10 Months Sober – Everything I Dreamed Of And More
Today marks 10 months sober.
Not a single alcoholic beverage has passed my lips for ten months.
I’m thrilled to share this alcohol addiction recovery update in particular because as far as sobriety is concerned, I couldn’t ask for things to be any different. Not at all.
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Not Crazy Busy, And STILL Loving Sober Life
In my 9 months sober update, I shared that I was insanely busy. Therefore, I had such little time to even think about drinking.
I had an insane blogging goal of writing a blog post every single day while moving house.
I knocked it out of the park. But it was exhausting, overwhelming, and drinking was the last thing on my mind.
So maybe that’s why my ninth month of sobriety was easy.
But in month 10? I took a much-needed break.
I slowed down the writing of posts.
The new townhouse was mostly set up – no more catastrophic events took place.
Hubby saw me burn completely out and sent me off on a 3-day solo getaway to Palm Springs where I got to really rest up and recharge.
I came home a refreshed, new woman.
I took blogging and my other business at a much slower pace, opting to enjoy my new home and lifestyle instead.
So, I wasn’t terribly busy.
In fact, quite the opposite was true.
And I STILL had zero desire to drink.
Lessons & Revelations From 10 Months Sober
1- I Finally Feel FREE
Whether I’m really free or not, I believe and feel free, which is key.
I’ve said before how important it is not to get too comfortable.
I still believe when we get too comfortable is when we slip. I’ll never let my guard totally down.
But you know, enjoying this space I’m in is something I refuse to take away from myself.
I’ve worked extremely hard and gone through some incredibly tough times in my journey so far.
If at ten months sober I feel free and clear and happy, nothing is going to prevent me from breathing and enjoying that.
Not even myself.
2- I Don’t Speak In Terms Of Months Anymore, Ever
Last month I turned the corner and said a couple times “I haven’t drunk in almost a year”. But other times I said “9 months”.
This time that “months” stuff is out the window!
It’s a solid “I’m just under a year sober”.
That. Feels. Amazing!
I’m tearing up as I write this because after 17 years of struggling I never thought someone like ME could ever make it.
It felt so far away and impossible. But I’m just shy of making it a full year and I feel GOOD and STRONG.
I recall in the beginning being afraid to even tell anyone I’d quit.
Why? Because I’d quit before. Too many times to count.
If I slipped I didn’t want to be judged as a failure. I didn’t want that “Oh I thought you weren’t drinking anymore” comment at the next event when I was downing shots of Bacardi like they were water. You know?
I’ve tried SO MANY TIMES and found myself knocked completely on my ass.
Humiliated. Embarrassed. Ashamed. Lost. Guilty as charged.
So, to make it here. To confidently say “about a year” is like I climbed a mountain, made it to the top, and I am so deeply, immensely proud of my accomplishment.
I don’t have to hide anymore.
And being honest. I was “tearing up” at the beginning of this section. Now I’m full on bawling.
3- My Experience Of Fun & Pleasure Is Completely Transformed
It took a LONG time to get here and to even understand that this is a thing. But I don’t think I’ve ever really had true sober fun until right about now.
After the hectic move, hubby and I finally sat down and realized we hadn’t had a solo date in almost 3 months!
That’s insane, but it’s just how parenting life goes sometimes.
We booked a date to a musical and dinner afterward and let me tell you it was a completely different experience from any date before.
I honestly believe it took that much time and personal growth to finally get to a point where I even have real fun.
Like things were fun before, in a way that “yeah this is nice, it’s pleasant”. But I still felt like the fun I had when I was drunk was MORE fun.
The Definition Of “Fun” Felt Off Until 10 Months Sober
It’s more that I accepted the definition of fun itself had transformed since alcohol was taken out of the picture.
I thought “fun” was just going to be different moving forward and that it was worth it to reap all the other benefits of quitting drinking.
But this date was really, really fun.
The show was engaging, for sure. But I couldn’t help but recall other shows we’d attended that were also incredible performances.
The difference is I’d either been hungover from the day before, we’d just drank prior to the show, we were drinking during the show, we were going to drink after the show… (Or let’s be honest… a combination of ALL options). And the drinking became the star of the date for me.
I remember liking the shows enough but being antsy to get my next drink.
I recall going to dinner and being irritated with the conversation because the light drinks they pour at restaurants just weren’t enough to take me there.
One was always too much, but never, ever enough.
A Drunk Girl Makes A Horrible Date
Many details of those former shows I can’t even recall. That’s sad. I must have been a horrible date.
But this time the show was the star. The dinner was incredible. Our conversation, magical.
