Saturday, 3 September 2016

18 MONTHS SOBER!

Time does funny things.

When you first quit drinking, it slows right down. That hour between 6pm and 7pm seems to take a lifetime. Each day you climb a mountain, every week you cross a continent.

But then, one day, you realise that time is speeding up again. You can't keep track of the days any longer, so you start counting in months.

Now I've lost track of even the months. The last six have flown by. It took one of my readers to remind me (thank you, lovely LushNoMore), that for her, and me, this is one and a half years.

I was looking at my children as they're getting ready to start the new school year, and thinking about the lives they have ahead of them.

When you're a child, anything is possible.

It's like standing in a vast hall, surrounded by open doors - hundreds of them circling around you. And, as you look up, you realise that there are many storeys above you, more than you can count, of wide open doors.

Through each door is an adventure. You can become an astronaut, an astronomer, an astrologer. You could find a cure for cancer, be an Olympic cyclist or paint a masterpiece.

Then, as you get older, the doors start to close. You're now too tall to be a ballerina, too old to be a supermodel, too big to be a professional gymnast. You don't have the right A levels for medical school.

One day, around middle age, you look around you and realise that the vast hall of open doors is now a small room with only a few potential exits. It's just too late for a do-over. Every decision you've made in the past has narrowed your options for the future until it's all just more of the same.

No wonder we drink.

And that was me eighteen months ago. Depressed, fat, broke. Sipping on the endless glasses of Chablis while thinking about what might have been if I'd walked through one door rather than another.

And the thought of quitting booze feels like giving up more options, more potential adventures. Not only is life becoming increasingly dull and predictable, but you have to do it all sober. Are you kidding?

But, you know what?

Since I quit drinking, the extraordinary thing is that the room I'm standing in has got bigger and bigger. Every time I look around there are more doors I can walk through.

I've got more energy, more self respect, more time. I've lost that nagging anxiety and fear of failure, replaced by the feeling that anything is possible.

Gradually, all the pounds I've saved by not buying wine have added up, so I'm completely debt free. No credit cards, no overdraft.

And, now I'm twenty six pounds (12 kilos) lighter, even my fashion options have expanded. I no longer have to stick to black, stretchy and forgiving.

My life is totally unrecognisable.

So please don't worry that putting down the glass will make your life smaller. It's going to open up possibilities you never imagined.

Soren Kierkegaard says it much better than I ever could:

If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating as possibility!

Love to you all,

SM x

26 comments:

  1. Congratulations! What an achievement. I have really benefitted from your blog and am now proudly 4 1/2 months booze free. When I struggle with 'Is that it really, forever?' moments, it is so helpful to read your positive messages. Looking forward to opening some new doors of my own! X

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  2. Congratulations! And thank you! Thank you for sharing and taking us with you these past 18 months. You are a joy to read- even in the rough and tough times. You have given so much to me and I know to so many others.

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  3. Yey! Happy 18 Month Soberversary! What an amazingly achievement. Those baby steps really do lead to incredible leaps of faith. I am still no lighter (I've put on a stone) but am battling my demons now so hope to be svelt and sober before my next milestone. Keep up the great work! LNM x

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  4. I loved this post! I, too, feel like my room is getting bigger again. Congratulations! You are an inspiration to us all!

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  5. Congratulations on 18 months !! Excellent stuff ! I am so thankful for your blog, reading your regular entries has helped me through too !! Next week I'll be at 6 months and I'm pretty pleased with that !!

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  6. Congrats! You're a month ahead of me. I don't know if my room has gotten bigger yet, but it's cleaner, in much better order and I can see the doors and windows (and even open some to let in fresh air and light) now that I've cleaned out a lot a junk.

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  7. Wonderful achievement! Wonderful post! Fabulous quote!!
    And, milord! The impact you have made on so many, lives, SM!! Just by being sharing and encouraging. Who would ever have thought??

    The start of September means I've completed eight months with nothing about my behavior to be disgusted by, ashamed or guilty-feeling about...Who would have ever thought??

    Hurrah for you! And all of us! And, thank you. Just...thank you.

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  8. Congratulations! I'm so happy for ME that you made this journey, because without YOU I wouldn't have thought it possible. Thank you. xo

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  9. Huge Congrats SM. You inspire me everyday xx

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  10. Completely inspiring message, which I needed to hear today. I have been steadily closing down doors - they need opening. Annie x

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    1. It's good to see you back Annie!

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  11. Huge congratulations on 18 months and thank you for continuing to inspire with your wonderful blogs! Xx

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  12. Huge congratulations SM. Can't believe its 18 months thats amazing. Love the doors analogy never thought like that before. Been feeling a bit "Meh" lately at 4 1/2 months so this has rather perked me up thank you. X

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  13. Wonderful post SM and many congratulations on your achievement and how you have made it work for you. Very excited to see what happens through all those doors! Have a great week. And thank you.

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  14. Well done you! And I thank God, and you if course, that you started your blog, kept it up and that I found it. I would not have considered stopping as an option nor believed it was possible for me to stop. I am now 16 months af and have got my life back xxxx

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  15. Yay! Congratulations SM, you're a constant source of inspiration. Xx

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  16. Congratulations! And, I have to say, this is one of your best blogs yet-that' saying a lot, because all of your blog posts are outstanding. Isn't it wonderful to once again know that "everything is possible?" I have a newly sober friend who just started taking ballet lessons. Good for us, the brave and the young at heart!

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  17. beautifully written message! I often feel my life is boring and without fun or purpose. Drinking gave me a false hobby and an mock-interesting life. I need to remember that every day is a new chance to be alive and not just live. You are an inspiration SM!

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  18. Congratulations on 18 months SM! I am so happy for you. Love the quote! A x

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  19. Congrats on 18 mths. 8 mths AF for me - and like so many others - could not have done it without you. You rock lady!! Love SFM

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    1. Huge congrats SFM! It was all your own work! You're awesome xxx

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  20. Amazing SM. It's been one heck of a journey hasn't it? Well done you raising an alcohol free Jupiler in your honour! Big hugs, xx

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  21. Amazing, I will keep this post forever. Thank you

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