Getting sober does not make everything perfect

not perfect

Getting sober does not make everything perfect.

It does not make you miraculously want to run marathons or only eat plant-based foods. It doesn't mean you sleep marvellously every night, or dress beautifully every day. It doesn't morph you into a zen parent who never yells or a model employee who never gets hassled by office politics.

Being sober doesn't mean you never feel the deep ache of sadness or flashes of anger. It does't mean you never worry or stress or get anxious. And it certainly doesn't mean you never feel insecure or worthless.

However - for me anyway - since I quit booze all these aspects of my life have improved. I might not run marathons or eat paleo all the time but I do have much better food and exercise habits overall (and a greater awareness of what I'm doing to my body).

On average I sleep for many more hours every night than I used to and wake up refreshed rather than wrecked. I also take more care with my appearance and do things like file my nails and pluck my eyebrows on a more regular basis than before.

I am far more in touch with my emotions which has dramatically improved my relationships - not only with myself but with everyone around me.

And most of all I face up to difficult life events by not ignoring tricky situations or avoiding uncomfortable (yet necessary) conversations. I do what should be done because I'm alert and awake all of the time, not numbed with copious amounts of wine.

Of course difficult life events still occur, and I don't always handle them well, but  nowadays if I do falter along the way, I don't stagnate and get stuck there for too long. I recognise where I'm at, acknowledge that I am a flawed human and a work in progress, forgive myself, pick myself up and try again.

This is the key: I forgive myself, pick myself up and try again.

These are the greatest gifts sobriety has given me - self compassion and forward momentum.

And these are the reasons I'll never go back drinking again.

Love, Mrs D xxx

  1. Carol 3 years ago

    This really resonates with me. 8 months sober here and definitely feeling all the feels. I’ve had to go through some hard stuff this year, and its stuff I have been through before and I have to say it is very different not numbing my feelings with alcohol. Oh I’m feeling it all right but it feels easier on some level to deal with the issues with a clear and calm brain.

  2. sobere 5 years ago

    Really great commentary. Thanks mrs D.

  3. 01oceanbreeze 5 years ago

    Thanks – I’m new here and needed to hear that – that we are human – thanks for sharing.

  4. Agirl 5 years ago

    So so true @mrs-d. Sobriety does not equal perfection and sublime bliss. But it is much better. Things may not be perfect for me while sober but they are a whole lot better in every way. Thanks again xxx

  5. MsR 5 years ago

    Well said, as always, Mrs. D!

  6. salshak 5 years ago

    Thanks so much for this beautiful post. I need to be reminded to forgive myself, as sobriety has certainly laid bare character flaws that I can no longer blame on alcohol. Now I have the mental and emotional clarity to work through these less than lovable traits in order to become my best (or better) self.

  7. Clare 5 years ago

    Beautiful post,definitely can relate to all of that.

  8. sober@sixty 6 years ago

    I’m at the 5 1/2 month mark and being in touch with all my feelings and emotions has been hard, raw and uncomfortable. But…I’m doing it. I sought out the support of a licensed counselor to help me through some of this. I’m not perfect, and never professed to be…but sure tried to live the illusion! No more! Life can be ugly and hard. When it is, I’m ugly and hard. I aim for progress not perfection. The fact that my family and friends support me and don’t go running and hiding when I’m at that ugly and hard point is proof that it was the alcohol that had them running and hiding, not the hard ugly moments in life!

  9. Cinderella 6 years ago

    Once again a, very cool post Mrs D. I love being me. I’m not perfect but I am happy. There’s certainly room for improvement but I’d rather that than the old drink a bottle me I used to be. Nice to be a part of this awesome team!!

  10. enzedgirl 6 years ago

    i had to laugh at the eyebrows and fingernails @mrs-d ! me too!!!

    lovely post as always xxx

  11. Annie 6 years ago

    Oh @MrsD–you are truely a wonderful angel sent to all of us on LS. I just so love the way you write and your honesty about life is just what I need to hear. This site is AMAZING—coming on here has been the best thing for my sobriety when nothing else has worked. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart.

  12. Jo 6 years ago

    Just love all that you say and do so so much. I actually put weight on in my early days of sobriety and went from runner to lazy bum. It took a while but I’m on track now 3 months later and have not looked back. YOU Mrs D are the reason for the season. Set me off on my way with your honesty and made it ok to say that I have a problem with alcohol because it affected me enough that I’d had enough. We are responsible for ourselves yes but sometimes the right person at the right time just pops into your life carrying the message you’ve been waiting for. Forever grateful really. Bless x

  13. Ladyhawke 6 years ago

    I can relate to every single word in this post – thanks for sharing. This could me my new mantra:
    “I recognise where I’m at, acknowledge that I am a flawed human and a work in progress, forgive myself, pick myself up and try again.”

  14. Mari135 6 years ago

    Had me tear up in all the right ways. oxoxox Thank you for writing this oxoxox

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