Day 226 alcohol free- what have I learned so far?

I am now on day 226 of my sobriety. I am thankful and grateful to be here. What have I learned so far on my journey?

The world doesn’t miraculously fix itself when you become sober

When I was floating on my pink cloud, I definitely thought that everything would be better now I was sober. It came as quite a surprise that my health was mostly the same, the people around me were the same and quite frankly, the world didn’t stop because I had stopped drinking!

What did change was my capacity to deal with things, that changed and improved. Don’t get me wrong, I can still be an utter brat, but I am much calmer. I don’t worry as much and I don’t always have the drink guilt on my shoulders. I am not about to become Mother Teresa, I am still me. The world isn’t perfect, but it’s a damn site better.

Sober people can be the nicest most genuine people you will meet.

Obviously, there will still be bad people out there who just happen to be sober. Removing the drink doesn’t turn someone into a saint. But it does create knowledge and understanding in people that unless you’ve been where we have been, it is hard to understand.

Sober people really want other sober people to stay sober. Genuinely, no one wants anyone else to fall. We are all one bad decision away from being there. We don’t want anyone back in that place.

You need to keep working at sobriety

I am not saying you’ll need to be in meetings every day for the rest of your life. But what I am saying is that if you become complacent, you are leaving the door open for relapse.

Whatever you’ve found that works for you keep doing it. Stay connected, learn your warning signs. Look after yourself! Stay alert and remember why you are sober. The absolutely hellish place you were in, is always just one drink away.

Alcohol does not go away, big alcohol won’t let it

Just because you are sober, the rest of the world doesn’t become so. The bars are still full of drinkers, you’ll be invited to weddings and parties with a big focus on alcohol. People will invite you out for a glass of wine. Alcohol marketing machines will be there to tempt you constantly, It’s everywhere. You need to decide what your coping mechanism will be.

In the beginning, I drank AF beers if we went out. It helped me to avoid questions but also it made me feel as if I was still part of the crowd. Now I will more than likely avoid situations that I know will be focused on drinking. Not because I feel left out, but because I just don’t like being around drunk people! (ironic eh?)

You’ll dream a lot about drinking!

Yep, I still do. Although in my last dream I ordered wine and then Refused to drink it. Hopefully, dream me is finally catching up 😉

You will devour sugar

Snack time..

I must get a grip on this. Since I have stopped drinking I have become a sugar demon. I need to ensure I have stock at all times ( remind you of anything?) this does need addressing. I know this, just not yet.

You will meet some amazing friends

I suppose that this is the same as above, but genuinely I’ve met some amazing women in my sober group. Women who I now count as my best friends.

It’s great to meet people who you not only get along with but who understand. With every other friendship, I have kept my secret. It’s been a part of me that I was ashamed and terrified of being judged on. With my sober group friends, I’ve started from a place of honesty. It adds real authenticity to any friendships which develop in sobriety. Also, because they know your secret, they can also spot any bullshit a mile away!

You won’t become a deep thinker overnight

This is an odd one I know. When I first became sober I would hear people coming out with profound and searching statements. They’d be sharing their newfound wisdom and really working on themselves. meanwhile, I was still skim-reading articles, watching crap TV and not really understanding what everyone was talking about.

I am still the same, but I have found out things about myself naturally. I have learned that I hate injustice and I don’t like sitting back and not speaking when I feel a situation is wrong. I have learned I am a good friend, I am impatient, I need to exercise etc. All of this self-realisation happened organically. That’s how it works for me. Everyone is different.

You get your feelings back

This is good and bad. It’s something we have to deal with after years of avoiding it. Possibly the hardest part of new sobriety. You suddenly will have all of these feelings to deal with and no way to escape them. This is how I learned I needed to exercise (see above) I had to find a way of dealing with emotions that didn’t revolve around alcohol. It does get easier, I promise.

Not everyone agrees on pathways

Not every pathway works for everyone. I have learned that although AA didn’t work for me, it has worked for many many others. There are so many different pathways out there. I’ve found the one that works for me. It really doesn’t matter how you get here, as long as you get here.

I am sure I have learned so much more, but that’s all I have for now.

Much love,

B xx

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