The little things…

It seems to me that a lot of people have been commenting in the Members Feed recently about all the little things that they are noticing they are able to achieve now that they are not drinking.

We often talk about the big changes – better sleep, clearer skin, improved feelings of pride and self worth, more time spent connecting with family and friends.. etc etc..

But there are numerous other little things that improve – sometimes the improvement is tiny, and perhaps we don’t notice or give ourselves enough kudos for how they have moved for the better.

For me these things include (but are not limited to)..

Dressing: I am convinced that I am making more of an effort thinking about what I’m going to wear and making myself look and feel good in my clothes. I’ve never been a great one for fashion or shopping but now that I’m sober I feel like this area of my life has improved slightly. I care just enough more to take a little bit of extra time planning my outfits. And I am less likely to keep wearing something if I realise I don’t feel good in it (whereas before I would just keep chucking something on because it was in the cupboard even though I never felt great in it).

Makeup: This hasn’t changed hugely – I’ve never really worn any makeup my whole life! But now that I’m sober (and maybe this is because I am ageing as well) I make slightly more effort with makeup. I’ll put on mascara and lipstick if I’m going to a work function or out for the evening.

Housework: I’ve always been clean and organised but now I find it much easier to stay ahead of the clutter. And I’m less likely to begrudge it.. rather seeing it as an ordinary by-product of a busy and full house.

Creative endeavours: Ok I’m not very strong in this area. I don’t do any crafting or gardening or anything.. but I do write a lot of words online and I’m sure being sober helps my creative flow in this area. And I am doing colouring in which I am finding really calming and quite creative (fun choosing colours!).

Cooking: I am constantly preparing food for my family. I’m not a natural cook, I need a recipe to follow, but I have become a lot more adventurous about what recipes I choose and I’m more confident to try new things. If I’m really tired I can slip back to the tried and true meals but whenever I’ve got extra energy I put more effort into getting the cookbooks out and giving new meals a go.

I would be really interested to hear what little things such as these have improved for you. What do you notice you’re putting more effort into? What daily/weekly tasks are you appreciating more or finding you are putting  a little more effort into?

Love, Mrs D xxx

23 Comments
  1. elhall 3 years ago

    I’m delightfully forgetful. I forget to feel the weight of all the negatives of life because my head is starting to focus on possibilities. I’ll also think, “oh shit, I forgot to . . .oh wait, I already did that. Yay me.” Grocery shopping is no longer a dreaded chore but an adventure to try a new recipe or find a new treat, like smoked bacon flavored almonds. Yum! I break into song randomly even though I sing horribly but it’s because I’m happy! I also break into dance (but usually at home). I still hate vacuuming, but that’s okay. Apparently I still can’t spell vacuuming either, thanks autocorrect.

    • Anonymous 3 years ago

      Go you good thing!! Lovely post, I can feel your joy and new enthusiasm.

  2. Jessi 3 years ago

    Little things that have changed:

    1. I love how white the whites of my eyes are. I am still amazed they can be this white. They were never this white even with a gallon of Visine
    2. I’m obsessed with how blue the sky is and how fluffy clouds are. They’ve always been there I suppose, and perhaps we’ve just had an exceptionally good cloud-sky color summer, but I’m obsessed with the shades and shapes
    3. I’ve always been a sun lover, but noticing how it makes me feel (happier, more energetic, did I say happier) is also amazing
    4. Decision making is enhanced – greatly
    5. And gotta love the morning clear head – it never gets old.
    So – white eyes, blue skies, fluffy clouds, sunshine, good decisions, and clear head – all excellent improvements! 🙂

  3. QuietlyDone 3 years ago

    Lovely Post!!
    A few little things for me:
    Better sense of taste and smell, not adding so much salt or pepper to everything as I can now taste the FOOD.
    Less guilt about not being perfect, used to really be awfully mean to myself if everything wasn’t ‘just so’, I think I figured that if I could be perfect, it was OK to keep drinking.
    Can drive anywhere at anytime! Need some eggs at 9:30 PM, No Problem!!
    Can text in the evenings, no worries about who I texted or what I wrote.
    Ok with spending a little money on new clothes for myself and actually wanting to look good in them!
    I like the smell of my pantry, it smells like spices and not old red wine!
    Could keep going here forever, but will finish by saying, I like ME now.

