It’s one of those things where you remember you’re supposed to be doing something but forget what it is.
Writing this update is both good and bad because of that.
It’s good because, to me, it signifies that maintaining sobriety is no longer a major focal point of my life.
If I’m missing milestones and not even thinking about alcohol, I feel like it’s just… over.
This is great!
But it’s bad because as I’ve chosen to share my journey publicly, I don’t want to give the impression that it will be easy for everyone by 11 months.
Or that the journey itself is easy overall.
Or that I’m bragging, or overconfident or any other number of things we (especially women) feel we may open ourselves up to when things seem too good to be true.
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Enjoying The Easiness Of 11 Months Sober
At the risk of getting too “woo woo” on you – I’m going to just come out and say what I want to say and be who I am.
And what I want to say is I 100% believe the way you think, the way you vision your experiences and your future, and what you believe to be true and believe is possible can and will influence your outcome.
I’m huge on journaling.
Gratitude journal, sobriety journal, daily affirmations, daily journaling of my random unrelated thoughts.
I even started a journal when we first began trying for our son… and it’s still going. He’s 2.
The point of saying all this is I consistently and constantly focus on the lifestyle and experiences I really want.
This has actually increased since I’ve had the clarity of sobriety.
Recurring themes, requirements, and values for anything I’m doing in this new life of mine are ease, fun, lightheartedness, brightness, beauty, natural flow, following the path of least resistance…
Things like that.
Sobriety Doesn’t HAVE To Be Hard
So, I’m going to go further and yes, open myself up to more criticism, but that’s okay.
I don’t believe sobriety HAS to be hard.
It just doesn’t.
I don’t believe ANYTHING has to be hard.
There are and will be ups and downs, but you know… I don’t subscribe to the belief that quitting alcohol has to be this dark, scary, dry, boring thing that will suck you back in over and over for the rest of your life.
Or that you’ll always be tempted to drink when in a room full of liquor.
Or that you’ll always have to be so super careful and can’t just… live your life and enjoy the gifts sobriety brings your way.
I believed that once it clicked and gelled that yes, I’m sober and no, I no longer drink (not even wine)… that would be it.
And I’d ride off into the sunset free of substance abuse and addiction…
And I have.
Sobriety REALLY Is As Good As They Say It Is
Five months ago, I wrote a post answering the question Is Sobriety Really As Good As They Say It Is?
Even back then I was leaning toward “yes”, with the caveat that no two experiences and journeys are the same.
It was a little scary saying “yes” so early in my own sobriety journey.
At just five months in, what if I didn’t know what was ahead?
But you know, now at over 11 months sober I’m like… HELL YES it’s as amazing as they say! And better!
Quoting that article and saying “YES” to this today:
Minimizing or eliminating things that don’t make me happy while sober and maximizing the things that I truly enjoy – and being willing to stop at nothing to get there – worked.
It’s All About Creating Your Best Life
If there’s one thing I can say that has made my sobriety experience overall incredible, it’s buckling down and getting serious and clear about the things that make me happy.
It’s clearing out all the junk that I felt lukewarm about and ONLY doing things that really excite me.
I’m getting excited just thinking and writing about it.
That’s what I’m talking about.
A life that makes your heart speed up just by talking about it.
When your life is full of things that inspire you, light fire under you, keep you looking forward to waking up each day to experience them… WHY DRINK THOSE PRECIOUS MOMENTS AWAY?
Since I’ve done all the work over the past near-year now, I look back and see the sweeping changes I made and WHY sobriety is… easy.
It’s easy because I’m surrounded by people, places, experiences, foods, hobbies, books, music, fabrics and anything else that lights my world up.
It’s easy because I’ve intentionally taken baby steps to completely nuke bullshit and drama that has held me back from true happiness.
Like, of COURSE, it’s easy when you’ve set it up to be that way…
Drinking Keeps You Unaware Of What It Is You Even Really Want
Now at 11 months sober, I feel you have to be sober for a bit of time to figure out what it is you even really want.
For big things AND small things.
Almost everything has changed for me.
During my drinking days I liked to read or listen to totally different books.
I was all about e-books and audiobooks, for example. I didn’t even own a physical book of my own.
Recently I’ve reconnected with the feel and experience of physical books.
I discovered that I enjoy taking notes, highlighting passages, turning pages, using pretty bookmarks and displaying my favorite books in my new bookcase.
Reading a physical book before bed gives my eyes a break from screens and lulls me comfortably off to sleep.
This might sound so tiny and insignificant, but really when you think about the level of detail of the changes you might experience that can really increase the happiness and joy in your life…
How you may be missing out on all those tiny things even…
What bigger things are you not even aware of that you’re doing that are literally killing your vibe?
When we are slaves to our addictions, we don’t even KNOW what we want, much less how to get it.
Sobriety is just SO easy when you allow yourself to clarify the life you really want to be living and give yourself the space, time and courage to relentlessly and unapologetically pursue THAT EXACT LIFE.
I’m cautious of saying sobriety can be easy for you too.
That’s for you to decide.
I’m not an expert and I don’t promise to have all the answers.
I do think there’s something to making serious, sweeping change in your life and if you’re willing to do that, you’ll have an easier time.
But the truth is if you don’t believe sobriety can be easy for you, I’m not the one to tell you any different.
So really… what do you believe?
Honestly think about this and answer it.
Do you believe sobriety will always be this major challenge, that you’ll always want to drink, that you’ll never have fun again or relax comfortably or enjoy another party or have a good beverage to pair with dinner?
Or do you believe that like many other people out there, sobriety can be easy for you too?
Really, answer that question for yourself.
Out loud if you can.
How does saying “Sobriety is SO easy” sound coming out of your mouth?
How does it feel?
Reflect on that for a bit, then let me know what you think in the comments!