“Sobriety” in and of itself sounds and feels so sparklingly pure. Free. Liberated. An enlightening achievement.
I’m keeping my body “clean” and “free” from the poisons of alcohol. But saying you’re sober feels like announcing you are pregnant and going to have a baby. It sounds so fresh, wholesome, pure and wonderful! Everyone celebrates and cheers the good news. But the flip side is it’s suddenly incontrovertible evidence that you’ve been doing the dirty…
You can’t say ‘sobriety’ without the glaring evidence now that, yeah, you were drinking too much and all that it entails. Everyone cheers. You’re doing the right thing. But in order to get here, you’re also admitting you got dirty. Very dirty. And when you say you’re sober you’re announcing that to the world.
I felt it. When I think of the word “sober” I’m reminded on a daily basis, of the things I’d rather not share. The secrets that I hid. The mud that I crawled through and the truly awful things that I’m not even ready to bring to the light of day. Things that inspire me to stay AF ( alcohol-free) and remind me it’s NAFD ( Not a F#%king Drop ). Now and forever. At some point the pride and empowerment in the sober lifestyle just kicks in and the dirt is farther away.
Here are 34 reasons that I stopped drinking alcohol and found that sobriety was anything but a dirty word. Fight Back! Don’t let the stigma of sobriety stop you from deciding to take back control of your life.
1. Sober mornings after sober evenings are sooo much better.
2. My brain works much faster and holds more simultaneous tasks. My concentration actually exists now.
3. I don’t feel crippling hopelessness anymore. That doesn’t mean bad days don’t happen, but I actually feel like getting back up and fighting another day.
4. My skin is fresh and not so red all the time. I saw a photo of myself at the two month mark. I was pleasantly shocked. Holy smackerdoodles. That’s me TONIGHT (not ten years ago!)
5. My hair is growing back. I’d been dealing with some hair loss (wear my hair pretty long), and was really struggling with this. By week 10, I noticed a solid inch and half ‘new growth’ all over the crown of my head and look forward to much thicker hair now!
6. My overall energy is so much higher on more days than not. I was exhausted literally ALL the time before.
7. I can easily breeze through a day at work with a crappy night of sleep the night before in long term sobriety. It was a Herculean effort to make it through before, dealing with poor sleep, lack of sleep time and general haze. Now, it’s just occasional lack of sleep time.
8. It’s my secret superpower. I literally feel like I am outperforming my old self by 10x.
9. My blood counts have returned to normal. I don’t even want to think about what alcohol was doing to my bone marrow, but I have blood tests to show it was not good…. Retakes at 60 days sober, and everything was normal!
10. My immune system has improved. I have not been sick a single time since AF, even while people around me have had just about every cold and stomach virus going around.
11. I’ve reduced my risk of cancer (I had a tumor removed in early 2019, which scared the hell out of me. I had no other risk factors.).
12. I have more deep sleep cycles, and at least one deep sleep cycle after midnight (that never happened while I was drinking). Yes, I have an actual sleep monitor that measures this.
13. I am saving money every single day by not buying alcohol. I save additional money by not purchasing and serving alcohol to those who come over.
14. I’m setting a much better example for my kids, each of whom has drunk to excess and had a hangover on at least one occasion.
15. I’m limiting my kids access to alcohol in a non-preachy way. There isn’t alcohol here for them to ‘sneak.’
16. No risk of drunk fails (just go to YouTube and search for these).
17. No more throwing up from excessive alcohol consumption.
18. No more not remembering exactly what happened the night before.
19. No more apologies for something I did or didn’t do because I’d had too much to drink.
20. No more being accused of something I did or didn’t do because I was drunk. If I did it, or didn’t do it, or had a ‘mood,’ it was NOT alcohol related. And, I remember it.
21. I can respond to an emergency 24 x 7. If I never take that first sip, I am always there to help.
22. I’m a built in designated driver when out and about with friends and co-workers.
23. I can count on myself to behave responsibly in all settings. At least responsibly according to the ‘real’ me!
24. My ability to complete tasks is no longer cyclical during the day. I actually went out for a late night run this week. Impossible months ago.
25. I have so much more productive time now. Not necessarily more free time (it was the same), but I can accomplish more.
26. My ability to learn and remember new things has significantly sped up. Fewer ‘repeats’ to get and remember new things, which means I can move faster in every way, especially at work.
27. A tremendous sense of accomplishment at being sober.
28. I’m not worried about my liver anymore.
29. I’m setting a healthy lifestyle example to everyone around me. I always believe a saying that goes, ‘Preach the Gospel, Preach the Gospel, Preach the Gospel, and if you absolutely MUST–Use Words.’ I don’t have to say anything at all. In fact, outside of four people, I haven’t said a word. I just DO.
30. My fitness is improving in ways it simply could not before. My body actually responds to workouts and is ready and recovered for the next one when it’s time. And this feels good.
31. My life is more vivid, more full of simple joy, and I feel FREE!
32. There are still benefits rolling out to me, being fostered like a new seedling. I am NOT going to throw a poison on that and start over or lose the ground I have made.
33. I don’t need the elevator to go any lower than it already did. Going Up!
34. Life is so much simpler now.
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