What does it mean to live a sober life? I get lots of messages from people who are thinking of quitting drinking, they want to do it but they just don’t know how to start. Part of this is fear and part of it is just because they are about to embark on something new and they have no idea what that looks like. So, what does it mean to live a sober life?
The thing is, there are many paths to sobriety, there is no right or wrong way to do it. My sober life will look different to yours. Your journey is as unique and as individual as you and that is the beauty of it.
For me, it happened like this. I spent so long worrying, wondering wishing and wanting that I got caught up in the details, I was over thinking everything but in the end I just made the decision that I would stop, see how it went and learn along the way. That is exactly what I did.
The early days were full of walks with the dogs, early mornings reading and journaling, an enormous amount of chocolate and cake and gallons of tea. I read so many books, watched films and documentaries, tidied, de-cluttered, slept, ate, walked, and annoyed my kids by ‘being there’ all the time. But, I did what felt right for me at the time and which fitted into my life. Looking back, I am not sure what I was so afraid of.
I suppose it’s a bit like jumping into a cold swimming pool or dashing into the sea, the thought of it is usually far worse that when you actually take the plunge. And while you are splashing about trying to find your feet, the experience of it is just so exhilarating you wonder why you waited so long.
I was chatting to a client in a session the other day and she said “I just can’t believe how far I’ve come and how much I’ve changed – in just ten weeks!” she was both astounded and immensely grateful for the transformation. The beautiful thing for me is that I get to see it unfold, right before my eyes!
Your journey might look completely different to mine and that’s perfectly okay. I have spoken to people who go to all the meetings they can manage, some just carry on with their full and busy social life minus the alcohol in their glass, others change everything right down to their living room, friendships, hobbies and diet. Whatever your sober life looks like and whatever works for you is just perfect and it doesn’t matter what people say or think. This gorgeous quote sums it up beautifully:
“Do your thing. Do it every day. Do it ‘unapologetically’. Don’t be discouraged by criticism. You probably already know what they’re going to say. Pay no mind to the fear of failure. It’s far more valuable than success. Take ownership, take chances and have fun. And no matter what, don’t ever stop doing your thing” ― Asher Roth
Also, where you are right now is not where you will be a few months or years down the line. A couple of weeks after sitting on the sofa stuffing my face full of sugar every night I thought, “there has to be more to a sober life than this” and there is. Slowly as my energy, confidence and self esteem returned I began ‘doing things’ I started meditating, practicing yoga, writing my blog, starting my website, and I even went ‘out out’ and it was great.
Things gradually fell into place as I got more and more clarity about what I wanted to do. I really got to know (and like) myself again, I studied, I began connecting with people, having conversations, sharing experiences, helping other women who are where I once was, and my dream of doing a job that I love, working with amazing, wonderful, brave women every single day became a reality.
But, if I had looked so far ahead right in the beginning I would have been too scared, it would have seemed just so far removed from where I was that I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it. It just would have seemed like too much hard work.
I won’t lie, it has been hard, extremely hard at times and as a family we’ve suffered through some heartbreaking times since I started this journey. But, that is life and you just have to take it each day as it comes, moment by moment if necessary and the thing is that when you add alcohol to the mix when things are hard, then it just makes everything worse.
I honestly don’t think I would have been able to get through what I did and come out the other side had I still been drinking
I honestly don’t think I would have been able to get through what I did and come out the other side had I still been drinking. I certainly wouldn’t be here now sitting at my own desk, in my own home with my family safe and sound around me.
The thing to remember is that while you might be walking your own path towards your new sober life, you won’t be alone. Thankfully there is so much support and guidance out there and you will find your people. You will connect to souls similar to yours, you will find people who ‘get you’ even if your journey looks different from theirs.
I have met so many wonderful people many of whom I call friends, who have helped through dark times and have laughed and celebrated with me in happy times. The thought of never having such lovely people in my life because of my drinking makes me really sad.
“Push off from here” is a chapter from Laura McKowen’s book, ‘We are the Luckiest’ and it is one of my favourites. Simply put you can start from where you are right now. Don’t worry about what the future might or might not look like.
Don’t try and have everything in place before you start. Don’t worry what other people will say, do or think. Don’t try and plan for every interaction or experience. Just push off from here and see how it goes. Your sober life will be exactly how you want it to be if you give it a chance. Removing the alcohol is just the first step towards something bigger, better, brighter and full of possibility.
There is so much life on the other side of drinking waiting for you and if you truly want to experience a sober life for yourself, in a way that feels good, in a way that is aligned with your values, your dreams and goals, and is as unique and beautiful as you are, you have to try.
Because unless you try you will never know.
Are you ready to live your best life without alcohol holding you back? Join me for three months and together we will transform your drinking and transform your life.