What does adversity, failure & heartache carry with it?

Everything has been going so exceptionally well recently… My personal life has never been better.  My professional life has been moving forward in all sorts of exciting ways.  My emotional well-being is at an all-time high and I felt like the Universe was showering me with untold fortune.  Well, April didn’t start too well for me.  The USA Recovery Coach that was coming to South Africa to facilitate his training cancelled…  He is unable to travel and of all the reasons that someone would have to change their plans, I wish that his health was not it.  But it is and unfortunately all hours of work I have poured into the organisation of the training seminar up to this point really feels as though it is for nothing, which is not necessarily true.  But right now that is how it feels.

It’s been a long time since I felt this flat.  Neither very high or very low, just flat…  It’s not a feeling I am used to and tend a little towards extreme emotions.  I guess that there are still parts of me that are very much the addict!  The wonderful woman that I started working with recently in the organisation of the event asked me that morning whether it was perhaps that I had not been instantly gratified!?  And did this behaviour lend itself to a culture of addiction or a culture of recovery?  Of course I don’t believe I was looking for instant gratification in this particular instance, but I do see that this habit of wanting things and wanting them now, is very much part of a culture of addiction.  I’m not a particularly patient person in general, but I have become far far more emotionally composed as I have worked through my recovery.

But to be fair since I heard the news this morning all the reading, coaching and striving for balance keeps bringing me back to the idea that every obstacle faced is a new opportunity…  And that when one door closes another door opens.  So I have spent the last week reevaluating my current position and deciding how I can move forward with my training.  Instead of throwing up my hands and having a complete temper tantrum like I would have when I was in the clutches of addiction, I simply let it stew.  It wasn’t a good feeling, but I didn’t try to run from it or mask it with a boozy night out.  I just sat with it for an entire week.  I didn’t rush out and make any huge changes, I didn’t make any rash decisions and I didn’t completely ignore the challenge.  I just let it be there in the silence.  And let me tell you this is massive progress for me, who wants to fix everything immediately and does tend towards instant gratification.

And in the silence, which was tinged with a good dose of disappointment, the answers started to present themselves.  Not necessarily in the form I expected or even wanted, but in a logical and sensible way.  There is still no definite resolution on the situation this morning, a week later, but there are options.  And I’m giving myself the emotional and intellectual space to weigh up the options and decide which is the best course of action for me.  Of course it would have been incredible if it had all worked out like I had planned, but even the best-laid plans sometimes don’t materialise.  I was a little miffed when it all happened and did question The Universe as to why, just once, things couldn’t simply go the course without any upheaval.  But I guess to be fair life’s just not like that and we can’t go getting too laid-back.  So I’ve had my little self-pity party, listened to what answered have appeared to me, and my head is firmly back in the game.  And I feel very content that I didn’t get hysterical and make rash decisions (that I would no doubt end up regretting).  I’ve come a long way in six years, and a very very long way in the last twelve months with regards to this.

So tonight after work I am going to go home, cook myself a decent meal and start my new plan as to my continued training as a Recovery Coach.  There are so many elements that need to be addressed, that I need to just sit down and consolidate and take it one step at a time.

‘Til next time

Sober Something

sticky-quotes_043012_every-adversity-every-heartache-every-failure-carries-with-it-the-seed-of-an-equivalent-or-greater-benefit

She’s making a list…!?

I realised today that through all the personal and professional work I am doing I have started thinking about my recovery a lot more recently.  As I’ve written about before I do not believe that we should let this disease define who we are!  If you had a life-threatening illness such as cancer, you wouldn’t lead with that in a conversation with a new acquaintance would you!?  You might get to it at some stage in the proceedings, but  it’s hardly what you open with…  I don’t want to be defined by my inability to control my drinking, not being able to stop once I’ve started.  Six years of sobriety have shown me that I am not lacking in willpower and strength, and that it’s just something that I honestly have no mental control over.

I can avoid bad food, I can skirt potentially hostile dinner conversation topics, I can commit myself to personal and professional endeavours, yet when it comes to saying no to another drink I am powerless in the face of its magnetism.  I find it odd that something that is actually potentially deadly for some of us has such a strong pull on us!  Temptation is not an overriding problem for me in general and I do watch myself around alcohol, but I’ve got the facts  and awful memories so clearly mapped out that I can access the reasons I don’t drink instantaneously.  I can run down the list of “why not to have a drink” without breaking my stride.  And “the list” is always close at hand for easy referral should I ever think that I would be able to have just one drink.