We connected and bonded and enjoyed each other’s company sans booze and I’ve never appreciated an outing with my husband more.
I owe him a lifetime of incredible dates to make up for the many years of what I now believe are lackluster ones.
And I’m thrilled to have the chance to experience every last one with sobriety and clarity.
4- My Coping Strategy Is A1
Finally, I’ve mastered the art of coping with stress in sobriety.
I think I’ve got it all figured out, at least in a way that works well for me.
I wrote a post yesterday, 6 Easy Ways To Cope With Stress Without Drinking Alcohol. That post shares in great detail the methods I use and how I’ve come up with them.
Click here to read that post (it opens in a new window).
But I think this is HUGE and important.
Even if you believe my methods are total trash, I encourage you to keep hunting for a way that works for you.
Because stress will never, ever go away.
Stress Will Never Go Away
Drinking or not, life is going to happen. It’s going to get hard.
And if you want so much as a snowball’s chance in hell of staying clean for the long-haul, you are going to HAVE to learn to cope with stress without drinking.
Coming to a point where I feel fully confident that I can handle whatever life throws my way without even remotely considering picking up a drink is gigantic.
It’s probably a large part of the reason I feel so free.
If you think you are, and you think you can, you probably will.
There was some uncertainty before in many areas, for me.
I wasn’t so sure I had it all figured out when it comes to stress.
When the next life-altering situation went down, I just didn’t know how I’d fare.
But not anymore!
Now I truly believe that no matter what happens I am in full control.
I know exactly what steps I’m going to take to protect my sobriety. And I’m going to win. I will be okay.
The One Tricky Thought At 10 Months Sober
I wouldn’t be fully transparent if I didn’t share the one tricky thought that keeps me on my toes.
Amid this glowing report at ten months of sobriety, maybe a week or two ago I was home alone and saw my husband’s Crown Royal in the freezer.
(For the record, we’ve negotiated a metric ton and keep wide-open communication about drinking in the home and agreed that it’s fine at this point, but that is always subject to change at any time.)
Anyway, I didn’t really want to drink it. But a tiny voice in my head said “ha… you could totally drink some of this right now and the stench would be gone well before he came home from work… literally, nobody would know”.
That is alcoholism speaking and I shut that down immediately.
I shared the scary thought and my honest feelings about it. How I had no desire to act on it, but wanted him to know it was there.
He asked if I felt in danger with alcohol being in the house.
I said no, and I meant it, and still mean it. But still…
*If you need help getting your partner to support your sobriety, check out How To Gain Support Of A Partner Who Still Drinks
Once An Alcoholic, Always An Alcoholic
At any moment, any of us in sobriety can drink a little here and there and hide it, right? We’re adults. We’re free to make our own choices.
Nobody would know. That’s nothing new.
But that one single thought is why though I feel free, I know 100% that no matter what I can NOT slip up.
I can not EVER get too comfortable. Because “nobody would know” is just not a thought pattern someone who didn’t have a problem with alcohol would have.
Someone who didn’t go through what I went through to get to this point wouldn’t think they ever had to hide in the first place.
One of the main indicators of an alcohol dependence problem is hiding your drinking.
So, yeah. While I’m glowing and flittering around like a butterfly happy and free, there’s still a voice in the back of my head sometimes.
It’s quieter than ever, and I’m able to smother it pretty easily before it amplifies.
But it’s still there, whispering, ever so lightly. Calling my name.
And probably always will.
11 Months Sober – Goals & Aspirations
As month 11 begins, I’m realizing I’m not the type to sit still and relax too long.
That sounds crazy, but I’ve always been and will always be a go-getter!
Since I’ve been so successful at earning money online over the years, I’ve decided to share more detail about that and add it as a third niche to my blog.
The thing is, it takes a ton of work to build something like that up to a respectable level. So, I’m back on the grind, baby!
I expect being super-busy to bring another set of distractions. Month 11 will probably be easy-peasy when it comes to drinking for that reason.
But I will chill out some later because my birthday is also coming up near the end of October. Yay me!
It will be my first sober birthday EVER. (Well since adulthood).
That is so exciting!
I don’t know just yet how I want to celebrate, but I’m going to do something really fun.
The NEW fun. ????
Seeking Sobriety Inspiration?
If you’re seeking a little sobriety inspiration, head on over to our sobriety inspirational interview series!
Several sober women have come forward to share their journeys, how they got sober, and words of wisdom and support for those in recovery.
If you have your own recovery story to share, I’d love to feature you.
We’re all stronger together, and your unique experience just might be what the next person needs.
Writing really is the best therapy for those in recovery.