My Joyful January: Day 26

Today it is 300 days since I last drank alcohol. It seems bizarre to have gone this long completely sober and yet at the same time if feel like no time at all. I am beginning to see the changes both physical and emotional. My skin appears more hydrated, fresher and I am no longer sloping off to bed in a fog and waking up with lasts nights make up on and as I am fast approaching my 45th birthday ( if I say it quickly it’s like it’s not really true) I won’t say no to that. My sleep is of a better quality although I could still make improvement on the quantity and I notice I am dreaming more. Well actually maybe it’s not a case of dreaming more but being clearer of mind to recall them.

More than anything though is the shift within me as a person that is the most significant. Without the devil on my shoulder that was alcohol I am stopping myself from having knee jerk reactions, allowing myself time to reflect on situations and in turn reacting in a calmer, more self assured and mindful way. I’m all for changing neural pathways and being sober for me helps me identify the pathways I want to change and taking positive action to do so. When I feel under attack my default position is to defend myself; pull up the draw bridge, raise the ramparts and place my defence in as many places as possible leaving no soft spot vulnerable. I then have to work exhaustingly hard to maintain the upper hand and never show I am bothered. I’ve reacted like this since I was eleven usually in response to one of my Nana’s vitriolic tirades and lack of parental support. I had to on principle. Someone had to. I felt like a lone renegade battling it out for the good of others but the battle scars took their toll. Drinking in a way helped me release from that warrior and made me feel more care free but in the morning it was all still there.

Being sober I am slowly but surely learning to choose my battles and that changing my approach to any “skirmish” can be both empowering, satisfying and kinder to me. Sometimes stepping back lets you see the insecurity, denial and lack of self awareness in others. We all have work to do but it takes courage and honesty to tackle it. Not everyone is ready, some might never be. I used to feel this sense of lack of completion, like there was a missing part. I now think maybe we all are works in progress. I will never be complete and that’s ok. Now that I am seeing with more clarity I am content to be incomplete. I want to have the freedom to change, grow and adapt. We all want to eventually leave this world feeling what we have lived has been worth something so I am working hard at accepting what life throws at me but knowing it is what I throw back that matters.

Nighty night x

Ps 300 days

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