I wanted to take some time to write my own favorite benefits of sobriety after 152 days without swallowing a drop of alcohol, but I got involved in emails this morning, fascinated by a few which lead me down a different path than I had planned, and now I am nearly out of time. However, I did come across this wonderful post written nearly 5 years ago by a Sober Blogger named Marilyn Spiller in The Recovery Connection, and I can relate to each one in some way, from my own perspective. Perhaps you can too, or perhaps her words, and my words, will inspire you to step into the sober sphere. I’ll write my own list very soon. There is SO much to love about being Sober! I am sharing Marilyn’s blog post for you here:
The 12 Things I ADORE About Being Sober:
- The Mornings: My very favorite thing about being sober is the way I feel when I open my eyes in the morning. I am well rested, I remember what I did the night before without a sense of dread, and I feel great. Tony the tiger “GREAT!” and ready to start a new day.
- My Memory: I had gotten pretty good at faking it, but I couldn’t remember anything in my late stage drinking days – I was like a sham fortune teller, watching for body language clues to help me figure out what I was supposed to have done or said.
- My Looks: Everything about my appearance is better: my hair, nails and skin; the whites of my eyes; and I finally lost the “Freshman 15” of sobriety – the weight I gained because I treated myself to anything but booze, including a newfound weakness for party-packs of Charleston Chews and Debby Snack Cakes…
- The Length of the Day: Drinking three bottles of wine takes time. I’d go to bed with a glass of wine on the bedside table like a security blanket and in the morning I’d lean over and drink the dregs – starting the vicious cycle of a new, bleak day with too little time to do anything else…
- The Night: If it happened after seven o’clock at night, I was not there. I missed weddings and funerals and the milestones of loved ones because I was too drunk to get up and go. There is such great joy now in an evening walk, or a party or just looking up at the stars.
- The Freshness of My Emotions: Remember when the Grinch feels his face and it’s wet from crying and he’s like, “What is this?” That’s me. I spent so many years anesthetizing my feelings, I am as raw and emotional as a toddler, and it feels amazing.
- My Energy Level: Drinking makes you sleepy and dumb. I have started working again (after a 20 year vacation) and I am shocked every day by how smart I am – how eager to learn new things and contribute, how energetic I feel.
- Sleeping and Eating: I have had a lifetime of insomnia, constipation and bulimia – the trifecta of “women’s complaints” that have GONE AWAY now that I am sober. I eat. I sleep eight hours. I poop. Yay.
- My Relationships: I think alcohol makes a person shallow and self-absorbed. I feel myself reaching out now: being friendlier and caring more about others than about myself. I have rekindled some relationships that were negatively impacted by booze, and I have formed many new friendships with those in the recovery community.
- How I Cope With Stress, Sorrow or Disappointment: I used to deal with all my emotional triggers (death, taxes, lost love, slights, hurt feelings) by pouring a drink or ten. The way I handled the death of my friend, is the best way to emphasize the change in my behavior toward emotional setbacks. I dealt with it. In the moment and full on.
- Community: I hate the term, but I think I was a “dry drunk” for a while. I transferred my alcohol addiction to processed sugar and coffee, I isolated and pouted. One of the saving graces of my sobriety has been my foray into community – (I’ll admit it) I sometimes force myself to get out, meet with friends, attend meetings and be a part of the world, and magically, I feel better.
- My Faith: I danced with the devil for many, many years. This is not a metaphor – I actually tangoed with some really bad guys who took advantage of my vulnerability and my deep-seated insecurity. Last, but certainly not least, I have found solace and joy and strength in prayer.