I’m not under any illusion when it comes to this…  It might be a couple of drinks the first time, but this number inevitably ends up growing and before long it’s back to the “Friday Night Binge and Blackout Special”.  I’ve been down that road a couple of times.  One drink is too many and 20 isn’t enough!?  So in my mind I carry around my list of “Why I don’t drink…”.  There are plenty of points on that list and different situations may call for me to tap into different reasons, but at the end of the day they all boil down to the same thing.  If I had one drink my life would start to unravel…slowly at first, but then with increasing speed as I drank more and was sucked back into the destructive vortex of my drinking habits.  So when I have a day that I think it would be nice to have a little glass of wine to take off the edge, I need to go to my list and find a reason not to.  It might seem strange to some people that I need to remind myself why I don’t drink at times, but there it is.  There are nights when I’d love to nestle down on the couch and sip steadily on a bottle of wine, while the strains and stresses of the week washed away.  But as  a recovering alcoholic this is not even a remote possibility.

Sometimes I get annoyed that I had to stop drinking, because then I’d be able to alter my mental state when things are not going well.  I do get upset that I was hit with the genetic alcoholic stick!  Why can’t I have a drink or two to relax my frayed nerves?  Get out of my head and not worry about the things that are going on around me?  But the truth is that there is no escape from reality when you make the decision to give up drinking.  Of course there ways of learning to be more present, comfortable and centred, but they are a lot more challenging to master than lifting the proverbial elbow.  And then when I start to think like that it’s time to go to the list and remind myself how awful it feels to be miserable and hungover after a night of binge drinking.  That one normally does it, but then there’s also the increased disposable income, the health benefits, the clear conscience, the time for things I love and of course happy personal relationships.  And that’s a lot to give up for a couple of hours of mental respite.

inspiring-messageSo even though I have to admit that I wouldn’t mind slipping into a fuzzy head space every now and again, it’s not worth the price I’d end up paying.  There are the occasional cravings when I’m having a bad day or there’s a special celebration going on that I’d like to feel more relaxed at.  But then I think about why and refilling my water-glass or having a cup of coffee doesn’t seem so bad.  I love being sober and I love my life without hangovers, hazy memories, a depleted bank account and personal misunderstandings.  And I’m learning to balance my life better each day so that the wonderful elements of my life are the ones that take precedence. And when the less savoury parts pop their heads up, I am always quick to honour and acknowledge them, because they are a reminder of a time past when things were not as good as they are now and how long it’s taken me to get here.

And once the moments of craving pass I lovingly fold “the list” and slip it back into its own space so that I know where to find it when I will need to look at it sometime in the future.  I’m never sure when I’m going to have to take it out, but it’s always there when I do.

‘Til next time

Sober Something

What are we going to do today Brain!?

I had the most incredible eight days at home last week and I am feeling more fired up and passionate than I have a long time. It wasn’t just about spending time with the people that matter to me, but also getting the opportunity to stretch myself mentally. Learning and growing intellectually has always been important to me and since I stopped drinking it has become more of a focus than before. I found that when I was drinking I’d get very enthusiastic about ideas when I was caught up in the moments fueled by alcohol, but not feel as excited about my newly hatched plans when I woke up in the morning. What I’ve found though is that now when I make plans they are far more long-lasting and my designs don’t fade in the harsh light of day. Rather my conceptions grow and develop the more time I spend nurturing them.

In my twenties and early thirties I had all sorts of grandiose schemes that I’d conceptualise with friends late at night. Often they’d be hazy the following morning and even feel silly, and within a few days or weeks they’d be discarded to be replaced the next Friday night with something which would prove to be equally fleeting. I don’t think that it was the ideas that were ridiculous, rather that I lacked the self-worth and confidence to follow through on them. And of course bringing plans to fruition takes dedication, hard work and even personal sacrifice, none of which I was willing to undertake while I was destructively fixated on my drinking. Plus these would definitely detract from my drinking (and recovery) time and seemed far too much like drudgery at the time. So I’d flit from one set of goals and aspirations to the next, never settling on anything for long enough to bring it to life.

