Reflections On The First Year of Sober Courage
Exactly one year ago today I clicked the very, very scary publish button to send my first post out to the great WordPress. As I look back to those early days and reminisce about how it all started and where it is now, I am unexpectedly reminded of my early days sober and the year that followed.
Oh, that first year! What can I say… it’s hard, right? We often put down the drink and expect the instantaneous results! Then when it doesn’t happen we feel disappointed and want to give up. Early sobriety is filled with the uncertainty of the future, and the fear of the past, swirled up in the pink cloud, and often sprinkled with many new fears, and worries. The daily ups and downs seem overwhelming and everything is difficult and somewhat boring. I often felt like I was never going to be happy again!
Those early days are so very fragile. We put our feet out into the great, big unknown, sort of like clicking that big PUBLISH button for the first time! We wait… with the excitement of a little kid… and nothing happens? Yep, that was my first day publishing a post, nothing happened! LOL! There are still no likes or comments on my first post, and a total of only 56 views in the entire year since. But I did publish another post… and nothing happened again, in fact that post only had 11 views all year and my next one had only 9! Oh, I really wanted to quit… yet, I wrote another post!
To checkout my very first post click here >> READY!? Here comes day 1!
This was very much like my first few days sober, I made it through each day, waiting and expecting for something to happen – here is the magic, I thought, they say it gets better, I know it is coming, I can feel it! But things did not get better in those first few days, they actually seemed worse — sleepless nights, the sweating, the headaches, the constant irritability, and the fear of facing each day sober loomed over me! Those days went by sooo slowly and I often felt like giving up and going back to my life, as I knew it for years. But I kept going, I knew that sobriety was what I really wanted and desperately needed.
The same can be said about writing — with almost no activity on my blog for the first month, I felt like giving up! But I kept writing because I knew that I wanted to help others struggling with alcoholism, and/or deciding to get sober. I knew that there was more that I could do to help! I needed to get involved, I need to find more people like me, I needed to reach out, and learn how to blog and get involved with the readers.
I also needed to learn how to stay sober and reach out to others for help and support. This is a tough road and even tougher if you chose to travel by yourself! But, there are many, many support groups and both online and in person. (Check out Find Support link at the top of this page.) Since I was already a bit familiar with the 12-step program, I started attending meetings daily, and reading all the books I could, and collecting phone numbers and sharing how I felt with the group. It was hard to stay focused and on my path, but I just did it one day at a time.
And even though in the beginning all I could do is focus on not drinking, by the three-month mark I was more comfortable with myself and I started seeing the many positives in my life: no hangovers, good sleep, clearer mind, and happiness… the pink cloud was over me! As the days added up things were getting even better and easier. I was collecting tools for dealing with life’s challenges, and finally learning how to do it all without drinking. By my six month mark I was settled in a routine of meetings, and new ways of dealing with those really tough days like Fridays, weekends, and holidays! Life was not perfect, or peaches and cream all the time, but it was slowly becoming way better than the drunk existence I used to live in.
As the time moved on, I found so many new things to be grateful for, and new happiness was emerging in sobriety. By the time I hit one year sober, my life was completely different in so many ways, and it was overwhelming to look back and finally see how far I have come!
The same happened with my blog! It also had to grow and change and settled in its little routine. And it has certainly changed from the very first few posts to now! Today I like to write about recovery from the early sobriety perspective, and then compare those times to how amazingly different it is now! I have also I created the two series posts called Friday Night Pep-Talk and Sober Moms, and I usually write about twice a week on other recovery related topic. I often try to visit new blogs, and I continuously stride to stay connected and offer any support I can. Writing this blog has given me the opportunity to meet some really awesome, and very talented bloggers too! And it has provided me with lots of new growth, openness and support!
Connecting with other bloggers has enriched my life tremendously! Thank you all for sharing your journeys!
In the end, I have to remember that every beginning is hard! It’s just the way it is. But I can’t give up, I have to keep moving forward if I want my goals to become realities! And sometimes they may come slowly, but they always materialize if I work for them!
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.