The biggest thing I always want to say when asked about my sobriety is that living alcohol-free is not the boring-ass disaster I feared it would be. I was terrified at the prospect of never drinking again! Utterly terrified. And I know a lot of us drinkers are.
We know we've got a problem, we know we probably need to stop drinking, we know it's making us feel emotionally miserable and physically terrible ... yet we are still shit scared to give up.
Shit scared to take the leap into living sober.
I could simply not imagine a happy life without booze. I was deeply conditioned to see alcohol as the magical elixir that made everything better. My brain was hard-wired to believe that alcohol was the best way to relax, that it was vital for fun, that it helped me to bond with my friends, that it proved I was a good hostess, that it was my friend in times of loneliness or boredom. I thought drinking made me cool.
(OMG writing that now makes me sad. How deluded I was.)
But now I'm over nine years past my last drink I know that all my past beliefs about alcohol were hollow lies, and the truth is living sober is anything but a boring-ass disaster.
Yes, it takes a big transition to shift from living boozily to living sober. Yes, it takes quite a bit of work early on to shift thinking and break ingrained habits. Yes, we need to work on other factors in our lives that cause pain (such as current unsatisfactory circumstances or past hurts & grievances), and yes, there may be some shuffling of relationships or activities. But it can be done. If you really attack your sobriety head on and focus on all the good things not drinking delivers you ... Slowly over time you just start living and not thinking about reaching for a drink constantly.
And you start to feel great! You no longer suffer terrible hangovers or extreme guilt! You feed all the things in your life that are lovely and make you feel good, and you starve all the things that bring you down or make you suffer.
And you just live. You get up.. you live and breath all day... and you go to bed. Repeat. Alcohol doesn't enter the picture. Sorrows do - because life is like that - but so do triumphs and joys.
You just live! Alcohol free. Compulsion free. Addiction free.
I get the fear. I understand it. I've felt it too.
But seriously, you've got to feel the fear and do it anyway. Take the leap. Know that you will get to a happy place. Know that the lies you believe about alcohol's supposedly positive benefits are all bullshit. Know that you will become a person who just moves through their life without struggling with addiction.
And then pass the message on. Tell others them you understand what it's like to be locked in a boozy hell, but reassure them that sobriety is not the ticket to a boring, miserable life. Far from it. It is the gateway to finding your true, authentic self and ultimately (hopefully) a lovely feeling of tranquility and inner calm.
Love, Mrs D xxx