Three Years Sober Today

“It is best to take sips of water during the workout today since I know we all enjoyed cocktails last evening so we need to rehydrate our bodies” shouted the personal trainer in my Orange Theory workout class this morning. I giggled to myself because I was probably one of the few people in the class without any sort of hangover this morning. I thought about how we as a society assume everyone drinks to celebrate and getting drunk is normalized. Drinking alcohol is the only drug we need to explain “not taking.” As I increased the speed on my treadmill in that workout class, I reflected on the last three years I’ve been sober. Without a doubt, it hasn’t been easy but it has been 100 percent worth it in every way. It isn’t even something I give much thought to anymore since I’ve discovered life is more full now than it ever was before. The amazing thing is that it just keeps getting so much better each day!

During the late hours of New Years Eve 2015 I took my last sip of my then beloved red wine out of my beautiful wine glass. I said goodbye to the other half of that bottle as I dumped it down the drain in my kitchen sink. That was the last time I drank alcohol and I haven’t looked back since. Since I’ve taken alcohol out of the equation, I’ve learned to embrace so many more wonderful things in my life. When I was drinking I definitely did not enjoy the simple pleasures as much as I do today. From creating my favorite floral arrangements, to taking pictures, cuddling with my dog or my son, and getting my nails done, life has taken on such a positive meaning. I used to believe sobriety would mean a life filled with mundane boredom but in all honesty, that is so far from my reality. I almost laugh at the idea that I had that fear three years ago.

So today I celebrate me. I am proud at how far I’ve come and I am a shining example to others that life can be so beautiful if we allow ourselves to let it be that way. I also feel proud that my son knows me sober— he knows his mom exactly as she is, not a watered down version of her. I love that I wake up each morning excited about the day ahead and what I can accomplish. Sobriety for me equals no regrets. In honor of 2019 and the new year ahead, I am sharing 19 ways my life has improved since I stopped drinking three years ago:

  1. My skin is clear and vibrant. I hardly ever get pimples and my skin is young looking, soft and smooth. If I have a bad skin day I know it isn’t because of alcohol, it usually just means I’m tired!

  2. I speak my truth. Being sober it is difficult to hide how I’m feeling. I share my true feelings with my family and friends if I believe it is helpful and from a place of love.

  3. Kids want to be near me more than ever. I especially noticed this when I am at weddings on the dance floor. All of the kids flock to me. I chalk this up to my naturally playful and fun spirit.

  4. My body is strong and healthy. I’ve been able to run farther and faster, lift heavier weights, stretch my muscles further than ever before.

  5. It takes A LOT more for me to get bothered by little things. When I was drinking I found I would easily get offended.

  6. I created my own blog and website and write on it regularly. I push myself to be better everyday even when I don’t feel like writing.

  7. I’ve had the most fun at weddings sober than I ever before. Seriously! My dance moves are much better too because I am no longer spilling booze all over myself stubbing my toes and bumping into people on the dance floor.

  8. Food tastes better, coffee tastes richer. My taste buds have changed for the better since I stopped drinking.

  9. I started my own side business and will continue working on that this year.

  10. I ask for help when I need it. I no longer feel like I have to do it all on my own.

  11. I don’t fear vulnerability. I’ve realized over the last three years that it is one of my greatest superpowers.

  12. My listening skills are much better. I actually take the time to listen to what people are telling me, reflect and ask them engaging questions.

  13. I never have to worry about having a designated driver so that is one less thing to worry about.

  14. Waking up without a hangover honestly never gets old. No more days wasted sleeping it off, eating greasy fast food or curing it with the “hair of the dog.”

  15. I’ve saved a ton of money. I don’t have to worry about high bar tabs and buying pricey bottles of wine.

  16. I remember things people tell me and I rarely lose any personal belongings. (I would frequently misplace my belongings when I was drinking.)

  17. I am much more creative and I have a ton of brain space. My brain is no longer preoccupied and worrying about when I will have my next glass of wine.

  18. My skin issues are totally gone. I used to suffer from psoriasis on my eyelids and arms. I no longer have those skin issues.

  19. I process my feelings a lot faster than ever before. Whether I am happy, angry or sad, I feel it, acknowledge where I am at and move on. This one is EVERYTHING for me especially since I used to let my feelings stay stuck and simmer under the surface which is definitely unhealthy.

What are your takeaways from this article? Feel free to share any insights on why you enjoy a sober lifestyle!