I left an abusive relationship with drinking a year ago and a week today. Overindulgence brought me to my knees and made me hate myself. At a year and a bit alcohol free I have decided to write a list for myself. Advice to me after one year sober.
It’s taken a bit to compose.
At first, I wanted to join the hundreds of socially handsome people that make a one year sober list filled with successful self-improvement items like, “started my own business!” or, “climbed Everest which was my dream since I was five!” I would make certain I put an exclamation mark and ~hair toss~ after each and every one.
That’s not my list.
I am not like everyone else, and neither are you. I became even more human this past year, recognized I need kindness like everyone else, and so will you if you decide to stop drinking and start feeling. It’s a small list, my one-year sober list, and strangely abstract. It’s the truth, it’s what I’ve learned to do, and I’m going to share it with you now.
Advice to me after a year of sobriety:
1. Respect Your Energy
• Seek out and point toward high vibration only.
What are you injesting, physically, mentally and emotionally? Be meticulous about analyzing this. Remove items in your home that make you feel bad (Mary Kondo that sh*t.) Take music temporarily off your playlist that has a mourning depressive or self-indulgently sad type of sound or lyric. Yes… lots of beautiful sad songs out there, believe me, you’re talking to a straight up goth girl right here… but. No. Not now. Remove it, replace it with beautiful classical music, and songs that make you want to dance. TikTok silliness. Whatever! Do it. Ruthlessly. This goes for people too. Dissect EVERY person, place and thing. Worth the energy? If a friend needs to vent, that’s fine. If that venting has no resolution, or brings you down for hours… excuse yourself… explain where you are coming from.
more thoughts from our community : Not My Circus Not My Monkeys – How to Stop Drinking at the Problems of the World
2. Respect Your Self
• The above includes your self-talk.
Dissect the hell out of that. There won’t be any walking around beating yourself up while you’re on this path with successful outcomes. Look for podcasts and self-help videos to learn more. You didn’t know what you didn’t know. Hang scraps of paper on your bathroom mirror with sentences that encompass things you like about yourself, or forgive yourself for. Say them while looking at yourself. Why does it feel so weird? Cause you have work to do.
more thoughts from our community : Uncovering my Untethered Soul
3. Let Yourself Love Life
• Learn. Be curious.
Now, you know. There will be points in time when you feel really bad, or guilty and sad about things you’ve done and said under the influence. People you’ve lost and can’t get back. How you’ve treated yourself. See above. Seek out knowledge, read and take each nugget of learning as your North Star pointing to where to go next. The synchronicities of where it will point you will be incredible and almost difficult to describe to bystanders.
• Do things that inspire delight in you, or the feeling of awe.
Is it great art? Go alone to an art museum. Is it nature? Go. Schedule it in… do it weekly, no excuses. The point is to live in the opposite emotion than aggressiveness. This space of Awe, or Delight is a space that can promote healing both emotionally and physically. Do you even remember what makes you giggle with delight inside?
4. Parent Your Inner Child With Enthusiasm
• Show up for yourself.
Stick with it. Things will come up. Be brave and work hard to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally. It’s ok. You don’t have to avoid things. Don’t abandon yourself through it. Never liked that specific quality in yourself? Too bad. Time to embrace it, and love it. No more abandoning yourself. Your feelings that you’ve somehow deemed unworthy of your own love, and the qualities—no matter how small. Now is the time because you can’t go through this and all the feelings that are going to come up without being whole. Embrace that disowned little kid that was calling you to take care of yourself only to be ignored. Don’t forget to toot your horn about the things you’re proud of.
more thoughts from our community : Diffusing the A in HALT or How to Stop Drinking AT people
5. Allow Yourself to be Be Selfish
• No more people pleasing.
You ain’t got the time. At some point in life, you’ve been told that your emotions and happiness aren’t as important than others’. Well, no wonder it was hard to take care of yourself. No more. You are the most important thing in life.
more thoughts from our community : Your Scars are Beautiful – Moving Toward Emotional Sobriety with Inspiration from Kintsugi
6. When Feeling Triggered Give Your Toddler Brain Something to Chew On!
- You are In Charge
Instead of asking myself “What would giving in to an addictive behavior do wrong?” when I have a triggering experience, I Play it Forward and ask myself,
“What would be so right about drinking this situation away? What function do I think drinking would serve?”
“What pain relief will alcohol provide and for what pain?”
“Where can I find less pricey pain relief?”
I wasn’t dumb. I drank for a concrete reason. My mind was trying to solve something. I’m not quite sure if this was a great way of dealing with things but, for me… it seemed more honest. I wouldn’t have drunk wine every night if it didn’t help sedate a pain.
Drinking habitually to numb the pain is simply SO COSTLY and damaging. And that’s a truth that is hidden from the general public—evil lives in that space, there.
So, I started listing things to do instead of drink when triggered – Endorphins, a nap, music, meditation, a walk, a brownie, calling a friend, looking through pictures…? Sometimes, the craving or discomfort would be over before I stop trying to list things. I almost feel as though I have to give my toddler mind something to do—so weird. And, this thing – Our Mind- runs the show???!!! How frightening.
But Remember! You are now parenting your inner child.
more thoughts from our community : Breaking Free of Cravings for Alcohol with Mindfulness
7. Find Your Tribe and Let Them Empower You!
And now a little love note to the community that walked with me through my first year sober.
We met on a night when I wasn’t really feeling my best, and to be honest, I didn’t think twice about our meeting. I think you might have known, though, before me that this would be something special. You saw that my kind was untrusting and prickly around the edges having been abused and beaten up one too many times.
Thank you for sticking around. You make my life better. You’ve taught me what good relationships are and slowly built my trust up again. I appreciate the little things… like how silly you are in the morning when my eyes remain foggy and ears shudder at noise. You’re a breath of fresh air after too many bad experiences. Every little note I get, I save in a metaphysical box. Not sure if you knew that, but I like to read them later to remind myself that I’m special.
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