How did I used to view sober people?
Updated: Mar 21
I happened to look at the app today that calculates how many days sober I am. 470 days. When I think about the last year, 3 months and 13 days, all I feel is grateful. That is usually the word that comes to mind when I reflect on my progress. I am so happy for the choice I made to stop drinking. Not a day goes by where I wish I still participated in that lifestyle. I never regret getting sober. Everyday, when I was still actively drinking, I lived with regrets. I woke up each morning with a sick feeling in my stomach. I would text friends, looking for validation of my bad habits and comfort in my distress, and they would always give it to me. On the inside, I was constantly disappointed in myself.
Not many people had the ability to tell me, well maybe it's the alcohol doing this to you. No one could see that. Not even my husband.
About four years ago, after a particularly boozie weekend, I remember complaining to a friend about my hangover. She told me how her brother had stopped drinking and it helped him feel better. It made his anxiety go away. That blew my mind. I remember feeling such fear that that was where my life was headed. Was that what I would eventually have to do? Would I have to quit drinking completely? I couldn't fathom it. I was nothing like her brother. I felt BADLY for her brother. He seemed so pathetic and sad. I remember wondering, what did he do on the weekends now that he couldn't drink?
Back then, I promised myself that I would never allow my drinking to get so bad that I would be forced to quit. I would never sink to that level of having to say goodbye to alcohol. I would never get to such a LOW point that I would need to actually stop. That was how I viewed getting sober. As such a pathetic and sad state. My life would be over if I couldn't drink. That was how I used to think. My mind was so brainwashed by alcohol.
Now, on this side of sobriety, my life is anything but over. I was constantly running. I always was hiding. And for so long, I was lying to myself - terrified of the truth. I feel like I can finally stop avoiding my life, and I can just live. I can be me.
Sobriety has given me a new perspective. I regret ever thinking that alcohol was so important. I am sad for the girl I used to be and I regret about how many years I wasted in that mindset. I am sad for allowing alcohol to control me for as long as it did and for letting it darken my thinking for the last two decades. I am sad for the friends I have lost that likely now see me in this light - the way I used to look at those that are sober. But it is the drug. It is unforgiving.
I can only focus on my happiness. Living my truth. Doing the things that bring my joy. I will continue this path, even though it is hard to sometimes not look back on my past self. No, I never want alcohol to be part of my life again. Yet, it is hard not to feel disappointed in the person that made it the focus of her life for twenty years. But I need to show compassion for that girl. So many of us are imperfect, and we are all doing the best we can. I must be kind to myself, because I am grateful. At 470 days sober, look at all I have done.