Contemplating milestones

Hi all. I’m still here and still sober. I’ve really been neglecting this blog but it’s mainly for the best of reasons with a light sprinkling of laziness and procrastination thrown in. I’ve recently been feeling pretty inspired and have been busy working on creative projects. I have the kind of clarity of mind and the ability to focus that has been missing for a long, long time due to my drinking. I don’t plan to waste it. I’m also busy at work, it’s silly season in retail, meh!

Now I am starting to see my one year date on the horizon. I’m not taking anything for granted but I’m also not fearful that I won’t make it. I remember when lasting three days was a struggle and when thirty seemed impossible. Now I’m feeling very fortunate that I’ve done more than ten (and a half) of those in a row.

Looking through some old notebooks I found notes making plans to do a ‘YOLS’. I’d forgotten about that. It was my discreet acronym for a year of living sober. I’m not sure when it was from but I think it may even predate this blog. I’ve evidently been thinking about this for such a long time and now, finally, I find myself contemplating this significant milestone.

I’ve previously tried to imagine this point many times. As with so many of our fears or expectations, most of what I imagined doesn’t match the reality.

I imagined that the decision whether or not to drink again at this stage would be one still based on struggle and fear. Maybe I’d want to try drinking again but I’d be too scared of it all escalating again? I thought I’d be torn – do I? Don’t I? Instead I find myself ready to renew my sober vow to myself out of excitement, curiosity and determination. Not what I was expecting but, I’ll take it!

I visualise this as being like hiking up a big mountain, it’s probably the best way to express how I’m feeling. The beginning of the hike was dreadful. Every step took a huge amount of effort. I had no idea how I was going to keep going. Everything hurt, I was unfit and ill-prepared. The summit looked a million miles away. As the days, weeks and months passed I got fitter, stronger and more experienced and the steps forward became progressively easier. It’s not all been plain sailing (or hiking). At times I felt exhausted and demotivated and wanted to just give up and slide back down the mountain. Many times I wondered if it was all really necessary or worth it. At other times I felt all pink cloudy and fired up, confidently striding onwards and upwards. It’s definitely been a mixed year.

Now, the one year summit is in sight. I’m feeling fit and strong and the final few weeks of the hike don’t intimidate me. I know there are always opportunities to slip or fall but I keep my eyes carefully on the path ahead. The idea of drinking again when I finally reach the summit now seems as crazy as doing a real hike up a mountain and then not bothering to stop and admire the view. Why on earth would I waste all that effort?

I have thought that making it to one year would somehow be the end of the process but now I suspect it’s actually going to be a new beginning. Now I’ve got to the stage where I’m spending very little mental energy on not drinking it’s all been freed up to do other stuff that I couldn’t focus on before. I’m not big on new years’ resolutions, never have been, but I’ve vowed that 2018 is the year I’m finally going to make my creative stuff pay. The quality and consistency of my work has definitely increased in the last few months.

I can feel a return of the positivity and determination that I had when I was younger. That feeling that even though stuff might be hard, I can DO shit. Also that feeling that I CAN, and WILL, find a way to make things happen, even if the HOW is not immediately obvious. There are also more frequent moments of peace and contentment, sometimes in the strangest contexts – just bog-standard ordinary moments rather than overtly ‘good’ times. I find gratitude comes easier these days and I’ve definitely noticed a general swing towards a more positive mental attitude.

I still find dealing with life and the world difficult at times. I have sensitive introvert tendencies and events often feel way too ‘in my face’ but I find that in my new clarity I can usually summon that little ounce of extra courage to get out there and attempt things in spite of my anxiety. And if something does go wrong or my mood drops then it’s easier to move through it and learn my lessons if I actually feel the difficult feelings rather than hide away from them behind the drinking.

So, next month I will be waving goodbye to my first year of sobriety and welcoming the beginning of year two with a little bit of trepidation but mostly with anticipation. I’m not sure where it will take me yet but I am sure it has to be better than where a return to drinking would lead. I still don’t say I have quit forever, it’s more a foreseeable future kind of thing. This feels too strong, too real and too hopeful to imagine wanting to let that false friend back into my life any time soon though…

I hope folks are coping well with the Christmas / holidays party onslaught. One of the good things about being an introverted hermit and working a lot over this season is that I don’t really have to deal with all that. A quiet meal with friends is hopefully as hectic as it gets for me. New years eve will be spent at work this year which I’m fine with. I’ve always found it an over-priced, over-rated and over-hyped excuse for a drunken shit-show – not that I’ve needed much excuse in the past as you all know.

