one year…

One year, 12 months, 365 days sober! Almost can’t believe it. I tried before in the past to give that shit up, this time I really did it. Seems like much longer period of time, and it also feels like just the start. It has been hard, really hard sometimes. I have felt a desire to drown my sorrows, my pain, my discomfort in numbness over the past year. Yet 365 times I chose to be strong and resilient in my path forward. It is challenging to not go “there” when things seem overwhelming, or you just want a god damn break from all that thinking and feeling. That is what would always get me in the past, feeling overwhelmingly sad and just wanting it to stop.

I have gotten better at talking, I stumbled and minced my words much more before. I feel less awkward when having a conversation. Funny thing is I have even less desire to be social, in retrospect going out and going to parties was tolerable cause it was somewhat acceptable to get blasted. I am finding I much prefer interactions with others in a one on one scenario, rather than in a room full of noise and many conversations. I have never been much of an extrovert and now I am hard pressed to see much reason to go out, it is especially weird being one of the only sober folks.

Think I am a better person, also a better parent. I feel in touch with what is happening in my brain and not letting it come out in guiding my child. We all pass on some of our worst bullshit to our kids. Clouding our minds makes this distinction so much harder to make, I can see so much more clearly now than when numb. I am not trying to judge, but holy shit it is easy to bury things and redirect things when you can mask it over in your mind.

So much has come to light being sober, (funny that we have to label the experience of not being under the influence.) There was some heavy foreboding before I made this choice, there was a lot I was not dealing with, not recognizing in myself and my life. In fact I was drinking and smoking to keep those realizations further away from me. There are moments when I have so much regret for not making this change earlier in life, I tried a few times, but never made it stick. Looking back, I feel like much better things could have happened, that I would have made more of some opportunities that I passed up. That energy is in my head and I am using to stay the course and work to make things happen now.

Temptation is everywhere in our world and it was difficult to say no over the past year, I mean I work in a bike shop where folks tip me with beer and we serve alcohol. Everyday we have choices and I have zero regrets in mine. As hard as it continues to be at times, I have less and less desire to numb myself with everyday of going forth on this path. The struggle to be sober is less of a fine line, after a year it feels very normal.

I am not here to brag or preach. It is honestly embarrassing to me that I was such a mess and was wanting to change for so long. I am saying this to support someone who might want to change their own path, You Can Do It! It can be hard, but we are stronger than we think, do not limit yourself to the habits of the past. We can change our ways and still be ourselves. Give yourself a chance, have faith in yourself and what you can do and it gets really does get easier after a while. Find other things to do, read, draw, create, exercise, play music, sing, write. So much good you can let out and almost nothing is actually better when fucked up, I know I used to think and act like it was. I am more creative and have a lot of fun without the drugs and alcohol getting in the way. Also, not having a hangover for a whole year is worth it alone. Stop poisoning yourself to get through the days, go out and live for yourself instead.

6 thoughts on “one year…

      • It’s like the honeymoon phase. It’s great and feels amazing and is well deserved, so don’t think it’s false, but it can fade over time. The 13th month is challenging for this reason. It’s backwards, I know, but so is this damn recovery thing sometimes.

  1. Congratulations! 11 days out from one year over here. Your last post about sobriety gave me the courage to start talking more widely about my sobriety. Hopefully, it’ll make someone else feel less lonely in the experience like your last post did for me. Or maybe it’ll spark a thought in someone who knows they need to quit drinking. Either way, I appreciated the inspiration/nudge.

    Your post had a lot of relatable/great observations, including how weird it is that we are the ones who get a label, which just underscores how much alcohol and drinking permeate every aspect of society and life. Most of all, though, I was struck by what you said about how your social life changes after sobriety. I’m in my late twenties, and social life all takes place at bars and breweries. I’m lucky in that it doesn’t bother me to be around booze, but it’s still weird to spend hours at a bar sipping water as my friends get increasingly intoxicated. No judgment, it just isn’t very interesting for me haha. So I just don’t go out that much. I’m still trying to figure out how to make connections in this new reality, almost a year in. That said, one saving grace has been that I’m still invited to the parking lot parties post ride/ski/hike/etc. My friends don’t give a shit that I have a LaCroix or Spindrift in hand instead of a beer. Maintaining and building friendships on the trail is my preferred way to go now.

    You’re the man for making it a whole year, and you are especially the man for talking about it here and making folks like me feel a whole lot less alone. Happy trails dude.

    • Love it! Sounds like you are strong in your commitment, good on ya. I could hear the calling to do this in my twenties but couldn’t seem to slow down enough to listen, wish I had. Keep it up! Thanks for the comment! Makes it so worth it.


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