Almost a Year without Alcohol

Next month will mark 1 year of no drinking for me! It has been hard, challenging, upsetting etc....but it has also been a guilt free, shameless & proudest time of my life! If this should help anyone I found great solace in practicing yoga.....if anyone told me a year ago that I would refrain from alcohol & take up yoga I would have had him/her committed!!!!! Anyway, that's what I have done....When I am "antsy" which happens on Friday nights mostly, I will take a yoga class & I actually feel better after as I go home refreshed mentally & physically & I then compare this feeling to what I would feel if I were drinking a bottle of wine....It's so hard to be watching a basketball game and seeing a commercial for Jim Bean come on and I would never drink that but yet I feel like jumping in the ad & taking just one sip ( I know for sure the 1 sip for me would lead to a bottle of wine) although I am doing well on my sober journey, it is still at times a struggle but exercise especially yoga has helped. I wish everyone strength & peace!
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  • @ocean, congrats! You are approaching a major milestone, and you earned it. Thank you for sharing, both the good parts, and the parts that you are still working on. It might just be the spark of inspiration that someone else needs to get their own journey progressing.

    It is great that you found something to do that you wouldn't have done while drinking. Even better that this thing is actually healthy and better for you, and that you realize it! The temptation that you have when the ads pop up is normal. Or, at least, even 6 years later I sometimes get a little ping when I see an add or something in the store. But, as you know, those thoughts trying to force a drink us aren't the rational parts of the mind, it's just the addiction. And we've make the choice and the commitment that the addiction won't run (ruin) our lives.

    Keep the faith!
  • @ocean Hey there . Thank you for the update and congratulations on almost one year sobriety! that truly is wonderful ! I find that yoga is a wonderful practice for mind, body, and spirit . Good for you taking up yoga and practicing regularly . I understand that the cravings may come at times, but youve learned some pretty good coping skills along the way , and that's a beautiful thing.

    It's been great journeying with you along the way . Thank you so much for sharing your journey with others , as I'm sure your story has inspired many that read .

    Have a beautiful day.
  • That’s an awesome achievement @ocean, congratulations! And good to hear your insight about the ads. Helps to know to what is reasonable to expect.
  • I'm so proud of you, @ocean! You should be very proud of yourself, too! I think the fact that you're using yoga to bring you solace and replace alcohol is fantastic. Yoga is so relaxing and good for you, both physically and mentally. Keep doing the next right thing, my friend! You are a true inspiration!
  • @ocean congrats!!!!!!!!! I have also had my life saved by yoga and meditation! Can’t wait until i can say I have been sober a year also:) carry on warrior❤️
  • TY everyone for your support!!!!! I need to ask this ? as something is bothering daughter frequently tells me how proud she is of me & mentions how my year of sobrieity is coming up and how this was the best decision of my life as I know my daughter is being very supportive, kind & caring....when she tells me these things I feel like I can't forgive myself for my past. I know this may seem "funny" but I don't want to be defined by my decision, I just want to move on/away from the past & when I hear comments about my sobriety it brings up the past & I feel awful. Does anyone out there know what I mean? I am grateful everyday but I just want to move on......TY!
  • @ocean, 6 years later, and I still think about my sobriety every day. Probably because I am on here 2+ times a day, but still, it pops into my mind. I am not defined by my sobriety, but it is part of who I am now. I'm a non-drinker, and it does come up when out with friends or at a party. Not like it is bad thing, just a, "but you don't drink, so you can drive, right?" or, "We don't need to worry about booze for you, right? Coke's fine?" sort of thing. I also still have those moments of guilt over what I did while a drunk. Not that I dwell on them, but they pop into my skull from time to time, like all memories do, and I am sad or ashamed by them.

    I think that due to the pervasive nature of alcohol in society, it won't ever be possible to move on to the point where it never comes up. I think that totally moving on won't be possible, nor should it be. Those little reminders help ensure one never considers going back.

    For the question at hand with the family members, maybe a conversation about it would help? Maybe say that after the 1 year mark, you've moved beyond needing those little pieces of encouragement, or that the conversations about all the benefits have played out, and there is no need to keep rehashing them? Obviously a little tact goes a long way. I guess. Everyone says I have none, so I don't know.
  • @ocean hey there. i do see your point.... perhaps over time those types of comments will just decrease by nature. sobriety will become more the norm and she will maybe not tell you how proud she is as much (though she will still be proud).

    you can say something to her if you want... or let it ride. offer a simple "thank you! i'm really grateful" and let it go. and then when your ego rises to remind you of your past, blow it off. smile. it's a new season. a great season.

    enjoy it!

  • Hi @ocean, how old is your daughter?

    You are in process of moving on, and as @leaker mentioned, you always will be. There is good in that.

    We can’t change the past, but we can change how we feel about it. At least a little. What if your experiences have set an example for your daughter? Meaning that the past you feel awful about on one half of the example and your choice of sobriety and your life from then on as the other half? What if that helps prevent her from going through her own addiction problems?

    Do you get embarrassed or feel funny or weird in general when people tell you you’re pretty or other kinds of compliments? Kind of out of the blue question, but I have a point. Your daughter is proud of you. That can be overwhelming. Maybe try to reframe that feeling into the example you’re setting, the hard ass work of fighting through to get where you are, and when she tells you she’s proud of you, maybe she’s also telling you that she forgives you for the before stuff. In short, take the compliment with gratitude and see positive.

