9 Months Sober
9 months. I’ve been sober for 9 long months. Babies are conceived and born in 9 months. You can complete two semesters of college in 9 months. Three whole seasons come and go in 9 months… and here I stand. Alcohol and hangover free. No turning back.
Month 9 in my sobriety journey brought perhaps the least challenges of all – because I was BUSY. Busy blogging, busy moving to a new house, busy battling a nasty cold… Unintentional busy-ness, yes, but busy nonetheless.
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Too Busy To Crave
In the past, every time I tried to quit drinking, boredom was my biggest downfall.
During my first 100 days sober, part of my strategy was to find hobbies and people and things to do that were enjoyable without the booze and it was a huge help! These days I find less of a need to seek or create a new life that’s better without alcohol. It just is.
I’m busy living and loving and firmly settled into the patterns I created for myself in those first 100 days now. It’s not as much work. It’s a great place to be, I tell ya!
But you know what? I still refuse to get too comfortable. That’s when we fall. Just because month 9 was easy doesn’t mean month 10 or 11 or year 2 or 5 or 8 won’t bring new challenges.
And just because it was easy doesn’t mean there weren’t lessons learned. When we emerge from difficult situations the lessons are glaringly apparent. But when things are breezy we can still walk away wiser and reflect on our growth.
That said, I’d like to share the lessons I learned from my amazing 9th month of sobriety.
Lessons From 9 Months Sober
1- Stress Is Easier to Handle
You probably know already how stressful moving is. In our case everything that could have gone wrong absolutely did. The moving company completely ghosted us on moving day and I was left scrambling to find last-minute movers as we had to be out of our old place that day. (For the record, try Thumbtack if you’re in a similar situation… they saved my life that day)!
I wrecked the side of my car pulling into our narrow garage at the new place. The washing machine that we’d ordered two weeks in advance was on backorder and NOBODY told us. (We STILL don’t have a washing machine or dryer and it’s 2.5 weeks later). Our new sectional had to be sent back to be cut in half because it wouldn’t fit up the staircase. And on and on.
During my drinking days, I’d have been really agitated by all this. I was really antsy and quick to anger. I can imagine I’d have “taken the edge off” these stressful bad days with a drink or ten and wound up binging, barfing, being a bad mother or wife or friend in some awful, predictable-yet-unpredictable way and it would take weeks to recover from.
But you know what? Not this time! I took some deep breaths, wrote about it in my journal (grab your FREE journal prompts on this page), imagined that probably a month or so down the line it would all be worked out and let it go. Just… let it go.
If you’ve ever been the type to be on level 10 all the time with anxiety or stress and just unable to relax without a drink maybe you get how huge this is. Or maybe it’s just me. Either way, it was refreshing to see how far I’ve come and just how much better I’ve become at coping!
Stress is one of the top reasons people drink. To know it’s not even a consideration when things get rough is so liberating. It’s a milestone!
2- My Yoga Routine Is Becoming More Solid
I’ve dabbled in yoga here and there pretty much since I very first got sober, but now I’m getting deeper into yoga as part of my sober self-care routine.
I’ll admit at first, I felt like I was just going through the motions. Honestly, it was like “I’m going to do this sobriety thing and yoga seems like something I should do for calmness and relaxation and self-care because they say it helps”. I’d fall off and not be as consistent. Sometimes it would feel boring.
But in month 9 of sobriety, I think a lightbulb finally went off and something “clicked”. I feel “rooted” when I practice now. I “get” it now!
Sometimes I still do yoga videos, but I also go freeform about 50% of the time too, which is where the real magic happens if you ask me. I’ll play whatever music I’m feeling that day (yup, even Cardi B) and move however I feel the need to and really get into a vibe.
Having more space after the move has been helpful, I’ll admit. I bought a new candle on Amazon (among tons of other things), but it’s one of my favorite new things and it really helps with my yoga vibe. Isn’t it cool?
I’m in love with tracking everything and counting consecutive days. I was shooting for 30 straight days of yoga and got up to 22 before things went awry with moving and I stopped for 4 days. After starting up again I’m now on day 13 and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.
I plan to write up a post of my experience with 30 consecutive days of yoga. And I will also share my favorite actual videos that I used to learn enough to go freeform sometimes now. I think at the beginning of my yoga journey I saw YouTube channels I liked. Like I’ll always big-up Yoga With Adriene… but still, some videos are better than others for beginners.
3- New Hobbies & Interests
Something I’ve always been interested in but not totally sure if I’d enjoy is gardening. I told myself with this move, I’d try to grow a few plants.
To start, I purchased these microgreens indoor/kitchen plant kits from Amazon and wanted to see how I did. The plan was to grow wheatgrass, which I’d then harvest and juice daily for a wheatgrass shot, and use the microgreens for salads, pizza, sandwiches, etc… And eventually, expand to bigger gardening like tomatoes and spinach. Hell, I want a whole salad if I can make it!
After just a few days, here are the results from my wheatgrass and microgreens kits! Cool, huh?
Instant gratification is the best! It was super easy and a fun little project that didn’t require a ton of research. The kits come with everything you need so you set it up in about 15 minutes and a couple days later you have plants. Within 10 days you have a full harvest. If you’re even remotely interested in trying edible gardening I really recommend these kits.
It’s been SO fun! Like, more fun than I imagined and, in some way, I feel like it’s a circle of completion thing. But this is only something I’d have seen in sobriety. Drunken or hungover I could never have made this connection.
To me, it’s like this…
It’s so enlightening to have these things that weren’t here before. Plant them, water them, nurture them, then they grow and become beautiful things that purify my air and then, in turn, feed me and my family and contribute to our health and well-being. It’s one big old circle of nourishment and beauty and I know I couldn’t have seen that before.
I thought a kitchen plant was just a kitchen plant. Crops in the backyard or on the patio are just plants. Like, cool and pretty but that’s it.
But I can SEE now things are just clearer and much more meaningful. Things are just different. Sobriety has made me more present. It is AMAZING.
I wouldn’t want to miss out on these types of revelations at all!
No Two Sobriety Journeys Are The Same
While month 9 for my sobriety journey was probably one of the best, it’s important to remember that no two sobriety journeys are the same. I was a bit apprehensive going into month 9 because I was once made aware that someone else had a really challenging month 9. It’s different for everybody and that’s okay!
Wherever you are in your journey, keep pushing on!
If what you’ve been doing has worked swimmingly – do more of it. If it hasn’t been working out so great, scrap it and try something new. Slipped and fallen recently? Dust yourself off and try again… it’ll be alright.
Congratulate yourself on what you DID achieve, evaluate where you went wrong and move forward.
Always be moving forward
If you need more help, don’t hesitate to reach out and get the help you need. There’s no need or time for shame in recovery.
But above all just know you CAN do this. So many have done it before and are clean and sober for many, many years. There’s no reason you can’t do it too!
If you’re seeking a little sobriety inspiration, head on over to our 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, drop me a line! I’d love to feature you. Your story can help others on their journeys too. We’re all stronger together, and your unique experience just might be what the next person needs to hear.
Take it from me, there’s also a LOT of healing in sharing.
Don’t forget to grab your free journal prompts by signing up on this page! Writing really is the best therapy for those in recovery.