and I will be brought low again. I’m aiming for your radiance, so will carry on past this bleurgh moment. Thank you for such a timely reminder x

  5. thanks for this, Carrie. so nice to hear from you! it is so encouraging to hear how much you cherish and protect your sobriety. and like DDG I particularly like the line, ‘ I built a new existence that no longer revolved around escapism and chaos.’ escapism is a big deal for me, as well. but there ARE healthier ways than booze of ducking out of our own heads for a bit. thank heavens for clean sheets night 😉

    that thing about ‘working’ your recovery? I wonder about that, too. going with the flow, for now. I keep checking in on the sobersphere. I enjoy writing my blog but it is getting less and less about not drinking! but then there’s nothing like reading other people’s experiences of the early days of getting sober for helping me remember what that was like.

    thanks for the postcard from 8 months ahead of me! so glad it’s sunny where you are! xxx

  6. So glad to hear from you. I’ve missed you and your tiara but I get it. At almost a year I’ve slowed down on immersing myself in blogs, etc and just live. Pretty much run out of things to post on my blog, don’t want to talk about drinking much anymore but I don’t want to get complacent. Thanks for the awesome post Carrie. Glad to see your comments on some blogs, you are very wise. And rock on.
    Sharon

  7. Great to read this post and happy to hear you’re feeling good. I could completely relate to your point about having a high from a great night now that can last days. It didn’t even occur to me that this was happening the other day when I couldn’t believe how much FUN I’d had the other weekend. It’s not that other nights/weekends aren’t fun, but I think it was more that I’d never really had fun like that that would carry over into days later. It was always the other way, and like you said, now a bad night means you head home early and wake up and it’s done. Thanks for your perspective. Hugs to you!

  8. Love the post. Great to see what’s going on in your mind. The longer I am sober the more I learn about what I do and do not need to remain sober. What I needed then I don’t need some. And what I need now, I didn’t need then. I think the most important is remaining open to the journey without booze in hand.

  9. “A shit night out ends when I decide to call it a night and not about two days later because I drank so much to pep it up and suffered a shitty hangover.” Amen sister. So pleased to hear from you and that all is well in your world. I was beginning to think about beyond one year and wondering what it was like and then up you pop and tell me! Thank you 🙂 xx

  10. As someone who is infantile in her sobriety, this is incredibly important to read.CONGRATULATIONS and I hope I can make it as far as you

  11. Wow, the view from 15 months seems like a beautiful one, and I thank you for sharing it! I have suffered the consequences of drinking too much to pep a night up more times than I’d like to remember…mostly when I found the people or conversation around me to be boring. My shitty addict voice would tell me that sneaking more wine into my glass when I thought no one was paying attention would be a good solution to that boredom, rather than changing the conversation itself, or the boring people I was hanging out with.

  12. I am 2 weeks sober and counting, it seems impossible somedays I could ever make it to 100 days let alone where you are right now, but your post is so encouraging. Thank you for sharing with us all.

      • Thank you, wow, so nice to have the encouragement and know there are others in same place. Feeling good now and we both have momentum, keep it up and keep in touch, would love to know how you are doing in few weeks time. What other blogs are you reading at the moment? I think it is also helping to hear other stories and see where other women are at.

  13. Unreal achievement – now it is all about sustainability – Life can come and whack you of course in a few hours (it did for me a couple of times…) keep up your good intentions and stay true to yourself, your doing great!

  14. This is a great post. My goal is to get to your stage. My longest period for remaning sober this year was 32 days. I should have kept going, however I decided to have a few and moderate my use. The problem with that is that on some occasions you drink moderately, and there might be others where you don’t. It’s not so much that I like it anymore, it is more like the feeling of missing out on something. The reality is that drinking is not productive and it just sucks to be honest. Anyhow, my goal is to commit longer. Your achievement is great and I truly respect that.

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