Sending you all some extra sober strength to deal with the seasonal chaos and I hope you have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚ x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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36 thoughts on “Contemplating milestones

  1. S_MW December 16, 2017 / 7:52 am

    This is wonderful. So wonderful that you’ve come to this point and that you’re proud of you. X

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sober mummy December 16, 2017 / 8:21 am

    This is great! I’m so pleased that you are doing well x I’m coming up to a year sober also ( February 1st ) . Wishing you a wonderful Christmas πŸŽ„πŸ’™πŸŽ„β€

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater December 17, 2017 / 10:17 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment. It looks like you’re only a week behind me. I hope you have an awesome Christmas too πŸ™‚ x

      Liked by 1 person

    • NoWineImFine December 21, 2017 / 6:25 am

      Hiya, thank you for your post it resonated deeply.
      How nice to know we are in this together. I’ll be alongside you at the one year mark roughly (me = 1 Jan). Glad to be back xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • tiredoftreadingwater December 24, 2017 / 8:48 am

        Hi! I was wondering how you were doing, good to hear from you. Congrats on your upcoming year too πŸ˜€ I’m the 26th I think, should have been the 1st like you but I had the birthday stumble/bender towards the end of the month. Better late than never though xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • NoWineImFine December 27, 2017 / 5:40 pm

        Oh now wonderful and better late than never – absolutely! I love that we have shared the year together here in the blogosphere. You were one of the very first people I met here and your writing stuck with me ever since.
        Thanks for all your wisdom shared here throughout the year, roll on 2018 for us and our one year soberversaries!πŸ˜˜πŸŒΌπŸŒΈπŸ’

        Liked by 1 person

      • tiredoftreadingwater January 1, 2018 / 4:03 am

        Happy new year and soberversary πŸ˜€ I’m so happy to share the journey with you too xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Grace December 16, 2017 / 11:49 am

    Thanks very much for your blog, I am a couple of months or so behind you and it’s so reassuring that other people experience similar thoughts and feelings. I too hope that year two allows some development of old or new interests and passions, life has to be about more than being sober. Unfortunately you don’t get a pass on all the difficult parts of life just because you gave up drinking so I expect it will be a mixed bag. One year is amazing and I shall be celebrating with in you in my heart. Well done and good luck with your sober journey x

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater December 17, 2017 / 10:22 am

      Hi Grace. Thank you for your lovely encouraging feedback. It sounds like you’re doing great yourself too. Do you have a blog too? I hope year 2 will be a big next stage for both of us. We can celebrate together, every sober day is a win πŸ™‚ x

      Like

    • Grace December 21, 2017 / 8:45 am

      I don’t have a blog but i’ve recently downloaded a journal app and am writing a few notes to myself so that’s a start. I’ve always been afraid to write things down in case I realise i’m beyond redemption. If you didn’t mind me asking do you have a treat/reward planned for your one year anniversary? My milestones just go by and I can’t think how to mark them. Thanks again for your blog and comments x

      Liked by 1 person

      • tiredoftreadingwater December 24, 2017 / 8:56 am

        Your journal app sounds like a great idea. I’ve found writing about the whole process incredibly helpful. Looking back at my messy times gives me important reminders where not to go back to. Hearing ‘me too’ from other people and recognising myself in their writing has been a powerful tool for getting me to a better place. I don’t think you’ll find you’re beyond redemption. Even a teeny tiny baby step in a better direction can mark a turning point in your life, at any moment. You may surprise yourself with what you’re capable of once you do a few of those.

        I’m not big on marking the milestones but I’m considering booking in for a hot stone massage some time around the year date. It’s been a while since I had anything like that done πŸ˜€ x

        Like

  4. ainsobriety December 16, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    What a Beautiful post.
    Hold on to all that joy and happiness and anticipation. I know your year two will be successful and special!

    Keep writing! You are inspiring others.

    Anne

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater December 17, 2017 / 10:27 am

      Thanks Anne πŸ™‚ I am genuinely excited about the year ahead and what it may bring. If what I share could shine even the tiniest light into the dark for somebody then I’m happy.

