Nausea? Upset stomach? Every pill designed to ‘cure” us has a side effect? But what about the side effects of a very simple ‘cure’, available to all of us?
I love those commercials from pharmaceutical companies (we get them here in Canada, and the USA, but if you are in the UK, you may not have seen them) – the ones where you see happy healthy people being cured by the new miracle drug, and then, just before the end, the announcer lists ALL the possible side effects that could occur if you take the advertised drug. Sometimes there are up to 20 side effects, including possible death.
Now logically, I know that these side effects HAVE to be disclosed, however slight the possibility of ever experiencing them – especially the death one- BUT, there are some instances in life where the SIDE EFFECTS of taking a particular action can be positive AND sometimes even outweigh the original reason for the action.
No prizes for guessing here, that I’m talking about sobriety.
I talk a lot about focusing in on your WHY – you overriding reason for quitting, because when times get a bit rough, and they will – it’s good to be able to remind yourself WHY you started this journey in the first place.
However, I’ve found over the two years, that my original reasons for quitting have kind of faded into the mists of time – I just remember that I was miserable.
What HAS happened, is that my life has improved in unexpected ways – SIDE EFFECTS, if you will, that were not advertised and instead of irregular bowel movements and constipation (which seems to be caused by EVERY advertised medication), these side effects are pleasant and welcome.
So I’m going to list the main ones here:
Calmness has descended over my life, like a comfortable blanket. Even the chaos – that sometimes happens – is muffled. And its self- perpetuating. The more serenity I have – the more I am able to calm chaos, and repel drama. Worries and concerns are put into perspective, I am able to focus on a problem and come up with a solution without panicking – it doesn’t mean that life is worry free – it just means that I have the capability of figuring out what actually IS a catastrophe (very little as it turns out), what is someone else’s shit cart that they want me to pull (quite a lot, as it happens) and what are the issues that I can actually change. Does that sound like a familiar prayer? The serenity prayer is not just a bumper sticker for AA – it’s the real deal.
Once I had shifted my ass of the couch, and freed my hands of wine glasses – I started to get curious in the world around me. My reading mojo came back – no longer was I spending hours mindlessly scrolling through social media- although I do still scroll mindlessly through social media – just not for hours – I started reading about stuff I was curious about, I started wanting to try new things and visit new places. All of this curiosity has led to # 3
Gardening for one. And food – because before food was just a good excuse to drink – now I’m into food for the actual taste. Because now I can taste it . Maybe my taste buds have perked up, or maybe it’s because I can remember every meal – not sure, but it doesn’t really matter.
I never thought I was creative – but actually, it turns out that I am creative, I’m just not talented at all that I create – but talent, that’s a bonus side effect – I don’t care. I may be good at writing and terrible at painting, but I still like painting. I am in love with the process.
There are many side effects of sobriety. It’s not just the lack of hangovers, more money in my bank account and less humiliation in my life, it feels that every day I gain more and more from a simple decision (not an easy one – but a straightforward decision) and I am loving the side effects. That do not include constipation.
This podcast episode has been brought to you by Sobriety – a 100% guaranteed cure for hangovers an drunken behaviour. Side effect include, but are not limited to weight loss, reduction in bloating, clearer skin, glossy hair, improved sleep, legal driving, higher productivity, less social humiliation, more coordinated dancing – or avoidance of dance floors and/or karaoake machine, closer friendships, better sex, longer lasting marriages/ and/or increased ability to spot arseholes, improved liver function, reduced bullshit and drama and studies have found a dramatic increase in joy.
Sobriety is FREE and available to EVERYONE. Apply liberally to affected areas, each and every day.