6 Months Of Sobriety
Happy Sober Biiiiirthday to me… Happy Sober Biiiiiirthday to me… Okay, I’ll stop singing.
But not for long, because today I’m 6 MONTHS SOBER! Woot-woot! It feels surreal, yo!
The only other time I’ve made it this long without drinking since I was seventeen years old was when I was pregnant with my son.
Isn’t that crazy?
That said, it’s time for my monthly update!
As always, I’ll separate each update into four parts: First I’ll discuss the good stuff, then the not-so-good stuff. Next, I’ll share lessons learned and finish up with the next month’s goals.
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6 Months Sober – The Good Stuff
Month six was really good for my sobriety and I couldn’t be more pleased. It feels like things have settled into normalcy and I’m getting the feeling that if I didn’t blog about sobriety, I wouldn’t think about it much.
This is a great, free sensation that has its good and bad sides, but it’s mostly great!
Here are other beautiful things about hitting six months sober now:
1- I feel at peace
You know, I started to say “I’m happier”, but there’s more to it than that.
I feel like overall I’m a “happy” enough chick. Even when I’m not, I do things like review my gratitude journal, put myself around people who uplift me or (perhaps not always so good) indulge in little treats to lift my mood. When bad things happen I actively pursue happiness by default. But that’s not really getting at the depth of the emotion.
The past six months have had their ups and downs. But as I write this today I feel 100% at peace.
My brain feels healthy. My mind soothed. I’m confident and calm and have this feeling that no matter what gets thrown my way, I’m going to be okay. And I can’t say there has ever been a time in my life – really as a child or adult – that I’ve felt that way.
I do think this is a direct result of sobriety.
I’ve had to do a lot of soul-searching over the past 6 months. I’ve had to dig deep and figure out a lot of shit, come to terms with some painful truths, forgive myself for past actions and mistakes and really grow to love myself for who I am – once I found out who that even was.
The desire to live a vibrant life without alcohol was the catalyst for change.
Long ago someone said you cease maturing once you fall into drugs and alcohol. If you start drinking heavily at 16 and never really stop, you’ll have the mentality of a 16-year-old if you’re still drinking at 25.
I don’t know if I believe that to be 100% true, but I do feel like I finally grew up. I FEEL more mature. And this feeling is something I’m just not willing to let go of.
2- I’m comparing pre- and post-drinking a lot less
During the first 100 days and even a little bit after, I remember being obsessed with everything different pre- and post-drinking.
If I made it to the gym 5 days in a row I’d be like “wow I couldn’t have done that if I was still drinking”! Or even for something as small as laundry. If I washed, folded and put away laundry all on the same day I’d marvel at how cool it was. And how it had to be due to sobriety.
This was harmless enough, sure, but annoying! Who wants to compare every little moment to a time when they weren’t their best?
So glad that has gone away for the most part.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it’s still a thing, but it’s no longer the crazy, weird obsession that it used to be.
3- I’m happy with relationship changes
New sobriety brought many conflicting emotions to the fore. I’m not just talking about drinking friends either. I’m going to try to explain this in the easiest way possible. It has even been a little confusing for me.
One way that relationships change in early sobriety is obvious. You have buddies and romantic partners who are used to drinking with you. When you quit it strains those relationships.
Do you have anything in common anymore? Do they think YOU think you’re better than them? Does your decision to stop drinking mean you expect them to quit too? Might you stop getting invited out with the crew altogether? Sometimes people drift apart. Painfully obvious.
But what’s NOT so obvious is how your perception changes.
For me, this manifested in my desire for a higher quality life all the way around. A few relationships that were on the rocks in the past have totally ended. Initially, that was painful.
I wondered if I was a bad person for giving up. Was I a “mean girl” for no longer desiring to do so much work to keep things going? Did I quit too soon? Was I a stuck-up bitch who thought her shit didn’t stink?
I lost sleep a few nights toggling back and forth about whether I’d done the right thing. But you know what? Letting go of that dead weight has brought so much more joy into my life than I ever could have imagined.
It feels really good to know that any time I deal with someone, I truly enjoy it. Gone are the days of showing up because I should.
The guilt from moving forward has faded away and I’m pleased by that.
4- I trust all my emotions
During my drinking days, my emotions were all over the place. I could never be sure how I really felt about anything because I was always either drunk or recovering from a hangover. And we all know emotions can’t really be trusted in either situation.
It was hard to determine whether I’d said or done anything to apologize for. So, I always just assumed I was in the wrong. I figured I should do the work to make things better in all situations, at all costs.
Having been sober for several months has allowed me to get crystal clear on what’s what. I acknowledge sometimes I’ll make mistakes and I’m not perfect, but I know with 100% certainty that if I feel a way, it’s real. And I am also always competent enough to choose whether to react or not. And if I DO react, it’ll be a reasonable response.
6 Months Sober – The Not-So-Good Stuff
While I experienced lots of really good things at my 6-month sobriety point, some things do bring cause for concern.
I’m scared of being too confident
Not really having to work on sobriety too much anymore is good, but also bad. To be honest it’s a little scary.
When you get too comfortable is when you slip.
Feeling so good and solid with very little issue these days, I wonder if and when the rug will get pulled from under me.
A couple days ago I answered the question Is Sobriety Really As Good As Everyone Says It Is? For me, the answer is a resounding yes. But that is so scary! Should sobriety be easy? Many places I look suggest otherwise, but I really don’t know.
