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