However, as my sobriety becomes deeper and richer I have started to become increasingly excited about my plans for the future. And the more inspired and motivated I have become the more opportunities have begun to unfold. While I was in South Africa I got the chance to attend one day of a Wealth Seminar hosted by Wright Thurston, which was an event that has opened my eyes to many new and interesting ideas. This event was just one wonderful experience that materialised in the short time I was home. It has started to feel like all the practices I have put in place in my life are all starting to pay off. My personal commitment to practice the “Habit Of Gratitude” on a daily basis is beginning to shower untold personal gifts on me. Yes, I try and stay positive and upbeat, but over the months I’ve also learned how to overcome obstacles in my life, not by trying to ignore them, but rather embracing them and seeing what they are trying to bring me.

Becoming more clear about my goals and ambitions has also brought a new clarity to my future. Rather than wallowing around in a misty fairyland I have started to implement systems into my life that will lead me towards achieving my big dreams. I’m a long way off, but instead of being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task as I would get when I was drinking, I am invigorated by the steps that I am taking to reach my destination. I’ve started to take more and more pleasure in the journey, rather than wanting the instant gratification in which addiction is so solidly based. Of course there are days when I stumble, but instead of retreating to the closest bar, I pick myself up and reevaluate the situation. This is something I never did in the past and I’d throw my hands up at the first sign of difficultly and move onto the next best thing. The problem with that is that I never saw anything through and never actually got to the point where I was even sure whether these ideas where even something I could accomplish. It being far easier to give up than fail in my mind. I’m learning that failure is not the end of the road, rather just the chance to take stock and decide what action to take next.

So plan, dream, aspire and stretch yourself as you move through recovery and never ever be scared of falling, because it makes you stronger, wiser and more determined when you pick yourself up and keep going!

‘Til next time
Sober Something
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Do you really want to hurt me!?

I had an interesting conversation over the weekend with the mother of an addict.  We were talking the devastating effect that addicts have on their families and she was very surprised when I told her that I was in fact an addict.  It does sometimes amaze people as I must seem to really seem to have my life far more together than I feel on the inside sometimes.  She was lamenting about how people always have advice for the parents of addicts.  And how they are often quick to pass judgment on what the family should be doing to “help” the afflicted out of addiction.  The truth is that no one besides those who have lived through it can ever imagine how tough it must to to stand by and slowly watch someone you love destroying themselves.

The truth is that it’s not just the physical harm that they are doing to their bodies, but how they dismantle their ambition, potential and general passion for life.  And no matter what an addict’s loved ones do to try and coax them towards sobriety, nothing will actually work until the sufferer has their own personal epiphany.  The reality is that there is nobody who can initially help an addict besides themselves.  No extent of cajoling, manipulating and threatening will have the long-term desired effect.  Sure, we may do a stint in rehab or dry out for a while, but no sort of long-lasting sustainable change can be achieved unless the person who is suffering from the substance enslavement decides that it is time to turn their life around.  Interventions, tough love, forced confinement and any other number of desperate familial measures will do nothing over the long run if that person has not personally decided that enough is enough.

When you’re caught in the depths of addiction you cannot see the pain that you are causing to the people who love you.  Addiction is the epitome of negative selfishness.  I was oblivious to the harm that I was inducing, because when you don’t value yourself there is almost no chance of you cherishing those around you.  The mere fact that you get to points of rock bottom self respect, devoid of any self-esteem or personal appreciation doesn’t really leave room for the consideration of others.  I can only speak for myself when I say that when I was trapped in the cycle of substance highs and lows, I only truly felt disdain and guilt towards the people I love.  I’d either be mad at them for trying to stop me or remorseful that I was unable to stop drinking.  So I wasn’t really concerned about the effect that my drinking was having on them, rather how I was feeling towards them on any given day.

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~ Maria RobinsonThere is absolutely no way of changing the past and I made my apologies as I’ve said before and moved on from there.  My point here is that I never meant to hurt the people I love, whether that was through my words or deeds.  I don’t believe myself to be a mean and vindictive person, going out of my way to wreck havoc in people’s lives, yet I certainly caused my fair share of strife and heartache.  The only thing that I can say is that whatever way the people in your life chose to deal with your addiction, you cannot judge them in any way, because we do not know the depth of the hurt that we cause.  I see the sadness in the eyes of the people who have addicted loved ones when they talk about it.  It’s almost as though they have lost someone that they love and are not sure how to cope with it because that person is still there in some form of their previous self.

