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