I’m just back from a trip to the Lake District here in the UK. It was my 40th Birthday last week and I have been planning a short trip away to celebrate the significant day.
2 years ago when I quit drinking I couldn’t think about my 40th birthday without wanting to celebrate it with an insane amount of alcohol. I always thought either I’d have cracked the whole being sober thing or I’d be back drinking again by now.
Well, since I’m happy and sober I wanted to mark my 40th year by doing something I’d remember, an achievement of sorts, so I planned a trip to the beautiful Lake District to climb the Via Ferrata. I have no real climbing experience, but I have a head for heights and this is especially designed for the novice.
Out of the 12 people who came to celebrate my birthday (mixture of friends and family) 7 of us did the climb. It felt amazing, though scary at times but doing it felt like such an achievment, like I was alive and I’ll never forget it.
After the climb most of us had a nap and then prepared to meet the rest of the group in a local pub near by. I was a little weary that this part of the trip may have been a bit dull for me. Most of my friends are heavy drinkers (like i was). They all know I don’t drink anymore so I wasn’t worried about that but I’ll be honest I thought it might have been boring.
However, it was great! I used the time to properly catch up with them all. I didnt care it was in a pub. Its just an easy place to meet up I guess. As it was my birthday the attention was more on me and how I was and that was okay. After a few hours we went for food and spent an age in the restaurant (which is my favourite place to be) laughing and catching up over old times.
I have made some memories this weekend which I will treasure forever. I was humbled by the number of friends that wanted to be there with me to celebrate my birthday. No one cared that I wasnt drinking. I think a few people just never noticed either.
I can honestly say that if I was still drinking, this weekend would never have happend.
The very best bit was waking up this morning with a smile on my face, happy to be alive while nearly everyone else was suffering from a few too many celebratory drinks 😂😂😂😂
Im feeling pretty darn good…….
Back when I was 7 months sober I met a woman who was nearing 2 years sober and I remember thinking “she’s a proper sober person” Now here I am 2 years sober myself, I guess I’m a proper sober person now hahaha.
When I was drinking, I wasn’t living. My world became so small and lifeless. I am so proud to be sober, everything about my life is better now. My world is bigger, I do more, I’m learning more about myself. Everything is just more!
Back at day 1, week 1, month 1, I never thought it would be this good. In all honesty I couldn’t think this far into the future. I wish there was a way to give newly sober people and those wishing to stop drinking a glimpse into their sober future, so they could see how good their lives could be. It would make the difficult early months so much easier!
This past year I’ve not been thinking about drinking. I honestly never think about it. I dont get cravings. If an odd thought (of drinking) passes through my head, I laugh at myself and let it go. This year I have been focusing more on me and how I deal with… well….me.
I am learning…..
- That having uncomfortable feelings like, anxiety, fear, anger etc.. doesnt make me a freak or different or weird. They are NORMAL feelings and I am NORMAL for having them and that they do (eventually) pass.
- If I find the courage to do something I find hard, like having a difficult conversation with someone or taking on a task im unsure of, I actually feel good about myself afterwards, plus its a little easier next time.
- If im bored, I don’t have to wait on others to invite me out, I can organise something myself!
- If I have some me time, sneak off to bed early, skip cooking for the night, I am not being selfish, everyone around me benefits from a happier, more considerate, more patient version of me in the long run.
- To pick my battles….not to sweat the small stuff…… I guess this one is learning what I give a fork about. Sometimes, I need to just take a deep breath and assess whether ‘it’ (what ever ‘it’ is) is worth it…. eg. Child coming home covered in mud just after washing floors. Work colleague, ranting on about how unfair their life is, school mum bragging about how perfect their child genius is, arguing with husband about leaving dishes on the kitchen bench when the dishwasher is empty… you get the picture!
- My sober supports and treats can be used anytime im feeling depressed, anxious or pissed off. They are not exclusive to drink cravings anymore.
I think it is important to learn and grow as a person. Putting my quick list together feels good. All the years I was drinking I was in limbo, never learning or evolving. Just work, drink, sleep, repeat. God I must have been so boring.
Two years ago I stopped drinking and it was the best decision I have ever made. X