Near the end of my long and illustrious drinking career I found myself desperate to stop drinking, but terrified that if I did stop I would spend the rest of my life imprisoned by sobriety. Sobriety sounded so heavy and confining to me, like dragging around a ball and chain. Drinking, on the other hand, seemed to represent everything fun about being an adult. Now 6 years later and 5 years sober, I’m a vocal advocate of loving life alcohol-free. I learned quite quickly after stopping drinking that it was the alcohol that had me trapped and that sobriety held the freedom that I’d been seeking.
What does it mean to be trapped by addiction?
In the last few years that I was drinking I could not enjoy life without drinking. Everything that I found fun and relaxing, everything recreational, had come to include wine. My relationship with alcohol had become like like a marriage, really–a toxic, symbiotic marriage.
Having a community of other people like me to talk to helped me break out of that toxic relationship. A community of people who had also gotten to the point where alcohol was more a prison than the wind beneath their wings. I threw out the words Freedom and Sobriety to my community to see what they would say:
What does freedom mean to you in relation to sobriety?
Busting out of the facade into a genuine life.
Being comfortable in my own skin. For me, that is freedom! Being in my own power I feel almost untouchable! The personal growth I have experienced since stopping drinking has been more than enough to sustain me on my sober journey.
Breaking that cycle of “rinse and repeat.” Not being a slave to the call of alcohol. Being yourself. Connection to yourself and to others. Going to a party sober and having the best time, without even thinking about drinking. Freedom is clarity of thoughts that turn into brave actions.
Being in control of my life, feeling joy where there was previously sorrow, being present in my life rather than just playing a character in it. Freedom is contentment, good choices, and pride.
Being able to look myself in the eye and say, if you can do that then you can do whatever you damned well please in this life.
Lifting the weight of shame and guilt. shame and guilt around it. I can be myself, laugh to the bottom of my belly, and move into a place of joy and love of life. It’s such a big shift.
Realizing that I have that choice to become who I want to become
Freedom from shame.
Freedom from hiding.
Freedom to grow and succeed in fundamental aspects of my life.
Freedom from the darkness of fears.
Peace in my soul, body and mind. Without that freedom, I am in a free fall towards death.
Freedom is the opportunity to make choices for myself!
Freedom is not planning my social life around hangovers, not doing something because I knew I would drink too much the night before. It’s not waking up not knowing what I said or did. It’s learning to trust myself again and not being chained to a poisonous high that wreaks havoc on my body. I love the freedom of getting to know me now that I am not tired and sick mentally and physically. I’m still a dick sometimes, but nowhere near as much.
Sobriety has created the space to experience the present and that is all any of us have. ❤
In the beginning, when you first stop drinking, the first few months, or the first Christmas, the first day at the beach, first dinner party, first vacation, it feels awkward. Sometimes you feel like you are a square peg a round hole, and sometimes you just wanna crawl out of your skin. But if you stick with it, stay sober and push forward, everything becomes more real. You get so much better at dealing with the bad, processing the bad, resolving the bad — and moving forward to enjoy the good.
The ONLY thing I have lost in sobriety is the booze.
Everything else ultimately becomes more vivid and more fulfilling and more relaxing and more fun.
The Spirit is not in the Bottle it’s in You …
Rethink the Drink
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Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying
“I think I have a problem with drinking”
How do you go Sober? ( more reading in blue titles)
B Be accountable Talk to Us We Understand
A Avoid alcohol like the plague Ideas Here
L Let yourself enjoy regular sober treats Ideas Here
A Allow yourself to cry when needed Ideas Here
N Nourish your body with good food Ideas Here
C Create happy & fun memories Ideas Here
E Enjoy the precious moments in your day Ideas Here
W Work hard to get what you want Ideas Here
O Organise things for less stress Ideas Here
R Realise you can’t control it all Ideas Here
K Keep going & prepare for success Ideas Here
S Sleep enough for body & mind rest Sleep Solutions