When I first quit alcohol it felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff staring into a black abyss (that abyss being an alcohol-free life). I was utterly terrified.
"My life will be so boring if I quit drinking. I'll be a sad, sober loser. Nothing will be fun. Everything will feel empty and bland." So said my brain when I was contemplating quitting.
Luckily I didn't listen and jumped into the abyss anyway. And slowly as the weeks went by I settled into my sober skin and began to realise that a life with no alcohol isn't miserable and dull - it's just a life. And with no wine in my belly I'm not boring - I'm just me.
Then I realised that my own brain had lied to me. I realised that I didn't need alcohol to be a fun person. I didn't need alcohol to have a social life. I didn't need to drink in order to feel fulfilled. I didn't need booze for anything.
What do I do now that I'm sober? Well, aside from have a rocking good time whenever I attend a concert, wedding or party, I have a life that is rich and full.
I love the mornings and really appreciate sunrises that don't come with a side order of a sick gut, pounding head and guilt.
I enjoy hanging out with my sons, playing games and going on outings (no alcohol in my system to disconnect me from them or miserable thoughts about drinking to distract me).
I appreciate simple pleasures like dog walks, fragrant herbal teas, fresh flowers, comfy pants, massages.
A life without alcohol in it is not boring or sad, it's just a life without alcohol in it.
Positive, feel-good emotions are way more amazing when they are experienced in the raw.
There is no extra layer of confusion or befuddlement added on top of tricky stuff because I think straight all of the time.
And best of all I feel amazing for for having quit booze and turned my life around!
My brain didn't tell me all of these things when I first set out to get sober. Because it didn't know.
If you're in the tough early stages of quitting and your head is still full of thoughts about how terribly boring your life is going to be.. don't trust it. Don't trust your brain right now and the messages that it is sending you. Don't believe that little voice in your head that tells you a life with no alcohol in it is going to be miserable and dull. Don't believe it when you tell yourself that weekends will be bleak and lonely if you can't drink. Don't believe it when you form images of yourself as a boring sober loser. DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF IT! It's all bloody bollocks.
Trust that with a big effort, and some time, your thinking will turn around, and you will realise the lies your brain told you. And eventually you'll come to feel how I do now. Happy and grounded and grateful most of the time.
Take the leap, ignore the lies, and jump into the abyss. Your future self will thank you for it.
Love, Mrs D xxx