This may be the final part of this blog post series, but it is not the final list of improvements. That list is a continuing work-in-progress.
Keeping a list is a way of measuring progress. Of seeing how far you have come. And how much you would have to give up – if you started drinking again.
If you are reading this at the start of the journey – focus on a few small things first.
I still lie in bed in the morning, listening to my husband grind coffee beans, and I always marvel, as I stretch my legs out – at the lack of nausea, zero headache, and no sense of impending doom. No anxiety as I face the day. No trying to gauge how bad my behaviour was the night before, by how loud my husband is banging cupboard doors. No surreptitiously gulping down a large glass of water, before I pour coffee, no plastering on a smile and pretending to be chirpy as I ask “how did you sleep?”
This was enough for me to carry on. This is STILL enough.
But everyday, (even my grumpy days), I am joyously delighted as my life expands in new and exciting ways.
#81 Sober Sundays
Sundays are special days. They used to be the day that we spent as a family, when I was young. They were filled with Roast dinners, crumpets for tea and recording the Top Twenty chart songs. Then, I wasted Sundays by constant anxiety about Mondays, and then later, I squandered many Sundays with hangovers. Now, Sundays are my special day.
#82 Sober Sex
Definitely MUCH better than a drunken tumble, barely remembered the following day. ( And if my stepkids are reading this, it was worth writing that, just to imagine you groaning and dropping your phone in disgust, LOL)
#83 Sober Monday Mornings
Mondays are not longer Day of Doom. They are days filled with promise and anticipation. And GUILT FREE. And I always have clean underwear available, which is nice.
#84 The return of my sense of humour
See #82 above.
#85 Not afraid to share my story
It was a bit scary at first. I did expect whispering and sideways glances. I did expect people to think “less” of me. The reality was completely different. And now I understand that power of telling our stories to help others.
#86. I am more considerate
I think about more than what affects me and my little bubble. And you know what? I get lots of consideration in return. Life (so it seems) works like that.
#87 I live in integrity
That’s more than just being honest. It’s living in line with my values. Doing the “right thing” even when nobody is looking. The payback is an immediate decrease in anxiety.
#88 I enjoy the company of children
Well, most of the time. When I was drinking, I dreaded Kid-friendly parties. The little people might have been a distraction from my drinking time! Now, (I think) i am a better G-Ma. I know I am the cool G-Ma, anyway.
#89 I rarely shout.
Quietly stating my position usually does the trick. Unless it’s wet socks by the washing machine. On the floor. Beside the perfectly adequate laundry basket, less that a foot away. Then I shout.
#90 I “adult” better.
Wet socks aside, I do all the adult stuff better. I file my tax return. I file ALL the tax returns. I keep important paperwork, i remember to pay the house insurance. These small things done on time, with little fuss, keep my stress levels in check.
#91 Traveling excites me
The picture with this blog post is of my parent’s house in France. It’s stuck on my fridge. We are going this summer, and I can’t wait! I have a bucket list – a roadtrip across Canada, a trip to the Haida Gwaii, Iceland, New York, LA In September for She Recovers gathering, Utah. India. I can feel my feet itch. I can’t wait.
#92 I believe in the Power of Now.
Now is the best time to do anything and everything. Want to quit drinking? Quit right now. Want to start a business? Start today. Want to write a book – get the notebook out. Now. Now is all we have.
#92 I am more exploring my spirituality
You don’t need a spiritual epiphany when you quit drinking. It’s not mandatory. But don’t be surprised if you spend more time contemplating the meaning of life. One day, when I was pottering around in my greenhouse, I caught this feeling – of perfect contentment, complete connection to the earth – it sounds odd, but it was the perfect feeling.
#93 I try to set an example
The best way for anyone to be persuaded that quitting drinking is a good thing – is to see the results in action. I am living proof of the ‘awesomeness” of a sober life. And there are many of us who have embraced sober living and have never looked back!
#94 I have made peace with my thighs
They are what they are. They ain’t pretty, but they function perfectly. Obsession Over.
#95 I have written two books and have more planned.
It was a difficult, magical rewarding experience. And now, I am on a roll! Watch this space for brand new fiction projects coming soon!
#96 I forgive others
.My default setting is to hold a grudge forever. Now, I forgive other, not for them, but for me. Life is too short to be resentful because my brother stole my 1977 Silver Jubilee mug. I’m over it! Really!
#97 I forgive myself.
I am stopped beating myself up. I can’t fix the (drunken) past, I can only resolve to do better. Time to put down that load.
#98 I have stopped creating an ‘exit” strategy.
I always used to mentally prepare a “way out”. From relationships, job, careers, businesses. So I never fully committed. I never gave anything, or anyone my all. I’ve stopped doing that. If I commit to you, I’m your lobster.
#99 I have met so many wonderful women through Sober Sassy Life
SO MANY FRIENDS!! I love you all.
#100 I am grateful
Every single day.
#101. I finally love and value myself!!
If you feel inspired to join the sober journey, but would like to have some company, please consider joining Sage, Sassy & Sober. You’ll be supported, helped and cheered along, by lovely ladies who have been where you are now.
Love, Jackie xx
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