Sobriety: Thoughts on Working for a Life more Fulfilling

In the last 90 days, I have magically made $900 exist in my pocket that would not have existed otherwise. How? I did not drink it.

90 days off the booze, y’all! That $10 bottle of wine/day, plus whatever extra alcohol I would drink once the kids were sleeping and my bottle ran out sure added up. 

That’s what I gained. Here is what I lost:

  • Shit mornings where every day I was awakened wishing my kids would go back to sleep (even though they wake up at a completely normal hour between 6:45-8 am).  
  • Foggy headed misremembering of what exactly one of the kids said last night around bedtime. Now, I remember everything.
  • Stupid alcohol-induced arguments with my husband. Those have been replaced by more intelligent, sobriety induced arguments (ha!). 
  • The feeling of being a terrible mother for drinking in front of my kids everyday (never to drunkenness – but to a slight steady buzz).  How do you expect to teach children healthy coping mechanisms and a path to a happy life when you model alcohol as the solution for stress, anxiety and depression? If you think you can talk the talk but not walk the walk – you are wrong.  Kids see everything, and they are far more intuitive than you know. 
  • At least 5 pounds. That wine/liquor/beer chub that had accumulated in my face and upper arms has disappeared.
  • Waking up every day with a puffy face and bags under my eyes.
  • Blotchy, dull, flat skin – alcohol is hell on all the body’s organs – and the biggest is no exception. 
  • Weak, tired muscles. The first 6 weeks of sobriety, I walked like a madwoman to get the “craving-ants” out of my pants. Now I am far stronger and much more tone. It’s wild how fit a person can get just walking 2-4 miles every day.
  • Feeling sleepy all day (up until I started drinking). Now I just feel tired when the kids start whining.
  • The morning guilt + shame that I drank more than I wanted to last night.
  • Feeling depressed about all the things I wasn’t doing, seeing, and accomplishing because (newsflash) alcohol makes most of us COMPLACENT. Drinking leads to a Lack of Motivation leads to Feeling Like a Loser/Shame because I haven’t done The Things I wanted to do this day/month/week/year leads to Promising myself I’ll start tomorrow because it’s after 5 and I already started drinking (empty promises) leads to Depression and Shame the following day because I’ve been telling myself the same bs story forever, but look, it’s 4:12 and in like, 38 minutes I’m going to have that well deserved cocktail and that’ll lift my spirits, then I’ll feel better and then I’ll start doing The Things. Now I’m Drinking and the cycle begins again . . .

I could go on, but instead, I’ll STFU and raise my kombucha to, well, me. If you think you’re an alchie like me (or addicted to any other vice) and are over it, please start with the knowledge that quitting is NOT about willpower. That’s where I went wrong in the multiple attempts to quit drinking in the year prior to this. Maybe start with reading (at least) a few chapters of Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg. It’s nothing to do with alcoholism, but it will teach you that willpower is NOT at play if we want to start/stop habits, so don’t beat yourself up for not being able to shame/motivate yourself to quit something (or start something)!  Start with Tiny Habits, and learn what IS at play.  Once you understand your motivations, abilities and prompts/triggers, you’ll have the tools you need to begin. I’m not saying the knowing makes it a cakewalk, but it’s powerful to understand that the reasons you’ve failed at this in the past do not NOT include weakness! 

Lots of love to you all and more power to anyone who is working toward a life more fulfilling.

PS – My kids and I found another use for all these wine glasses!  

4 thoughts on “Sobriety: Thoughts on Working for a Life more Fulfilling

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  1. Way to go Erin! I’m just a few years older and a couple of changes behind you. Never too late. Annie Grace has a good book titled This Naked Mind and a bunch of podcasts that make a lot of sense and are fun to listen to. I like to listen to things like that while I’m doing my artwork. Taking back your super powers!

    Liked by 1 person

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