Maybe the fact that I’m at least scared is a good thing!
I’m slightly missing the ability to celebrate with alcohol
I wrote earlier that celebrating sobriety milestones is important.
As a combo-celebration for my husband’s birthday, my official blog launch (yay!) and my 6-month soberversary, we’re going away on a mini-vacation and it’s going to be EPIC!
On our last vacation, a 10-day journey that included a cruise to the Bahamas, I managed to stay sober, but we brought our toddler along. As a result, we couldn’t really partake in many activities on the ship.
There was dancing, karaoke, live variety shows, an amazing pool/jacuzzi and a casino on-board – none of which we really got to enjoy.
So, this time? Love baby boy to death, but he’s not invited.
All About the Trip
We’re headed to a resort and casino about a 1.5 hour drive away, and booked three nights in the Deluxe Spa Suite. I’m thrilled to have some much-needed time to relax, rejuvenate, play slots, enjoy shows and lounge out by the pool sans-baby. But I must admit I’m a little sad that I can’t drink at least a little.
So, it’s like this…
This trip is going to be strikingly like our one-year anniversary in Vegas (affectionately dubbed “AnniVegas”). And also our honeymoon at Catalina Island.
Both trips were a total blast! We really went hard and enjoyed eachothers’ company. Out of every place I’ve traveled those have been my two favorite trips. But part of that fun was because we were wild and totally wasted.
Reflecting fondly upon those memories, of course, I want this trip to be JUST like those. Even though I’m enjoying sobriety and not experiencing physical cravings, mental is a different story.
Mental vs. Physical Cravings
Like, I don’t think “how lovely would it be to have a sip of wine”. Or “I just want a shot or two to enjoy the night”.
It’s not about the alcohol itself. It’s what it represents. If that makes sense?
What I remember about those two romantic trips we took together, though, is sobering. While we had fun, there’s a lot I can’t recall.
I somehow lost my favorite jacket at AnniVegas. And I don’t remember anything about the trip back home. I burned the bottoms of my feet because I walked around the pavement out by the pool. Drunk. In the desert. In the middle of the summer. THREE times! And I’m told by my husband that on the way home from the honeymoon he had to physically carry me on the boat because I was too drunk to walk.
We often remember the best, shining parts of the fun we had. But the aftermath is sometimes harder to connect to.
So, while part of me does feel like I’ll miss that “special” component of past romantic journeys with my lover, I’m looking forward to setting a new standard for what’s hot.
I look forward to making memories that won’t be forgotten. Keeping track of all my belongings. Not sustaining any irresponsible, avoidable injuries. NOT having to be carried back home. This sounds hella good to me right about now.
I had to keep it real with you though.
6 Months Sober – Takeaways & Lessons Learned
Keeping in mind the good and the bad, there are a few key takeaways from 6 months of sobriety. Hopefully, you can take some of them with you along your path!
1- Don’t forget where you came from
Maybe, like me, you’ll come to a point where it seems too easy. Perhaps you will have cravings (either mental or physical). And if you do, and things seem good, you might be faced with a decision – to drink or not to drink.
While I’ve yet to take my trip so I can’t give any real advice just yet, I hope if you’re faced with this situation you hold on to the darkest memories of your past. I hope you remember where you came from, and why you chose to give it all up in the first place.
2- Keep an open mind
Whatever approach to sobriety you choose, keep an open mind. Always be looking for new information and approaches that can help you do better and go further.
While I’ve had what I consider good success with DIY/solo sobriety, I wouldn’t hesitate for a split second to try meetings or counseling if I felt my sobriety was threatened.
If your current approach isn’t clicking with you for whatever reason, throw EVERYTHING YOU HAVE at it. Find something that works. Put your sobriety first.
3- Don’t be afraid to let go
It might seem scary at first (it certainly was for me), but it is OKAY to realize that things you used to do or people you used to see while you were drinking no longer serve you.
You are NOT a bad person for going inside yourself, seeing what you really want, learning who you really are, and designing your life in a way that makes your heart soar.
[bctt tweet=”Just because you used to do something doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it. You’re allowed to change. You’re allowed to grow.” username=”soberalley”]
You don’t have to be an asshole about it. It’s not ever cool to make others feel bad or go around setting bridges on fire. But you get one life. Move forward with grace, but live yours!
6 Months Sober – What Next?
Heading into month seven, (wow I can’t even believe I’m typing this), I’m super excited!
I am beyond excited about this upcoming romantic celebration with bae! We totally deserve it and oh boy the level of relaxation that’s about to go down should be so grand. Room service, sleeping in late with no baby… the WORKS. Chile, yasssssss…
I’ll be sure to update about the whole cravings sitch and to share any revelations about that too if I have any.
Wish me a good ole’ time, please! ????
That’s All For Now
I don’t know why but I don’t seem to be able to keep these journey updates from getting too long. There’s just so much to say each month and I don’t want to leave anything out! Thanks for sticking with me to the end.
You know, I still feel deep down that one of the main reasons I’ve been successful this go-round versus all my previous failed attempts is that I’m public. Starting a sobriety blog has really helped on so many levels.
If you are struggling at all, I suggest you start your own sobriety journal! Even a private one that’s for your eyes only can be a huge help.
But if you want to start a blog as a side hustle to earn some extra money, start here!