Hey, hey! I’m back and finally on the mend after some down-time. Yes, I am still dragging out this self-care Sundays series; hoping to bring you all some weird and wonderful ways to look after yourselves.
If you’ve read my latest post you’ll know that I’ve made some pretty big changes in my life recently. No I’m not pregnant, or engaged. I’m sober! Shocking to some but a long time coming I guess. Ten years has taken its toll on me and I have decided to ditch the booze and drugs. Addiction runs in the family and constantly suffering from poor mental health is draining enough, so I am doing everything in my power to better myself. In light of my recent lifestyle changes, I thought it was only right to dedicate this self-care Sunday’s post to highlight the benefits of sobriety.
One of the main reasons I decided to go sober was to improve my mental health. Yes a night out on the drink is a great laugh but how long does that affect you for? I know my hangovers can last for days and to be honest I just don’t have that kinda time to be wasting. I am a business woman. I need a clear head to make sound decisions and plan for the future. This simply cannot be done with alcohol in my life.
2.)Sleep better- I dream now! (YAY)
It is a huge myth that alcohol will help you sleep better! Yes it may make you fall asleep easier but the quality of that sleep will certainly be disrupted. For a long time I used weed as my ‘night cap’ and believed I couldn’t go to sleep without it, but really it is best to avoid any long-term sleeping aids and try to improve our sleep hygiene in natural ways. Weed actually suppresses your REM sleep which is when you have most of your dreams. I’d never really thought about these effects before but now I don’t smoke weed I am loving dreaming and taking full advantages of this new found feeling. I feel like a child in a sweet shop and feel truly blessed when I wake up, I have even started to write down my dreams hoping I will get better at remembering them as time goes by. I find it so interesting making links and relating the meaning to real life situations. I cannot believe I restricted my body from this natural function for so long!
Since being a teenager I have always suffered with problem skin; acne, red blotches, blemishes, oil-prone… you name it I got it. On reflection this is probably around the time I also started going out and getting slaughtered every weekend. It is no secret that all the toxins in alcohol are bad for your body and skin alike, helping you to look puffy faced and spotty for days afterwards. I am already starting to see the benefits in my skin since stopping drinking and am looking forward to what is to come.
4.)Better eating habits
I dread to think of all those calories/sugar/fat content etc. crammed into all those hangover days. What about when you get the munchies proper bad and literally can’t stop scoffing? A life of sobriety puts you in control of your mind and eating habits. Yes sometimes that cake will be staring at you and I guess it’s ok to indulge every once in a while, but now I understand the importance of eating a balanced diet and treating yourself in moderation- not just because you’re on a massive comedown. Eating healthy and avoiding alcohol is good for your mind, body and soul. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!
No hangovers, come-downs, anxiety from getting tagged in drunken ugly photos, panicking about sneaking in at 8am hoping my parents aren’t awake yet- but doing the same again next week because why not? Well I’ll tell you now I am definitely a lot happier with none of that to worry about. I love my fresh Sundays, there ain’t nothing like it. Does that make me boring? So be it. After ten years of acting the drunken fool I would quite like some normality. There’s nothing that makes me happier than taking my dog for a walk down the beach, catching up over coffee with friends, spending quality time with loved ones or just having a chilled one on the sofa with my bae. As I’m getting older I am slowly realising that it is the little things that make you happy. As Lana Del Rey says I’ve enjoyed my ‘wilderness years’ and they were bliss, troublesome and damn right crazy; but now I am seeking true happiness within myself.
6.)Become more productive
When you are sober all the time you really do appreciate just how many hours they are in a day. To people without addiction problems this may sound really silly but since literally nipping mine in the bud (pardon the pun) I have become a much more productive person, especially since I work from home. To be honest I don’t quite know how I managed it all under the influence… some sort of voodoo perhaps. As I am so much more aware of my time now, I manage to fit so many more things in that I would have never thought of doing before. I have started my blog, volunteering, writing poetry, become more innovative at work all alongside my full-time job from home. I am also able to make more time for friends and family and genuinely be present in these relationships- one of my main reasons of wanting to become sober in the first place. I have really found a creative side to my personality that I never believed was there before and am so grateful to be able to tap into my emotions like this. After seeing this side to myself, I can never ever imagine wasting another day being hungover ever again. What a waste of a day, or three in my case (depending how good the sesh was)!
7.)Meeting like-minded, supportive people through my journey
I really do have Lifeline to thank for helping me along my journey. They have been so supportive and I don’t think I would be where I am now without their assistance and kindness. I have attended all kinds of groups, meetings, forums but the SMART meetings have been the most helpful. If anyone if struggling with addiction I would highly recommend these meetings to you. I have never met a group of more positive, inspiring characters who are looking to help each other along their way. Everyone in the room is at different stages of their journey, or may be battling with different substances, but no-one judges each other. Yes people may have lapses and set-backs but the thing is we have all been there and understand that recovery is a long road but as long as you are determined then you are going in the right direction. Attending these meetings each week helps to keep me motivated even if I have had a terrible week. I really am so grateful for Lifeline. Never be afraid to self-refer, it could change your life.
I think it is so common for people to underestimate how much they spend on drink or drugs. I know I did! It didn’t even cross my mind. I just knew I had enough money coming in to supply the habit, so it was cool- yeah? When you stop and suddenly see your money increasing you think ‘oh shit, is that how much I was actually spending on that stuff?’ We can try to rationalise all we like but when you are drunk money just goes. I know I would always be the one buying everyone drinks, sometimes I would even just throw money on the floor? Because that’s a great idea, not like I need that. I remember one time ripping up twenty quid when I smashed because I thought it was funny. Clearly it makes better money sense for me to be sober. No more ripping up cash because I think it’s funny. No more buying drugs when I’m drunk, pizza to cure the hangover or buying roses off the gypsy outside Empire. (what’s all that about?) In my new sober life I prefer to eat out, go to the cinemas, visit city’s to see my friends and hopefully save some money to buy a house or go on holiday. Watch out world I’m coming for ya!
Have you ever thought about going sober? Do you do any daft things when your drunk? Let me know your thoughts….
Watch out for my next post on self-care in the series next Sunday!