FOUR Years of Life as a Soberista

Me at the start of a very boozy night - which ended badly as ever.

In April 2011 I awoke one morning in a hospital bed, my clothes plastered in my own cold, congealed vomit. It was an earth-shatteringly terrible moment in my life but one that led me finally to understand that the game was up – I could no longer fight the fight with my long-standing love, alcohol. I have never touched booze since that night, and I’ve come a very long way in almost all aspects of my life as a result.

Fortunate, and I never forget it. I am a lucky bugger. I woke up to the fact that alcohol was at the root of pretty much all the shit in my life. And when I was only thirty-five. I thank my lucky stars almost every day that I saw the writing on the wall and that I read it, understood it with such profound clarity that I was able to indisputably quit drinking for good. Things could have stayed as they were and I may not have ever come to recognise alcohol for what it actually is – a potentially lethal substance that draws you in repeatedly with promises that this time will be different, this time you will be able to moderate how much of the stuff you drink. I was very fortunate to see all of this. I’m very fortunate to still be here.

Over it. It took a while, and many, many books about stopping drinking (thanks Jason Vale, again), and days and weeks of soul-searching, and hundreds of miles of running, and hours and hours of meditation, and untold glorious moments of appreciation for the small stuff, and the love of friends and family, and the interaction with the fabulous people of Soberistas – but eventually, I got over it. I got over booze. I stopped fretting that my life would be dull without it. I stopped missing it when I went out. I stopped not cooking pasta because I couldn’t eat it without craving a large glass of red. I stopped staying in the house at night because I couldn’t face socialising without being off my head on drink. I got over my dependency. My life moved on.

Unrecognisable. In some respects I am unrecognisable from the person I was when I drank. In a lot of ways I am totally changed; I’m fitter, I’m calmer, I don’t live a calamitous life that throws me uncaringly from bad situation to worse situation, I look younger, my priorities are in the correct order, I am in control of my world. In other regards I am the same – stubborn, a bit silly, prone to the odd moment of impetuous behaviour just to get a thrill. But essentially the negative components of my existence have all but disappeared and I am fairly content with how things now look on the landscape of my life. Things have changed a lot, for the better.

Right. Stopping drinking was the right thing for me to do. I never needed it. I didn’t need to quieten my mind, or boost my confidence in social situations, or wipe out emotional pain that would have healed faster if only I had allowed myself to feel it as it occurred. There was no need for me to cover up my personality with that of a loudmouth party girl. I was fine as I was. I didn’t need to force myself to fit into situations that I didn’t feel comfortable in, or to blend in with people with whom I had nothing in common. I would never have been able to moderate my alcohol consumption therefore becoming a Soberista was my only choice if I was to enjoy a happy and fulfilling life, and to do my best to provide the same for my gorgeous girls. I was right to forge ahead with my belief that living completely alcohol-free was a good choice for me. It was the best decision I have ever made.

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23 thoughts on “FOUR Years of Life as a Soberista

  1. liz says:

    Very well written, as always. I really look forward to the next installment from you, Lucy.
    I just wish I could find the conviction and clarity that you have found. I must try harder to face the reality of what alcohol really does for me, which is to throw my life into intolerlable chaos from which I emerge each time, slightly more damaged and,so more likely to relapse again.
    I do believe, that the longer a person manages to remain sober, the more they heal and the greater their chances of living their whole life sober. Look forward to your next post, Liz,

  2. Jennifer Sword says:

    Congratulations on four years, and thanks so much for your wonderful blog! I have been following you since day one and am now three years sober myself. Every word you say resonates with me and I always feel inspired after reading one of your posts. All the best, Jennifer

  3. Thank you for all the help you are giving to all of us. Your shares have brought insight, encouragement, further resolve, as well as CELEBRATION of alcohol free life.

    Keep doing what you are doing! Sharing hope and life with others! Blessings, Sue

    >

  4. sue says:

    just got back from women only SMART meeting to read this – thank you. if you did not see it player BBC4 biggest band breakups – thought of you as Johnny Marr was on.!

  5. “I would never have been able to moderate my alcohol consumption therefore becoming a Soberista was my only choice if I was to enjoy a happy and fulfilling life,” This is the point I’ve reached, thanks Lucy – love your blog and being a member of your website is helping tremendously.

  6. Stephanie says:

    It’s like reading an article I would write in my future! I’m still trying to convince myself to stop, which is ridiculous. The hardest part for me is my husband. How can one quit when their spouse is always wanting to drink?

    • trish says:

      As long as he isn’t sitting on you and pouring it down your throat, all you have to do is not drink. Simple – not always easy. If he were drinking drain cleaner to get high, would you do it because he is? There are always people around you, drinking. You will not get away from that. What do YOU want to do? If it is making you sick, stop. You will not regret it, and you may inspire the spouse to stop too. =D

  7. Patti says:

    Just such a great piece to read Lucy. You have put it so eloquently that I feel so proud to be a few months right behind ya girl. You have helped so many people with your blog. That is the true mission of staying sober…to pay it forward!

  8. emma says:

    I am recently sober, having tried for many years ,hundreds of day 1’s and so many failures…thankyou for your blog its uplifting ang gives so much hope…xxxx

  9. Colin says:

    I’ve just hit 50 and have rarely gone a week since the age of 18 without nullifing some “issue” with wine/beer. I’ve never hidden alcohol around the house, never drink spirits and have days where I don’t drink a drop, so I suppose i’m not an alcoholic. I do, however, use it as a bad solution to personal issues. I also find any attempt at healthy eating and better health is completely destroyed by Shiraz. Replacing this craving with a non-alcoholic panacea is my goal going forward. Your blog is very encouraging – thank you.

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