Right this moment, I am sitting in my home drinking my Starbucks and watching Murder shows on TV. It’s Monday morning of a holiday weekend and my son is still at his dads. I got up and went to the store early, vacuumed the house and I’m getting ready to start my laundry. Boring, right?
I love my uneventful life. Today is a fresh canvas and I can do whatever I want with it! The best part is that I know when I go to bed tonight, I will remember every moment because I will be sober.
I am so close to my 1 year of sobriety, I can see it over the horizon. It’s an amazing feeling. If you had asked me a year ago about quitting, I would have laughed at you. Seriously. I would have thought you were crazy! Why would I quit – especially during a pandemic! I had moments when I thought about quitting – many of them. But I was very good at lying to myself. It is crazy when I think about June of 2020 vs July of 2020. What a difference!
Today, I live a very quiet, simple life. Boring to most, I would assume. I am very much a home body. I was that way before the pandemic, but now I have safely been in my home for a year, venturing out only when necessary. It’s hard for me to think about going out and doing things now that life is easing into a more normal state. Either way, I will continue to do what I feel comfortable with; staying home more, cuddling with my son, watching Law & Order repeats on TV. I sometimes I think I am wasting my sobriety by not getting out and taking on new adventures. But I realize, my sober life is the adventure. And I can’t expect everything about me to change just because I stopped drinking.
I’m really good at beating myself up. Honestly, if I could burn calories for it, I wouldn’t have a weight problem! Now that I’m sober, I feel like I should be doing so many things; in my mind, I am convinced I have no excuse for not going out and enjoying the sunshine, getting out more and being more willing to explore, take my son to do things. And I feel guilty for not doing more.
But, I realize, being sober doesn’t mean I am a different person than I was. Yes, I don’t drink anymore. That gives me so much more time everyday and night to do more things. I feel every feeling and watch moments flutter by with a clear head, but I am still the overweight, divorced, single mother of one that loves to sit and watch “Law and Order” repeats, write in my journal, scour Facebook for the latest news from distant friends, text with my sister, play solitaire on my computer and eat ice cream sandwiches as if the freezer was failing and I have to consume or throw them away.
I think part of me thought getting sober would change everything about me. Maybe that was a ‘hope’; I would become the person I think I’m supposed to be. But quitting drinking didn’t make me a different person – it made me more myself. I am no longer drowning out parts of myself with booze. I am living each day as me. The person I have been trying to escape for probably 35 of my 50 years. I’m not magically someone that loves spending time outside. I’m still not creative. I still hate mushrooms. I’m still terrified of spiders. I still have very thin, fine hair that won’t hold a curl. I am still overly sensitive and cry easily. To be honest, quitting drinking hasn’t changed any of my “issues” other than getting sober. And you know what, that’s fine. Because the drinking was overshadowing everything else.
Now that I don’t drink, I think about the other things I should change about myself. I need to get my weight in check. It’s no longer about how I look but how I feel. I want to be healthy and be able to move and do things with my son for many years to come. Many of the things I think I need to change are things I have convinced myself are ‘not ok’. For instance, I am not one that likes to sit outside in the sunshine. I would rather stay home than go out. I am not good at “playing”, which is hard when my son wants to play with me. I’m emotional, I love TV, and hate exercise. These are some of the things I’ve convinced myself are “bad” traits. Things I think I should change. But why?
Honestly, other than being overweight, none of these things are “bad”. Somehow I have convinced myself they aren’t the ‘right’ things. But I have learned something else since I quit drinking – it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter if I sit in my house and watch tv or I take a hike. It won’t change who I am as a person. If something really bugs me, then I will find a way to change it. But the fact is, I am a kind, caring, big-hearted person. I know I am taking care of myself by getting sober and I am trying to be healthy. Mostly, I am learning how to love myself for who I am. And after years of numbing out with Alcohol and not even knowing who that person is – that’s a huge step and it’s enough for today.
Thanks for reading! ~ Ms. K