Something ‘magical’ happened a year ago. Then, however, I didn’t know how much it would change my life, how much it would change the script.
On 17 January 2018, I stopped drinking.
I need a moment to let that sink in. I’ve been sober for one year. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes.
“Why?” many of my friends asked with bewilderment as much as curiosity. I stopped drinking — not because I was pressured to, not because I didn’t know my limit, not because alcohol was ravaging my life — because I had to get my house in order.
Call it an aha moment, a day of reckoning, an epiphany. Naming it isn’t important. But to fulfill my calling and be of service, things needed to change. To keep moving in the direction of my dreams, I had to clean up my own backyard.
Hitting Rock Bottom
Sometimes life speaks to you, yet you purposely ignore what her advice. That was me. By the end of 2018, I’d spent the previous two years on autopilot. Doing the same things over and over again, moving forward yet never feeling like I was getting ahead. Then ending up exhausted and tired of being in my doctor’s office, wanting to know why I wasn’t just sick but still sick. Tired of complaining of fatigue. Tired of the long bouts of insomnia.
Headed for some type of breakdown, it was time for an intervention because I wasn’t ‘happy’ with my life. I wasn’t where I wanted to be or living the life I’d imagined. And if I wanted to bring that vision to life — and not end up stranded or stuck in the same old patterns — something had to give.
Going sober was the first step towards becoming the best version of myself. Oprah Winfrey put it this way: “All of us are seeking the same thing. We share the desire to fulfill the highest, truest expression of ourselves as human beings.” 1Oprah Winfrey, The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations, Flatiron Books, 2017, p. 82
A State of Grace
The past year without alcohol has been like living in a state of grace — honouring who I am and not who others wish me to be. I’ve been, more than ever, committed to the thing that has called me into service: writing. Every day I write, show up to practice my art and hone my skills. Every day I’m being true to who I am.
Beyond living out my calling to write, going sober has helped me to take better care of myself both physically and mentally. I’m more present, more aware of who I am, what I want to achieve and what I must do to accomplish my goals. I have more energy to get through the day. I’ve lost just over 20 pounds and, through a more challenging running schedule and by paying attention to what I eat, I’ve kept the weight off.
Simply put, there is more clarity — of purpose, of what I’m seeking to do and give back to the world. The journey forward may still not be easy, but I’m in it for the long haul.
Therein lies the why.
Sober, I have the greatest chance of living my best life.
Sober, the world will see the truest expression of who I am.
Sober, I’m headed for my best year ever.
Is there one change you could make that would set you up to live your best year ever? Can you commit to making that change now? Click Reply, or leave a comment in the section below. I’d love to hear from you!