1,000 Days Sober

Today I celebrate 1,000 days sober! Just focusing on today, one day at a time is how God got me here. There is NO WAY I could be sober with out the power of Jesus living in me through faith and the encouragement of others. To God be all the glory! You have to fight to flourish!! I wanted to share some things I’ve learned.

  • Here is what I gave up: hangovers, declining health (thyroid issues and high liver enzymes), shame, anxiety (I still have anxiety at times but alcohol increased my anxiety the next day after drinking), depression ( I had so much depression that I didn’t even know I was depressed. I didn’t know I was depressed until I went to rehab and had a belly laugh and was like wow I haven’t laughed this hard in a lonnng time), happy hours, driving under the influence, lots of money spent on wine, bars, ubers, etc., guilt, loss of sense of self ( I didn’t know who I was without alcohol), fear, insomnia
  • Here is what I gained: Freedom, a faith that I actually followed what I said I believed in aka an active faith, deep and meaningful conversations, purpose, confidence, sense of self, ability to travel without being fearful of drunken behaviors, love, a romantic relationship, better sleep, increased productivity and memory.
  • Giving up adderall was a MUST from the doctors at treatment. It was REALLY hard to get myself motivated at times without it.
  • I had to have alcohol to function, to do tasks I didn’t want to do. I thought well maybe a little wine will make this enjoyable.
  • I’ve learned that I can still leave my phone in an Uber sober (after many hours finally getting home from Israel)
  • I’m just as random and weird sober
  • I’m more engaged in conversations and remember more things the next day.
  • Less depression and no more sunday scaries
  • Not waking up with shame and hangovers feels amazing
  • It’s not about never being tempted it’s about not taking a risk on your future.
  • Surround yourself with as much support as you can get. Admit to others you are seeking help. Bring the darkness into the light.
  • My ADHD has improved…my concentration worsened when drinking and problems focusing the next day.
  • Not as irritable
  • Used to only care and focus on how I felt at all times
  • Thought I had to drink to rid insecurity. In reality knowing more who you are = security. Placing my identity in Christ = security.
  • Saved a TON of money $$ (less bills shopping, wine, ubers, dinner bills, bars).
  • Able to get up and work out the next morning and do a lot more things on a Saturday not hungover
  • Better Brain health and lessen risk of Cancer. Alcohol can also block vitamins causing malnutrition.
  • Sugar triggers that craving in my brain that’s similar to the alcohol obsession. Going Low Carb/Keto has really helped.
  • I drank for 15 years so doing things sober for the first time was different/felt kinda awkward. But after I accomplished that event sober I realized I still had fun sober and was more present.
  • Minutes of fun are not worth poor decision making and all day hangovers.
  • You don’t have to drink every single day to want to stop drinking, binge drinkers also fall in the alcoholism category. It’s about not having a right relationship with alcohol. I’ve never had a right relationship with alcohol. Alcoholism is a spectrum.
  • “Wine is my Valentine” The message those little marketing wine things send to me is I have to have wine to survive anything in life. The other message I received was it’s okay to drink a lot of wine and use it to change how I feel and other people are doing the same so I’m just like everyone else. Culture told me it’s okay to drink a lot. I accepted it as normal, lived in denial of the truth and repeated the destructive cycle of behavior. I could not get out of the cycle without surrendering my life to Jesus, help from others and professional help.
  • I distinctly remember one instance where I said let me have this glass of wine and see how much better I feel. I remember having that glass and feeling nothing…no joy…nothing…so I said I’ll have another glass to try and see if this makes me feel any different…again…nothing…this is basically how my drinking became unmanageable…I put my hope in a glass of empty promises. 
  • For me, controlled drinking doesn’t work…having one drink is miserable…because I will obsess about the next one and finish my glass before everyone else…so one isn’t enough..and 5 isn’t enough either.
  • There are times when my brain tells me it is okay to have a drink on a special occasion, but I know for me it is not worth the risk. The risk of creating a craving and not knowing where I would end up at the end of the night. It is russian roulette. Because sometimes I could have some wine and be fine, but I would go home and usually have more.
  • It is the first drink that gets you drunk not the 4th or 5th. Without the first drink I would have not craved more. I could not predict how much I would drink each time I picked up a drink. No matter how many rules I would set for myself.
  • Drinking is progressive in nature and just because it gave you a certain feeling in your 20s, you are always trying to relive that early experience. Our bodies change over time and so can our reactions to certain substances. Over time, with more drinking, the dopamine effect diminishes until it’s almost nonexistent. But at this stage, a drinker is often “hooked” on the feeling of dopamine release in the reward center, even though they’re no longer getting it. Source
  • If you are always doing an easy workout you won’t grow. Same in life..if you do not fight and face tough challenges then you don’t gain strength. You gain strength by perseverance!!
  • No more head injuries or falling or going to jail
  • I’m able to be a responsible human being sober so I got a dog through a rescue organization called Tzu Zoo Rescue.
  • I don’t hate life anymore.
  • I don’t live just for events or the weekend anymore. I would so look forward to whatever big event it was…usually ended up getting too excited the night before doing whatever and drank, only feeling hungover the next day not able to fully enjoy the event. Drinking to rid the hangover and then getting drunk quickly from the “shampoo effect”
  • Don’t have to worry about losing things often. Wake up not having to worry about if I had my phone, keys and wallet.
  • When you sober up you realize that some things you used to watch, listen to or do drunk is just not as fun sober. I guess you could say you actually realize what you like and don’t like. I still like some of the same things don’t get me wrong, but trashy music I can’t listen to sober anymore.
  • I wake up early now naturally not wanting to sleep till 11 am.
  • I can now serve others and share my strength and hope with others.
  • I’m able to lead other women in a recovery ministry at church.
  • The 12 steps is something all people should embrace.
  • I used to think that I had more creativity and brainstorming when I drank. I had a lot of thoughts flowing but no execution bc I didn’t have the drive the next day.
  • I used to feel normal when I drank and felt weird when I was sober. Now I’m finally able to feel comfortable in my own skin.
Although I didn’t become argumentative, my friends might disagree, but I did take things more personally and easily misunderstood what people meant and took it super personal even though it was never about me!
  • Just because others haven’t hit their bottom or looks like they can manage a lifestyle that I couldn’t manage…don’t be envious. God says that Christ is where joy is found. He doesn’t say that joy is found only for people who can handle their drinking. In fact Apostle Paul says we have the freedom to do anything but not everything is beneficial for us. That is the way I have to see drinking.
  • I was terrified of sober living. But I was more fearful of the road alcohol was leading me on. The road paved with booze never got me anywhere and it lead me towards guilt and shame and wrecks and waking up in the er and in jail. So I was willing to try sober life. God brought me to the end of myself and gave me the gift of desperation.
  • You have to find what steals your peace.
  • Not drinking for me is freedom where as drinking for “normies” is a nice to have not a need like it was for me.

More Resources

How Alcohol Tricks Your Brain: By jacking up dopamine levels in your brain, alcohol tricks you into thinking that it’s actually making you feel great (or maybe just better, if you are drinking to get over something emotionally difficult).  The effect is that you keep drinking to get more dopamine release, but at the same time you’re altering other brain chemicals that are enhancing feelings of depression. Read More

Alcohol and the Brain

My Recovery Story