Yesterday was my five and a half year milestone, that’s 66 months and it feels like a BIG number! Hitting these sober milestones and celebrating them is a really important part of my sober journey and you should make it an important part of yours too. It doesn’t matter how many days, weeks, months, years you are sober, it could even be hours or minutes but just give yourself a mini fist pump moment and see how far you have come and feel proud of yourself. We are choosing a path less travelled, breaking away from the “norm” and its not always easy – so please make sure you celebrate YOU and how far you have come!
PLUS these little milestones feel like a mini birthday, a ‘me day’, a day where normal service can be disrupted because you want to spend it doing something you love. For me it meant spending the day with my girls, which was perfect as they are my reason why. We had a girlie day at the cinema, then a lovely chilled night in with a takeaway. I did zero housework and just made sure I took time out to enjoy the day and think about the old me, my old life and how far I had come! I thought about what I had discovered and what a perfect time to share it with other people like you, who are on their own sober journey or are even just sober curios and thinking – can I do this??
Lesson 1- It Can Change Your Life!
Ok I get it, this sounds dramatic but it is TRUE! I look back at the girl I was over 5 years ago and I don’t actually recognise her, or her life anymore. We are such different people and so much has changed in a relatively short space of time – From my job, my health, my lifestyle, my friendships and mainly my mindset. BUT Its all down to ONE thing – getting sober! By removing alcohol from my life I have said YES to so much more, and that has had a ripple effect and it has actually changed my life.
In those early days I had NO IDEA this would happen, at that time it was just about feeling better physically and stopping the anxiety and hangovers that where such a big part of my life, and for a lot of people that’s how it starts – you just want to feel better. But believe me that’s just the beginning! Don’t look too far in the future as that can cause anxiety, just focus on each day and know that the universe has something big for you further down the line – just keep going and don’t give up!
Lesson 2 – It’s So Much More Than An After Selfie!
Exercise was a huge part of my recovery in those early days, it was a new focus for me and a new obsession. From the very start I made sure I was working out everyday, and even in the detox phase in the first few weeks I made sure I got outside and walked everyday. I then started weight which led to me training as a Body Pump instructor and when was teaching I was in the best shape of my life (or I thought I was, looking back I was probably too slim and burning off any muscle I was building). Then came along lockdown, I stopped teaching and my weight slowly crept up, I was still exercising but not at the intensity that I had been previously – plus eating chocolate become a big part of my coping mechanism in the crazy lockdown world! ( As it did for a lot of people!)
At first I felt lost, like a failure, that I was going backwards way and on some days I really had to dig deep and have a good chat with myself. I was still sober! Healing isn’t linear and as long as I wasn’t drinking I was still moving forward, that took a while for me to accept that.
Sobriety is so much more than what’s on the outside, it’s what’s happening on the inside too, its about growing stronger mentally and being happy and confident in yourself and your choices. One of the biggest transformations I see is in myself and anyone else on their sober journey is in their eyes, skin, smile – its a sober glow that we all have regardless of anything else going on physically. That sober glow is definitely real and it comes from a strength and belief in ourselves, PLUS not flooding our system with alcohol, toxins and empty calories is always a bonus!
Lesson Three – Do What You Need To Do To Protect Your Sobriety.
Whatever it takes to keep you sober do it, and remember that ‘No Thankyou’ is an answer. I have found that being sober has made me very protective of my time and energy, and if I don’t want to do something or be somewhere then I won’t. Its all about doing what’s right for you, especially if you are in those early days and you want to avoid any triggering situations or people. ‘No thankyou’ is an answer, you don’t need to explain any further why you don’t want to go somewhere, or don’t want a glass of wine so remember not to feel like you have to explain yourself. The confidence to do that comes later, it develops over time and you will go to those events or be with people who you don’t feel that comfortable with but know it wont threaten your sobriety – you can handle it all ALL sober!
A good motto to follow is “its either a hell yes or a hell no!” and see what your gut feeling is, I always apply that rule now and its working well so far. Plus remember an added bonus of sobriety is being able to leave early, you are probably driving so make the most of that!!!!!
This also applies to people, if you are changing some of your fiends may change too. I will be doing a full post on this as I think its something people really worry about at the start of their journey but what I have found is that my true friendships are stronger than ever but I also have made so many other amazing friendships along the way and have so many more friends than I ever had before!
Lesson Four – Go All In Sober!
Personally this has been a huge lesson for me and I spent months and months trying to moderate – please believe me its an absolute head mash! I have done a whole post on it here.Moderating Madness……. the odds are if you are reading this blog then you struggle to moderate, I was exactly the same.. The answer is to go ALL IN sober, make that decision and go for it!! It’s at that point that you start to feel excited for the future, excited for the new you and this life you are going to create for yourself – your best sober life! We are all or nothing people, I mean who wants one glass of anything? I even have two night time teabags in the largest cup I can find before bedtime every night, I am 100% ALL IN with whatever I do and once you make that decision to be ALL IN sober – that’s when the magic starts to happen!!Read more: 5 Sober Lessons At 5 And A Half Years Sober
Lesson Five – You Are Not Alone!
Way before I actually stopped drinking I used to be a sober stalker, searching the internet for sober groups and blogs that I could read through without being a “member”. I was sober curios for a long time, wishing, dreaming and desperate to be a soberista, watching on the sidelines desperately wanting to be part of the sober community.
In the real world I only knew two people my whole life who didn’t drink, one was diabetic and the other had just made the choice to not drink and had chosen a sober life, he amazed me, and I used to think who are these people who choose not to drink?? The reality is therr are sooooo many of us out there, so many women and men choosing the sober life and it feels like a sober revolution.
I have made so many friends through my blog and Instagram page , some of which I now meet up with and even work with as they have joined my Tropic Team. I have also inspired other friends and my Mum to choose the sober life, so slowly my sober circle is getting bigger and bigger and maybe one day I will know more sober people than drinkers, now how amazing would that be!
Whilst for now we are a minority, please remember you aren’t on your own and it’s important to surround yourself with people who are on their sober journey. Social media is amazing for this, some days you just need to connect with that one person or group of people and feel like you belong, feel like someone understands or you just need to hear that one piece of advice that can get you over a hurdle you are facing.
A lot of people start drinking alcohol to fit in, I know that’s how I started in my early teens, so to step away from the drinking crowd can feel daunting especially if you are known as the entertainer and the party girl of the group (also me!). Having that support online or in person is so important in helping you not feel alone, so find your sober tribe and reach out. If you are looking for a support group of like minded ladies then my Sober Glow Whats app group could be perfect for you, we just zoom once a month and support each other when we need it, think of it like a sober catch up when you need it – just contact me for the link and I can add you to the group.
These lessons are really only a few out of a lot of life changing lessons I have picked up along the way! Sober living is a lesson in itself, everyday you are learning and discovering something about yourself that you didn’t know, it really is the gift that keeps on giving…………….
If you are looking to connect please find me in Instagram https://www.instagram.com/soberglowgetter/ for daily inspo and updates on where my sober life is taking me and any tips I share along the way! The most important lesson is to just believe that you have the power to get sober and change your life, you can do this!
Happy Sober Sunday Soberistas! I would love to hear from you so drop me a comment if this has helped or any lessons you have learnt during your sober journey………..
Love Angie xxxRead more: 5 Sober Lessons At 5 And A Half Years Sober