A Top 10 to celebrate two years sober

Thank you to this swan for sharing how good sober feels after two years.
My two year soberversary takes place on Tuesday and knowing I have a busy start to the week work and family wise I thought I would take the time now to write something about this milestone.
I love a list, it must be the planner/organiser in me, so have prepared a top 10 of things that are better now I don’t drink. I have indulged a bit recently in some self pity and “fear of missing out” and I know those feelings can dominate many of our minds, so in my spirit of thinking positively and rejoicing in the good things, I thought an upbeat list would be better. Well here goes:
1. I never have a hangover.
Wow that feeling of waking up and feeling normal just never gets old and I love the fact that in the last two years I have never woken up feeling nauseous, with a throbbing head and dry mouth.
2. My skin and hair are in tip top condition.
I get compliments quite often about how good my skin is and how shiny my hair is. I don’t have a massively expensive or complicated beauty regime and eat relatively well, just a normal balanced diet ( with quite a bit of chocolate) but my skin and hair are the best they have been since I was a teenager. It has got to be down to the lack of alcohol.
3. My weight is stable.
I do have a sweet tooth and eat more sugar than I should. However, I maintain a stable weight and although would like to lose half a stone, I don’t find it as hard to maintain my weight now I am not necking a bottle of wine or two a night.
4. I am brainier!
Yes I know that sounds a bit daft, but since stopping drinking I feel so much sharper mentally and can work harder and achieve so much more. I just feel so much more on the ball.
5. I have more money.
Well not spending upwards of £5000 a year on booze means my husband and I can spend more money on other things we like doing such as family holidays and we even bought a blow up canoe this summer.
6. I am rarely ill.
Yes I am touching wood as I write this () but since stopping drinking I can’t remember the last time I was properly ill. Yes I have had the odd cold and migraine, but I can definitely say I feel a lot healthier. I also don’t have to panic every time I read something linking cancer or Alzheimer’s to drinking.
7. My teeth are in much better condition.
During my last trip to the dentist, I was told my teeth are in much better condition than they were previously and whatever I was doing, to keep it up. I guess the alcohol I used to pour in my mouth each day does your teeth no good as well as sometimes forgetting to brush them as I passed out rather than got ready for bed.
8. I feel free.
I didn’t realise how much alcohol shackles you and ends up making so many decisions for you, until you become free of it. I now don’t have to worry about who is driving, do we have enough drink in, what if I am the one drinking the most, have we booked somewhere for our holiday that is within walking distance of a restaurant, how will I get through this certain day with a hangover etc etc.
9. I am much less anxious.

I still do suffer from the blues and anxiety at times but it is so much better now I don’t drink. I don’t have the 4am strike of fear, where I worry about what I said, who I talked to, did I make an idiot of myself and think oh god why did I drink so much, I hate myself etc. Life isn’t suddenly brilliant, crappy things still happen and sometimes I let negativity way too heavily in my mind, but it is so much easier to kick myself out of it now I am sober.
10. I know I can do anything I want to.
I stopped drinking after a many years of drinking more and more as did my husband. If you knew us prior to late 2013 we were the couple you would have said were least likely to become tee-total, ever! Friends used to joke about having liver transplants after a weekend at our house and we were daily drinking to dangerous levels. I never thought I could be happy and never drink and I never thought I could just not drink, but I can and I did. So really I can do anything I set my mind to – even if I need to remind myself of that fact every now and then.
So two years on, stopping drinking is the best decision I ever made. It is so much worth persevering through the early days and weeks and looking back they were not as hard as I thought they would be. No it wasn’t all plain sailing, sometimes it seemed hard and unfair but in retrospect I have been through worse and survived. Stopping drinking was the kindest act I have ever shown myself and being kind to yourself is as I have learned one of the most important things you can do. Thank-you for listening.

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Binki

SWAN is a new friendship and support network for people who choose to live without alcohol. Everyone is welcome.

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