Sobriety rocks

I cannot believe it’s been six weeks since my last drink! I haven’t been sober for this long since… 2002? That’s when I left sixth form and discovered alcohol properly. I’ve had a few sober stints here and there. I managed a month in August 2011. Last year there were a couple of booze free fortnights and several ‘detox’ weeks. At the start of this year I decided to have a dry January. Even though the whole world seemed to be having a month off the booze, I didn’t make it past the second week.

What has made it different this time? I’m not sure. Maybe I’d reached that point where enough was enough. The 100 day challenge has made a huge difference. It’s such a brilliant idea. A hundred days is do-able and much less scary than giving up ‘forever’. By the end of the challenge I know I will have some distance between me and alcohol. Like splitting up from a toxic but long-term boyfriend, alcohol and I need a trial separation first.

Since I’ve stopped drinking, I’ve noticed lots of changes and benefits – some big, some small. Some days it’s easy to take it all for granted and forget how things used to be just a few short weeks ago. So here’s my list of all the things I love about not drinking. It’s a work in progress. Let me know what’s on yours.

Money: I had no idea how much I was spending on alcohol because I tended to pick up a bottle of wine here and there. It’s still hard to put an exact figure on it, but nights out + plus several bottles of wine a week, (and all the extras that came with that, like taxis, takeaways and days off work) were a real drain on my finances.  

Skin: It’s taken a while, but my skin is looking much clearer. I never have a puffy face and my eyes are brighter.

Weight: Two people have asked me if I’ve lost weight! I’m back in my skinny jeans so I don’t really mind that the scales say I’ve only lost two pounds….

Sleep: I get eight hours solid every night. No more waking up at 4am for me. I love my bed.  

Eating better: I always liked cooking pretty healthy food but could never be bothered. Now I think about what I’d like to eat and I actually go to the supermarket before the fridge is empty. Just like a real grown up.  

I get things done: I’ve always been a list maker, but I was also a great procrastinator. I love getting things crossed off my to-do list. 

More energy: This must be linked to the sleep/food thing. 

I feel happier: I’d noticed that drinking made me feel very depressed the day after a big binge. But I’d almost got used to the constant stream of negativity that ran through my head every single day. If I wasn’t worrying about drinking I was hating myself, feeling guilty and disgusted at my lack of control. Getting rid of all that noise has been pretty amazing.

Memory: I can actually remember the plot lines on TV shows so I don’t have to keep watching the same episodes twice!

Time: This is a big one for me. It feels like finally, there are 24 hours in a day. Drinking steals time from you. There’s the time you waste when you’re thinking about drinking, the blurry hours lost in drunkeness and the time spent recovering from it all. That process can swallow up days at a time. How I ever got anything done I will never know…

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14 thoughts on “Sobriety rocks

  1. whinelessinwashington May 19, 2013 at 1:07 am Reply

    Oh, I could have written all these things myself! In FACT, I might just RE-blog them or copy them, if I may! It’s amazing…the memory, the skin…the long days! It’s truly a gift. And who knew, it’s just the way life is!! Great post, thank you !!!

  2. […] today that’s what I would like to write next, but then…this brilliant gal over at The Sober Journalist  just went ahead and did it so perfectly, that I am just reposting/reblogging […]

  3. Drunky Drunk Girl May 19, 2013 at 2:17 am Reply

    This is a great list! Way to be so succinct and so insightful–after 6 weeks, you’ve got it sorted. I mean, every single thing is a reason to keep not drinking, for me. Congrats, and hope things just keep getting better and better…

  4. Drunky Drunk Girl May 19, 2013 at 2:20 am Reply

    Oh, yeah; one thing I’d add is: I love being able to make long-term plans, and foresee into the future, and know that I’ll be able to follow through–want to follow through because I can count on not having mood swings and wasting days being hung over and second-guessing my entire life. And: I love being in control and never being the idiot or the asshole, or saying things I don’t want to reveal; I absolutely feel that giving up that control to the wine was a way of self-sabotaging myself, and now, I love respecting myself more and being proud of what I’m doing and have done and will done. 🙂

    • soberjournalist May 19, 2013 at 9:24 am Reply

      Yes, totally agree about the control, I love having that! And the ability to plan is great – I’ve booked all my holidays for this year, including a mega trip to Kenya, which I’m sure I’d never have got round to doing before…

  5. khaireideerslayers May 19, 2013 at 7:07 am Reply

    I’m SO pleased for you! Skin is a big one for me (hello vain, perfectionist alcoholic!) but I like having young-looking skin while I am actually still young, very happy about that!
    And thank you for your kind words when I was having a blip. Hope I never need to return the favour but if I ever do… xxxx

    • soberjournalist May 19, 2013 at 9:26 am Reply

      Ah no worries. Hope you’re feeling better. I’m vain too. I was starting to get broken veins on my face – not a good look …

  6. carrythemessage May 19, 2013 at 10:09 am Reply

    Great stuff – it’s encouraging to see the physical signs of healing along with continued happiness and contentedness. These initial things are encouraging, and something we aren’t used to having / seeing. What a change! Sleep was the biggest thing for me – it had probably been years since I had proper sleep, so I was so excited about getting proper sleep. I may not get tons of sleep regularly now, but at least it’s not from alcohol (too much, not enough, withdrawal).

    Congrats on your six weeks :


    • soberjournalist May 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm Reply

      Thanks Paul. Sleep makes all the difference doesn’t it? I thought of another thing for my list – I no longer have loads of recycling to put out!

  7. christinawoods May 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm Reply

    Hey there. Great post! Glad all is going well! I alsomrelate to the list:-)

  8. Amy May 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm Reply

    I love your list! I am continuously surprised by all the cool small things I missed by being a drunk/hungover mess.

    • soberjournalist May 20, 2013 at 8:17 pm Reply

      Yes me too. Pretty much all of them are unexpected bonuses!

  9. […] be more confident, then trust me, sobriety will look good on you. Last May I wrote a list of why sobriety rocks. I’m now nine months sober and I could definitely add a few more things to that list.   […]

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