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Original Post Date 12/17/2018
Hello Friends! Today I celebrate 500 days into my alcohol sobriety journey.
I think that’s a HUGE DEAL! It’s such a random number, because in sobriety, we celebrate so many milestones. We start off with days, then weeks, then move on to months sober. Then we hit the 6 month mark, and after a while the focus turns into years of sobriety, and the little wins each day or month don’t seem like they matter as much.
But they do!
So much has happened since my last sobriety update (I trained for and ran my first half marathon in Philly, back in September, Whoohoo!) and two of my four kids are now attending school full time.
It’s crazy to go from having 4 little ones at home with you most days to now having just two at home during the day. Life is flying by and I’m trying to remind myself to stop, take some deep breaths and appreciate where I am, not just in my sobriety, but life overall.
So what have I learned so far, 1 plus year into this whole sobriety thing? Besides the fact that I’m still a mom who is on the Hot Mess Express (anxiety and all!) I’m trying to find my way, without the use of alcohol (and I guess that makes me a little less of a hot mess!) Ok, so back to my three points:
1)Finding An Outlet is Key to Continual Success
For me, exercise has always been my outlet. One can say I’ve become a little obsessed with running and racing as of recent, but I will take that any day over having the guilt that followed me around daily after my excessive alcoholic tendencies. Having races to train for in a way keeps me sober because I have to be extremely flexible getting my runs in. Some nights, a run means going to Anytime Fitness and logging my miles on the treadmill at 10pm at night. Without having my sobriety, training would have never happened, at least not like it needed to in order for me to accomplish running two races this year. So it’s key to find an outlet, whether it’s exercise (or a new workout routine for those exercise junkies like myself!), reading, walking, or taking up another hobby like learning or re-learning to play an instrument, baking, pottery classes, painting…just FIND your thing.
2)Some Things Just Aren’t For Me
And meditation is one of them. I still haven’t gotten the hang of it. At all. When I do sit down to be still, my mind first starts off racing, recapping the day….then, always (like clockwork) I fall into a deep sleep. I usually wake up well after my meditation was supposed to have ended, wondering how long I had been sleeping for and slightly frustrated that I can’t find that calm place that so many people talk of finding when they meditate. There’s no in between for me with meditation, no finding that calm space…it’s either a racing mind or full blown sleep…..but that’s okay! Ive found that it’s okay if certain things aren’t your jam, just find those one or two things that are. I find that taking a few calming, cleansing breaths and then moving on with my day works better for me than trying to find a quiet space to sit and be still for a few minutes. I’m just not there yet, and that’s okay.
3)Most People Will Never Realize How Bad Your Drinking Was
Because I was a functional alcoholic, and I don’t attend/never attended AA meetings, or needed to go through a recovery program, most people think I never had a problem. “Well, you were able to stop easily without intervention, you didn’t have a problem.” Yes I did, I simply saved myself by jumping off the crazy train early. A train that was heading straight for a wall. Who knows where I would be now if I didn’t find sobriety 500 days ago? Who knows where my family would be or what they would be going through today if I didn’t find sobriety? I am grateful I was able to pull myself out of my addiction (major props to this book for helping me to get my mind right!)
So when someone questions your lack of drinking, or why you stopped suddenly, or if you were like me and functioned at a high capacity despite heavy drinking, just realize that the person questioning you probably never realized how bad your drinking really was. I can say the only person who had a glimpse of how bad my drinking was (and there were still parts that were hidden from him with my secretive drinking) was my husband. I would say he only saw the tip of the iceberg of what was really happening with me and my drinking. He saw the nightly effects of it, but he didn’t see just how many drinks I was throwing back to get to that point of drunkness.
So that’s it! I chose to keep this list short and simple because at 500 days of sobriety, I am also finding that simplicity works. Keep it simple and don’t overcomplicate stuff! Life is complicated, so let’s keep staying sober for another day simple!
What have you found to be true on your sobriety journey?