Brighter and Lighter (Guest Post)

One of our very brave and amazing community members @wvlheel has just celebrated his one year soberversary – yay! He wrote this passionate and emotional update in the Members Feed and I found it so powerful and moving I thought it worth sharing here as a guest post.



My counter says 365. Woah.

I’ve been watching that number climb for the past week or so. I knew a milestone was coming but what does this day mean? Nothing and everything.

Today is another day in a string of sober days. If I am “Living Sober” then I should just treat today like yesterday and tomorrow and get on with living. I woke up clear headed and enjoyed a cup of coffee. I enjoyed the slow pace of the morning. I felt good and refreshed. My sleep was sound. I’m going to have a productive day at work catching up from my illness last week (flu). Rinse and repeat.


I’m proud of this milestone. I’m very proud. I’ve fundamentally improved my life by removing a toxic substance to which I was addicted. I’ve shown myself that I matter.

This year has been hard and so very rewarding. My family knows that I love them and will do hard things to make our lives better. We are happier. My wife is proud of me. I’m proud of myself. My son asked me to get sober and I did so he knows that I’ll do anything for him. My mornings are glorious. My sleep is sound. I’ve lost 10 kg and I’ve even cut way back on my smoking (I hesitate to say quit because it has only been two weeks). I’ve begun a regular practice of meditation. I haven’t embarrassed myself or slurred my words or repeated my stories in 365 days. My life is brighter – that is the best way to describe it – things are brighter and lighter. I still have worries but they don’t consume me. Life isn’t perfect but it is so much better sober.

1. I am grateful for the past year and all that I’ve learned and accomplished.
2. I am grateful I found this website approximately one year ago. I am grateful for @mrs-d and for all of you.
3. I am grateful for my family.

If you are sitting on the fence, thinking about sobriety – JUST DO IT.

If you are reading this you are hanging around this website for a reason. Give it a go. What is the worst thing that can happen, it doesn’t suit you and you miss out on a few nights of drinking? Try a week. If you don’t feel better after a week then no harm no foul.

If you are dabbling around with sobriety, maybe you’ve had a slip or maybe you are just wobbly right now – STAY FUCKING SOBER. Honestly, the first month or two kind of sucks and you have to grit your teeth a bit, BUT USE YOUR TOOLS! Don’t work harder, work smarter. Treat yourself kindly.

Make a nice refreshing Alcohol Free drink at 5pm. Mix it with fresh lime, or use the fancy cocktail shaker and crushed ice. Add a splash of organic apple cider vinegar if you like tart drinks. Take a long walk. Indulge yourself with a hot bath and a book. Eat ice cream – do whatever it takes but stay sober for a nice long stretch of time.

Now take some time to begin noticing the little changes – how do you feel when you first wake up? Is your skin clearer? Have you noticed your kids seem more engaged with you? How is your sleep? Remind yourself of these little improvements – they are easy to miss if you aren’t looking.

Finally if you’ve been sober for a while and (perhaps) are getting complacent – remind yourself of how lucky you are to be in this place. Practice gratitude. Help a new member to the site. Take up a new hobby, maybe one that is purely frivolous and fun – you can’t spend your entire life “working on your shit” – have some fun.

Keep doing whatever got you here and enjoy this wonderful life.

Gosh, I’m tearing up a bit and grown men don’t cry.


  1. janabel 7 years ago

    I missed this post from early April. Huge congratulations @Wvlheel. Absolutely lovely post. xx

  2. Choose wisely 7 years ago

    My daughter said to me a year ago, Mum you’re more drunk than last year. That, and a note from a friend delivered with love helped me to quit. Oh, and two DIC charges. But we still have to do it for ourselves. Our true self who we start to find again minus the booze. Still finding her, and she is encouraging…

  3. Anonymous 7 years ago

    Thank you for your inspiring and encouraging words. Day 117 for me and loving it. Loving clear headed mornings and mornings generally! This slte is fantastic for being inspired by people to stay on the path of sobriety. I love what you said about your son. I wish my dad had been able to do the same for himself and his loved ones. But these are our lessons……….Thank you and congratulations.

  4. Tom4500 7 years ago

    Congrats on your one year anniversary Wv!

