Very little rhymes with sober, apart from – paradoxically – hangover
People are often interested in what I do for fun now I’m in recovery. It’s a question I’m asked a lot by the patients in the rehab I help out at (the rehab that saved my life). The simple answer is anything that doesn’t involve me drinking or taking drugs. Which (a surprise to me at first) is a lot of things!
Don’t get me wrong it is petrifying at first, thinking about living without something your life has revolved around for so long. How will I be able to speak to people? How will I dance without it? Will my friends still like me? How will I cope in social situations?
‘Luckily’ I wasn’t really going out much in the last 2 years of my addiction, so I wasn’t living the party lifestyle. I was living an isolated lifestyle, alone with my cat (as fabulous as my cat Ted is, it wasn’t exactly my dream life). So I didn’t really ‘do’ much.
How life has changed. This weekend we had a bank holiday in the UK, which means we got a 4 day weekend. Whoooooop!
About 10 years ago this would have meant 4 days of partying with my friends, not remembering much, waking up in places I didn’t want to be and going to places I didn’t particularly want to go to, only to arrive at work the following week with the Tuesday blues after a heavy weekend.
Just over 2 years ago a, 4 day weekend meant sitting at home alone drinking as much as possible in the hope that I wouldn’t wake up.
Now it means so much more.
My posts about addiction / sobriety, may seem a little heavy and extreme, and as much as a don’t want to be a Debbie-downer, this was my life (if you can call it that) and I really want to allow people to see that change is possible. If you are living in addiction, there is help out there, there is a way out – if you want it. If you maybe fancy giving up the booze because it’s not as much fun as it once was, there is a great life to be led without it. I’m by no means preaching for anyone to give up anything they don’t want to. If drinking is still fun and not impacting your life in a negative way please do crack on! I’m just sharing my experiences to hopefully help raise awareness. I can’t drink anymore, but I definitely do not judge those that do.
So here’s a list of things I did this weekend that made me smile;
- Bought a coffee for the train down to Brighton (no more gin and tonic cans for me)
- Tasted the coffee and enjoyed it (having the senses of smell and taste back is quite frankly – awesome)
- Gave up my seat for a pregnant lady on the train (no more fear of standing up and passing out – or shaking so much I need to sit down)
- Met friends at a lovely restaurant (not rocking up off my nut or just not rocking up at all)
- Morning yoga and meditation (I love this routine – it totally sets me up for the day! My morning vodka did NOT do the same)
- Treating myself to a face mask and pamper hour (I now like myself and take pride in my appearance, as opposed to not washing or brushing my teeth for days)
- Had conversations with friends, listened and cared about what they were saying (no longer obsessing about my next drink or concentrating on where the bathrooms were in case I needed to throw up)
- Woke up next to the man I love (I can now feel emotions rather than numbing myself – my favourite is love)
- Had a gym sesh in a quiet gym (because most other people were probably out having a different kind of sesh)
- Met more friends at another lovely restaurant (eating was a HUGE part of my weekend)
- Went for a lovely walk with my parents (who I can now have an adult conversation with and who no longer have to worry about what I am going to be like if/when they see me)
- Wrote a blog post (which I LOVE doing, and I can do without anxiety that everyone’s going to think I am a complete knob)
My weekend may seem mundane to some but for me it really is my dream life, or, in the style of generation Z ‘living my best life’.
I’m able to have relationships with people, real relationships. I can hold a conversation, do the simple things, enjoy the simple things, be reliable, be in control of my emotions and what I say and do. I am no longer an anxious shell of a person, I am who I am and as long as I am not doing anyone any harm and I stay true to myself I am happy. If I’m happy and positive then I give out that energy to others and if I can help anyone along the way then fab!