After publishing my list of 13 things I have discovered in sobriety, I asked members of our community here at Living Sober to submit some of the things they themselves have discovered or realised since they quit drinking. Below are the replies that came in. Comment below - what have you discovered or realised since removing alcohol from your life?
- I can be counted on anytime of the day or night now that I’m sober. Better late then never I guess. I’m solid. As a rock lol. @rosemaree
- I have had a lot of Aha moments since giving up on drinking. Sober mornings never get old. I am kinder and gentler with myself and others. I don’t harbour as much guilt and shame but on a simply practical note I have been saving my drinking money in a separate bank account for a special treat. It was supposed to be for a trip home to Scotland with my wife to visit family and get in some great golf. Last week though we decided to take that money and pay off our daughters student loan. She has been working 2 or 3 jobs since graduating and has not been able to make much of a dent in it. The feeling that we got by helping her out was way better than any trip could offer. This was all made possible because we both gave up the poison! @hammer123
- I have learned that avoiding my problems by drinking only makes them bigger and scarier to deal with. Dealing with an issue as it comes, no matter how painful in the short term, makes life so much less anxious in the long run. @annkarels
- One of many things I’ve noticed is that I am way more even than I thought I was. I thought I had a dramatic personality given to great emotional ups and downs, but my temperament is pretty steady-eddie. I like it this way. : ) @JM
- My husband and I hardly ever fight! Issues don’t lay bottled up. There’s no misunderstanding and drunken arguments. Being sober has been the best thing for our relationship. Coming up 3 years sober. @freshtash
- I find that I have an underlying sense of calm despite going through all of life’s ups and downs. @sugarbelly
- What a great idea. Even though I’ve always believed this, I’ve learned on a deeper level that it does not matter what others think of me and my choices. It only matters what I think of me and my choices. @starlight
- My biggest epiphany is I am no longer trapped by alcohol. If I wasn’t drinking, I was thinking about drinking (when, how much, who would notice) and it was a huge drain on my energy and time. To be free of the mental gymnastics has been a gift. @freedom1025
- I realized that forgiving myself liberated me from my past and made moving on without alcohol so much less complicated! Anon
- I’ve learned how rewarding and rich life is when you’re living your values or actively trying to do that. I never worry anymore about what I said or if I embarrassed one of my children or if I forgot to follow up on a vital task or chore. On the surface, these don’t necessarily seem like “values,” but I do value being responsible and kind, and embarrassing your child or forgetting to do something vital isn’t either. I make mistakes a lot and I don’t always feel good, but I am no longer ashamed of how I show up in the world. @pollyrue
- For me it’s like wow, everything but I think one valuable thing I’ve found is, no body’s perfect, we are all human and it’s ok to make mistakes and be forgiven for them, and likewise to forgive others for their mistakes. That was kind of a biggie for me and very humbling to learn. @DavidFS
- I have learned;
- It does get easier.
- Sitting with and acknowledging feelings makes them fade
- Cravings pass.
- Milestones can sometimes be a bit of a let down as no one else acknowledges them apart from the rest of the LS tribe.
- You are stronger than you realise.
- Be proud x
- Things I’ve discovered in sobriety in no particular order:
1) Mornings are really lovely! Who knew.
2) Edith Eger said: ‘You lose all your relationships in the end except the one with yourself.’ Wherever I go, there I am. Work in progress but without alcohol I’m not at war with myself like I used to be. It’s a lot more peaceful in my skin these days.
3) I found out what it was like to live without that wash of shame settling over my body like a heavy grey shroud every morning – it’s so light and free.
4) I found out what it was like to trust myself and know I could rely on myself. This is about not having to numb myself to cope with my days. I can trust myself to show up for myself. It took time. It’s a really deep relief.
5) There is SO MUCH TIME when my thoughts aren’t constantly circling around what happened the night before or how hungover am I or when can I have that drink. So much possibility. It takes a while to get comfortable with that.
6) I made friends with my drinking voice. I know he’s a bit of a bully but he was just looking out for me. Maybe he’ll never fully retire but he’s taken up other hobbies. I think he’s even put on weight. See number 2.
7) What might feel like a limitation; not drinking, is actually a choice that gave me a whole lot of freedom and opened up my world. There are so many gains. @liberty
Hello – just found this site, y’all are fantastic. Got sober on my own for 1 yr or so now, but so much fun seeing your comments that mirror my own. I loved the ‘sober mornings never get old’ oh my yes! thought it might solve more things for me in relationships n energy, but I guess there must be more changes waiting for attention .. but I do feel fantastic about the sober decision.
