The 21st November 2016 was the first day of my new sober life!
That was THREE years ago – three years of sobriety – three years of finding the sober me – the real me – three years of transforming myself and my life! My day one seems a long, long time ago now, so much has happened in that time and its been a crazy whirlwind of ups and downs but these are some of the reasons why its the best thing I have EVER done!
- No Hangovers – not one single hangover – 3 years of waking up hangover free! AMEN to that!!
- Being present and totally there for my two girls Jess and Sally – my world
- No memory loss or blackouts at the end of the night.
- No planning my weekends and social life around alcohol.
- Going out and remembering the whole night, the food, the chats and most importantly the laughs.
- Realising that I am actually a really loud, clumsy person who probably looks drunk most of the time when I am out.
- Discovering that hot chocolate is up there with expensive therapy sessions – it actually makes you feel better and certainly got me through the early days.
- Going out when I want to go out with whom I want to go out with. Not saying no to nights out because the people may not be boozy enough and NOT spending nights out with people just because they are boozy.
- Looking at my circle of friends now and realising that yes it has gone smaller but stronger and my friends love me for me, drinking or not.
- Realising that I can actually be the sort of person that does crazy challenges like Tough Mudder !
- Sticking to a real exercise regime, being consistent. Feeling proud watching my body grow strong, changing shape and my muscles getting bigger (this is a very slow process but I am not giving up!)
- To know my body, to be able to listen to what it needs – food, rest, fresh air, self care – not just drowning it out with wine.
- The money!! Just think how much money I have saved – seriously!
- To buy myself nice things and not feel guilty, “well I’m not drinking!”
- Not having to get a taxi – anywhere!
- Being a taxi for friends and family and making sure they get home safe.
- No more thinking up excuses to go to the shop for more wine.
- Not having to spend time devising a drinking plan that you know you will not stick to anyway.
- No more anxiety – or hanxiety – the dreaded feeling you get with a hangover where you worry about everything and your stress levels go through the roof. (I used to always think I was going to pass out in the car or in the street and the kids would get kidnapped- yes it was that irrational!)
- Being able to drive anywhere and take the kids to anything they want to go to and not being annoyed that its an alcohol free event or that I cant drink because I am driving.
- No fixing my Drinkaware app figures and googling – am I an alcoholic or drink related illnesses.
- STILL loving the look on someone’s face when I say I don’t drink
- To accept and feel every part of the high’s and the low’s. Everything I feel is real and true emotion, when it’s good its good and yes when its bad its bad – but its all real.
- To get really excited, like a child’s level of excitement for holidays and Christmas!
- To experience a totally sober holiday – these really are the best! (plus drunk people watching never gets old!)
- No waking up to a hazy memory of arguing or angry texting and you cant remember why?
- No beer belly or beer bloat!
- No missing the end of movies because you’ve crashed on the couch.
- No long deep meaningful conversations that you cant remember anything about.
- No awkwardness when you know you are repeating yourself again for the third time – that look on peoples face – awkward!?
- Having the energy to want to exercise everyday because you know it will give you a natural high.
- Knowing that not only your mind but your body is strong because of the healthy decisions you are making every day
- To sadly realise that you are a rubbish dancer dance drunk or sober but you don’t actually care because you just love dancing!
- No more morning after red wine breath, or the kids pointing it out to you.
- Realising that I LOVE meeting and speaking to new people.
- Learning to walk away from negativity and toxic people and situations.
- Finding my voice and being strong enough to say no.
- Having an inner confidence to stand my ground and not let people walk all over me.
- Washing my make up off EVERY night and enjoying self care and pamper time – (Tropic Skincare plays a huge part in this too!)
- Realising that there is such a thing as the sober glow, your skin, your eyes, everything – sober people just have it!
- Early morning runs.
- No starving myself all day to drink wine at night and then having a total pig out by 9pm.
- Being real – no falseness just 100% me!
- No stuffing myself with unhealthy food and carbs all weekend to try and feel half human.
- No mood swings (well I am 44 they may be creeping back slowly – ask my hubbie!)
- Having more patience. As a mum, we need bucket loads and although I’m no saint I am 100% better than before.
- Realising that although I have never been a dog mum when I was drinking I know for a fact I am a better dog mum sober! I would have hated the walks, the poo, the general mess and stress of a dog. Plus imagine being all snuggled on the settee at night with my Bruno and having to get up every half hour for another drink – he would hate me!
- Realising that there is so much more to life than a clean house. A clean house doesn’t make up for a messed up person or life. My house is the messiest it has EVER been and I don’t actually care, I’m too busy living to clean up!
- Having a job that gets you from Monday to Friday but drains you of life, is not how it should be! Do a job you love and you will never work a day in your life – TRUE STORY!
- Coffee and drinking it guilt free! I used to avoid coffee due to its high caffeine but quite happily down two bottles of wine?! Now I admit I am addicted to coffee and enjoy every cup, plus never underestimate the power of a double espresso on a night out – Party time!!
- Finally after years of weighing myself every day that, being fit, healthy and strong isn’t a number on scale its a feeling.
- At 44 years of age being able to look in the mirror and feel proud of how I look and who I am – no guilt or regret.
- Knowing that I am giving my body a fighting chance as it gets older to combat illness.
- Food glorious food! – I am a total foodie now, I love it ALL and its sooooo nice to have a dessert at the end of the night instead of another large glass of red.
- I have found my tribe – my sober tribe – through social media and day to day life, I have found people who get it and get me.
- Accepting that not everyone has to like you but also accepting that I don’t have to water myself down for those who don’t.
- Waking up early – naturally! The minute my eyes open, that’s it I’m wide awake – early Saturday and Sunday mornings whilst the world still sleeps are the best.
- Setting up my blog and Instagram page on my own.
- Not giving up on things as soon as they become difficult. Skiing being one, (think of Bridget Jones -that’s me!) My Bodypump and ETM qualifications- all assessments that I have failed initially but got up and tried again and eventually got there.
- Realising how strong I am because I don’t give up!
- Being brave enough to set challenges and do things that really scare me but doing it anyway.
- Safe In the knowledge that I am showing my girls a way of life that doesn’t revolve around alcohol and that you can live a full, sociable, exciting life without it!
- Enjoying my own company and not feeling like I have to go to everything I am invited to, I actually enjoy being in on my own.
- Thinking I can do anything I put my mind to and not doubting myself.
- Feeling proud of not drinking and no longer feeling like I have to explain why. THIS IS ME!
The list goes on and I’m sure it will be even longer in the next three years! It sounds drastic but stopping drinking has seriously changed my life because it has changed me. It has made me push myself to change what I was unhappy with instead of drowning out my frustrations and unhappiness with alcohol and pretending to be happy.
I know I have neglected my blog recently and it really is because I have had so much going on in my life that I just haven’t had the time. But I promise from now on I will be finding time to post regularly. You, my readers and followers have got me to where I am today and I am so grateful for that.
What happens next? over the next few weeks I will revisit the early days posts and how to survive a sober Christmas so please watch this space!
With regard to my journey I am now a fully qualified Bodypump Instructor and a Tropic Skincare Ambassador so both jobs are keeping me super busy and I love them both. When I think that this time last year I was stood ironing peoples clothes for a living and had been doing it for seven years, it actually makes me feel sad. My life now is thriving – I am no longer just surviving the days and counting down to wine o’clock. I am actually living and loving every sober second of my life!
To everyone reading this thankyou for being a part of this amazing journey as I hope I am a part of yours.