    Now, the other side of it is also the communication. It’s also very empowering to set the example of communicating how it makes you feel when she tells you that. I would encourage you do it carefully. Not tell her to stop. She’s communicating with you, and you don’t want to send the message that it’s not welcome. But, how she does it, how it makes you feel, those things can be tweaked with the proper intention. And you’re the mom. It’s your place to steer the ship as you navigate this path. All that you’ve done over the last year—you got this. I’m very much in awe, and like @Orlean81, will be glad when I have the time under my belt. But—for the record, am fine with each day, and do not want time to speed up!

    Also, My kids are young, and I have no idea what will come out of their mouths, what they will remember, and so I appreciate you sharing and helping the rest of us envision how we need to prep for similar things.

  • Recovery is a process for everyone, @ocean. Including loved ones. It can take time for everyone to adjust. But if you feel like talking to her about it, I think that’s fine.
  • TY for all your insight & yes I do feel all those things,,,,shame, guilt, embarrassment & the list goes on! I also wish that I never got myself into the place that I was in but I do try to live in the moment & when I get a compliment on my sobriety the flood gates open! It brings up all the worry that I caused my family. Its all shame & guilt! I am moving on in a positive direction & I know it, it's just so overwhelming for me at times! I am blessed to have you all!
  • Hello @ocean! Oh man can I relate to what you’re saying. The shame and guilt of my past and how my alcoholism has effected my family has been the most difficult thing about sobriety. At certain points it was so intense i didn’t think I could deal with it, and sometimes I still don’t think I can... but I can, WE CAN! we are strong enough to deal with the pain. We were built for pain. For me I have been thinking lately... the more I wish the past could be different the more it keeps me a prisoner to living in the mistakes that are done and gone. We simply can’t change what we did. And that totally sucks! But it’s over now.

    Wishing you peace tonight my friend ❤️
  • Thank You! I need the Peace and its comforting knowing that you understand.....I need to break free from the past & its the past that gnaws at me every time I get a compliment re: my sobriety. The only "funny" thing I can share right now is this....Of course I have been invited to an all inclusive summer wedding on the beach (my favorite place) & it was mentioned that I could basically "watch" a few people who are heavy drinkers anyway I firmly stated " I ain't fuckin babysitting!" & it felt good! Imagine ME being asked to be the care taker (not ready for this role yet)! I had to point out that I am still fun & plan to relax & enjoy the trip without worrying about other people (yet I know I will).....This is the last huge drinking event that will cap off my year of not drinking.....I plan on bringing a lot of books & my running sneakers...God Help Me with this one! Enjoy your day & weekend & TY for being here
  • @ocean yes, bring some things that you enjoy doing and indeed enjoy yourself. the beach is a fantastic place to take in the beauty of creation and feel so alive!! and you don't have to babysit anyone...take care of you..... mind, body, and soul.
  • I wouldn't want to "babysit" those peeps either, @ocean!

    Hope your having a great weekend! And so glad you're a part of this community!
  • Hi....I need some maybe a lot of encouragement right now...I am having a hard time...I am feeling the effects of having a day in which I have had a lot of unstructured time & I feel like drinking...which I am not going to do but my system feels so "reved" up to drink. I was off from work, my family was not home, I do not have a good book to read etc.....Have you ever felt like this?
  • @ocean hey there! i hope you're feeling better now..... i'm sorry your day was like that.

    yes, i have had days like that.... i was listening to this guy yesterday and he was talking about how so many have a challenging time with the feelings of emptiness that come when alone.... when they are just sitting there doing nothing and there's no distractions... he says it's the core root of addiction... i think there are other roots too, but that may be one... the "doing" as opposed to just "being"... it's something to think about.

    i was thinking about my carbohydrate addiction. and i'm going to try to test this out.. to sit there and do nothing when the cravings come... breathe. breathe through the craving and underneath, perhaps the feeling of that existential angst... lol we shall see.

    anyway, glad you decided you would not drink. not worth it.....

    how are you today?
  • TY for your insight. I "suffered" the entire day & yesterday all though I was very busy I had a bit of a feeling bad about myself as we were celebrating an event and the champagne was flowing freely & I could not drink any.....I did socialize with everyone & was prepared as I had my mineral water but I felt like I wanted to drink & had thoughts of I have been sober for just about a year (JUNE 11th will be my anniversary of sobriety) & when is this gonna end.....I know never as I can not drink but I still crave it.....Its like, I have done this for a year (lost weight, my BP down, cholesteral down) & now I am feeling a bit down......I wish everyone was sober! I wish you luck with your carb cravings....Enjoy the day!
  • @ocean i'm sorry you're feeling a bit down.... glad you did make it through without picking up a drink though... good for you on that account :)

    i think part of it is just that roller coaster ride of life... the ups and downs... it'll pass (as cliche as that may sound)

    we're here for you and believe in you.
  • @ocean... I'm happy you made it through your hard time. Here's hoping you are feeling at least a little bit better. Sending you love, light, and hugs, my friend.
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