"Nothing changes if nothing changes." Unknown
So I haven't had a drink in a few months at this point (YAY!) but when I first put pen to paper I was passing the being sober for 30 days mark. I wanted to capture the feeling and head space I was in so that hopefully I could relate to someone else thinking about putting the ol frenemy alcohol down. That, plus I didn't want to post this and be drinking again because, I didn't want to bullshit you.
I have been here before, I've had stretches of several months, time and again, and I kick myself for picking up that bottle every time. I've made so much progress and boom, threw it away for various reasons. All of which were never worth it. That in itself is a lesson. Stay vigilant Alcohol is a very patient adversary and will wait until you slack on your resolve to strike.
I struggled with the decision to actually write this post to be honest. Did I really want to put this out there? Did I really want to expose myself in the realest way I possibly could? It's scary, not gonna lie but to be honest, if someone wants to judge me for drinking too much I've probably earned it. Hopefully they are perfect though so they have the right to throw that stone. All I can do is try to better myself everyday and hopefully help someone else along the way.
I wouldn't say I'm/was a low bottom drunk. I have a job, pay my bills, and currently go to college. None of which at my peak while drinking. How could I with the amount of beer I was putting away. You could always count on me to be on of the last ones standing at the end of a party or night out. The saying "Just one more beer and one more cigarette" was a favorite drunk line of mine. In A.A. they say there are a lot of "yets" out there. I agree, I hadn't lost my job or killed someone drunk driving or any number of things...yet.
So as far as I could tell for the longest time I was only having a good time. So far as I could tell I was only hurting myself, by drinking as much as I did, but if I'm honest with you that was a load of shit. I've hurt co-workers and employers by half-assing my job hungover, I've hurt my family who worried about me, and friends who had to deal with my shit and for that I truly apologize.
Now the reason I decided to write this post isn't to throw a pity party. Actually quite the opposite. I wanted to pull back the curtain and let you guys know that EVERYONE has shit they're dealing with. In that there is no shame. There is only shame in giving up. No, I'm writing this post because my relationship with alcohol has been a defining one for me personally, if not publicly, and if there is just one person out there going through and struggling with addiction, hopefully my story can be a helpful nudge for them to get help and get sober. Because sobriety really is worth it.
So here are 6 benefits of not being drunk Kris.
1. I sleep like a champ. While not all of these are in order I do feel like this is my #1 favorite. No more do I wake up at 2-3 am and lay there wide awake only to fall asleep five minutes before my alarm goes off. I actually love the mornings now. A fresh cup of coffee and a little quiet time make mornings my favorite time of the day. The simple joy of a good nights sleep and waking up refreshed is truly bad ass.
2. I have more time. This one dove tails perfectly with #1 because I wake up every morning ready to tackle the day, most of the time before my alarm clock even goes off! Drunk Kris drug his ass to work and on weekends slept till about noon. Plus, after work, instead of wasting an hour or two taking that oh so important nap, I can devote that time to getting the little things done that can slip through the cracks if your not careful. Not to mention how much time is wasted thinking/planning on drinking and the actual time spent drinking. The time I now have to actually pursue things I'm passionate about ,including UppwardLife, has increased exponentially.
3. More money duh! I save so much money not destroying myself its crazy. I now put that cash to much better use. I don't feel like I need to elaborate too much on this one, I'll just say it adds up quick :)
4. I have more peace. No more disappointing myself with the silent guilt of wasting time, talent, and resources. The peace of knowing that win or lose I gave it my best shot. No more excuses.
The peace of going to my God with a pure heart knowing that I'm living an authentic life is so much more fulfilling than knowing right and doing wrong. Now I've always felt I could go to God and I knew God had me, but as they say obedience is better than sacrifice. I'm not saying you need to believe in one thing or another to get sober, that's between you and your afterlife, but for my journey I feel closer than ever to my Creator.
5. A clearer mind. I'm no longer in a haze just running on auto pilot. The ability to think critically and strategically about how and where I want my life to go is phenomenal. Meditation plays a huge part in this aspect of my sobriety. The 20 minutes I carve out to shut my crazy mile a minute brain down and try to be in the moment is priceless. Being constantly being drunk, hungover, or in the process of getting back to even absolutely murders any meditation practice.
6. I'm more fit. Not only am I not destroying my body with alcohol and cigarettes (I smoked when I drank) now I'm actually doing things that increase my health like bike riding, hiking, and lifting weights. The beer belly is slowly going away. It's only been 30 days so I'm not expecting a miracle but I'm definitely seeing a difference!
I guess the main take away from my first 30 days of sobriety is this, I'm just more hopeful. Life isn't perfect and it never will be. I know this. I'm not trying to preach some pink cloud bullshit here where fairies are arriving on unicorns and giving me back rubs. No, there are obviously still day to day challenges I face just like every other asshole still above ground. Although, I am more hopeful now that I can meet those challenges clear eyed and level headed.
There are so many more benefits to having more control over life but these are 6 that I feel have really made a difference for me up to this point. So here's to 30 days down and 1 day at a time to go!
Best of Life, Kris
Look there are millions of people who suffer from addiction, so if you could relate to this post or if it could be of some help to someone you know, share and leave a comment. I'd appreciate it and who knows we may even make a difference. :)