top Numero Uno benefit of being sober

Here’s an extract from yesterday’s open call. You can listen to the complete recording here.

(13:00) “If you had to pick one top Numero Uno benefit of being sober, what would it be?”

I think it would be being able to count on myself. Because part of what i hated about drinking was the promises that I made to myself that I would have one, or none, or two [drinks], or that I would skip a night – and really not being able to do it. And I thought that the problem was with me. I thought I didn’t have enough willpower, that I didn’t want it bad enough. It never occurred to me that the alcohol was additive, or making me dependent, or making me feel needy, or that wolfie would act up [if I drank] and then settle down. None of that occurred to me. Never occurred to me. Ever.

The only thing that ever occurred to me was that I was a fuck-up and could not get my shit together. … the noise in my head was grim. it doesn’t even really matter what you present on the outside, it’s how you feel about you on the inside.

So the number one biggest benefit of being sober is all of that stopped. It all stopped. All of the “why aren’t you good enough … other people seem to be able to drink socially … other people seem to be able to quit … are you going to turn out like those other family members that are alcoholics?”

“No, no, of course. No no, I’m not an alcoholic.” [I’d say to myself]. “I just drink every night. I’m not an alcoholic. I could quit. Well I can’t really quit. Well quitting is actually really hard.”

It never occurred to me that I could actually feel better about myself if could stop drinking. It was a fiction.

There are of course lots of other benefits to being sober: fewer regrets, less shame, spending less money, consuming fewer calories.

But knowing that i can count on myself is kind of the best part for me (so far!). and you?

Belle

I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

22 thoughts on “top Numero Uno benefit of being sober

    1. #1 benefit — not having the “noise in my head” — I never realized how much of what I thought about was negative self-talk. Now it’s so much easier to just breathe and concentrate on the good. I’ve always seen the good in others and I’m beginning to see the good in me 🙂 !

      Again, thank you for your call — I felt like it was my story you all were talking about.

      Also, thank you for making this blog and call so easy to use!

  1. For the first time since I was 17 (I’m now 60),I have total control of myself. Nothing is controlling my actions other than my own clear head. I know myself, I love myself. I am my own best friend and am totally responsible for my actions.

  2. This resonates so strongly with me. I hated how I was constantly incapable of keeping promises to myself…day after day, month after month, year after year. My sense of self was always based on what others thought of me or told me I was/was not. Today, I have figured out that the only opinion that counts is my own and the only person I have to answer to is myself. It’s wonderful waking up each day and giving myself a high-five. I love being honest with myself and being successful in something I never believed I could achieve.

  3. The ability to love myself. I hated myself for many years & hated that my children witnessed it. Also, crawling out of the hole of depression. I am on depression medication but drinking…which is a depressant… counteracted my medicine!!! Duhh!!!…. I see the light!!

  4. What changing courses said, she always has the right words. I’m 62 but a late bloomer, never had a drink until I was 21 and then never stopped (except pregnant). Now every breath I take seems better than before. I’m owning this good stuff right now and want it to continue. Yesterday I stuffed that wolf right up that turkey’s a..!

  5. I absolutely agree with all of this. I made myself so many promises that I never could keep. And, it caused me so much stress. I worried about driving drunk and getting pulled over. I worried about going to dinners and having too many glasses of wine and saying something rude, I worried about who did and who didn’t like me, I worried about my husband getting tired of my bullshit and divorcing me. The easy solution was to quit drinking. But, for years, I couldn’t ever do it. I still don’t have a solid “Ah Ha!” moment. I think I finally just got sick of my OWN bullshit.

  6. totally, annabelle lee–i got seriously OVER my own bullshit. never winning, always losing. now, though, since the cravings have gone–man, the best thing is not having the need, the compulsion to drink. i feel free of the pull, and that is something that i never ever ever thought would happen. i just thought that the pull was a part of me–turns out, it was created by the wine, not part of who i am. and it is SO amazing to not have that burden anymore.

  7. I can relate and echo all these comments. I absolutely adore the depth and clarity I have in all my relationships since stopping booze. Looking people in the eye, connecting with my heart. Love, love, love the freedom.

  8. It really is hard to choose just one … this is one of many benefits. No one has touched on this yet: good health. I used to worry all the time about the state of my liver; my increased chances for breast cancer etc. I hated all the small bruises on my legs. “Could they really be from iron-deciency from all the booze? Yes, no, yes, no…” Well after a few months sober-free, guess what? No bruises.

    1. Wow Charlene, me too!! Bruises on my legs especially… new ones, old ones & I usually couldn’t remember what the hell happened. Stomach aches high in my stomach & worried about pancreatitis ….etc. I do feel healthier now at just 13 days sober.

  9. I love being able to see the real me, with all my flaws and strengths. The last few years I felt beyond lonely. Thought it was about needing more/better friends, hobbies, inspiration… Thought it was my fault I was so blue. Turns out I was just fragile and burnt out from my crazy lifestyle and the toxic boozing. Being sober has given me back myself, my real best friend. I still want more fun, friends, inspiration – who doesn’t? But I’m no longer lonely in the least. I was just really missing me (:

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