It only took a few days of being alcohol-free for me to realize that everything in my entire life seemed to slow down.
I mean slow down so much that I thought I was going to die of boredom.
So much time I’d spent thinking about drinking, thinking about not drinking, recovering from a hangover, and planning my next drink. Suddenly, I had a lot more space in my head. Empty space. I would catch myself thinking about not needing to think about drinking. I would catch myself wanting to drink when I got bored, and I would remind myself that’s not what we do anymore.
In the beginning, one thing I loved about my new sobriety was all the extra time that I got back, and the one thing I hated about my new sobriety was all the extra time I got back. It was difficult at first to see the opportunity instead of what it felt like: boring. A boring life sentence. Could there be anything worse?
Slowly, I adjusted to my new normal and stopped fighting my “poor me.” I figured I needed to fill that time and space with something else, since drinking was no longer an option. I actually had to dig deep to figure out what it was that I liked to do…other than drink. It wasn’t easy!
I was never a reader; I became a voracious reader. I was never a writer, and I now run a blog on three different platforms and have been published in magazine journals 11 times. I took singing lessons for the first time. I’ve always wanted to have just one or two songs I could confidently belt out just for fun. I enjoy paint by number canvasses and started walking the dog much more after dinner time. I have a passion for landscaping and gardening and making my home look as nice as possible.
My life is now filled with things that I enjoy doing and that feed my soul. I created new healthy habits and routines that make me feel good. I began to eat better food and drink more water. I started listening to more music. I started taking better care of myself—and drinking alcohol is not self-care.
I couldn’t stop drinking on my own and finally asked my doctor for help. By taking responsibility for my drinking, I ultimately took the control back for my life.
For a long time, I thought that alcohol was the one thing that was keeping me going. I’ve since come to find out, it was the one thing that was holding me back.