So whether our people keep us close, cut us off or something in between, it is not our place to begrudge them this since it was our actions that led them to make this choice.  So as you ask your nearest and dearest to forgive you, also let go of any residual feelings of resentment you may have as to how they treated you, because if you don’t let the past go you will never experience the full joy that comes with your new life.

‘Til next time

Sober Something

I am enough!

One of my biggest challenges in sobriety is overcoming the need for assurance from others. Yup, I’m self-actualised enough to realise that I am needy!  It’s part of myself that I fed with my addiction because when I was drinking I could dull this feeling with booze.  If I was feeling a little uncertain I’d simply have a drink and wouldn’t feel so unsure anymore.  When I was lacking in self-confidence I’d down a few shots and I’d be oozing poise.  It’s not as if I am a wilting flower, but there are areas of myself that I still need to focus on and my self-worth is one of those things.  It’s definitely not part of myself that I grew while I was drinking, because I developed a false sense of who I was before I got sober.  It wasn’t stable or sustainable in any way, oscillating between the highs and lows of alcoholism.

So my neediness definitely stems from the fact that I never really established a true sense of self prior to my sobriety.  And it’s exceedingly difficult to judge what’s real when you are morphing in and out of liquor-induced moods, be those good or bad.  So there are days, like today unfortunately, when I look outside myself for reassurance that I am loved, wanted and needed.  And even as I am doing it I realise that it’s a terrible idea.  The moment the words leave my lips or the message disappear into cyberspace I have a stark moment of realisation when I rue what I’ve done.  It follows the action almost instantaneously and I loathe myself a little for looking outside myself for what I should really only be drawing on what’s within.

The more time I spend on personal development the more I understand that we cannot look outside ourselves for constant reassurance of who we are.  During the stable periods in my life I’m less prone to asking for external validation, but when I am emotionally and physically stressed and tired, I tend to look to others to bolster my personal worth. The irony is that I know that it is futile while I am doing it and it frustrates the people in my life depending on what they are personally dealing with at the time.  And funnily enough I always seem to need this emotional boost when they are least able to offer me the support that I am angling for.  On days like today when I want someone to “hold my hand” it often turns out that they are also having a less than perfect day.  So what started as me simply feeling a little emotionally lost and wanting a little pick-me-up, ends of turning into a complicated emotional wrangle.

I’ve worked on my neediness with my coach and it goes hand in hand with increased anxiety levels and learning to quiet my egoic mind.  When I’m tired and stressed Ii am enough get anxious and when I get anxious I get needy!  Because my ego starts to tell me I’m being ignored, undervalued and taken for granted. I’m completely aware of how it goes, the thing is that there are days when I feel like it has a life of its own and unfolds in front of me, while I watch in horror.  Powerless to stop what is happening! So this year that is one of my personal goals – to stop looking outside of myself for the validation that I so crave at times, because this only creates personal drama and that in itself is an addiction of sorts that I’d rather steer clear of.  So when I have my first coaching session of the year I already know what my coach and I are going to be working on.  Finding the richness within myself that I need to draw on when I am feeling like I feel today…lonely, scared and sad…and all because I couldn’t find in myself the personal confidence I need on days like today to remind myself that “I exist as I am, that is enough”.

‘Til next time

Sober Something

Get up! Dress up! Show up!

After I stopped drinking I felt like I had no value to add to the world.  That I’d somehow given the best of myself during my drinking years and that the well was empty so to speak.  Even though I was feeling physically better than I could ever remember, I didn’t believe in my depths that I had anything of significance to contribute to the world.  This wasn’t just on a personal level, but on a professional level too.  For the first time in many years I was getting up, dressing up and showing up, but I didn’t really feel like I was adding the world’s worth in any compelling way.  So I was feeling great physically, but mentally and emotionally I was just going through the motions.

My job was paying the bills and keeping me busy, but it wasn’t giving me any real personal satisfaction.  My loving and supportive friends and family were often a stark reminder of my addiction and a source of irritation.  I felt like I was constantly searching for meaning in the early days of my sobriety, as if something was going to leap from the depths of my soul and this epiphany was going to propel me into the next phase of my life.  For years I’d been thinking about studying.  One month determined to further pursue my Economics Degree to a higher level, the next wooed by the idea of becoming a youth worker or a full-time volunteer teacher.  But then this odd lethargy would set in and I’d continue to bumble along without any sense of meaning again.  I suppose that I imagined life on the other side of sobriety to be crystal clear and unencumbered by the mental battles I’d been fighting (and losing) during my years of drinking.  What I wasn’t honest with myself about was that I needed to unlearn all the destructive thought patterns and habits I had acquired while I was functioning at a sub-par level.

