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.