Hi, I am a new person here. Was reading posts above. Sorry for silly question but your post made me wonder 🤔. If you gave up alcohol one year ago why were you looking for a sober site. Are you still thinking about to have a drink.
Just want to know should I prepare rest all my life to fight this dragon?
I am blown away at the little things I can handle now, especially when neg emotions come up I can sit and inspect them and see why I’m having them and try to adjust. There’s still a bit of the irritable self pitiful child inside but now I am able to tell her to buggar off. Admitting my feelings to others is still hard but I’m working on it. I still have a little stubborn streak but Im learning the art of restraint. In fact I love not saying anything when as a drinker I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and Needed to be right about everything pretty much. I love that I’m part of the Universe, not the centre of it! Everyday is a learning curve and usually if there’s a problem it’s an opportunity for me to learn something to help me grow. There’s great days and shit days but I’m super grateful I’m no longer in hell.
Every day I learn more. I have realized how well I know myself. I am confident. I am brave enough to say no when I know it’s not something that sits well with me or it’s too much. I believe in my abilities and can accept when I don’t possess them. In general, I am content to live life knowing that I can’t control what happens to me, but I certainly can control how I respond or react. I couldn’t do that when fueled by alcohol.
I am amazed at how much study, work around the house I get done. I have so much more energy and feel so much more at peace. I have lost 5 kilos since I stopped (three weeks, 3 days). No more night sweats, no anxiety, eat better and more often, not fights with my daughter or partner. Most of all I can remember my day the next day.
After three years of sobriety, I’ve learned to accept things as they are. I’m less opinionated, less demanding, and less disappointed in others.
I am, however, less tolerant with genuinely annoying people. As such, I’ve learned the art of Irish Goodbyes.
Go on a hike with the dog, and all is good…
I hear you there! The Irish Goodbyes and French Exits!
• I love being eight months sober, waking up after a great night sleep and not having to worry because, now I can drive the car without the worry of, did I drink too much
the night before.
• I love having a better relationship with my husband (not always perfect) having great conversations with my two sons and not having to worry about what I might have
said after drinking.
• Being there for my boys if they ever need me.
• I love having more time, I just need to adjust the me time from doing everything for the family and the dog!
I find I have so much more energy and time for deepening relationships, including my marriage – I have much less anxiety and have deepened my faith. Faith, time, energy is not only a gift to myself but to those around me. @JR
Love reading all of these comments! The freedom i am experiencing now is truly incredible 🌟
I’ve tried to put down the biggest rewards for having 6 months of sobriety, but there is so many things. Sleep is the best thing ever, no foggy head and tiredness all day long, no freaking out when things derail, enjoying all the little things, being fit and healthy (no pills after many years) lost weight etc. etc. It’s just simply the best way to live my life. Top of my list would be l feel contented and happy.
I love to sing but get quite bad stage fright and used to use alcohol to ‘relax’ my nerves and enhance my performance…it turns out that sober me does not suffer from stage fright and my performances are much, much better musically, are more meaningful and authentically connected to my now-felt emotional experiences, making the whole experience so very much more enjoyable for me as well as my audiences, apparently!
Just over 3 years sober I have found a joy that I remember having as a child and excited teenager moving into adulthood. Drinking to excess for far too many years stole this from me, and it’s come back. I find myself smiling much more everyday and enjoying the small things. It didn’t happen overnight and then one day something shifted. Unbelievably worth the white knuckling periods and the hard times to come out on the other side. The shitty days still happen the difference is now I know they pass. Blessings x
I have found that the mind games of shall I drink, shan’t I drink have gone and I feel free! I no longer have to have that mind argument every single day, an argument that I always lost. The freedom is great!
Absolutely! I hated the never ending battle of to-drink-or-not-to-drink. Ghastly. Time wasting, energy draining, ridiculous, horrible, taking away from my focus on the people I was with or the task in hand.
I’ve realised that I don’t need alcohol to live. When I was in the never ending cycle of get drunk every evening, wake up at 4am be sick for the next 3 hrs, promise myself not to drink again, buy booze in the afternoon, get drunk blackout, go to bed, wake up at 4am. When I was in the cycle I didn’t realise I could actually live without booze let alone be so much better off in every way. You don’t need booze to live!