One of our members (@kate1975) recently celebrated her two-year soberversary and shared with us a list she had written at the beginning of her journey about all the reasons why she was quitting. Then she typed a list of all the ways that her life is different now. And wow! What powerful lists they were. With her permission I am sharing them here and I would encourage you all to type a comment below with your own list(s). What are your reasons why you chose not drink? And if you've had some length of time as a sober person - how different is your life now?
Why I will not drink today:
- My tongue gets wooley and I slur my words
- I repeat myself, a lot – I get ranty
- I talk too loud – I get ranty
- I don’t listen to others – I get ranty
- I argue more with my husband
- I get ranty (recurring theme here, maybe I don’t like my ranty, drunk self?)
- I dehydrate myself – even when I’m not drinking
- I blackout quite often – it is scary
- I wake up at 5am with severe anxiety, heart pounding – it takes days to go away
- My brain isn’t as sharp, I feel foggy most days, I forget things – sometimes I can’t recognise people
- I can’t achieve my mission of saving the planet when I can’t work
- I get horrible hangovers and a lot of headaches the rest of the time
- I worry constantly about the damage I am doing to my body, then I keep recycling that anxiety
- I embarrass myself or my husband at events
- I hurt myself and don’t remember how
- I pick on people (including my friends) with sarcasm because I think it’s funny
- I forget to meditate, mindfulness goes out the window
- I end up crying and I don’t know why
- I over-identify with the pain of others instead of sitting with them through their pain (see crying)
- I don’t look after my guests – don’t make them cups of tea/coffee, don’t say goodbye or thank you
- I model a negative behaviour for my children
- My moods are unstable
- I lose the meaning in the day – I just look forward to the drinking at the end and oblivion
- Sometimes I drive over the limit
- I stay home (don’t go out) so I can drink all day on weekends – I often start in the morning
- I find it hard to go out for enjoyment with my family sober
- I have less contact with my wider family and friends
- I read less and learn less
- I don’t listen to what my children are saying – I’m disengaged as a parent
- I feel guilty about my poor parenting – I rely on the TV as a babysitter
- I stay up too late ranting or talking shit and don’t get enough sleep – this affects the next day too
- I make a real mess in the kitchen – I have to clean it up the next morning with a hangover
- I burn myself when I cook
- I wreck other people’s celebrations by being drunk (or totally absent because I have passed out)
- I drink on my medication even though it says not to and is probably dangerous
- I isolate from my children and husband
- I fall over/lose balance when I dance
- I am less compassionate
How is life now:
- I’m reliable
- I listen
- I’m rarely in a foul mood or argumentative (only if I haven’t slept and then I send myself straight to bed)
- My brain works wonderfully and I’m full of creativity and ideas
- I remember everything
- I feel real emotions and they don’t own me
- I’m almost never anxious
- My mood is stable
- I’m kind and I reach out to others
- I’m loving and open with my family
- I enjoy myself when I go out
- I celebrate with ease and grace
- I’m fit and I look younger
- I trust myself
- I read and learn constantly
- I’m curious about everything
- I’m diligent and focused in my work
- I relish almost every new day
- I’m rarely ill and I don’t get headaches
- I know when to slow down and take care of myself and others
- I am resilient
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Thanks for sharing your lists. Such a powerful thing to do and so inspiring.I’ve made some too. Like so many folk who have posted, there are a myriad of reasons why I choose not to drink and great reminders of how much better life is alcohol free. I love how calm and grounded I feel without alcohol in my life. I also feel like alcohol led me to live a tiny version of my life, it limited me. Without it anything is achievable if I get behind it. Rather than “the sky is the limit”, there is no limit! I feel like there’s a HUGE life out there for me and new opportunities show up every day, just waiting for me to take a breath, be brave and seize the day.
I just read this post and agree with everything. I just want to add that when I drank I did not like myself. When I don’t drink (9months!!) I love myself!
Very inspiring @kate1975, thanks
for me the best part is waking every morning (still, after 35 years AF) and being so thankful I have a crystal clear mind(not always a box of fluffies but always clear). And reflecting on Mrs D’s post, that I’m a fully feeling male who has raised children NOT in the almost typical shadow of alcohol…and without the almost typical male behaviours that drug generates…and without the legacy it leaves our children to deal with….which of course is where I got mine from in the first place with a lot of help from our inebriated society…
so my list is short, and very one sided…I’m a fully paid up member of Sobrietist Daily
Loved your lists, especially “I celebrate with ease and grace”.
I read back over my lists.
What happened with drinking:
Poor relationship choices
Vomiting at concerts and parties
Falling UP stairs
Falling DOWN stairs
Detachment from loved ones
Hurting others’ feelings
What happens being sober:
Authenticity – getting to know/ be me
Pride – increased self confidence
Courage – of self/ in self
Increased attachment and connection with family
Reliable -can drive teenager any time required
Peace and calm – less anxiety
Mental clarity and space
….lest we forget x
I could relate to so many of these things on your list and although I haven’t written one down, I constantly think out loud my list each day, lately.
Unfortunately I relapsed after 3 and a half years and am currently working on becoming AF again.
I think I relapsed because I began to think about what I liked about drinking instead of how much it took from me. I was feeling like I was missing out and became resentful to the fact that I couldn’t have a drink.
