Sober Inspiration Project
My recovery story
18 months ago, on January 4th, 2020, I had no idea when I woke up on my 48th birthday how different my life would look in such a short space of time……
I had discovered William Porter's book, Alcohol explained in the previous October. I remembering reading it and thinking “I have to get this, no matter what”
I slowly started taking a peek into the facebook group, also called Alcohol Explained. I couldn't believe that there were around 17,000 others using this site to get sober…. And loving life! Yes please!!!
When I woke up on my birthday, I wondered… “what would it be like to wake up in a year having been sober and celebrating like these people I see here?” I knew that no day would be the “right day” to stop drinking. So this was it.
How? I read the book over and over…. I started a new routine that day. Come wine time, I would make a fresh ginger, lemon and honey tea… Day one, to 5 were hard. I had some withdrawal symptoms and I kept some alcohol around in case I felt too awful. I knew the risks of withdrawal.
As the weeks went by, I read posts every day. My new Friday nights were tuning into William Porter's lives… I listened to many podcasts and watched films and you tube videos. And I wrote in my journal.
I began writing in October, when I first came across this book. It was “my plan to get sober”
Did I think I could do it? No. Did I know what to do? No. But my plan was to throw myself into it and spend as much time as I could researching and listening.
On day 5, I went to my first zoom meeting in Alcohol Explained. And what a huge difference that made. I was so nervous, but I was scooped up by people who had lots of sobriety under their belts and I just knew I was in the right place.
As the weeks went by, the learning just got better and better.. I was able to concentrate on reading and listening more effectively as the effects of decades of drinking were leaving my body. No matter what, I had decided that I wanted to wake up in a year and be sober. My stubborn streak was coming in handy!!!
Around day 90 something changed…. I was walking home from work one day and felt so alone. I was going to the weekly zooms but i didn't have anyone i could call. I needed someone to talk to. I must have written a post about it because before I knew it I was suddenly in another sober group.
I couldn't believe it! I had found a smaller group of people just like me and now had access to more zooms and was able to develop an amazing friendship group in a challenge. These people continue to be as important to me as they were then… What a difference it made!! We met each other in real life, I could now call people and chat… I had found a tribe.
Finding a online world of recovery changed my life. I had tried AA and rehab, and SMART recovery, and so many wonderful gems of information that I collected on the way were suddenly making sense…. I had found my own personal recipe for sobriety. The main change was learning about the science from Alcohol Explained. And how alcohol lies to us….This information completely opened my eyes.
And so, I celebrated my one year sober anniversary…. And yes, it felt good. Really good. I didn't think I would make it to 50 years old before, so now I feel like I have a future, and one worth living.
Since then, over the last 6 months, the story has changed. It isn't about the alcohol any longer. I stay vigilant, I post in groups daily and continue to learn from people ahead of me in my journey. I try my best to reach out and support others who are finding their way into a new sober life. Yes, it is hard, in an alcohol soaked society, and yes it is hard learning to cope with feelings and emotions in a different way to drowning them with alcohol, but my goodness it's worth it.
I haven't met a single soul who has found freedom from alcohol that regrets it!
I'm still in a small group. I still do daily work and I attend as many zoom meetings as I can. If this is the recipe for sobriety that works for me then it is a magical one…
The work now is about self development. Maintenance of finding gratitude, and daily self care. Keeping life as simple as possible and being out in nature. It's the little things…
My advice is to anyone starting out, is to get a pen and paper and write what your reasons are. How are you going to do this? And commit. 100% Try a few groups to see where you fit in, and stick with it. Be brave!! Reach out and ask questions. There are so many people succeeding in the groups and they want you to succeed too because it's much better over here… away from the self destruction of ethanol. We all deserve a happier healthier future. Let's not make alcohol a reason to stop us any longer.