This Guest Post was written by member @bluzooma in the Members Feed the other day and it was so poweful and inspiring I asked if I could share it here. Bravo to all the amazing people doing lockdown sober this time around! It's never too late to change!
@bluzooma: I just read Mrs D's post about our lockdown being a great opportunity to get sober. So true. If you have any doubts read it, and read it again.
It’s a bit like having a newborn – you think it’s a challenge at the time, but they’re never so easy as when they’re that little. There will never be a better time and environment than a lockdown to support anyone going alcohol free, especially for the first time.
Get rid of the booze from your house. Fill your cupboards with good food, new recipes, treats, books, Netflix. Drive PAST the bottle shops on your way to the supermarket, go for walks, listen to podcasts, distract yourself when the urges strike. Believe you can make this change in your life, because actually you can. And it’s worth it. Life will offer so much when you let go of alcohol.
But, how different it was for me the last Level 4 lockdown we had. Last time I was drunk by lunchtime. I had so much anxiety when the wine shop would only sell me 3 bottles at a time. I recruited anyone I could think of to buy me wine if they were out for supplies. I went to my local bottle shop then drove straight to another one further up the road for more. And then I would come home, hunker down and drink all on my own, justifying it all the while because it was, of course, extenuating circumstances.
I had driveway drinks with the neighbours, I had virtual drinks with friends online, I had work drinks via Teams and I would fill a coffee cup with wine for online work meetings. Getting through lockdown could only be made possible if I self medicated my way through it. And I actually thought that this was acceptable.
However, as much as I am ashamed of that downward spiral, dependency and of those choices, I see now that it was my catalyst for change. I came out of that lockdown depressed, anxious and very unhealthy both physically and mentally. I was drinking more habitually and in greater volumes than ever before. It took another 6 months of self-loathing, fear, dread and shame before I was able to whisper to my best friend that I was in dire need of help. I came back here to Living Sober. And then I stopped drinking.
So this time in lockdown, things look very different. It didn’t occur to me to worry about wanting to drink this lockdown, because I don’t drink. I am not a drinker. I am unhappy about this pandemic and the heartbreak it is causing. But I am grateful for the solitude at home and to be able to spend some quality time with my children. As @mrs-d said, this lockdown is not a good thing, but there is opportunity here, for an environment that will support you to be alcohol free.
Since I quit drinking 10 short months ago I have found the strength to leave my marriage of 21 years, to stand on my own two feet with a mortgage, full time job, and be a really great full time Mum to two teenagers. I have let go of some relationships and established some new ones. I have realised how capable I am, I have acknowledged where I’ve come from and I am working out where I’m going.
I won’t lie and say that I’m not scared. It is really scary doing it on my own. But I know I’ll be okay no matter life throws at me. Because now my life is honest and I’m not hiding behind anything any more.
I couldn’t have made any of these changes if I was still drinking. Alcohol had me shackled, bound, gagged and beaten. I kept a spark alive though, and one day I managed to blow on it hard enough to turn it in to a flame. And the fire is burning pretty brightly these days.
If you are reading this and you are thinking that lockdown is not the time to quit (or stay sober), think again. It is the perfect time. Whatever you want in life is so much more likely to happen when you’re sober, so find your strength, your spark and take a stand.
What an inspiring post!!! Thank you for all the reminders!! I actually quit mid last lockdown for many of the reasons you have outlined here!! I must say this lockdown the alcohol being “essential” and the memes about it helping people through are driving me mad so your blog post is a breath of fresh air!!!
Love your work. Strong, positive, solid. You have made it….you won’t drink again. Congratulations x
That was a timely read for me. Thanks for sharing and well done !! I’m 12 days sober, I’ve gone periods of time without booze before but generally after a huge binge that results in days after being riddled with Shame, anxiety and guilt. Wondering what I did and said….. and then eating bucketloads of crappy food and drinking energy drinks like water. I loathe that cycle.
My husband is moving out, was meant to be next weekend, guessing that will be delayed now?! Found myself really hitting it most night, then second guessing most things and then huge anxiety, panic attacks and out of
control crying sessions.
How is drinking fun again???
Loving the clarity in not drinking and proud that I’m finally choosing daily to not dumb myself down by drinking and rating myself enough to start living authentically without the booze.
Thanks @bluezoomer! for your insight ad inspiration! This lockdown I am coping much much better without alcohol.
Great post and great work. You’ve had some big changes along with not drinking.
This is my second sober lockdown. Partner cracks open his usual 4 beers every afternoon. Work does weekly ‘drinks’, and I’m forever grateful for not wanting or needing to drink.
Beautifully written and inspiring! Bravo!!
Well done @bluzooma! I too found the courage and strength to leave my marriage once I quit drinking. Although scary and uncertain, I’ve never been happier. All my best to you.
You sound so strong and positive, inspiring to me. Now I know after I have some sober time under my belt (3 days, haha) I can evaluate my life situations more accurately, work, marriage siblings….the whole thing. Can’t wait to see things in a clear light
Your post is encouraging for me. Thanks
I recall seeing FB posts from friends about zoom cocktail hour meet ups that I was not invited too and remember feeling left out. In the end I realized that their purpose was built around drinking and I don’t drink. I have my wife and we made it through lock down together. You have your kids and your sobriety so you are definitely ahead of the curve on this lockdown.
Last lockdown it was a ritual to stop whatever we were doing and have nibbles and drinks which most nights was at least one bottle of wine. This lockdown I am nearly 11 months sober.. have just been gifted with my first beautiful grandchild and am buzzing on staying focused and being productive making and selling masks. Both lockdowns feel completely different and I know which one I prefer hands down. AF and living it
Wow, me too! I was in my dressing gown drinking vodka at 11am. I’m now 14mths alcohol free and full of hope this lockndown.
Last lockdown I was a daily drinker also. It started earlier each week. This lockdown I am 140 days alcohol free. I’m not going to lie, I’ve had some triggers but I’m staying strong, and snacking more than I probably should but meh, I’m alcohol free!