I keep a "sober" journal on my computer desktop. I am stunned to find I have been on this roller coaster since late 2013. I would go for 100+ days without alcohol, only to convince myself I could moderate. It wouldn't take me too long to see that I could not....moderate, that is. I spent all of 2016 drinking. I "functioned" but my life was not really being lived with any depth or richness. Tons of inner dialogue filled with guilt and shame. And because alcohol was becoming my BFF, my world was getting smaller and smaller. I am early in my sobriety [again] (Day 19 on 2/13/201 7) but feeling hopeful and am so grateful for this community.
Good for you!! I quit drinking a couple days after the women’s march last year because I knew I needed to step out of the fog to truly engage in what was happening in our country. I haven’t turned back since. It will be a year in four days! Not always easy but when I look back I can honestly see that life is so much better without!
Oh how exciting!! 365 days is one heck of a big deal. Hmm, how to celebrate, that’s a good question. I bet a lot of the ‘1 year and plus’ people here will have fantastic ideas.
I’d say go with your gut feeling. Maybe there is a weekend trip you’ve always wanted to take. A weekend hiking in nature. Or that 60 minutes deep tissue massage. Maybe that expensive hair salon place you’ve always wanted to indulge in. Anything that makes you feel pampered and loved!
I came a bit unglued with soberversities, when I tried to share them with people who were not sober — ie. my family! They didn’t really appreciate what it meant to me, and I got disappointed and it was kind of deflating. So I now only share those milestones with people who really get it and know how important they are… so that’s here at Living Sober, or if I’m close enough to a sober buddy to go out for lunch or coffee or icecream.
@kayjay29 Fantastic effort for nearly reaching a year! You should be very proud of yourself… we all are! X I agree with @SueK, others don’t get it so you are best doing something very special for yourself. I have marked my milestones in very special ways, I got my very first tattoo on Day 3 to show my commitment to this journey … it includes flowing water to mark washing clean, and that nothing ever stands still we are always changing ( and maybe a bit resigned that water was all I could ever drink again… little did I know then about the world of AF drinks lol). At 90 days I got another tattoo .. a wee wisdom owl to mark my wisdom in making this choice. At one year sober (and graduating my Masters which happened in the same month), I got another tattoo … a tree of life/knowledge and shouted myself a trip of a lifetime … two months touring Europe and the UK. I have just passed my two year sober anniversary and next week I am booked in for my 4th tattoo which is a phoenix- rising from the ashes which is how I feel about my new life. Good luck on finding your special celebration!
Clarity is one of the many great gifts of sobriety. I read at night. When I was drinking, I’d pick up my book the next day, I have absolutely no idea of what I had read. Kind of makes reading senseless. Stay warm today. I live next door in Wisconsin.
For me, I really don’t focus on one day at a time because my brain then zooms forward to weeks and years…too discouraging. I like the idea of looking for good in each day, gratitude. I found it helpful to reward myself each day with small things that made me happy, trying a new na drink, spending time doing something I loved doing. You know what will work for you.
It is hard when we associate something we like to do with that glass of wine, or scotch or beer. The thing I found was that I discovered so many other things I loved to do that I never did because I was drinking instead. I would also drink wine while watching a movie or Netflix. I still do those things but now not with the wine. But, in the early days, I really needed to find a different “treat” for those evenings.
Sorry about you having to deal with your hubby. Marriage can be the best of times and then the worst. But, I gotta say, your post made me smile. I hope tomorrow is at least one of the better times for you. Congratulations on day 362. I am just behind you at 342.
That would have been really tough! Red wine was my drink of choice also and in the early days, I simply asked that it not be in the house. My husband would have a glass when we went out for dinner but that was about it. Today I am on day 336. I was actually able to buy a couple bottles for others to drink at Christmas time. I looked at those glasses of wine with longing but it passed quickly. But, in the early days…nope, couldn’t have had it around. Good for you for walking away!!
You have been dealt way too much loss in a short period of time. I am very sorry. I am also sorry to read you feel you don’t have support at home. But, you are enough. You are what you need to do this. And coming to this site is good too. We can help and we have your back. Today is a new day! xo
Hey, @wvlheel, I am a pastor and I can assure you that you are not the only fucked up family in the world! In fact, most families are made up of “fuck ups” because families are made up of human beings. (yes, pastors swear.) Your family is in a particular rough patch and it sucks. But the beauty is, you keep reaching out. You know that isolation is your enemy. And then, you provide us, almost every day, a list of all the goodness you see in your life! Thank you for being real and honest. I know it feels pretty dark some days but you, dear sir, are a light!
Yes! Yes! Yes! My holiday season used to be planned around booze…what wine to pair with what meal. We do have choices…yes, it pushes back on a lot of how the world equates “celebration” but we can celebrate differently and truly be present to this lovely season!
I am wondering….and forgive me if this is totally wrong….so clients receive champagne? Do you have any control over what is served? Why not sparkling juice? The world seems to think celebration equals alcohol but we know that is not so. Now, again, I may be completely off because I don’t know your work situation so please ignore me if I am completely off base. xo
My husband and I are both pastors. Our family traditions need to fit in around our church service schedules. But, over the years, we have figured out traditions like gathering as a family late on Christmas Eve with a simple buffet of hearty snacks and opening presents on Christmas Day followed by brunch. After that, Christmas Day is pretty mellow because my hubby and I are spent. But, on Christmas night, it’s game night (usually Settlers of Catan or Risk.)
