A little over 5 months since my introduction to a whole new world.
In the weeks leading up to ‘Day 1’ 5 months ago, I genuinely spent every day wanting to die. I was so overwhelmed with what I can only describe as complete mental suffocation and unbearable turmoil. My life/mental health had become so bad and I couldn’t see an escape from the pits of the dark hole that I felt so alone in.
I honestly now would not recognise that wreck of a girl, who literally fell to the floor in despair and sobbed inconsolably; praying for a resolve or at least to ‘fast forward’ to when the misery was over, welcoming any form that may take.
If I could go back though, I would show her the compassion, love, forgiveness and empathy that I had deprived her of for so many years. I’d tell her that she is not the complete fuck up that she and others would have her believe & that life’s about to get better than she ever would have hoped. So keep going, stay focused & you’ve got this.
The inevitable was ahead and my ‘Day 1’ (scheduled in weeks in advance) was fast approaching. This is what I’d been training for, for 9 whole months. I knew there was no further down I could go with alcohol in my life, but still feared how I’d be able to live without it. The decision was made though and it was final. It was happening. And that was that.
Sobriety has changed my life in more ways than I could have imagined. The barriers in my mind that kept me trapped in cycles of destructive behaviours whilst focused on negatives and a limited existence, were strengthened continually for over a decade; with every drink, every drama…every heartache. These have been burned down to ashes revealing worlds of opportunities.
‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result’ - Albert Einstein
By Einstein’s definition, I had been insane for years! Living in a shit show of shame & anxiety actually becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Change the script & change your life.
I have put so much dependence for my happiness my whole adult life on my relationships. I’ve spent years trying to force square pegs into round holes, ignoring luminous red flags, questioning my worth and feeling strangely more comfortable when being treated substandard. If things were going well though…I was always subconsciously going to sabotage it and when I did, amongst the pure devastation would come an element of slight relief that the wait for ‘something to go wrong’ was over.
After every break up I’ve thrown myself back into the dating scene, desperate to fill the void that I believed attention from a man would achieve. The reality was, no matter how good my perceived external circumstances were, it was never going to be enough to make me happy. I have never been happy. Until now.
I want to acknowledge the dramatic expected improvements to my physical & mental health, sleep quality, motivation levels and productivity, as well as the sheer amount of time I have back! My new solid routine means I’m up by 6.30am latest 7 days a week, no more days laid around in bed or dragging myself through a working day (or three) with a horrendous hangover / comedown.
All of the above have made for a drastic upgrade in lifestyle, in EVERY single way. But it is so much more than that.
I never understood the old cliche of ‘you have to love yourself before you can love anybody else’ or ‘you need to work on yourself’. It always just sounded like a load of old bollocks to me. But it’s all somehow making such perfect sense.
Going from completely not caring about yourself or valuing your life, to learning to look after yourself and coming to cherish your mind and body in a way that you never have before, really is something special. I’ve faced all of my demons and some pretty raw emotions and doing this sober without my usual running to the bottle has, at times, made me feel completely lost; but has also been incredibly liberating.
With the remains of the rubble from my blown up life that I found myself alone in, I constructed myself a platform to build on; starting with the complete freedom to take back control of my life. The foundations of this platform are first and foremost prioritising my sobriety and my mental stability over absolutely everybody and everything. Without these two things - it is only a matter of time before everything else will go to shit.
A negative mindset is one I have spent so many years with. I never fully believed it was mapped out for me to be happy, and I made sure I kept it this way. I harboured up a lot of unworthy resentment in my one track mind and I’m finally out of that corridor. I don’t want repetitive negativity in my life and one thing I absolutely will not accept is the possibility of me having resentment for allowing anything to impact my peace right now.
Another key that sobriety has given me unlocks the doors to other people’s opinions of me, that usually sit so heavy on my mind. These have been well and truly cleared out and losing this is the best weight I will ever shed.
I know who I am including my flaws and as I have already, I will continue to work on these to try to become a better version of myself. I have no capacity reserved for burdens to carry containing the weight of other people’s opinions of me or how they think I should be living. This has become my superpower; allowing me to focus on what I feel incredibly passionate about: helping to raise awareness and lose the stigma attached to problem drinking. I’ve had so much support but also faced mockery in the most unlikely of places, which with my newly adopted positive sober mindset, only spurs me on.
People may struggle with you breaking out of the box that you’ve been so comfortably placed in for so long, or refusing to be put in another one which suits their version of who they think you are or should be. For me, that’s ok though, because they aren’t the people who got me to stop drinking or into a strong mindset. The only person who did that, was me.
I am sober in love with my emotional independence, the removal of the restrictions for my success that have always been in place, my self awareness, resilience, clarity and absolute certainty that I am going to live an incredibly happy life with no limitations.