Sobriety - The Gift That Keeps On Giving.
I’m now almost 5 months into sobriety so wanted to write an update post on how it’s going. In short, it has been one of the most transformative things that I have ever done for myself. My life really has become better and continues to improve. I’ve listed some of the benefits below.
Whiter teeth – I used to drink red wine, now I don’t and my teeth are so much whiter as a result. I no longer need to pay £25 per syringe for teeth whitening gel.
Slimmer - I’m told that I’m slimmer. The scales say that I haven’t actually lost any weight but I do get a lot of comments about it and I feel leaner. I am also able to eat more food as I don’t take on any alcohol calories anymore.
Confidence - I’m more confident in my abilities to resolve issues and conflict. Historically I would spend hungover days hiding under my desk at the thought of having to deal with the latest sh*t show. Now I know that whatever it is, I can handle it.
Better sleep – My sleep has never been so good. Sober sleep is just so much more replenishing that sleep after drinking even a small amount. I wake up feeling fully rested and it is amazing.
Clearer head – I can think properly and my brain is working on full power for the first time in my adult life (alcohol takes 10 days to leave fully leave your system) and I’m actually quite amazed at how much I can do and how much information I can process.
Better memory – I retain so much more information than when I used to drink. I managed to win a quiz at work based on remembering the content of a series of presentations that I had only been half listening to. New to me! I won a bag of Haribo (no expense spared) which I ate guilt free.
Higher standards – Without alcohol depleting my self worth, confidence and willpower I actually live the values that I hold. I don’t do things that I will be ashamed of later because I am always present.
Presence – I have more time and space for myself and others. I take time to think before I act, I am not as impulsive, I take time to reflect and choose what will be right in the long term rather than being immediate and choosing short term gratification. I also have more intimate connections with my family as I am not just ticking the box of spending time with them and not engaging due to a low-key hangover from the Friday bottle of wine that I drank to ‘relax’.
Time - I have gained back my drinking time as usable hours. I’d be pretty much useless after even a single glass of wine; I wouldn’t read, couldn’t exercise, couldn’t meditate so even a single drink could write off four hours in an evening. As I used to drink a glass of wine most nights, plus weekends where I’d drink more/earlier that’s about 640 hours that I’ve gained back. And I’ve used those hours productively.
No TV – I just don’t really have any interest in it at the moment. Dramas create negative vibes and everything else feels like a bit of a waste of time. I have cancelled Netflix and Now TV and am investing the money into the S&P 500 instead.
More exercise – I exercise more frequently. I’ve taken up yoga and I also do a lot of walking. Getting out in nature is a significantly better stress-reliever than downing a bottle of wine and it doesn’t lead to depression and anxiety which is the opposite of stress-relief.
More reading – I read so much. It’s a bit OTT if I’m honest but I like it and there is so much to learn.
Less junk – my mindfulness means that I am more aware of how the food that I eat makes me feel so I’m less inclined to eat junk food.
More patience – I’m a pretty impatient person so this has been a great one. I am more calm, more accepting and significantly less reactive.
Resilience – Similar to confidence, I know that whatever life throws at me I have the tools to handle it. Anything that happens I think ‘thank God I’m not dealing with this with a hangover’.
Motivation – I do more. So much more.
I am not sure how long I will be sober for. I just say that I don’t want a drink and until I do I won’t have one. As I have gained so much and lost so little, I really don’t want to reintroduce alcohol into my life right now. I may change my position in the future but fo now I’m happy with the way things are going. I would say that one of the key things that led to me quitting alcohol EASILY and without any feeling of deprivation is meditation. Meditation is magical and everyone should be doing it.
I am so grateful for all that my sobriety has given me.