The First Year Of Sobriety – Sober Reflections

tree branches
When I first quit drinking alcohol I to win the battle. I felt so strongly about needing to quit drinking alcohol entirely that I knew I had to stay focused and motivated. I began this by writing in a journal, planning out each day, making a life list, beginning a new exercise routine, reading self-help and personal development books, literally cleaning house and getting rid of the old and organizing what was left. I was really on a mission. Although I had my ups and downs mood wise, I was still very motivated and enthusiastic about sobriety, I was excited about the future and  the possibilities. I went from not really knowing what to do with all my newly found free time to not having enough hours in the day to get what I wanted done. I kept myself really busy, practically all the time.

About six weeks ago, we had some guests come to stay with us for about 3 weeks. I realized that I would not be able to fit in all the things I had got used to doing while they were here. I didn’t want to feel torn between being hospitable and wanting to do my thing so I decided to put most of the things that I enjoyed on the back burner while my guests were here. Some of the things I am talking about included blogging, reading, exercising, internet marketing and  other general computer based activities.

After the three weeks passed and my visitors left, I felt empty.  I couldn’t understand why I felt this way. The visit had been good, I made it through without feeling like I needed to drink alcohol to be myself ( I used to drink with these guests) and I had done my best to make sure that they had enjoyed their stay. I realized that up until they had come to stay, I had been practically running around like there was no tomorrow. It wasn’t just physically running around, it was mentally. I was often trying do two things at once so I could get everything done. In the process, I realized I wasn’t giving the right people the amount of attention they deserved and I was overdoing it mentally.

I was getting up at about 5.00am and not going to bed until about midnight,  it really didn’t seem to bother me, I was excited about what I was doing and I really felt enthusiastic, it did feel good.

After taking three weeks off my normal schedule, I realized that the empty feeling I had been somewhat due to my first year of sobriety being quite manic.  This past three weeks was the first time in the year of sobriety that I had just stopped filling myself with all these activities, I had stopped trying to be sober, I had stopped trying to learn about how to be normal, I had stopped trying to control my thoughts and keep busy. I just kind of went with the flow and did what everyone else was doing. Living a somewhat regular life

I was  over the top many times. When I started running I was adamant that I would be running the marathon the same year, when I started Recovery Princess I convinced myself that it would be like the New York Times of alcohol recovery, when I wanted to redecorate a room, suddenly I had plans on the house. I devoured books all year, my goal was at least one a month and I know I beat that.

I don’t think that any of what I did during my first year of sobriety was bad, at the end of the day you have to do whatever it takes to get through the day without an alcoholic drink no matter how bad, uncomfortable, fed up or miserable you may feel so being so engrossed and fired up about what you are doing is not necessarily a negative thing. I just think that looking back, I would have done well to evaluate myself each month and see if I could have done it slightly calmer. But hey, it worked!

If I was going through the first year of sobriety again, I think I would have slowed down a little and tried to vary my interests somewhat. I spent much of my first year wondering who I was and not really wanting to socialize or connect with many people.

I kept trying to be so nice, trying overly hard to do the right thing and getting really stressed out if I didn’t feel up to par. Just not being me, being what I thought everyone else wanted me to be, being what I thought I should be, being anything other than being me! Worrying all the time about being like everyone else,

But that has changed now and I have started to feel….dare I say it…like myself again.

Not writing enough about what I was gong through, I have 263 posts that I have written something in about what I was feeling but never finished them or wanted to publish them. Not expressing myself enough.

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3 thoughts on “The First Year Of Sobriety – Sober Reflections

  1. Okay…I guess I’ll stop organizing my shoe closet and spice drawer. The sketching can wait, and being an equestrian jumper can go on the back burner!

    So I am feeling normal stuff, it’s like everything I wanted to do but didn’t because I was drinking/drunk, I want to get to right away.

    Thank you again Madison, I will slow down and let my thoughts linger a bit.
    AND I too do not want to socialize!! I am such a social person even without alcohol.
    I still feel protective of my journey and a little scared to put it out there.
    I am finding ME!! People can wait!!!

  2. Hey Jan,

    Whatever you need to do to get your through!

    I have just been going over some of my old posts. One of them is called “Triggers” which might be worth you reading. Also, in the archive column on the right side of the blog are all of my early posts from 2008-2010. These cover the early days of sobriety and may be helpful for you too.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. How are you Madison? It’s day 104 for me!

    Feeling like I am pulling inward again and need some time to myself.
    Re-evaluate my interests and slow down. Cravings still come and go, some worse than others. Writing helps, so does cleaning!!

    Hope you are well!

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