  4. Seizetheday 3 years ago

    I notice the little things in nature that I never did while drinking, or if I did there wasn’t really any gratitude in it. Now I see things everywhere and think, wow that’s a little gift for me

  5. Prudence 3 years ago

    I listen better
    I sleep better
    I work more efficiently
    Focused and more creative in business
    I have more patience and tolerance
    I am more accepting of many uncertainties
    I like getting up!
    I’m more generous like offering people rides and stuff a lot
    I too have changed lip colours and wear more pinks and oranges instead of the boring old same old
    I don’t let my nail polish get too shabby
    My hair shines
    But I gave up smoking and now I’m a fat piglet!

  6. Salvia 3 years ago

    I feel like I used to feel when I was a teenager. I think it is because I am my authentic self again. I feel more confident and less concerned about what others think of me. I am so happy to have ditched the tired old lady I was becoming. Lots of “work” still to do, but I am up for it.

  7. morgan 3 years ago

    As everyone has actually written of what I consider HUGE wonderful changes, I will put in a few:
    – calm calm calm – as I say, huge difference ( caffeine way less too, helps); I can keep teaching when being threatened and bullied by a student, watchful and alert, but not sweating and nerves screeching for hours after;
    – I am so much more mindful, often sadder, but just patiently wait for myself to move past a frozen or sad state – or go for a walk with Tara Brach in my ear.
    – sometimes when family shock or upset me, I can be very still and maintain inner as well as outer control. Some things, many weeks old, I have still not reacted to, may never.
    – I don’t have the awful inner voice of “you are useless, hopeless, everyone else would have xyz by now” to anything like the degree I used to. I can be calmer, think through what has to be done, shelf it for later, or do one small task and be pleased with that.
    I think now I have considered this, I could go on for a long time, but that’s enough.
    Thank you for setting these gratitudes in motion lotta

  8. MrWTF 3 years ago

    Humour : I’m starting to be funny again, sometimes. I got way too serious.

    Appreciation : I have 3 cats, but the one that was a kitten as I was getting sober got a different me. I appreciated how lucky I was to witness the miracle of life, and to intentionally shape the relationship I had with the other two. With the other two, I pretty much tried to avoid standing on them when I was drunk and gave them hugs when I was sober. I really wasn’t present.

    Food : Now I don’t drink two bottles of wine with dinner, I’m only going out for the food. So I actually notice it, enjoy it and take my time with it.

    Music : I seem to have gone from Marilyn Manson to 30’s folk and some opera. It might just be old age, or perhaps one is more discerning when not shitfaced.

    Trust : I trust myself more. Turns out I still did ok drunk, but I never trusted myself drunk, which, frankly, was probably the right call. Now, I can start something knowing I won’t be drunk when I come to finish it. That leads to being willing to start bigger things, rather than gambling on a drunk.

    • pinky 3 years ago

      Totally relate to the trust thing. I trust myself now too, after a year and a bit sober, which has give me confidence in my ability to make good decisions. Before I quit, I just lurched from one shitty drama to the next, without much in the way of good judgement.

    • Anonymous 3 years ago

      Great point you made on Trust! I have never thought about it, but now looking back, I would always be worried that I would say the wrong thing or upset someone because I would speak before I thought when I was drinking wine. So, Yes. Now I trust myself that I will remember my comments to people I have spoken to over an evening:) And it is a great feeling that I can trust myself. Xx

    • morgan 3 years ago

      That is all pretty major. Really great. Wow.

  9. Annielou 3 years ago

    That rather than being a social recluse I’m actually making more friends due to the fact I have time for other hobbies and I’m interested in doing things that don’t always have to involve alcohol.

