One Year of Sobriety! To be more specific I am now one year and two months sober; fourteen months in total. Of course this post is for anyone interested but if you are in the throes of addiction, trying to get sober or are a family member related to someone suffering with the disease then I really do hope this piece speaks up and reaches out to you. For me, this post is all about what can be achieved if you stay positive and push forward in the fight to remain clean and sober. I always like to think that my future self is rooting for me right now! In this post I’m going to outline a number of things that have helped me keep on keeping on, on a daily basis and when things got really tough.
Family and friends… I cannot emphasise enough how much my relationships have improved since I committed to a healthy lifestyle and complete sobriety. As an ex addict I can now say that yes I did make excuses, even lied at times, I was manipulative, unreliable and inconsistent. Although my family remained loyal I saw many friendships dissipate and fall by the waste side. I would like to point out here that many of my so called ‘friends’ were not at all, merely acquaintances with one thing in common and that was drugs. As soon as I started to change my habits and sort my life out, not wanting to buy off them anymore they were not interested in me at all. I was just someone they were making money off, how naive and gullible was I. My true friends, although ones I can probably count on one hand are all still here and for that I am forever grateful.
Educating myself and home study… I read and write on a daily basis in order to engage myself and keep my brain busy and active. As they say, use it or lose it and so in order to remain mentally agile I read and write. Today I am finishing up ‘How To Be Human’ by Ruby Wax a book I would thoroughly recommend if you are at all interested in mental health, addiction, spirituality and science. With regard to writing, some days it may only be a line or two in my journal but I am disciplined and put pen to paper without fail. Some days I write for hours even if it is just getting my thoughts out and on to the page. Seeing my emotions etched out in black and white. This blog has been very motivating and I hope to reach out and interact with more of you who are also interested in subjects such as of self medicating, addiction, mental health, self-care and lifestyle.
I cannot emphasise enough how much the quality of my life has improved. My morning ritual now sees me waking up with my medication and warm cup of coffee in bed. Without fail I then make my bed each and every day. Personally I am a creature of habit and love routine. Meditation has become a huge thing for me, so much so that my case worker has said that I am a different person when I am meditating. Downloading free apps such as ‘HeadSpace’ and ‘Calm’ can be a great first step if you are new to all of this.
Previously I would have been pushed to shower but now I actually have an evening self care ritual and routine. This involves my skincare practice before a boiling hot shower and then slipping into my clean pj’s. I enjoy an evening meal followed by countless cups of ‘Jennier’ camomile tea. In the evening I then like to unwind with some ASMR, ‘Itsblitzzz’ is just my absolute favourite of mine although I also enjoy ‘WhispersRed’. Speaking plainly, I take medication to sleep and so it’s not long after that I’m calling it a day and hitting the hay. Personally I like to get ten hours sleep a night, what can I say I’m just one of those people who needs their sleep. I’m hopeless otherwise and “strugz to func” as Jonathan Van Ness would say.
I thoroughly enjoy cooking and preparing healthy, fresh home cooked meals. Where possible I will try and eat seasonal and locally sourced produce. I figure I have done so much damage to my body over the years it is now time to give back, also as they say you are what you eat! If you don’t want to feel like crap then avoid eating crap. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy goodies and love to bake also. For instance last night I fancied something naughty so I melted some dark chocolate and with some dried fruit, crumbled biscuit and mini marshmallow created some divine bite size ‘rocky-road’ nibbles.
This then leads seamlessly into my next piece as if I’m ever feeling bloated, low, lethargic or in need of some fresh air I’ll throw on my Converse and go for a stroll. Walking is a favourite pass time of mine, going out and being at one with nature. Sometimes I will do this alone or with friends from groups I attend at my local Drugs and Alcohol Services. I also love to swim and always leave the water feeling fully invigorated. There’s something about the water that just makes me feel alive, maybe it’s all those chemicals and endorphins that flood the brain when you work out. There’s just something about the water though, especially cold water swimming which I have referred to in my previous post ‘Cold Showers, Wild Swimming & I Found My Tribe’.
I’m going to stop there for now but I really can’t leave without commenting on how much I’ve relied on my local Drugs and Alcohol Services. My key worker has been such a tremendous support throughout all of this, I actually sometimes wonder if I could have done it without her. Also, the nurse and doctor who monitor me and my medication. If you find yourself in a difficult position then I would strongly encourage you to just reach out. There is no shame in asking for help and there are trained people out there ready to support you on your journey! If you have five minutes please do drop me a line, I would love to hear from you!