Us as addicts have got to make peace with the fact that once we take that first step into sobriety life is not suddenly going to miraculously change.  There is no magic solution that will solve all the problems that we have been skillfully avoiding for many, many years.  What is required is brutal personal stocktaking and a long hard look in the mirror.  Of course when I started to look in the mirror all I saw were the startling physical changes that were taking place, but I failed to really look at what I saw and take a personal inventory.  And it took me a very ling time to do that.  This might be due to the fact that I was not attending any sort of meetings or reaching out in the early stages of my recovery, but had rather chosen to overcome my addiction through sheer willpower and determination.  Traits which I didn’t know I had until I really looked for them and there they were!  However, I am not advocating trying to do this alone.  In fact, I am a huge believer in the power of finding someone to support you through your “rebirth”.  I was just not in the position to do so because of my physical location at the time.

But I did come across a wonderful online support group about 10 months into my journey, when I was feeling very uncertain and fragile, because I wasn’t experiencing the life changes I was expecting to come raining down on me.  “Women for Sobriety” is an incredible network of women who share their stories and experiences and the tenants are very empowering and uplifting.  There are thirteen statements of acceptance, the first one of which is “I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.  I now take charge of my life and my disease. I accept the responsibility.”  I felt like this was a group of people who were speaking my language and understood my inability to work the 12 steps of AA.  I loved the sense of community, the positive nature of the affirmations and I only wished that I was able to attend the meetings, which are ongoing throughout the world.  They just weren’t going on where I was based in the Far East.  And through being a member of the online group, I started to see the changes that I was hoping for.

What I began to realise was that these transformations weren’t simply going to happen, but that the road to recovery is a pretty steep uphill climb.  It’s a journey through personal hell at times, because there is the absolute need for brutal introspection.  You need to reassess your value system and ask yourself the really tough questions about what you are and where you are going.  And there are times when I would (and still do) curl up on my bed for a couple of days because it can be incredibly tough to look that deep into yourself and decide who you are and what you want to be in life.  In recent months I have started working with a life coach and there are times that I wish that this was an avenue I had explored a lot earlier in my sobriety.  Because present-focused awareness is what coaching is about, looking for the answers, while someone stands by coaxing you to find your truth, but never for a minute giving you the answers on what or where it might be.  Cajoling you when you don’t really want to look any deeper, but oh when you do, the answers that you find really are quite mind blowing.  But you have to do the work!

I guess what I am really trying to say is that if you are in the early stages of your recovery, don’t expect it to be easy!  Don’t expect to wake up after a few months and be living this wonderful life that has materialised because you are no longer drinking.  What I do believe is that being present, aware and positive is essential to sustainable change, but that the shifts take time.  And above all, don’t give up if you are not seeing the results you expect immediately.  I have been sober for a little under six years, and frankly it is in the last year that the changes that I was searching for have begun to really come to fruition.  I can recommend that you surround yourself with positive people and be grateful for the little blessings in your life.  Think about what you need to say “yes” to stay sober as you take the next step and don’t ever be afraid to say “no” to anything that stands in the way of your recovery and sobriety.

I want to inspire peopleSo before you finish reading this, take a moment and think of what you are grateful for right now.  Do this everyday until being grateful becomes the habit of gratitude.  And until then get up, dress up and show up.  I assure you that it’s well worth it in the long run!

Til next time

Sober Something

 

 

 

The road not taken…

Yes, being sober in the beginning is incredibly difficult, but it is worth every moment of pain, anxiety and fear!  The night I stopped drinking is a story in itself, but beside the occasional moment when I could happily gulp down an ice cold beer or slam a couple of tequilas, I honestly don’t miss drinking most of the time.  There are celebrations when it would be lovely to partake in a chilled glass of champagne or a fruity sauvignon blanc, especially at events like weddings and birthdays, but all I have to do is remind myself that “one drink is too many and a hundred drinks are never enough”.  I am almost certain I am misquoting, but you get the idea.  It would be one or two quiet drinks and then the intensity would increase, and before long there’d be general mayhem.  So when those feelings start to arise in me, I just imagine how bad I would feel the following morning and how thankful I am that I have the willpower to get through the next few hours.  I picture myself curled up in bed, shaking and sweaty, the alcoholic gloom enveloping me.  And that is all it takes for me to order another mineral water.  These events are not always easy because the important people in my life tend to drink excessively at times.  So I have learned to relax and just embrace the chaos.  I’ve also acquired the skill of quietly taking my leave from big parties when they start to get out of hand and the festivities become too much for me to endure.  At this point I’ll just slip away, leaving the revelers to their own devices.

