What is the way to happiness? Being totally sober. Waking up on a Saturday and the only hangover you have is from the homemade caramel popcorn and staying up too late watching movies that were clean and wholesome enough for the kiddies to watch.
I was recently inspired by a fellow sober sister visiting my site. I don’t think about sobriety that much these days. I have enjoyed it around 8 years and this just seems like normal life. I take it for granted. I’d like to celebrate it for a moment, though.
In AA they celebrate sober birthdays. Every year is a big deal. I haven’t been involved with AA for many years so I’m thinking that my birthday was either November 8th or 9th. I really should celebrate. However, according to AA you have to be completely clean…not even a sip. Some are even weird about O’douls (a nonalcoholic beer because there is a .5%). I have enjoyed many O’douls over the span of sober living and O’doul and I got sober together. I started choosing my O’doul pal over real drink long before I got “sober”. It took more time to let go of my marijuana habit. I also have had a 1/2 glass of wine within the 7 or 8 years. I do not recommend this but it happened and it didn’t lead me to more. I hate drinking. I still suffer the memories and guilt from my drinking days. Drinking is only fun the first few drinks and then it is totally destructive, dark, and poisonous. It caused me many problems, many pains, lost friendships, an abortion, disgusting unions with creeps, shame beyond shame. If Satan is real, this is his world.
And now I live on the other side. I have a beautiful life, a handful of good, loving friendships, a great family of my own, a fun and charmed life. I love thinking about my life and rehashing memories from the beginnings of my getting sober. The days before are dark and filled with depression and despair. The days after are filled with sunshine.
When I became sober and gave up smoking, both, marijuana and cigarettes, I became so empowered, the healing was so great, my life shifted dramatically. My life actually began in earnest. I wrote books, acted in a play, married, had babies, and now I have self-published all kinds of books and have this blog that is used to continue to share and inspire others, including my own self.
I have slipped up with smoking pot a few times this last year. I was sober for 6 or more years before I attempted this trick. It has been infrequent, however, I noticed that it is pretty toxic itself. I feel so lethargic, blue, and lifeless mentally, physically after a night of smoking. I enjoy it immensely at the time but the hangovers suck and I just have such a good and busy life, two little ones to tend to, and tons of writing. I have created such a wholesome life that I can’t go back. I would never want to. This last time I had a friend visit and smoked I knew after that I had no desire to keep that habit up. It has such a low vibration and you just can’t ride the fence like that.
I got sober in Mendocino where many people get sober but continue smoking pot. They never truly get happy or ahead. If you are going to be sober do it completely! Get rid of it all! No pot, no pills, no once in awhile. It just doesn’t work that way. You will never get to know how amazing it is to be completely sober and the incredible life that awaits you.
I don’t miss parties or pubs anymore. I don’t go out with those that drink heavy and I haven’t been to a drinking party in years. I love parties that are about food and music, talking and dancing. That is true celebration.
After you have been sober at least a year you will get to know a whole new person. You will recreate yourself from a clear and lovely stance. You may grow a spiritual practice ( I highly recommend this) and learn that you aren’t such the atheist you thought you were. You will discover life without shame, debt, drama (well, the drama may take some more time). You will discover real and true friendships. You will definitely find out who your friends are.
It can be the most exciting time of your life if you surrender to the process, get support such as going to AA meetings, and don’t blame God for what is your own bad choices. Take responsibility, do whatever you have to in getting sober, do everything you have to do in getting sober. The payoff is HUGE.
I suggest you find meetings that you really like. Some AA meetings are depressing and some are great. I remember going to meetings in Marin that were in lovely little churches with candlelight, great baked goods, great coffee and tea, and I speak that would share inspiring stories. I have been to miserable little meetings in basements with cold shitty coffee, no snacks to make up for it, a few scraggly people that have been sober for years but are the most miserable souls you will meet. Find meetings with your kind of people and a positive atmosphere. Getting sober can be fun. You are starting a new life that you will grow to love once you stop missing the old life.
You must create a new life and fast. You will miss that old life and all it will take is a bad day at work to backslide and find yourself calling up an old drinking buddy and throwing back some wine. If you create new friends, daily meetings (at first this is sometimes necessary), new memories, new fun, new hobbies…then if you do slip one day you probably won’t enjoy it as much as you missed it and will be eager to get back to the fabulous sober life. Also, getting sober is lonely work. You can’t go hang with the drinking friends and I assure you they won’t be into hanging out with you eating crackers and cheese without the wine.
Don’t get lonely, don’t get bored. Fill up the huge void of nondrinking with activities, new hobbies, sports, education, self-improvement, art, dance, reading, baking. Get busy, get productive, rest when you need it, take naps, bake cookies when you need to, hold up in your house and watch movies all night, get out with new sober friends, go to sober parties and potlucks. The first year is the hardest. It gets easier and easier as time goes by. Get my Queen of Sober at Amazon. It has all the steps to get through the first year of hell to joy.