Six reasons to stay sober

Mrs D drinking a mug of tea

Just in case I ever think I should start pouring wine down my throat again, here are six reasons why it's a great idea for me to stay sober.

1. Tea! Since I quit drinking I have developed a deep love of green & herbal teas which is a source of much joy in my life. I drink around 4-5 cups daily, always a different type/flavour depending on the hour. I have a large kitchen drawer filled to the brim with boxes and bags of the stuff. I carefully pack a selection whenever I travel away from home. Each cup is a small act of self-care, a little hug in a mug, warming and soothing and refreshing and nourishing. Yum yum.

2. Nourishing habits. Since becoming sober I have begun regularly practicing some lovely behaviours that are gentle, healthy and soul restoring. Things like yoga, mindfulness, gratitude and acceptance. I don't think I'd be enjoying them and appreciating them for what they bring to my life (or even doing them at all) if I was still necking wine like it was going out of fashion.

3. My recovery community. Where would I be without all my sober friends? I'd be floating around the world in a lonely bubble rather than belonging to an awesome tribe of like-minded people. People who fully understand what it's like to beat an addiction to alcohol. I love sharing honestly about the ups and downs of my sober life with people who totally get it because they're living the same way. Belonging to an awesome online tribe of kick-arse sober warriors is one of the absolute joys of my life. And I wouldn't have it if I bought that poisonous shit back into my world.

4. Genuine relaxation triggers. Rather than relying on wine to wind me down at 5pm, I have other cosy actions that signal to me that the end of the day is here and it's time for me to relax and unwind. Actions such as; putting on my comfy pants and/or slippers, lighting a scented candle or incense stick, slicing a lemon and adding it to a glass of fizzy water, watching The Chase on my laptop as I cook dinner, playing some lovely music that I can singalong to. All far better ways to relax than pouring a glass (or 5) of wine. Better for me because they're actually genuinely relaxing, and all guaranteed to help give me a calm evening and solid night's sleep.

5. Recovery advocacy. Since going public about being an alcoholic I get invited to talk to many different types of groups about my sobriety journey and the power of online recovery. Just recently I spoke with staff at the Ministry of Justice. Earlier this year I was standing up in front of a group of ladies at a school fundraiser. Next month I'll be talking to graduates of a rehab programme. I really enjoy doing these talks, am always grateful for the opportunity to make recovery visible. It's so rewarding to be able to promote sobriety and illustrate that it's possible to come from a dark, stuck place and live a fantastic, fun, full life with no alcohol in it. And of course it's great to raise awareness of the wonderful support you can receive for all of this through the internet.

6. My family. They are everything. I'm so lucky to have three great sons and a fabulous husband who all need and love me. I get to care for them and cook for them and worry about them and make plans with them and I love it all. They deserve a sober me who is not an emotional cripple (like I used to be), but rather a mother and wife who is able to deal with tricky situations relatively calmly and focus on their needs not just mine. Not to mention the fact I am available for lovely evening chats without wine fumes oozing out of me.

Now it's your turn. Tell us some of the reasons you have for staying sober! I bet you've got a few, and listing them out will serve as a great reminder why it's so worth it to kick booze to the curb.

Mrs D xxx

  1. TheNewNormal 5 years ago

    I want to deal with the reason I drink, I don’t think I am who I could be in the world because of it….

    • Kumar 5 years ago

      AA is working for me… we alcoholics can’t deal with our minds – we need to turn it over to a higher power to “deal” with this problem – otherwise we will slip again

  2. Nemo 5 years ago

    One of my reasons, which I didn’t realise was a reason until today is that I can now deal with the feelings that I have numbed and ignored for years. I found myself in tears today reading someone’s post (a helpful one) and realising that I’m on a journey of healing. I can now feel things I didn’t feel before – it hurts and is very uncomfortable, but I know this will pass and I will feel better than ever before.

    • Sansa 5 years ago

      I know exactly what you mean, better to face and treat the cause than numb the symptoms. Its only then that we are alive. I too struggle with emotional distress and anxiety but I can handle it way better AF. I feel the temptations but the outcome would be the same and maybe even worse. It’s always painful and scary. I would rather bear through a craving and check in here with my AF friends than end up sick and hurt myself and all I love.

  3. Gret 5 years ago

    How did you know the day had arrived when you were never going to drink again?

    • Sansa 5 years ago

      For me how I knew after countless Day 1s that I will only further suffer if I don’t quit and I said to myself I got to do more. I’ve been listening to the Bubble hour for 16 months and I looked at unpickled and saw the resource LS. I read Mrs. D’s post and saw her suggested 1st step was to have a firm decision to stop drinking alcohol. And I knew in my heart she was right. This is the only way. And why I can still do it on my own and before it takes a grip on me that I cannot escape, I said this is it. Day 8 is a few hours away! And I can’t wait to make it to 8 weeks, 8 months and God willing 8 years. I kick poison out of my life for that is what it is.

