Just over a month ago, I crossed the half-decade without drinking alcohol. A remarkable achievement to many, a sensible one to me. An achievement none the less that has taught me a few things that I would like to share.
I have difficulty sharing experiences as I often try and think of what would benefit people trying to stop. And honestly, I can’t. The sober version of me is everything that drunk me hated; Happy, free, fit and healthy. All of which were previously points of scorn, thinly veiling envy. I was angry at life, myself and… everything. I blamed everything for my problems. Mostly because I didn’t like myself and didn’t know how to put it right. Sobriety was the start of the journey to put it right.
If you are considering quitting alcohol then I say give it a go it has been the catapult to a new life for me.
Here are five things I’ve learned along the way:
I am incredible – (And also very modest obviously) we all are. Incredible I mean. A statement I never thought I would say about myself. The other day I was sitting and I thought “You’re alright, Charlie.” I spent years calling myself all the negative names under the sun. Chastising and castigating myself over… everything. In sobriety, I have achieved wonderful things that I never would have thought possible. Go easy on yourself. You are amazing. Give yourself a hug. you deserve it.
“We drink the poison our minds pour for us and wonder why we feel so sick.”Atticus
Sobriety isn’t the end – I thought it was the end of my life. How wrong was I? It was the beginning. Quitting drinking wasn’t the magic wand that fixed everything but it was the strength, clarity and calmness for me to fix what I could. Patience and perseverance are a must because it doesn’t happen overnight but it does happen if you keep plugging away. Knock backs and setbacks will happen but keep going.
“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life, but it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done”Rocky balboa
Don’t worry so much – I have played out scenarios in my mind. I’ve wasted energy thinking about how I will react to situations. Second-guessing life. Especially about drinking or other people asking me about drinking. And all of it for nothing because those situations never arose. I wasted energy I could have used on something more worthwhile. Don’t worry too much. You will have the strength to deal with situations you thought impossible.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”Corrie Ten Boom
Life is a beautiful thing – Without the turgid thinking that alcohol-induced anxiety brings, the world seems lighter. Brighter. Calmer. Birds sing. The wind blows in the trees. The sun shines and everything is cool. Then some bastard ruins it but hey that’s life. You’ve got the toolbox to let it wash over you… or swear a lot. The choice is now yours.
Life is beautiful but people are crazy.Charles Osgood
Freedom – Alcohol stole freedom and freedom of choice. It stole joy and happiness. Money. Relationships. Jobs. Some of which return if you want because now you have the freedom to choose who, where and what you do with your life. Dreams do come true. We are the lucky ones.
“We want ecstasy as a way of life, not a liver-poisoning alcoholiday from it.”Crimethinc, Anarchy and Alcohol
Thanks for reading,
Picture credit – https://mahileather.com/