  5. Janna 7 years ago

    Sonehow missed this. Thanks for sharing. Never forget the joy of sobriety. I took it for granted but no more. xx

  6. Tar Heel Girl 7 years ago

    Thanks for the post – I had 100 days and asked myself, okay, now what? I lost meaning and since then lost sobriety. Next time I’ll call BS on my ‘now what’ mind f*ck. I def need a hobby. Anyway, back on Day 1 but I’ll take it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      You are welcome. I am a Tar Heel too! If you made 100 days you can make 1000 or 10,000 or however many you want. You can do this

  7. Clear 7 years ago

    Thank you @wvlheel for reminding me to take a step back and check myself out, here I am, totally changing my life! 49 days for me so still on the bumpy road. All the amazing people in this community have decided to transform themselves or are just about to take the leap thanks to good souls like you. I will be so happy to help a new member to this site, I’ll be so proud to share the love! Very best wishes for the next year and beyond x

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      You are welcome @clear. Congratulations on 49 days! You are changing your life and don’t forget it.

  8. Ang75 7 years ago

    Wow a year that’s amazing we’ll done!!!! That’s made me feel emotional, I’m on day 136 and you sort of forget how well your doing, I’ve bought myself a couple of sober books to read to keep myself focused, I need to remember I’m a rock star, we all are rock stars!!!! Xxx

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      Thanks for your comments. We are rock stars – well done on nearly 5 months sober! That’s huge.

      • Ang75 7 years ago

        Awww thanks!!! 🙂

  9. reena 7 years ago

    @Wvlheel, I remember starting here last year and always your posts inspired and cheered me on, I am so proud of you and the changes in your life. You were always down to earth yet not negative, realistic but not preachy, you write of your journey with enthusiasm and always end on a positive note.
    Thank you for taking us all along with you and letting us share in the joy of your new life with your family and most importantly your own new life.
    Walk proud and go fishing!!!

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      You are welcome @reena and thanks! I’m going fishing asap!

  10. Emjaycee 7 years ago

    Congratulations on 365 days . I’m looking forward to following in your footsteps . You’ve done so much to help yourself and you always help and inspire others . You set such a great example for others trying to live sober or thinking about giving it a go. Proud of you mate !

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      Thanks buddy.

  11. preparedtochange 7 years ago

    This is wonderful xx

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      Thank you. It meant a lot to me to write it.

  12. JanB 7 years ago

    Wonderful and encouraging words. So happy for you and your family on your Y1Soberversary! Thanks for sharing. xx

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      You are welcome. Thank you for your comment.

  13. Connie 7 years ago

    Beautiful post. I love how you describe what seems to be subtle changes but are HUGE : your kids engaging with you more. And I teared up when you said your son asked you to get sober, and you honored him and yourself by doing it.
    I have 15 blessed months sober and I am grateful every day. And grown men ( and all people) need to cry when they hurt. By not stuffing feelings maybe the need to self medicate with alcohol will not overpower. Congratulations. Well done.

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      Thank you for your comment. I agree that we all need to cry occasionally – I was making fun of myself but you are absolutely right.

  14. Barbara 7 years ago

    thank you. Well done and well said! I hope to follow in your footsteps 🙂

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      You are welcome – and you certainly can follow right behind me (and lead someone else!). I just followed the lead of others I was lucky to find here and in other places online. We have some super resources available to us.

  15. Prudence 7 years ago

    Fabulous post, and huge congratulations on reaching one year. So sorry that I missed it onsite. Always love your posts and you set a great example to the men on our site, as well as the rest of us xo

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      Thank you @prudence – just following your example!

  16. Hodge 7 years ago

    Fantastic to hear how your Life has improved. Congratulations on a huge milestone and for being an inspiration to start or keep going on the same journey as you

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      Thank you for your comment – when I wrote down how things changed in just one year it was eye opening.

  17. Clare 7 years ago

    Gorgeously worded post!-good work for reaching a year alcohol free,there are so many benefits aye,I’m nearly 3 months,definitely love baths,massages & the weight loss.
    Keep going!

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      Thank you @clare – yes the little rewards we give ourselves really help.

  18. seedynomore 7 years ago

    Aww I’m so sorry I missed your milestone. Beautiful update and so inspiring. All those rewards are so true and in no way small. Thanks for all your encouragement since I joined this site. You rock xx

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      You rock too @seedynomore – we all do. You are certainly welcome.

  19. Cherry2000 7 years ago

    Awesome! 23 days here! Only 342 more to go for my 1 year soberversary… I know, one day at a time. But, stories like yours will help me get there. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      You are welcome. You are right in the middle of a tough month – and one day at a time is absolutely the best practice (for me, anyhow). Good luck @cherry2000! You can do this.

  20. Petunia 7 years ago

    Fabulous, good man for a year sober and for your inspiration. Thank you

    • Wvlheel 7 years ago

      You are welcome @petunia – love your dog!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Licensed by NZ Drug Foundation under Creative Commons 4.0 2024. Built by Bamboo Creative and powered by Flywheel.

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account