Now I remind myself about what I will gain 😊
I might write my list out. It seems like a good idea x Thanks for sharing
I have made my list; however I tend not to read it every day. The only reason why I believe is that I have failed multiple times and quitting and re-reading those words of WHY I WANT TO QUIT lose their strength. So here is another list:
1. Poor choices with tremendous amounts of regret;
2. Want to be healthy for self, and family.
May we all be strong, safe and sober.
love this x
@kate1975 Wow, this so spot on. Thank you for putting the feelings into words. I am going to print this and keep in my planner as a reminder for why drinking sucks and life is beautiful without it!
“I lose the meaning in the day – I just look forward to the drinking at the end and oblivion” They all resonated with me and this one just hit on a why I don’t drink….Life is a gift and we are selfishless wasting it with our small world when we drink.
I totally agree with you all in summing up the reasonS we have given alcohol. They all resonate with my experiences of drinking, and now over 6 years of being free from the tug of alcohol is summed exactly by how your described all the positives. Life is fab.
I can definitely relate to both lists. Great.
Wow just wow
Congratulations @kate1975! Your lists are powerful and so are you! Keep up the amazing work.
Wow!! Awesome lists of which I relate. Beyond that I realise how I once was bound but now I am free and I once was weak but now I am strong. I once was a social buttrerfly but now I am lonely ( in the best possible way) I once said yes to alcohol but now I say NO thankyou❤
beautiful and thought provoking;)
Another letter to myself
When you drink….you drink a bottle, sometimes 2
You convince yourself 3 AF days a week means you have control
You told your kind and loyal friend her new hair cut didn’t suit her,you did not remember this,..you hurt her
You hurt people you love with your drunk words and so far they still love you
You spent hours getting your hair,nails and makeup done for a ball.
You don’t remember the ball,
you don’t remember being asked to leave early because you were drunk.
You wake up looking like shit
When you drink
you always wake up looking like shit.
When you drink
Your body will always wake u in the early hours, it will give you panic attacks,and unrelenting vomiting till there is nothing left in your stomach but blood stained bile.
When you drank
you loved the feeling of being in control of your life,the buzz the excitement,the rush,the heightened emotions,the deep conversations,the freedom on the dance floor.
Now when you drink
Your scared you have embarassed yourself.
You are anxious when you see the photos your friends have taken and the stories of the night out because you can’t remember anything from 10 o’clock.
When you drink you waste Sundays,sunny precious Sundays
When you drink
You hurt your body, you cover it with bruises,you break bones,you make it work so hard to filter the poison.
When you drink
You deny yourself the opportunity to meet the true authentic you
When you drink you will never truly love yourself
So ….Dear Me
If you start to feel as though your drinking wasn’t really that bad
Please read this
Yours so very Sincerely
And with love
This is amazing! Thank you for sharing, I just cried reading this because I can relate so much.
This such a good description of what I was as a drinker.
All so relatable, @kate1975. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing.
Wow, amazing post @Kate1975, and congrats on 2 years!! I’m happy that your life is so much happier now.
Why I will not drink today: because it robbed me of so much – dignity, self-esteem, looks, composure, time, health, awareness, truth.
How is life now I don’t drink: often quiet, infinitely more relaxed, grounded, reflective, joyful. Yippee!! : )
These are the big wins for me since I stopped drinking.
1. Self-respect. I no longer have that appalling self-loathing and sense of complete worthlessness.
2. Hope. I am no longer trapped in a belief that I am doomed to a miserable end.
3. Freedom. I am free to do as I choose; I am no longer condemned to spending most of my days either incapacitated due to alcohol or serving its call. My time is mine to live how I choose.
4. I have a clear conscience. I am no longer bound to the shame and guilt of what’s gone before, nor do I spend each day making new things to be ashamed or guilty of.
5. Contentment. I am no longer permanently bound to feeling miserable and that my life is difficult. In its absence is a calm contentment with what I have and what I am.
6. This is the big one. Peace of mind. I have a calm clear head, even when the going’s tough. The calm is my single biggest treasure.
I saw your post when you posted it and didn’t have the time to tell you how much I loved it. (I was slacking off at work at the time)
Well deserved repost in this blog.
Why I will not drink today because I do not want to loose my mind, to eventually need to be cared for 24/7 . On a daily basis I want to be headache free and not having to hide a hangover i want to respect my hard earnt money and not waste it to harming myself. I want my skin to look good without makeup ieven though I will most likely still wear it if an when I choose. I really want to set an example to others to throw the bottle/drugs or whatever away to live freely as we did before becomming hooked. …… …
Why I will not drink today: Alcohol disconnects me from myself, my family and everyone around me. Alcohol numbs my brain, my emotions and my soul. Alcohol makes me sloppy and slurry and heavy and deadened. Alcohol costs money, causes cancer, and makes me feel like a out-of-control loser. When I drink alcohol I eat more crappy food (when pissed and also the next day). Alcohol makes me sleep like crap, gives me a headache and sick guts.
How is life now I don’t drink?: OMG where do I start? I am connected to myself in ways I didn’t even know possible – I know what I like, what I don’t like, what makes me feel good and what’s bound to bring me down. I am closer to my husband, kids, parents, sisters and friends than ever before. I now listen to people properly and lean in to their struggles where before I might have pulled away inwardly and felt uncomfortable. I have evenings that are lovely, gentle, relaxing and chatty (with my kids) instead of me being on a different (boozy wavelength). I sleep great, wake up rested and with NO HANGOVER! (that never gets old). I save money and hopefully have reduced my chances of getting cancer (or at least am certainly not worsening them with every sip). And as a sober woman I feel proud, grounded, connected and alive to all that is going on. LIving life the way I’m meant to be – as a fully feeling female, not a boozy lush.