I’ve been alcohol free for 482 days today.
So far, I’ve learned:
- to be kind and gentle with myself because giving up alcohol in a booze obsessed society is hard. It’s everywhere you look, even in kids movies.
- being alcohol free is something to be proud of not ashamed. Alcohol is an addictive harmful substance that is no longer a part of my life.
- I am not the norm and I like it. When others are drinking and I am not, I feel grateful that I don’t need or want alcohol and that it in no way drives my behavior.
- alcohol caused me anxiety. I thought alcohol was helping me to relax, but really it was exacerbating my fears and worries.
- not to romanticize alcohol. This is possibly the biggest factor in me getting and staying alcohol free. All the positive stories that I had attached to alcohol were lies. The beautiful moments that I experienced while drinking were in spite of alcohol not because of it.
- I sleep better. Drinking alcohol negatively effects your sleep. Sleeping better has improved my life overall.
- I have more time. Once I started drinking that was it, I wasn’t motivated to much of anything except watch television. Alcohol is the great incapacitator.
- to try and fail and try again. To be more vulnerable and to try new things. My world has opened.
- alcohol makes you look like crap. You can tell when someone smokes and you can tell when someone drinks. My skin is no longer dehydrated and my eyes are clear and bright.
- alcohol makes you feel like crap. Being dehydrated all the time made me lethargic. Being hungover was the worst because not only was I sick, but I was responsible my illness.
- to be present. A friend, who knows I no longer drink, asked me if I smoke pot or take edibles. I said that no I hadn’t really considered it. The thing is, I no longer have the desire to alter my reality.
- I like myself. I had been experiencing shame from drinking for so long that I didn’t even realize the self loathing was a direct result of drinking alcohol.
- not to substitute the booze with fake booze. This might be unpopular and I truly believe that each person has to come to sobriety in their own way, but for me this was important. For as long as I felt the need to replace booze with a booze like substance I was telling my brain that I was missing out on something.
- I am not missing out. People who drink are not having more fun. If you don’t believe me, watch people who have been drinking for awhile.
- there is a lack of real connection when you are drinking. Alcohol anethisizes your brain, which is why I often shared information I would not normally have shared when I was drinking.
- life is short and I don’t want to waste any of it drinking alcohol and recovering from drinking alcohol.
- to feel the pain when there is pain
- to fill my life up with beautiful moments.