When I was first toying with the idea of sobriety, I searched everywhere for other people like me who were already sober. Sober mentors, if you will. Molly Soda is who really inspired me to go through with it.
It was challenging to find girls like me who were sober. Transitioning from a partying lifestyle to an alcohol-free one was daunting and there weren't a lot of examples to follow.
So I am writing this to be an example if anyone is looking. I've been sober for over a year and a half. I don't think about it that much anymore. I now have way more sober memories than drunk ones. It seems strange to me how much of my 20s and early 30s are just gone in blackouts. I had so much fun, but I don't remember a lot of it. Did I just think I had fun? Who knows? I wasn't there.
Writing this kind of wakes up the urge though. I still occasionally dream about drinking, but now it's just a detail rather than the dream topic. I'm not all, "Omg I'm so bad I'm drinking this vodka," I just remember there were alcoholic drinks on the table...
I am happy to report that I have totally rewired my coping mechanisms to function without alcohol. When I don't have alcohol to numb my mind, I turn to other things like weed and tv and food, and I had a 6 month fling with kratom. I loved the kratom, but started to get too into it. It's a phase, not a lifestyle.
Even though I still find myself numbing with other things, I sure as fuck remember it all. I remember everything. Actually, my memory isn't WAY better than it was when I was drinking... but that's probably the pot.
I haven't had a hard drug since quitting either, which is a pretty cool triumph. Not a single fun pill. I really have no desire either. Drinking constantly made me pretty exhausted, so it was no wonder I was always searching for uppers. Or painkillers for hangovers. No more!
Once in a while I catch myself noticing all the things I do that wouldn't have been possible with a hangover. Keeping up with the laundry. Taking out the trash. Basic chores just seem to do themselves. I always have the energy to get out of bed and take care of a few things. Aside from maybe one day in the winter, I don't think I've stayed in bed all day once in the past 1.6 years.
For the first year, I definitely felt FOMO about bars and drinking-centric events. I mostly felt sad that I wasn't fun anymore. I wasn't the wild one getting everyone to do shots and go cray. That was my JAM to be that person. Now I sit pretty quietly, sipping my diet coke, ready to leave when you are!
Sometimes though, I go to a party or a dinner and I have such a wonderful time, and I'm dead fucking sober. And it's so fun, because of the company, or because we're playing with flow toys, or there's just a genuine connection between me and the experience. I have fun, child-like, without alcohol. It is possible!
It is now way easier to NOT drink than it would be to start up again. Just today Kelly was telling me about an Osho passage, where a monk tries helping a thief. The monk tells the thief, "You can still steal, just be totally conscious when you do it." So the thief tries, but finds he can't--because he no longer has the unconscious forces driving him.
Alcohol is similar for me. If someone told me, "You can still drink, just be totally conscious when you do it," I wouldn't want to drink. I want to drink to BE UNCONSCIOUS. And that's not really my life plan anymore. I'm aiming for total consciousness. Life is just more fun. And more deep.
I do really miss the wild nights and chance happenings. The openness that happens when you hang out with people who party. The saying yes, going with the flow, the laughter. I miss being the underbelly of society really.
But I don't miss the drama. I don't miss the hangovers. I don't miss the fights, the weight gain, the canceled plans. I don't miss the barfing. At all.
Sometimes I really do want to throw it away and be "tortured" again. I want to have depth and demons and a substance that chases them away. But I've been there, and that existence was hollow and hard.
My biggest lesson is that drinking didn't solve my problems or change my habits. I still get up late. I still stay up late. I still wish I exercised more. Quitting drinking didn't make me suddenly a healthy well adjusted person. But it did allow me to make some new habits like working out at home, and brushing my teeth before bed.
I used to worry a lot about being uptight, or not fun anymore. But I think I'm slowly loosening up, on my own. The more I focus on opening and loosening and relaxing sober, the more I'm able to do it. I just never learned. Alcohol did a lot of things for me my entire adult life, so I never learned how to relax on my own or deal with anxiety.
The time I most want to drink is on road trips. Car travel is something that really stresses me out and I'm working on it! I just have to remember "I am the origin of the wave". What happens is the wave, and I can't stop it. But I can change the tune of the original signal. I can change what I'm projecting into the world, and then my experiences reflect it.
Instead of just protecting myself from my own sloppy thoughts with a bottle of vodka, I am learning to create a world I don't have to protect myself from. I am learning to be open, and to let go, and to love myself, and to be totally conscious.