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Perspective from Sober at 60
I used to point fingers at other people’s problems with alcohol instead of looking at my own drinking. I had a real problem being truthful with myself. It was hard to admit but I had a lot of growing up to do once I put down the bottle. This past week I turned 60 and I feel amazing after nearly 3 years sober! It’s taken me a lot of soul work to get here. Sensationally, spectacularly, serenely sober at 60!
Why did I decide to quit drinking?
Why did I drink in the first place?
I think I drank to fit in. To be accepted. I am an introvert with a capital I. I married an extrovert with a capital E. I’m not saying that my husband of 35 years MADE me drink alcohol, but I think over the years my love affair with alcohol happened gradually because it was interwoven in our marriage. My husband and I have had many fun times over the years and many of those fun times included alcohol.
I got addicted to alcohol slowly. Over the years there was a gradual uptick in consumption. There were more and more hangover days with no exercise, no laughing, and no creativity. Alcohol slowly sucked the life out of me. I made some really bad choices with alcohol, drugs, and relationships…I wasn’t strong enough to say no. It was the easy way to be bold and daring. It was great to feel confident and brave and feel like the life of the party.
Until I wasn’t the life of the party anymore. I was embarrassed by my slurring and stumbling and started to rethink my relationship with alcohol.
It took years and years of trying to moderate but on July 20, 2020, I took my first tiny, shaky baby step away from the bottle and back into my life. With the help of the Boom Rethink the Drink community that I found online, quit lit and recovery podcasts, my cozy Sherpa blankets and hot tea, lots of sleep and healthy food with a dose of chocolate mixed in and excersize!!
My body didn’t seem to be my own at the end of my drinking career. I was going through a long, drawn out perimenopause. Hot flashes, disrupted sleep, moodiness…all side effects of drinking too much, too! I quit so I could live! I quit because I want to live! I want to live! I want to live long and healthy, I want to always be able to climb on a paddleboard or a bike or in a kayak. I want to know my grandchildren!
With the absence of alcohol in my body and the increase in exercise, my joints and back don’t ache. I don’t get anxious, mad, or sad as often. I’m more creative. I sleep better. My 60-year-old brain isn’t foggy.
I literally stepped away from my boozy life and back into the very heart and soul of who I was before booze got ahold of me. I am reading We Are The Luckiest by Laura McKowen again. This was one of the first books I read in early sobriety. Laura writes:
Laura Mc Kowen We are the Luckiest
“If something is keeping you from being fully present and showing up in your life the way you want, then deciding to change that thing is an actual matter of life and death, you know? It’s the difference between existing and actually living.”
She quotes John O’Donohue
“It is difficult and slow to become new. It’s supposed to be difficult. It’s supposed to take everything you have. It’s supposed to take longer than you want and to change you, completely. This often won’t feel good when it’s happening, but nothing worth having every does.”John O’Donohue For the Interim Time
Time: noun; the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. “Travel through space and time.”
It’s time. I don’t have enough time. How much time do I have? I wish I had more time. It’s about time. I had a good time. Do you have the time?
I’ve been thinking about time. How fast it goes, especially if you have children…you look up one day and they are grown.
But sometimes, time seems to go by so slowly. In staff meetings, the time stands still. Waiting for someone who is late or stuck in traffic, time passes slowly. Waiting for a doctor or the results of a test…or any test for the matter. Getting a text or email from someone who says, “We need to talk!” All things that make time pass slowly.
Time seems to go quickly when you’re drinking, drunk, or blacked out.
Time passes slowly if you’re hungover and can’t sleep, eat, or stand up.
And then there is the time spent getting sober. A time that I can’t even really begin to define. The time spent deciding that alcohol is not serving you. The time spent deciding to decide to stop drinking alcohol. Deciding on the best time to quit.
Day 1 goes by soooo slowly. Watching the clock, feeling jittery, anxious, and itchy. It feel boring and difficult. It feel like the length of ten football fields. It feels like the longest school day. It feels impossible. It feel lonely.
Then there is the time spent on Day 1’s.
But then you take the time to connect with a sober community. You’re looking for something or someone to help you pass the time, to help you get through this difficult time, someone to tell you that now is the time.
The time adds up. Day 1 becomes your past. Today is your 🎁. Tomorrow is your future. You realize how much more time you have. More time for sleep, more energy, more time spent in a state of connectivity. More time to plan healthy meals, more time to exercise, to read, to talk. More time to help others. More time to spend with your kids or your mom!
I used to be so anxious as the weekend came to an end. Too much time spent drinking and recovering, drinking and recovering. I felt like I didn’t get any time for myself and I didn’t have enough time to do all the things I wanted and needed to do.
Alcohol stole my time.
Going sober and staying sober has helped me find that time again!
It’s our time now!
Step away from the wine witch, please! Who, me? Yes, you!
Take your first step, whether it’s a baby step or a giant step! Just do it! Don’t drink today!
Here are some tips and tricks for those just starting or in early sobriety.
Posts from my first years alcohol-free that share how I became almost 3 years sensationally sober at 60:
Everything I Needed to Go Sober I Learned Teaching Preschool
3 Sober Screen Shots ( mine is #2)
I listen to these podcasters quite often. I know they try to sell their programs but you can skip through all that if you aren’t interested. The content of the podcasts is quite good.
The Hello Someday Podcast For Sober Curious Women
Anchor Activities for Gray Area Drinkers with Casey McGuire Davidson
BONUS: Foggy Brain in Menopause
#19 Empower Your Language & Change How You Eat with Harriet Morris from The Eating Coach Podcast
Books to Help you Stop Drinking and Fuel Your Sober Momentum
And finally, sober at 60 I have found exercise again! I was an aerobics teacher many years ago. I’ve always tried to force myself to exercise, even when I was hungover many mornings, but lately, I’ve been pushing myself more and more. More cardio, more weights, more exercise videos. If you have Amazon Prime, then you have free access to Jenny Ford exercise videos. She’s awesome! 🤗
Sober at 60? or 70? or 80? It’s never too Late! You’re not out of time. If you’re drinking too much too often come join us in the Boom Rethink the Drink Community . Life is too short to waste it wasted.