  10. Bondi 3 years ago

    Great idea
    I am more aware of how I am feeling, but more importantly, I just accept what it is on any given day. Definitely calmer and kinder to myself and others.
    Find myself smiling for no particular reason, love that one.
    Am facing possible lose of a partime job I love with a “what will be” attitude. A year back I would have taken it personally, felt rejected and needed to numb it away with wine.
    Refuse to wear black (apart from pants, shoes, bag and one coat I have cleared it from my wardrobe) Wardrobe is full of brighter happier colours.
    Same goes for makeup. More bright lips and nails.
    More creative. My ideas come together clearly, for a long time ideas did not seem to form completely, were just out of reach, if that make sense.
    Automatically put things away, equals tidy house and workplace (means I know where things are!)
    Clean tidy kitchen each morning (most mornings I would have to finish tidying up from previous night as I was either incapable or just couldn’t be bothered)
    Skin and eyes brighter.
    New friends.
    Finally feeling I “fit in”
    Thank you Lotta

    • Anonymous 3 years ago

      That is so awesome to read ‘I feel like I fit in’ what a wonderful thing to feel by giving away alcohol. Xx

    • morgan 3 years ago

      Amazing to me! As with everything here, these things strike me as major life changes. They are small things, yes, but in the view of their importance in daily living, huge, really important. Love reading this.

  11. rise2015 3 years ago

    I have a little bit of a list:
    1. I got an A for an assignment. Always B or C before – I don’t think it is coincidence, do you?
    2. Have spent money on myself, e.g. shoes, haircuts, clothes, make-up, craft things,.
    3. Read way, way more novels and books and watched loads more movies.
    4. Gone shopping at night. Christmas will be so much easier this year.
    5. Feel awake when driving to work, instead of yawning all the way (about an hours drive)
    6. Played monopoly with my daughter and she gave up before me (that’s a first).
    7. Getting up in the morning before everyone else and having my hot drink before they wake up.
    I think there is more, but I better leave room for others.

    • morgan 3 years ago

      This is wonderful! Huge really xx

  12. Scared 3 years ago

    I wear lippy now…I didn’t before because my teeth were stained from the red wine I consumed and I didn’t want to bring any attention to them.
    I have cheekbones again.
    My hands are steadier so applying eyeliner is easier lol. And steady hands really, really, helps with my intricate designed colouring book!
    I’m way more patient and calmer.
    I’m more affectionate with the kids and hubby.
    My eyes are reflecting my newly found inner sparkle 🙂
    I’m just happy. And before I wasn’t.

  13. Kerris 3 years ago

    One thing I remember when I had my reached 30 day so last time , my treat was to get my nails done, and loved how it made me feel. I got them done every three weeks and it was a great treat. This time around only on day 5 the little thing I have noticed is my patience is returning again and I LOVE that.

  14. hetiheti 3 years ago

    Not sure if this is the same vein – but this morning fb showed me a photo from the past – 2011 – and I must’ve thought it ok if I posted it then – part of a group photo – my face is bloated, I have blotchy skin and my eyes are puffy – how utterly sad – but happy my skin is clear, my eyes fresh and clear and I do not look bloated – omg I do love my sobriety ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  15. Temperance 3 years ago

    Love this. I sometimes think that the little things are huge things too! Somehow, these days, I go slower and just get things done when they get done, but when I look back, I’ve somehow achieved more than I thought possible.
    I got my hair cut really short. A small thing really, but huge because I’ve never felt more ME in my life. I’m wearing brighter lipsticks and I love it. I adore going to bed sober and I have improved my getting ready for bed routine – especially teeth care!
    Now that I think about it Mrs D, maybe I’m too new to sobriety, because EVERYTHING is still HUGE to me, even the tiny things.

    • SueK 3 years ago

      I totally relate to your list @Temperance. I also go slower, which is just a way of me being easier on myself, not rushing, pushing, punishing. I get more done and it’s done better.
      I let my hair grow long (always loved long grey hair but never let myself indulge), and I wear lipstick just because I like it, not because I need to “do something about my face”. AND, yes, I love getting ready for bed in nice pajamas, folding and putting away my clothes, cleaning teeth and giving myself a smile in the mirror, then getting between the clean sheets on the well-made bed, and really feeling the gratitude of a day well-lived and sober. You’re right. It’s all huge.

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