Thank you for reminding us that one just needs to be present to each moment to see the goodness. Hoping that this new med is helpful for your daughter. It probably goes without saying, but I will say it…you are a good dad because you are present and putting in the time.
The thing about the doctor is interesting. When I was drinking, I always felt like I had “hungover” written all over my face. It makes sense that in the doctor’s office, it wasn’t just my imagination! I like your morning practice. I was listening to Father Greg Boyle’s interview of NPR’s Fresh Air recently. His morning mantra (at least at this moment) is “rest in you, rest in me.” I like that one too. Every day, we wake, we are given a gift to begin again. So glad we are present to it!
I was a high “functioner” on the outside and shit storm on the inside. You are most definitely in the right place. You asked for advice…I got all the alcohol (and especially my greatest vice, wine) out of the house. I told my husband so he would have my back. I gave myself an inexpensive “reward” daily, things that made me happy. (It wasn’t always food but I did not worry about calorie intake!) I came here several times a day and also sought out podcasts (like the Bubble Hour…love Jean!) I read The Naked Mind by Annie Grace that gave me a very different perspective about alcohol. When I couldn’t stand it anymore, I went to bed. I am not great at intentional planning but I made myself think through what I was going to do each night. Today is day 307 but I had several day 1’s. You are on the right path.
I call them the Sunday night “goollies.” Yeahhhh, anxiety….NOT! This morning, I really appreciated your #1. True, we are approaching Christmas time so I have been doing online shopping but…it is starting to feel a little out of control. If it’s o.k. with you, I am going to copy and paste your little talk to your sweet addict mind to remind my sweet addict mind that just because “it’s a really good sale!!!!” I really don’t need more of anything!! xo
Our feelings and thoughts about drinking rear their ugly heads at the strangest and most unexpected times. We are cruising along….and bam, there they are. I can so relate to your post. I have had those nostalgic feelings also. But, I think by acknowledging those feelings of loss (like you are doing,) somehow I get back to reality and realize my life is so much richer without the drinking. xo
OMG. You guys….I can RELATE!!!Even though I wasn’t physically tempted to drink…my mind wandered to thinking of a girls nite being bonded with wine and my friends tipsy while we giggle and have INSIDE jokes. But of course I get trashed. But for a fleeting moment I …in my thoughts…don’t care of feeling like utter shit next day because I am having this fun drink fest with my girlfriends and my blood sisters as well. Grrrrr
Good morning! Your words are appreciated today! As a resident of the Midwest for 57 years, I found your perspective helpful. The changes in this country actually led to my sobriety. I quit a couple days after the inauguration and I participated in the women’s march. I just felt the need to be more present and active in my citizenship. So, although in my experience, it has been a hard year to an American, there is this….I am grateful that I no longer drink. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with good things (and not just the edible ones!)xo
During my first few days, I read Annie Grace’s book, This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol which really helped reshape how I think about drinking. In addition, I am not a big planner usually. It is necessary sometimes but it is not my gift. But, during my first days I was intentional about planning my evenings (the hardest time) filling themselves with “rewards” that made me happy. Finally, I told someone I was doing this and was accountable to that person.
Haven’t posted in a while but have been following your posts. As a parent, my heart goes out to you. We can feel so helpless but your presence is everything. This time, in a nutshell, simply sucks But, in the midst of all the shit going down, I am so touched by your choice to live into this time (a time where you can’t fix it) looking for moments of goodness and gratitude.
Honest and wise. Facing these holidays sober is really, really different. As you write, you know that you will need to sit awhile in those hard feelings. But, I also hope that in your new(ish) sobriety you discover some of the good to sit in also. These are the good things that never would have happened OR we would never had seen or experienced (because we were numbing on the couch with our wine!) I am on day 300 and facing my first Thanksgiving wine-free so really appreciated your post!
The reminder about sitting in the positive experiences is an excellent reminder, kayjay29. Thanks for that. I am feeling more waves of gratitude than grief these days and it truly is important to pause and let those feelings wash over and through too.
Yes, yes, a thousand times, YES! Why do we feel we must “use” our free time? My mode is to always think I can accomplish “one more thing.” I am constantly looking ahead to the next thing rather than being in that moment. So glad a took some of my free weekend time to read your post. xo
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this today! Recently, I have taken on more responsibilities at work. And now, I notice I have had several days of self-loathing, (…I am not good enough, smart enough etc.) which has morphed into judgmental thoughts about others. So ugly and so where I don’t want to be. Your post was a gentle reminder that I need to stop and take a moment for some intentionality, adding thoughts of gratitude. I will take time today to hug all those “negative nellie” thoughts and then turn my eyes back on the horizon. xo
You are good enough and smart enough and wayyyyy more than enough in your job.
It’s not your fault these thoughts come up. They cause real suffering. Just today I thought “All of my hardworking students probably think my class is shit because I pay too much attention to the lazy students.”
A.) My own thoughts are real, but not always true B.) Unless someone openly confirms my thoughts, there is no reason to assume they are true.