Club Soda member and guest blogger Kim is celebrating her first soberversary! Read what it was like to have her first sober year here. Congrats, Kim!
Exactly a year ago today, I woke up with a gargantuan hangover post-blackout. Post-throwing up in my sleep. Post-staggering around my flat naked, spaniels ears flapping around, unkempt lady garden on show (only ever groomed when action loomed which was less and less), with my house full of peeps, peaking with a mega vomit up the wall of my loo. Post a lot of things that I will never remember. I woke up with my regular companions, Shame and Guilt. I couldn’t remember the last sober night I’d had. I was the party girl (aka ageing, bloated, puffa-fish faced Grandma, who didn’t know when to throw the towel in). But my world was shrinking.
Testing the waters
Quitting for good wasn’t on my radar. However, 2 days later, still hungover to buggery I thought I’d see how long I could go without drinking. After a week of white knuckling I knew that I wanted to quit for good. After 2 weeks I joined two sober forums. The best decisions of my life.
1 year later, a big fat sober miracle: my life has changed beyond recognition! No booze, no fags, no caffeine, no E’s, no coke, no viagra, no ketamine, no weed, no MDMA, no morphine, no tramadol, no valium – NOTHING! Today I am on my way to Strasbourg. I’m travelling with a sober chick to meet more sober chicks out there. I say sober chicks, they are more than that, they are my friends, my lifeline. They are people I love. From joining these support sites I made a point of meeting as many of these gorgeous women and men I could. I have traveled the length and breadth of the UK meeting these inspirational men and women. My diary is always so full. I have such an epic life, I just can’t believe it.
Taking the first steps
The first few months were hard as I didn’t know how to live sober to the full. I was also exceptionally and utterly pissed off. But I found my way. Along with this site, my disco baths set me on my way. Every night at wine o’clock I would be in my bath, rave music blaring, lasers flashing, glow-balls glowing, bath fizz fizzing, bath dancing and singing at the top of my voice. I tried everything I could to carve out a new life for myself. Blogging helped. And laughing helped. I tried to make myself laugh each day. I still do. I’m quite funny.
Learning the ropes
I learnt a lot along the way. I can’t knit, I think of Justin Bieber if I try to meditate, wee dribbles out if I try to jog. I love walking. I love travelling on my own. I can do a Rubix cube in 5 minutes. It’s hard to be sad with a big fat bobble hat on your head. Lots of treats like massages and pedicures cost a lot even when you don’t drink. I’ve mostly ever only had gay male mates, I’ve learnt that actually women aren’t bitchy and boring, they are epic, fun, batshit crazy in the most delightful way and they are my world. I’ve learnt I love sober dancing and I still fall off tables sober.
I learnt that herbal teabags utterly suck, but after a tea and cheese tasting night I learnt that loose leaf tea is lovely. I learnt that I actually like sweet stuff. A lot. I learnt that even troughing vast quantities of chocolate and cheesecake that I’m still fitter than before. I’ve learnt I shouldn’t have thrown my size 8 clothes out when I was size 14, and that a 2 stone weight loss is a brilliant side effect of not getting mashed up. I’ve learnt that even a 2 stone weight loss has not enabled me to see my lady garden when I’m sitting down. I learnt it after zapping my red veiny drinking face things that haven’t come back because I’m not drinking.
Trading old for new
I’ve learnt that I couldn’t hang onto all my old friendships, but I’ve learnt that’s okay. I’ve learnt that the most important relationships, those with my amazing children and granddaughter have strengthened and blossomed beyond anything I could have dreamed of. I cherish every moment I spend with these three loving, extraordinary, crazy people. They are my best friends. I’m beyond grateful they didn’t give up on me. I am beyond grateful for the amazing adventures and memories we have had this year. It’s been so much fun. We live in each other’s pockets. I love those pockets. They are the best pockets in the world.
I’ve learnt that I still don’t like deep and meaningful conversations, therapy-ish stuff and I’m not very zenny. I’ve learnt that if I was an onion and got unpeeled there probs wouldn’t be a mass of layers but just one big round shiny onion underneath. And that’s okay. We are all different. I am kind and I am strong. I am a good friend, an ace mum and granny. I am very thoughtful. I am tenacious and independent. I am a sober warrior. I push myself and like moving out of my comfort zone. I love challenges. I am who I was meant to be. Epically far from perfect. But real.
Taking the leap of faith
I was scared I would turn into a non-drinking blob of beige. Instead I feel like I’m an explosion of colour. I’m so excited with my life. A while ago, when covered in glitter at 9am, dancing my arse off to trance at an AF rave, I just thought THIS IS IT! THIS IS MY WICKED LIFE! When I stopped drinking I couldn’t deal with “forever”. Like “forever, are you serious – that’s just so stupid and boring”. And now I still can’t deal with forever. I worry that this epic life won’t be forever, like some random booze monster will tie me down and shove booze down my throat and I’ll be back to square one without the energy to do this again. I want this to be forever so very much. It’s so bloody precious to me.
When I joined this site I thought I would leave after a couple of months because I would be bored, cured or back getting mashed up. I thought people who had been on here for years were obviously missing a trick. I thought if you managed a year then move on please, get on with life, no need to dwell. Well I won’t be leaving. I want to keep this connection. I feel after a year I still have heaps to learn about all of this and masses more to do with you guys. This site has given me my life back. I will continue to make friends and to share my journey. I will continue to travel to meet the wonderful people who I connect with. There’s a world of sober peeps out there, I want to meet as many of you inspirational strong people as I can. I hope I can help people in the way I’ve been helped too.
Living a custom-made sober life
Well I had better crack on now. Today a new city to see and adventures to be had with my extraordinary sober friends. When I’m back there will be more celebrations with my family, friends, London sober chicks and workmates. I’m going to party the arse out of my most important anniversary ever. My partying days aren’t over, they are just revving up again. These parties are so much better though. Authentic un-drugged up, un-drunk up fun with real connections.
Thank you to the lovely peeps here who have supported me, loved me and shown me just how amazing life can be. I have formed so many deep, genuine, loving relationships through this site. Just pure magic. I can’t remember a day when I didn’t speak to, see or message one of you amazing women.
I’m looking forwards to venturing further afield in the next couple of years with my sober chick visits; Ireland, Massachusetts and Canada for starters! What an incredible journey with extraordinary people – I can’t wait for the next part to begin. Thank you thank you thank you xxxxx
If you enjoyed this, you can check out more of Kim’s blogs here.