One of our very brave and amazing community members @wvlheel has just celebrated his one year soberversary – yay! He wrote this passionate and emotional update in the Members Feed and I found it so powerful and moving I thought it worth sharing here as a guest post.
My counter says 365. Woah.
I’ve been watching that number climb for the past week or so. I knew a milestone was coming but what does this day mean? Nothing and everything.
Today is another day in a string of sober days. If I am “Living Sober” then I should just treat today like yesterday and tomorrow and get on with living. I woke up clear headed and enjoyed a cup of coffee. I enjoyed the slow pace of the morning. I felt good and refreshed. My sleep was sound. I’m going to have a productive day at work catching up from my illness last week (flu). Rinse and repeat.
I’m proud of this milestone. I’m very proud. I’ve fundamentally improved my life by removing a toxic substance to which I was addicted. I’ve shown myself that I matter.
This year has been hard and so very rewarding. My family knows that I love them and will do hard things to make our lives better. We are happier. My wife is proud of me. I’m proud of myself. My son asked me to get sober and I did so he knows that I’ll do anything for him. My mornings are glorious. My sleep is sound. I’ve lost 10 kg and I’ve even cut way back on my smoking (I hesitate to say quit because it has only been two weeks). I’ve begun a regular practice of meditation. I haven’t embarrassed myself or slurred my words or repeated my stories in 365 days. My life is brighter – that is the best way to describe it – things are brighter and lighter. I still have worries but they don’t consume me. Life isn’t perfect but it is so much better sober.
1. I am grateful for the past year and all that I’ve learned and accomplished.
2. I am grateful I found this website approximately one year ago. I am grateful for @mrs-d and for all of you.
3. I am grateful for my family.
If you are sitting on the fence, thinking about sobriety – JUST DO IT.
If you are reading this you are hanging around this website for a reason. Give it a go. What is the worst thing that can happen, it doesn’t suit you and you miss out on a few nights of drinking? Try a week. If you don’t feel better after a week then no harm no foul.
If you are dabbling around with sobriety, maybe you’ve had a slip or maybe you are just wobbly right now – STAY FUCKING SOBER. Honestly, the first month or two kind of sucks and you have to grit your teeth a bit, BUT USE YOUR TOOLS! Don’t work harder, work smarter. Treat yourself kindly.
Make a nice refreshing Alcohol Free drink at 5pm. Mix it with fresh lime, or use the fancy cocktail shaker and crushed ice. Add a splash of organic apple cider vinegar if you like tart drinks. Take a long walk. Indulge yourself with a hot bath and a book. Eat ice cream – do whatever it takes but stay sober for a nice long stretch of time.
Now take some time to begin noticing the little changes – how do you feel when you first wake up? Is your skin clearer? Have you noticed your kids seem more engaged with you? How is your sleep? Remind yourself of these little improvements – they are easy to miss if you aren’t looking.
Finally if you’ve been sober for a while and (perhaps) are getting complacent – remind yourself of how lucky you are to be in this place. Practice gratitude. Help a new member to the site. Take up a new hobby, maybe one that is purely frivolous and fun – you can’t spend your entire life “working on your shit” – have some fun.
Keep doing whatever got you here and enjoy this wonderful life.
Gosh, I’m tearing up a bit and grown men don’t cry.