Smaller gatherings are much less challenging, and my friends are comfortable that when I slip away it is not because I don’t value them.  It’s just that the evening has drawn to a natural close for me and although I love them, I do not want to hear the same story for the third time or sit around and watch while they get silly.  But it’s taken time and effort on everyone’s part and there were definitely some incredibly tense moments in the initial months, and even years.  My family is by far the hardest to endure when they have spent a night guzzling wine and talking nonsense.  For some reason they seem to irritate and aggravate me far more than anyone else has ever managed.  And if the truth be told sometimes after a few too many they seem to have all the answers to my life questions, which I’d rather not hear when they are somewhat sibilantly challenged.  They also tend to get overly personal and I’d actually rather not be around them when they decide to have a bender, and be brutally honest about what they think one any number of subjects…including me.

Let me assure you that if you are finding the initial days and weeks of not drinking challenging because you feel out of place, simply stay away from events that may include alcohol, which pretty much means all of them unless you are in a dry county or at an AA meeting.  Right from the outset I decided that I was not going to cloister myself in my sobriety and from the very early days I started to attend parties and gatherings where alcohol was served.  I didn’t see the point in staying at home and making myself feel excluded and self-ostracised.  So initially I’d just drop in at the early stages of a party and stay until the drinks really started to flow and people’s behaviour inevitably deteriorated.  It required going through a fair amount of “big-girl panties” at the time, because it wasn’t easy to watch my friends relaxed and breezy, while there was a war raging inside me.  But I persevered and fought the urges to grab a stiff drink or the nearest taxi!  I’d often stick to the fringes, not mingling too much and sipping on a glass of sparkling water.  Not having a drink in my hand would often lead to offers of one and then a myriad of questions if I refused it, and I was ready to profess my alcoholism to mere acquaintances.  After a couple of hours I felt a deep sense of relief at being able to go home, crawl into bed and read a good book.

My close friends were incredibly supportive of my choices.  They didn’t push me or try and dissuade me from my path.  They were simply there…waiting to see if I stumbled and fell I think.  And then slowly the most incredible thing started to happen!  I started to feel well.  My anxiety and depression eased, I began to sleep properly and I just felt amazing.  People would constantly comment on how fantastic I was looking and ask me what I was doing!?  I also lost weight and my face wasn’t blotted and blotchy.  My pallor improved and my entire body started to feel like it belonged to me.  And the better I felt the less I wanted to drink.  Looking back at photos from my early 30s and comparing them to photos that were taken after I had been sober for a mere six months, the difference is strikingly obvious.  My eyes regained a sparkle and my skin a lustre.  It was nothing short of a rebirth for me.  I also had time for everything.  Weekends were long and luxuriant, with plenty of hours to pursue the things I adored.  Exercise became part of my routine and my job a source of reward and happiness.  I could hardly believe I hadn’t experienced this 5 years previously when I’d quit, but the circumstances had been completely different and I was not suffering through losing a business before the age of 30.

Yes, there are some things that have never been the same since I gave up drinking on 1st January 2007!  I have become far more discerning in my choice of friends.  Decisions about my life are based on intellect and reason, and not hungover reaction.  I have grown emotionally and spiritually and my work life has gone from strength to strength.  Sure, I don’t dance on bar counters anymore, in fact I hardly dance.  And I am not the first to arrive and the last to leave, but I spend quality hours with my friends and loved ones when I see them.  There is not as much frivolity in evenings out, but there are memories made and remembered!  Drinking and driving is a thing of the past, never wondering how I got home, but always happy to be the designated driver.  My life now is full of rich rewards, both personally and professionally.  My future plans are fueled by passion and determinations, rather than strong bourbons, and I have a completely new perspective on my purpose in life.

Yes, it takes time to get here!  But it is a road that is worth taking as the joys and abundance far outstrip any boozy night out, not matter where you are or who you are with.

‘Til next time

Sober Something

path-less-traveled“I shall be telling this with a sigh,

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in the wood, and I – 

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.” (Robert Frost)