Two months sober. Never thought I’d say that both because I never thought sobriety would be something I’d seek and because I never thought I could ever do it.
In the two months since quitting drinking I wish I could say so much has changed. I wish I could say I’ve lost weight or that I’ve had these big life changing moments that reiterate the rightness of choosing sobriety. But…I haven’t. I’m definitely glad I’ve chosen to abstain but for every choice there’s repercussions.
Here’s what I’ve realized so far:
- Life is a lot better when you’re not constantly hungover
Duh. This is a given.
2. My drinking habits could’ve been a lot worse
Friends suggested joining Sober Mom on Facebook, which I did. It’s been depressing and sad AF to read some women’s stories. Many have lost custody of their children, many have destroyed marriages and relationships. It’s sad. I’m grateful I never got to that point and I’m even more grateful I took action before that point was ever in sight.
3. My kids don’t actually drive me to drink
How often have you said, “you drive me to drink, kid!” or something along those lines? Or made some quip about drinking and parenting as if it were some symbiotic relationship that goes hand-in-hand? It’s actually the opposite. I have far more patience, presence and joy with my children now. The stresses I had as a mom and the subsequent need to unwind with wine are significantly reduced. It wasn’t my kids causing me stress, it was my lifestyle.
4. I can still have fun as the sober friend
Sobriety hasn’t reduced my amount of fun. In fact, I find I’m funnier and wittier sober. Aside from an occasional few puffs of cannabis, I can usually drive everyone, go home early for a good night’s sleep and keep my bill at the bar minimal all while still getting out and socializing! Triple wins.
5. Big feelings are harder
Big feelings are emerging that were buried under the haze of hangovers and booze. In writing my book and reliving hard times, I don’t have the crutch of booze to lean on to deal with the emotions that rise. When arguing with my husband, I don’t have the option to have a couple drinks to loosen my tongue and really express what I want to say. When any big feelings rise up, the habit of turning to booze to seek oblivion or happiness is gone, leaving me sitting with these feelings and learning to truly navigate them.
6. Being alone and sober is harder than alone and drunk
Piggy-backing off the previous one and my previous blog post, being alone is harder. Maybe its Covid and its restrictions but alone is really lonely sometimes. Your flaws, misgivings and negative thoughts punch you in the face when you least expect it. When I was drunk, it was a constant party of fun, no worries and going with the flow. With that party over, it’s time to get real with myself and learn to enjoy myself sober, sometimes somber, and appreciate what she brings to the table. Finding the “no worries” in sober life is a lot more challenging for me that I thought it would be.
My relationships haven’t changed a whole lot. My life is still the juggling act it is with kids, home and entrepreneurial endeavours but the deep spiritual and emotional work is just beginning. Sobriety forces you to look yourself in the mirror and pay attention. It begs you to look in your eyes and see the soul hiding under the societal norms, the conditioning, the layers of programming. It asks you, “Are you ready to show up fully? To be naked in your thoughts, feelings and expressions? To find your authenticity and own it? To not hide behind the masks of substances or tittering laughter to be your true self? Are you ready to rise?”
And that’s why sobriety is so hard for so many.