Member @AEG wrote this in the Members Feed the other day. I thought it was just such a lovely piece of writing I asked her if I could share it here as a guest post. I love the honesty and calmness that resonates through her words. This gal definitely has a way with words!
@AEG: It feels like it’s been a while since I gave my sobriety a good deal of thinking, but yesterday I was putting some washing away and came across the stash that I have yet to deal with. There’s a magnum of Moet and a couple bottles of special reds that seemed wasteful to throw out, so I popped them out of sight. I looked at them wondering if I really thought I’d never drink them. But I think I really do. I will never have them again.
I remember when I quit smoking – the thing that amazed me the most before I quit was that I could never imagine life without cigarettes – I literally couldn’t picture it. I started smoking at 12 (just a bit before the booze, was a pack a day girl by the time I was 18 and quit eventually at 23). Now, I couldn’t imagine life with them – I find the the thought of them abhorrent; the taste, the concept, whatever they did for me or whatever positives there were for them has been completely erased from my memory over time (sorry, I know there are smokers here, don’t want to make anyone feel bad, just trying to explain this next bit).
So when I question alcohol I remind myself of smoking. There is a life without alcohol in it. OF COURSE there is. In time, I will look back and think about alcohol the same way and wonder what I got from it and where it fit into my life. I hold onto this on the hard days.
I think about this when I read about others on here who also have doubts about living without booze. I know that I was … not lucky, not fortunate … but perhaps in a sick way it was a good thing that I did something really wrong on the last night I drank and I have that image in my head that sticks with me, so when I do wobble I have a very visual image of why I can’t drink again (I put the safety of one of my most precious family members in jeopardy, a line I had never crossed before). So for me, sober is a thing that I hold on to because living sober is more important than drinking.
What I mean is, on balance, I get more from being sober than I would ever gain from alcohol, and I know that, and I hold onto that.
My sobriety is my delicate, diamond and ruby encrusted golden Faberge Egg that I carry around … and it is worth so much to me, so much more than a magnum of Moet. So much more than being blotto. So much more than the heady spin of the first few drinks before it all crashes around me.
And the thing that is the most amazing is that sobriety brings it’s own special rewards – the unlocking of my life that was previously stuck in my 18 year old self. Clear skin, good sleep, emotions – lots of them – and the ability to cope with them when they do arrive, patience with my kids. Spending evenings with my kids instead of sending them to bed so I can crack a bottle. Last night we went on a hunt to find Christmas lights till after 9pm – it had been a sunny day so normally I’d have downed a few in the afternoon – I MISSED OUT ON CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!
My relationship is so much better (he’s on day 50). My body moves better, I don’t creak and groan. I have thoughts. Lots of thoughts, they’re quite noisy, so I have discovered mindfulness. I listen to podcasts at night and see the end of movies. Sobriety is full of joy – and it’s not that everything has changed, it’s just more that it’s straightened up into alignment, like the leaning tower of Piza being shifted up to right angles, and slowly but surely everything is coming right too.
It is worth so much more to me to be freed from the poison and trappings of booze. So much more. It’s not an easy road, but one day I will look back in the linen cupboard and see the Moet and the John Key Pinot Noirs all covered in cobwebs and dust and smile to myself and wonder how alcohol ever had a place in my life at all.
I’m currently on day 23, and already finding life so much clearer, have now had 3 weekends hangover free for the 1st time ever and it’s been wonderful. I liked the comment about seeing the end of movies, which is something I’m looking forward to immensely (a small thing but it means a lot) this christmas. All i can remember about watching christmas movies (my favourite kind of movie) over the past 10 christmasses or so, is seeing them in bits, as i was up and down out of my chair every 20 minutes. Movies were always broken up for me into bits due to getting up for another drink, multiple toilet breaks, but mainly popping outside for a cigarette. Then you’d come back in, the film would be over and you just wouldn’t care, as long as you had a drink in your hand, and that more were on the way. Even though it sounds really sad, little things like this are the things i’m looking forward to the most about not drinking anymore. That and the getting out of bed early with a clear head of course.
We are creatures of habit. It can be a wonderful thing as we can acquire great skills through repetition but it can also enslave us to addiction. Fortunately sobriety is also a habit. I read something the other day which said: Over time your vision will change. Once you see more clearly you simply can’t do it anymore. The clarity will obliterate your need to engage in toxic behaviour… It’s funny because when you’re addicted to something you simply can’t imagine life without it and it messes with your mind because you see other people doing just fine and smiling and carrying on and not needing it and you think: What the fuck’s wrong with me? Why do I need this shit? But then you manage to start living without those crutches (gotta learn to walk by yourself now; not easy) and you start to become one of those people that you always wanted to be and now people are looking at you and thinking: how the hell does she not drink or smoke? She’s so ‘together’. What’s her secret? But really there is no secret and in all honesty no one’s really that ‘together’ but being sober is INFINITELY better than being drunk.