  4. Rodney 5 years ago

    Being sober gives you back the ability to steer your life in a direction you want to go because you have time to think clearly and properly about things in a way that means you will take the next step and put your plans into action. When you’re drinking you’re either drunk or recovering from drinking or thinking about or organising the next drink and there isn’t time left to contemplate the future. The future might mean different things for different people, but for me it was about deciding where in NZ I wanted to live, and then taking the necessary steps to do it. I’m now living at that place, have a small sail boat (which sounds ridiculous but gives me immeasurable levels of peace and contentment, and that I was aware was the thing that did that for me). While I was drinking all I could manage was to dream about doing that. Drinking dulls so much you end up doing very little except drinking and perhaps managing to get by in a job no more than adequately. Removing alcohol gives you potential to realise and, ultimately, your life back.

  5. DaveH 5 years ago

    Thank-you for making me stop and think about this. My top six reasons for staying sober:

    1. Peace of mind. I have a calm clear head, even when the going’s tough. The serenity from being sober is my single biggest treasure.
    2. Self-respect. I no longer have that appalling self-loathing and sense of complete worthlessness.
    3. Hope. I am no longer trapped in a belief that I am doomed to a miserable end.
    4. Freedom. I am free to do as I choose; I am no longer condemned to spending most of my days either incapacitated due to alcohol or serving its demands. My time is mine to live how I choose.
    5. I have a clear conscience. I am no longer bound to the shame and guilt of what’s gone before, nor do I spend each day making new things to be ashamed or guilty of.
    6. Contentment. I am no longer permanently bound to feeling miserable and that my life is difficult. In its absence is a calm contentment with what I have and what I am.

  6. gage 5 years ago

    1 Better sleep no 3am anxiety attack
    2 Waking up sober without a hangover
    3 More money
    4 Better sense of self

  7. ClearRainbow 5 years ago

    Thanks @Mrs.D. I came to the site to be inspired and you never fail.

    I am 97 days AF (Again…) and was feeling bit down today -the novelty of sobriety wearing off. Your list is just what I needed to remind myself that being AF is the best gift I can give myself and my loved ones.
    1. Having self respect again
    2. Waking clear headed everyday.
    3. Looking better – clear eyed. Weight going down.
    4. Having more energy.
    5 Taking better care of myself all around – diet and exercise.
    6. Feeling connected to nature.

  8. Strongerthanever 5 years ago

    1. No more of ‘the fear’, it was soul destroying.
    2. About 99% less rows with hubbie
    3. I remember everything
    4. I worry far less
    5. I feel and look better
    6. I feel rested after sleep rather than waking up a total wreck
    7. No more puking
    8. Inner peace
    9. No more fear
    10. No more fear…. I can’t say that enough, it tormented me

    Goodnight everyone xx

    • April Rohlich 5 years ago

      The fear was large and looming. I’ve been told that the feelings of grief and fear feel much the same. I can attest to that. Now that the alcohol irrational bullshit wicked fear is gone, I know when I am grieving. It is clearly that and I am growing and recovering in a more healthful way. Banish irrational fears!
      Strongerthanever, no more fear! Thanks so much.

  9. freedomfrombooze 5 years ago

    I’m at the beginning of this journey. I have tried all sorts such as moderating, having a month off etc. At the moment trying to read as many sober books and sites as I can to keep myself on track. All s battle right now but only early stages

    • Sunshinydays 4 years ago

      When you stop drinking, you stop waiting

    • Gret 5 years ago

      I’m in the same place you are, except I haven’t really made the decision to quit. How do you know that today is the day you give it up for good? I haven’t had a rock bottom experience, I just want to feel great every day!

      • Sunshinydays 4 years ago

        That’s reason enough… when you stop drinking, you stop waiting

  10. kitten 5 years ago

    1. Love not waking up hungover.
    2. If not hungover, love not waking up so tired that I can hardly drag myself through the day to the next drink.
    3. Love having a few extra dollars in my pocket, instead of wondering where all my money went on a Monday morning.
    4. Grateful not to be drunk dialing my friends all the time.
    5. Grateful that I no longer wake up every morning, and I mean every morning, hating myself.
    6. Grateful that I have not had that crazy 3 am wild heart beat since I quit drinking.
    7. Grateful that the greasy food I eat is not a necessity, but a choice.
    So, the list could keep on going, but this is a good start. Be well, AF friends.
    Thanks for sharing, as always, Mrs. D.

  11. AprilsFool 5 years ago

    The feeling of inner peace. The sense of personal accomplishment I feel at the end of each day, and the self confidence I feel each morning, that I can (and will) overcome this addiction.

