It may be less than astounding to say that sobriety completely changed my life, but it did in so many ways I couldn’t have expected and some I wasn’t even prepared for. When I started this journey, I didn’t know what the end game was. 30 days, a year? Now I know it is a life changer and it is a permanent part of my life. This year the anxiety and depression have been so intense. So many nights I cried myself to sleep when Billy was sick from chemo right next to me. I have felt more alone, sad and stressed this year than I think I ever have in my lifetime. But I felt it. Every damn painful moment of it.
I remember a friend asking a few months ago if I was still not drinking and I said, “thank god, I stopped drinking, my kids would not have a mother this year if I was”. His response was “that’s a little dramatic”. I don’t think it was dramatic at all. It was a very true statement. The anxiety and depression I battled this year has been extreme. I do not even want to think of where I would be if I was still drinking and partying.
Over the last two years SO MANY THINGS HAVE CHANGED! I want to scream it from the rooftops and put so many things into words, but I am not even sure where to start. I decided to put together a list of things that impacted me the most when it comes to sobriety.
You always have to answer why
So, fucking annoying!!! But you come to realize it is what it is. Guys, sober is not a curse word! All it means is I used to drink and now I don’t. If someone says, I don’t drink, or I am doing 30 days sober or I am sober, say things like awesome, congrats, you must feel good! It isn’t a bad thing; it means they are choosing a healthier lifestyle!
This was one of the most painful parts of this process. I didn’t expect to have so many people drift away from me. I was the one who shared my love with everyone. I would throw birthday parties, help people whenever they needed it, I truly loved my friends with all of my heart. I didn’t expect to lose friends the way I did. It isn’t negative or bad, I just think they couldn’t relate to me anymore. So, they stopped checking in and eventually people I thought were family that were going to be in my life forever have gone in another direction.
I had to relearn how to DJ
DJing without the shots of Patron took me a minute to find my footing. That was my liquid courage. It makes me sad that I disconnected myself from something I love so much for so long. I love dancing. I love feeling the music. Not drinking allows me to stay connected to those vibes and carry them with me for longer periods of time.
I wake up every day at 5am now. I am so much more productive! I used to stay awake almost every night until 5am. Add in two kids and I was on a path to self-destruction.
I will never touch a drug again.
Once I became a mom, I knew I didn’t want to be doing the same dumb things that I did in college and in my 20’s. Things weren’t changing though, I was still living the same life. I told myself the story that I was the “party girl”. What was my identity without that title? I hated the way I felt after I partied. It felt gross. I was not showing up as the mom I wanted to be. When I was drinking the drugs came hand in hand. Without alcohol, I am never even tempted to do a drug. Goodbye anxiety-causing agents, that dimmed my light!
My kids will never have to see me drunk.
The idea of my kids seeing me drunk makes me sick to my stomach. I guess maybe it is because I remember watching my family get drunk when I was younger. You are observing as a child not understanding why they are being silly, or why they can’t keep their balance correctly. The energy feels really uncomfortable as a kid. My kids will never see me like this. This makes my heart so happy.
I can talk about my emotions.
This year the stress was unbearable times. Even more, than the stress was keeping my fear at bay. The fear and the unknown create anxiety. Trying to keep your mind calm so you don’t go to those dark places is hard, but it can be done. I was able to talk to my fiancé and friends when days were really hard. I was able to say I am depressed, and I could work through the feelings. The old Amanda would have kept them bottled up and masked them with booze until they exploded like a volcano. Being able to talk and in return have your feelings validated is an amazing feeling. Not all days are good. You can accept the bad days and move through them rather than trying to hide them in a closet, only for them to show back up later.
I realize I will probably always want a drink.
Yes, you read that correctly. I have been sober for two years and I still think about drinking. It is crazy that a chemical can have so much control over your body and mind when you haven’t even touched it in so long. The last few months have been so stressful, there have been a few times where I think “maybe a drink wouldn’t be so bad”. I have had to have little talks with myself to ask myself questions to see if that is a door I really want to open again. I always come to the same answer, NO.
It is crazy how hardwired our brains are. Bad news let’s have a drink. Good news let’s have a drink to celebrate! We have been brought up in a society that trains us to think this way and it forever changes our brain chemistry. It has been a complete mind-fuck to realize I may always feel this way. So yes, my body may always crave a drink but I know my heart and soul do not want one.
I show up for myself.
This one has been the toughest thing for me to do this year. I have been a caretaker, the sole provider for the family and a mom. I started my dream business right before this chaos started and I have had to realize it is okay if I don’t get everything done and that it will grow in time. I have had to really look at what is going to help me physically, emotionally and financially.
There are days that I am too depressed or overwhelmed and I reach out to friends. I have learned to ask for help (most of the time lol). I am blessed to have so many beautiful people around me that have shown up for me. This, in turn, has allowed me to show up for myself.
So many amazing people and opportunities have come into my life.
Have you heard the statement “light attracts light”? You attract the vibration that you put out into the universe. I love this statement and a beautiful soul who went out of her way and gave me an amazing opportunity sent this to me again yesterday. I have been blessed this year to have so many amazing opportunities and people come into my life and show up for me in ways I never could have imagined. I will pay every single ounce of it forward.
I found my superpower.
My super power is……… okay, maybe I am not completely sure yet but I do know I am on my path.
I am proud of Crystalline Tribe. We are creating a community that will help people shift perspectives and find tools that will help them succeed in this crazy life. I got my Reiki Master this year and I am now completing a Meditation Teacher Course. I want to help young people navigate through all the chaos with positive tools, so they don’t get sucked into drugs and alcohol as I did.
Today, I am 2 years sober and this is one of the best things I have ever done and also the hardest. Drinking and checking out is easy. Doing the work and facing all your emotions is hard. If you are sober curious or feel like alcohol just doesn’t have a place in your life anymore, you can change it. I won’t lie. It isn’t always the easiest path at times, but It will be the best decision you ever made.
I am blessed to have a network of people that help me. If you need help or are interested in what options are out there please reach out, firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t know if I have the answer, but I can try to find you a resource to point you in the right direction.
- Amanda (@missdjlux) ❤️