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