When I got sober in 1986, weekends were a huge struggle as I’d spent the previous eight years or so on a binge of one type or another. I didn’t know how to handle this sudden influx of free time not spent in a bar or recuperating from a horrendous hangover. I went to lots of meetings. But now as a sober spoonie, I’ve had to learn how to adjust again and make the most of my time even when I can’t get out.
Because weekends can be so tough, UnpickledBlog asks for some help and inspiration for newcomers, so here’s how I spend my weekends these days.
What did you do instead of drinking this weekend and how is it better or worse than drinking?
Back in the early days, I used to spend my early weekends in sobriety at meetings, coffee shops and alcohol free clubs. It took me a long time to get used to the new and glorious feeling of waking up without feeling like a block of cement had been dropped on my head overnight or wondering what I’d done the night before. And an equally long time to learn how to process the feelings that I’d been stuffing for years. Suddenly there was some extra money. I started getting my nails done, bought nicer clothes and jewelry.
Nowadays my weekends are pretty quiet. As a 50-something with dystonia, I’m pretty happy to stay home most of the time (though I’m always up for a good adventure when one presents itself.) Getting to meetings can be tough because I don’t really like driving at night now. I fatigue quickly and that makes the tremors worse. On quiet weekends at home I enjoy spending time with my family & pets, cooking, reading, coloring and yoga. I also love that I can find recovery resources and support online now which was of course unheard of in 1986!
One the day you got sober, what was the one thing you did that was different?
On the day I got sober, I simply decided that enough was enough and put it down.
What’s the best part of being sober?
The best part of being sober for me is that I have no regrets now and no guilt. The past has been dealt and done away with. God does not remember our confessed sins. Sure I’ve made plenty of mistakes in sobriety but part of the recovery process is today, that I take inventory, talk about it and move on. I don’t hide things away anymore which I now realize inevitably led to binges in the past.
What keeps you going?
My faith and family is what keeps me going now. I truly love my (still) new life, no matter how hard it gets at times. We don’t have an easy set of circumstances to deal with but faith and recovery have given me the tools to handle what comes my way.
I want to finish this race well. Even though I have 30 years now, it’s still one day at a time. I don’t think about drinking at all but it depends on my spiritual condition in order to stay that way. Life with its ups and downs is going to keep happening. I hope to handle everything in my path with grace and humility, trusting in God for the outcome. Walking this road as a sober spoonie with chronic pain is tough. As the writer at UnpickledBlog wrote, I want to be a badass and SOBER old lady someday, always interested in life and serving others. Maybe I will become a photographer or a yoga teacher yet. Now that the end of the school year insanity is winding down, I’m back to working on the writing.
With God, all things are possible!
For more recovery reading and tools, please visit the sites on this very incomplete list for great encouragement!