Friday 13th is superstitiously thought of as an unlucky day. Not for me.
Friday 13th August 2013 my first daughter was born and changed the course of my life. So I have always thought of it as a lucky day for me.
Friday 13th March 2020 was the day I decided to drink two bottles of wine and unsuccessfully try to hide it from my husband. My decision that day, changed the course of my life as from that day forward I have not touched a drop of alcohol.
I could never have imagined a life without alcohol, I didn’t want to. For me, alcohol was ingrained in everything I did. It was part of my identity. I genuinely would have thought it impossible to go 6 weeks without alcohol, let alone 6 months. When I gave up, it wasn’t with the intention of ‘forever’, it was until I could sort myself out and learn to drink like a ‘normal’ person. I think I already knew deep down that wasn’t ever going to happen, but I couldn’t say it out loud because then it became real.
I wish I could have experienced a day in my life now, back then. To understand how peaceful, content and freeing life is. To understand my potential, that was being held back by my drinking. To feel energy instead of constant lethargy. To feel excited about possibilities instead of apathetic. To live for the moment, not for wine o’clock.
I’m not going to lie, it’s not all pink clouds and JOMO! The cravings stab like a knife and leave you debilitated, unable for those 15 minutes to imagine your life without alcohol. The anxiety can cripple you, when you have an event coming up at which you know everyone else will be drinking. The sadness pins you down, when you have a moment to yourself and realise that you will never be able to go ‘out on the lash’ with your friends again.
But those feelings never last. If you can ride them out, soon enough you will be reminded of how great sober life is. Whether it’s a hangover free Saturday morning, driving home from a night out and climbing into bed, finding joy in everyday activities or practicing self-care.
The most important thing to remember with sobriety is that it does get easier. Every time you say ‘no’ to a drink, it gets easier. Every time you walk down the alcohol aisle in a supermarket to reach the AF stuff, it gets easier. Every time you have a shitty day and you don’t reach for the bottle, it gets easier.
If anyone is reading this and thinking, ‘I can’t do it’. You can, and you will. You can do anything, if you want it enough.