I love that you’re finding the small things so beautiful too and those times which were ushered through to get folks to bed (kindly) but to then sit back and relax with a glass. I love the idea of a 9pm light hunt! You sound like a brilliant mum!! 🙂 Thanks for writing! 🙂
Awww. Thanks. The kids spent much of their young life being sent to bed super early. Partly cause my husband started work at 4.30am and we needed “time out”. Just sad it always needed to be Time with Wine and not quality time.
I just got a reply telling me not to post so much!!! But I just wanted to say (individually but this will have to do for now) that I am really touched by all your kind words and to be able to use my words to connect with others is a a real honour. Thank you.
You have just reminded me, why I love my life now,too
That is so heartening to read, isn’t it awesome?
Wonderful post, very inspiring and uplifting. So happy for you and your family
Thank you @PJNT – it’s such an important journey with so many twists and bumps!
Your post is so inspiring for me. I’m on day 2 and can relate to some of what you say. I also have a very bad image in my head that was the decision maker for me. I also used to smoke and stopped by myself when I was 23. I used to say to myself “if you want to smoke, leave the party, but you can stay if you don’t”. And also that I’d made my decision so why fight it. It seemed to work so I’m going to apply the same principles to being sober.
That’s such a great party strategy! I’m glad you could find some inspiration there. Day 2! Congratulations – hopefully Day 3 by now!
Love, love, love this post @AEG… it’s such a strong, honest message, and I’m really grateful you shared it with us. XX
Thank you @suek – that means a lot x
Fantastic @AEG – can really imagine what is going on in your world while reading it. And I think we all (or at least lots of us) on this site can relate to it. I am typing this with the Moet and the reds behind me on the wine rack – they don’t have a chance of being opened by me. 🙂
Ooh! You are stronger than me! I have mine out of view so I’m super impressed you can keep yours on display!
A Lovely Post AEG! Perhaps the best I have read since joining LS! Yep! you right about ‘Triggers” that give us a wake up call! One of mine was needlessly verbally abusing my daughter- in-law over a trivial matter when I was drunk! Even though I have not had a drink for months she won’t forgive me! It will always ‘be there’. Thanks again for your profound words!
Thank you for your generous comment!! Those personal images we are hold are strong ones aren’t they. Deeply personal and I am very ashamed of mine but it keeps me focused for sure.
I loved reading this again @AEG, thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I can picture the cobwebs, & the spiders scuttling away as you find the not-treasure-any-more & smile at the freedom that you have had over all the years, showing your children that life is not to be found in drinking. XX
Aww thanks @morgan 🙂 lots and lots of dust!! X
Oh AEG, that brought me to tears. Feeling emotional is such a wonderful thing when it’s for all the right reasons. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve had a few wobbles myself lately and you said it so well – my sobriety is worth so much more.
Well done and a very Merry Christmas.
Gosh thank you @freebreezi – the wobbles are hard right? But what would life be without winds (this is a Tara Brach concept in her podcast “intimacy with life”) Merry Christmas to you too.
I love this post. It’s a keeper 🙂
Beautiful, really lovely @AEG!
Thank you @quietlydone 🙂
Thank you so much for this post @AEG. What a perfect thing to read first thing on my Sunday morning. You are an artist with words!!!
Gosh thank you @gabbygirl14 ! I don’t do a lot of writing but I really do love it when I have something that I feel passionate about to put into written words.
Lovely post @AEG…thanks for sharing. 🙂
Thank you @jo14 🙂
Thank you for this beautiful post.
Thank you @marsha62 for your kind comment 🙂
You’ve packed a very powerful message in there AEG, I have loved reading it again and thank you for taking the time to articulate it so eloquently, and to share it with us. It is very helpful xo
Loved reading this post again @aeg . You’re so cool!
Aww thanks @ducky !!!! Can’t wait to have that coffee with you!
A great read!! Thank you!!
Thanks @MrsH ! 🙂
brilliant piece of writing, very in depth, great thought
thanks for sharing mate
Thank you @hilux . I hope your journey is going more smoothly. It’s quite confronting to learn so much about ourselves I think. Especially without the booze to blank it out.