  12. angiex 5 years ago

    Thank you for another wonderful post ! I too have a new-love in herbal tea, while Peppermint is my staple, it seems there are endless flavors to try. I recently tried a deluxe version of Hot Spiced Cinnamon, it was a blissful experience, the flavors took on a three dimensional ability ! Actually !

    My other reasons to stay sober are many and so so so important ! I’ve learnt that the act of refusing to harm myself with alcohol has induced other self-loving actions. I’m taking long walks, I’m swimming, I’m allowing my thoughts and feelings to process, I’m eating mindfully, I’m engaging with loved ones fully; spending full days with them without wanting and waiting to bail-out back to my secret-bubble of withdrawal and drink. My mind is clearer, my thinking deeper, my body is healing, the anxiety no longer cripples my mood and takes out a day at a time; I’m able to recognize the trigger and work through it, I’m doing things I’ve not done before, I’m discovering that I like things I didn’t know I did. I could go on… x

    • angiex 5 years ago

      and I’m reading and writing, two great loves of mine that can’t be enjoyed when I’m boozing ! x

  13. Col 5 years ago

    Day 5?

    • Ineedachange 5 years ago

      Go you, fantastic ?

  14. Col 5 years ago

    Day 5 ?

  15. MissFreedom 5 years ago

    Numéro ouno : Peace of mind.
    2- not letting myself down anymore and feeling ashamed.
    3- Being present
    4-New way of life and new great friends .

  16. Ellen 5 years ago

    Feeling more confident and secure in who I am.
    Sleeping much better than I use to.
    My family, my family, my family 🙂
    Waking up without a hangover-never gets old!!
    Living sober community
    315 days sober!!!! This journey is so worth it. Thank you, Mrs. D.

  17. Mari135 5 years ago

    Loving all of these ooxooxxoxo

  18. Seni 5 years ago

    Hi, Mrs D,
    I also became a great fan of tea, not only because there are so many fantastic flavors but also because it takes time to prepare and to drink it, so there is always calmness and peace in every cup of tea. Yoga is a daily “must” for me, my soul and body.
    Really new for me is that I am much more generous with myself and with my family since I live sober. We allow ourselves crazy shopping tours, eat ice cream late in the evening, do so much more things spontaneously, brake some rules from time to time and have much more fun than before. When I drank wine, I often thought, that I was cool, funny and spontaneous, but that was an illusion. I was very anxious, unpatient and severe. I think, that I tried to compensate the drunk loose of control by an excessive bundle of control and rules in our everyday life (hope you can understand my strange English, I’m still learning). Now I can let it be, relax and have fun, that’s great! I learned to smile again 🙂

    • Lalaleah 5 years ago

      I think you did a wonderful job with your English:) I’ve enjoyed tea a lot lately, too, but hadn’t considered the ritual/time of making it. I think you’re right that it’s a big part of it, though!

  19. Mirror 5 years ago

    I love waking up feeling great!!!
    I remember what I say and do!!!
    More time for things I enjoy!!
    I can run errands in the evenings!!!
    For the most part I sleep better!!!
    I love the freedom that the wine did not supply!!!
    50 Days Sober:)

    • Lalaleah 5 years ago

      Running errands in the evening! Yes!!

      • Rodney 5 years ago

        Running errands in the evening for me used to be looking around the house at 10 minutes to 11 for something I needed from the supermarket so I could get more booze while I was there.

  20. picklegirl 5 years ago

    Cause I’m sick of feeling like shit!! Day 9!!!!!!

    • Poppy88 5 years ago

      Go picklegirl! I’m still sick of feeling like shit and it’s day 298 for me! I’m loving the gratitude list,
      1. Being a better mum
      2. Doing better at my studies and actually enjoying the theory and learning I’m doing
      3. Being a lot more happy for everyone, sounds weird but I think I was quite negative before
      4. Being happier fullstop
      5. Sleeping soooooooooo much better, even if I wake up during the night on the odd hormonal occasion I never feel as bad the next day as I did when I was drinking
      6. No guilt. This one almost makes me cry. The absolute guilt I carried for so many reasons one being I could hardly recall what I’d done the night before, just gets me
      7. Staying married to my wonderfully supportive kind and non-judgmental husband who put up with drinking me for 11 years, bless him, and stuck by me all the way. He deserves this too.

      Just love this it’s a great reminder. Ahh mrs D you’ve done it again!

      Cheers and happy evening everyone

      • picklegirl 5 years ago

        Hi Poppy, I can relate to every one of the reasons you listed. You’re doing awesome at 298! Number 6 on your list was a biggie for me too. And I really like how you ended reason Number 7. My husband has put up with my shit for over 30 years. YES, he deserves better too!!

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