What it feels like to be 2 years sober.
On this day 2 years ago I was pushing through a VERY grizzly hangover. The day before, I had got extremely socially excited over a long lunch (those exciting ones we got grab in between lockdowns and pretend that life was normal). I was on anti-depressants that didn’t mix well with alcohol and after too many prosecco’s I was blacked out by 4.30pm. I was a pain in the arse drunk. Stealing people’s drinks, falling over whilst picking up my daughter and yelling at my husband who eventually put me to bed. This was what you might call a ‘last hurrah’. I’d already put my mind to doing The Alcohol Experiment. I’d recognised that me and alcohol were no longer friends and it was holding too much power in my life. Was I ever an everyday drinker? Nup. Did I ever end up in hospital, neglect my family & put myself in dangerous positions? YOU BET.
But this is not a time to recount all the selfish and stupid things I did when I was drinking. This is a time to celebrate. Celebrate my alcohol-free, technicolour life. Sober is an easy word to explain the choice I have made. But living life unencumbered by alcohol is anything BUT sober [serious, sensible, and solemn]. I’m like Dorothy stepping out of the black and white tornado and into the technicolour land of Oz, only I have not desire to go back ‘home’.
When I think of my life BS (Before Sobriety), it’s not all doom and gloom. I had a LOT of fun. I danced my way through my early – mid-twenties. Went on incredible overseas holidays, enjoyed red wine in Tuscany and sangria in San Sebastian. I got married, went to amazing gigs, ate incredible meals, met forever friends. We bonded over shared love of the ‘good times’. I achieved a lot professionally, had a beautiful daughter and ticked a lot of life boxes. I thought I was living a fulfilling life, but I now realise it was murky grey or black and white compared to the amazing technicolour of my life AA (After Alcohol).
In the last 2 years I have repaired the damage I had been doing to my family, gained more confidence than I ever thought possible (I public speak now…WTF??), learnt how to feel my feelings, set and communicate boundaries, left a job that was no longer sparking any joy for me, built a business and a brand, discovered my passion, unleashed my creativity, deepened my friendships and relationships with my family and have a much clearer sense of who I am, my identity. I am standing in my power for the first time in my life.
I’m still doing all the things; the dinners, the gigs, the laughs, the trips, the fun. I’m just present and engaged and content. Has it all been smooth sailing? Of course not. I’ve had times where I have felt tempted. I’ve had time where I’ve felt excluded. I’ve had times when I’ve needed to disappear into a black hole. But to be honest it’s been a lot easier than I expected. A lot easier than BS Amy knew. I am lucky that the path I chose (the Alcohol Experiment) worked for me.
If I could boil this all down (like a non-alcoholic mulled wine) into one word, one term, it would be EXPANSIVE. These 2 years sans alcohol have brought me the biggest gains of my life. I am not alone in this. No one I have come across is having a lesser life experience for having ditched the booze. No one is saying oh gosh I really regret that life decision. Nope. They are too busy telling everyone who will listen just how much better they feel for not drinking.
Thank you for being here, for being part of this journey. Here’s to the nest two years!