      Hugs x

      Like

  5. Elizabeth December 17, 2017 / 6:31 am

    I’m right with you sister- retail frenzy now…UGH. Totally agree that I have no energy for social stuff- need to be quiet and refill my cup. Sober cup that is. So happy and inspired by your journey! Great post! ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater December 17, 2017 / 10:32 am

      Thank you Elizabeth. Not long now until it calms down again and we can forget the chaos for another year. I hope you’re having a good, peaceful recharging weekend. Thanks for sharing the journey with me xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Untipsyteacher December 17, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    YAY!!
    Happy almost Year! SO happy for you! You will find nothing but joy on the other side. It gets better and better each day!
    I love that you are finding your creative side again!
    xoxoxo
    Wendy

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater December 24, 2017 / 8:41 am

      Hi Wendy! Thank you so much for the encouragement, I’m looking forward to this coming sober year and to see what it brings xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. MilesAwayGrrrl December 17, 2017 / 6:36 pm

    I LOVED reading this!!! It’s such a big milestone, and I totally relate to the ‘well, why would I give this up/waste all that effort’ thought! I too, was just going to be sober for a year, (though I think I probably knew if I did a year, then that might be it for good..) but can’t remember when it changed to ‘for the foreseeable.’ It wasn’t a conscious decision I remember making at any point, but it happened! And how now you are starting to get the headspace back to be able to do things. I remember being surprised how in the first few months I could do almost nothing.. all my grand plans of using my free time totally eradicated by the 24-7 thoughts of not drinking…. taking all my energy. x

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater December 24, 2017 / 8:45 am

      Yes! It’s amazing how much effort it all took in the beginning but it is definitely proving to have been worth it. Hopefully 2018 will be full of productivity and discovery for both of us. Thank you so much for your lovely feedback πŸ™‚ x

      Like

  8. morethanmyshare December 22, 2017 / 12:44 pm

    so much of what you said is how i am feeling. thanks for the inspiration. the hiking up the mountain analogy was perfect. Happy Holidays! Sober On!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater December 24, 2017 / 8:58 am

      Thank you! I’m happy that you’re feeling the good feeling stuff too. Happy Holidays to you too πŸ˜€ x

      Like

  9. journey2sobriety515 December 29, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    Congratulations to almost one full year! I’m inspired and encouraged 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater January 1, 2018 / 3:57 am

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate your positive feedback. If you’re feeling inspired that’s great – go for it and keep going, it’s so worth it πŸ™‚ x

      Like

  10. Dana Pescrillo January 1, 2018 / 7:38 am

    Insipring! May 2018 be more than you can image!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Eliza January 2, 2018 / 8:30 am

    Happy New year…
    Hope this year is a sober and serene one for you

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater January 5, 2018 / 4:40 am

      Thank you Eliza, happy new year to you too. I hope the year brings you all the good stuff you could wish for πŸ™‚ x

      Like

  12. Grace January 2, 2018 / 8:52 am

    Thank you for replying to my comment, very grateful for your help and advice, still feel very lost in the process despite coming up 300 days. Take care, thanks again, you are a very special person x

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater January 5, 2018 / 4:58 am

      I’m sorry you’re feeling lost 😦 There are plenty of wise and insightful sober bloggers around that can help keep up the support and inspiration. Email me if you’d like to vent, I’m at tiredoftreadingwater (at) gmail.com Take care x

      Like

  13. Annie January 5, 2018 / 7:53 am

    This post is so inspiring. I cannot imagine a month’s sobriety, let alone a year, but I am plodding on day by day, having tried so many times before. Annie x

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater January 6, 2018 / 7:08 am

      Thanks Annie. You can do it. Honestly, if I can do it then other people can too. I spent over 25 years drinking way too much and although I know I can’t get those years back I can prevent my future years falling into the same drunken hole. Please keep going, it really is so worth it x

      Like

  14. A Beautiful Mess January 12, 2018 / 8:57 pm

    Congratulations on your success! I’ve been on this journey for a year now and your posts sound like they were written by – and for – me. I’ve had a couple months here, 30 days there. Still working on this sobriety thing. I know it’s possible, I just have to get there. Loved reading your journey and look forward to more. Keep up the success- and blogging! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater January 13, 2018 / 12:39 pm

      Thank you very much for your lovely comment! It’s amazing how many similar experiences are shared on these blogs, I’ve definitely found the recognition of myself in others helpful along the way. All the sober chunks add up – mine just got longer and closer together until it stuck and I kept going. As long as we keep trying and learning, every sober day is a win. You’ll get there πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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