Happy Year + 1 day to Me!!

Dear Readers,
Today I have been alcohol free for 366 days!
As I write this, I am sitting up on a deck by a beautiful lake in northern Minnesota, with my good friends, and of course my cute hubs.

The weather is absolutely perfect.
And I am good.

So what I have learned about not drinking?

1. Alcohol is not romantic. I had to really work on this. If anything, it made me too tired to have a nice night with my Loved One. Romantic is sharing conversation, holding hands, candles, smiles, and love. 

2. It took awhile. I had horrible urges when I first tried to quit, and I was not able to cope with them. I was very close to going on antabuse if the urges hadn’t gotten better. But then, they did! 

3. No one cares if I drink or not. It’s just my own perceptions that need changing.

4. I can choose to make myself miserable or happy about not drinking.

5. It is a change, and I need time to adapt to living a different way, learning to live life one day at a time. 

6. I couldn’t do this alone. I needed and still need people to help me. Only people with an alcohol addiction really know what it’s like. I love my on-line community, my AA community, my doctors, my yoga teachers and buddies, and family and friends.

7. I am learning to deal with depression and anxiety, again. I had them before my drinking got heavy. Then I started to try to drink all those feelings away. It surprised me that they didn’t go away, and if anything are coming to forefront again. However, I no longer have the terrible  alcohol induced depression and anxiety. I am so thankful for that!

8. I love my yoga practice!

9. Giving up drinking does not solve all my problems. There are no easy fixes, except for these:
I no longer have the problems of drunk driving, falling down, sloppy speech, blacking out, hangovers, waking up in cold sweats, spending money, and hanging out in bars for hours. 
I am very happy not to make any more problems for myself, as I have enough normal ones!

10. Being scared is normal. I was very scared. I was scared of losing friends, coping without drinking, and going to meetings. But that went away with time.

In the future it is my hope and dream that I can keep letting go of the anxiety around not drinking. I have made great strides, but this is an area I still need to work on. The same goes for the “poor me, I can’t drink” thoughts that can pop up at dinner parties, which are connected to some social anxiety.

I am working to grow spiritually as well as emotionally, because I know some of my problems are from lack of growth in these areas.

If you are still struggling, I want to encourage you to never give up. I know it takes work. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Keep searching for the best ways to help yourself. If one way isn’t working try something else. I knew I need everything, so I did everything. 

The best gift from being sober is peace of mind.
To all of you dear readers, I not only thank you for your help and support, I wish you a wonderful, glorious day!

With Love on Day 366,
Wendy

42 thoughts on “Happy Year + 1 day to Me!!

  1. a huge well done and hurrah and jumping up and down in excitement to you! you have come so far and achieved SO much. and I love your list – I think number 4 is my favourite. hell I think they are ALL my favourites! thank you too for your company and support on my own path, which I really appreciate. keep growing and learning! Prim xx

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  2. In all my years of drinking, I don't think I learned as much as I did in my first year of not drinking. Now, almost four years later, I'm a genius. ;)Congratulations on a year of freedom!K

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  3. Congratulations! So glad you're having a good time in Minnesota. You deserve it through all the obstacles you've faced this year. Really well done 🙂 Looks like a lot of your hard work has already paid off with all the lessons you've learnt from quitting.Hugs,Francis|Growing Positive

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  4. HI Wendy,Love how you have such a clear and vibrant take on all of this – you seem to have got right down to the essence of what it sober means for you and that is a great place to be. Congratulations and let's keep the momentum rolling onwards!Amazing!Bren

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  5. Huge congrats – 1 day is a massive achievement – well it was for me when I started. A year was something I couldn't imagine. Then I couldn't have imagined more than a decade at all either

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  6. Hi WendyOMG, i thought i had commented but it seems i didnt. i remember reading through all of this vividly, – must have got distracted when i was about to write. cant think what went wrong. ANYWAY, A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU. THIS IS A BRILLIANT ACHIEVEMENT WHICH SHOWS UTMOST STRENGTH OF CHARACTER. YAY TO YOU MY FRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Lisa

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  7. Congratulations! I'm happy to hear you're doing well. When I first saw your photo, I thought you were in a tree house, and I decided that was awesome.It's been 1.5 years since I walked away from teaching – my last gig was in a really toxic, abusive environment – and I'm having a hard time finding myself again, although it's coming back in bright fits and starts, coupled with some really dark troughs.SC

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