Today I celebrate SIX YEARS SOBER! The old me did not know that this would ever be possible, I couldn’t go six days never mind six years!
I have learnt so many things along the way and I am still learning. My sober life and the sober me is work in progress, and things are always changing. However, some lessons I have learnt will stick with me forever, these lessons have changed my life and who I am as a person, they are now a part of me and what I truly believe in and they have helped me get to where I am today.
ONE – Getting Sober Is a Choice You Make Everyday
Remind yourself that YOU are choosing sobriety every day and feel grateful for that. Unfortunately, we don’t come with a sobriety switch that we flick on and that means we never think about drinking again. Alcohol is all around us, we are a minority and yes at times that’s super tough – but remember it’s your choice to be sober, to be the best version of you and to not have alcohol in your life. Be proud that every day you make that choice. At six years sober I have to be honest and say I don’t feel triggered to drink very often but there are still times and situations that I do and finding that strength to stay true to your sobriety no matter what is so empowering, and something you should feel very proud of!
TWO – Spend More Time Loving The New You Than Hating The Old
If you are reading this you probably have a lot of drinking regrets, I know I do. I’ve got so many memories that make me cringe inside, STILL! But don’t focus on that, work on the new you and have peace knowing that person is no longer who you are. What you will also find is that people love reminding you of the “old you” and the things you did in a drunken state, we;ve all got those friends that remembered everything you did drunk and couldn’t wait to tell you all about it the morning after. You will probably find those so-called friends won’t be your sober cheerleaders and you will get more distant with them as time moves on (more on this later!)
Just remember that drinking regrets are normal, but the more you focus on making that change and building a new you then the less you will think about them. Some people feel like they want to make official apologies, which is fine if that works for you – but I believe in actions speaking louder than words and you can build any bridges if the friendship is something you care about, just by changing your behaviour and showing that person you care. So, choose to redeem yourself, choose to make those changes and choose to create a new you with strong meaningful relationships that the drinking you will not ruin!
THREE – Embrace Your Addictive Personality
Taking away the alcohol doesn’t change the fact that we have an addictive personality! Now if this is harnessed the right way it can become life changing! We are all or nothing personalities, we don’t sit on the fence or go into something half-hearted. So go ALL IN on this sober life, this new you – chase that dream life at 100mph! That will look different for all of you but just make sure that each day you are working towards those dreams – “I didn’t get sober to sit on the couch” is one of my all-time favourite sayings and my life is proof of that- Sobriety has been life changing for me because I decided to go all in!
( I’m also addicted to coffee, shopping, exercise and chocolate too!!!!!)
FOUR -Learn How To Sit With Your Feelings
Just because you are sober doesn’t mean you are jumping on pink clouds every day! Life throws tough times and challenges at us regularly and now we don’t have alcohol to get us through those feelings then we have to sit with them and experience them sober. This can be tough, especially in the early days, that urge to grab a bottle and drown out life can be so loud and it’s learning other coping mechanisms that get us through those times, and that won’t happen overnight.
The main thing to remember is that any feeling will pass, from a feeling of rage to a feeling of total excitement and all of the feelings in-between – it will eventually die down. The feeling of needing alcohol to deal with those feelings is exactly the same and it’s all about finding something else to replace that. For me self-care has been a massive part of my sobriety, and now I will take myself off for a pamper if I’m feeling anxious or stressed and just focus on me, calming myself down and using that time out to put things into perspective and switch my focus. Others may do other things like getting outside, watching a film, calling a friend, making a meal, doing a little online shopping, cleaning up or decluttering, reading a book – so many different coping mechanisms and it’s all about finding the one that works for you. When all else fails just remember that you just need to get through it a minute at a time, an hour at a time and a day at a time. Those FEELINGS WILL pass and your sobriety will have stayed intact – that’s where your sober strength lies.
FIVE – Be Prepared To Find Your True Friends
You are changing who you are as a person so you will probably find that your circle of friends and what you value in a friend will change too. After six years sober I have got a lovely mixture of old friends and new. You will find you become a lot more choosey with who you are friends with and who you give your time too, I found I moved away from drama – I had enough to focus on with myself so I didn’t need any extra drama added to it. What I have also found is that true friends will be your friends no matter what, through thick and thin, through you drinking and being sober. I’ve also created a lot of new friendships, online and in person, through my work and my soberglow page – lots of positive and inspiring women who I really am surrounded with every day. I feel blessed to have old and new friends in my life who love me for me – who love the real me not the fake drinking me, that feels like a true friendship and I am very lucky to have that.
SIX – Sobriety Is A Superpower
Yes, I know this sounds dramatic but its soooooooo TRUE!!! Getting sober was something I never believed I could do – EVER! I thought it was what other people did, that rare breed of people that could live life 100% themselves without the need of alcohol because they loved themselves enough to be sober. Knowing that I am now that person is like having a secret superpower – I can achieve anything I want to achieve – if I can get sober I can do anything and having that fire, excitement and believe in yourself will ultimately change your life in so many ways. It’s life changing!
Be prepared to put down the glass and pick up your dream life because that is what happens. You are saying yes to so much more, you start living your dreams and becoming THAT person – THAT girl – who you always wanted to be. And isn’t life too short for anything else!
If you are on day one, day 100 or day 1000 – I hope these lessons have helped inspire you to continue or are ones that you can relate to. I have learnt so much in the past 6 years these are just the main ones, but each day I am grateful in some way for my sobriety and what it teaches me.
This weekend I have been in London with my little family, and what a perfect time to love my sober life! The old me would have spent it sat in bars from lunch time and planning the whole weekend around hangovers and long boozy meals, but instead I was flying around at 100mph and seeing the sights, soaking up the festive shops and being 100% present for my girls. Being the best Mum I can be has always been my ultimate reason why and always will be – it’s above all of the lessons I have learnt, and it’s the core of me now – to show my girls how full a life without alcohol can really be!
What lessons have you learnt in your sobriety or how has it changed your life or you as a person? Let me know in comments
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