Central Park, New York, by AirPano

one of the umpteen functions of this blog is to serve as my own personal scrapbook of writing that I’ve enjoyed and learnt from. I noticed recently that I’d been reading a number of posts on the subject of becoming 1000 days sober, and I thought I’d like to bring some of them together here.

now, anyone who has got 1,000 days of sobriety under their belt is, firstly, 325 days ahead of me where I am now at 675 days. they have been getting sober and learning cool stuff for a critical amount of time longer than I have, and it’s really useful to me to see their perspective. secondly, they have literally been around the block a couple of times in terms of the calendar. they have experienced the big occasions at least twice, maybe three times. and I suppose I consider things are starting to settle down a bit for them in terms of sobriety.

I think when we start getting sober (and I’ve had a number of new followers recently, so if that is YOU, welcome to the party and where have you been all my life?! lovely to have you here!) ahem, where was I? ah, yes – when we start getting sober we go through that phase of thinking about not-drinking as much as we used to think about drinking. which just SUCKS. there’s no other word for it. but once you’ve got through that, sobriety becomes more than about not-drinking and turns into how-the-hell-do-I-start-LIVING?

here are some perspectives on being 1,000 days sober. but please don’t be intimidated at the mere idea of that many days in a row. one of the most helpful things I ever heard was the fact that we consistently over-estimate what we can achieve in a short period of time, and under-estimate what we can achieve in a longer period of time, and 1000 days definitely counts as the latter.

the first one that I read was one from SueK, when she did a guest post on Living Sober – It’s Never Too Late to Grow Up.

this was a truly marvellous post and I’m sure will have impacted the many people who have read it – if you haven’t done so already, please do go and read it here. this is one of my favourite parts:

‘So I’ve been intentional about taking responsibility for my emotional maturity and my own happiness. In many ways I’ve just started treating myself as well as I would treat a cherished child. It’s meant becoming considerate to myself, taking the time to know what my preferences actually are (as opposed to operating on perceived expectations). It’s meant taking time to look after my health – yoga, meditation, moisturising, sleep need to be priorities, not something I do if there’s time left over after everyone else’s needs are taken care of. It’s meant changing what I read and consume intellectually, so I get a healthy dose of quality information about personal growth. Most importantly it’s meant turning off the noise, stopping all the woe-is-me stories, reminding myself constantly that nobody else is to blame for anything in my life any more, and learning to Sit Still and Be Quiet.

In that still and quiet, I have learned that this creature, this creation that is me, is GOOD and good enough, just as she is.’

and here are some words from Amy at Sober-bia, a few days later:

‘The gratitude I feel towards myself is uncomfortable and incredible. My dear friend who came to visit got me thinking hard about the hiding that I still do. How I want to make me getting sober into just another ho hum casserole thing when it’s actually this amazing astounding miracle! I am as embarrassed by my successes as I am my failures. Here she was, in my thousand days week, to come and firmly remind me that I must celebrate and own my accomplishment. That I can be proud and humble all at the same time. That when I diminish what I’ve done I go backwards. That it is wonderful to be me since along all these days I have become the woman I longed for: capable, reliable, steady. Full of gratitude, full of grace. A foundation for the things to come.’

so buoyed up by these words I went looking for more Scheherazades, recounting their tales of their thousand and one nights.

Virginia Frances Sterrett (1900-1931) Scheherazade Went on with Her Story Illustration for Arabian Nights, 1928

I found Allison Hudson’s words on Huffington Post. Allison blogs at itsalushlife.com, and I love the tshirts she has for sale. she says:

‘I’ve also heard people say that their worst day in sobriety is better than their best day drunk. Well, people, I disagree. I had some pretty awesome times drinking. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have tried like hell to regain control of my drinking for as long as I did. But I get what they mean. I wouldn’t trade my life in sobriety for my old life drinking any day. Not once in the past 1,000 days have I regretted my decision to get sober. Today, the grass is greener. The sun is brighter. The air is fresher. I mean, not really. It’s just that I have a new outlook — a new perspective on life. I’ve replaced fear with faith, insecurity with confidence, anger with love, and resentments with forgiveness and acceptance. Of course I don’t do this perfectly. I mess up. I make mistakes. But over the past 1,000 days, I have come to know a new way of living and it’s pretty darn amazing.

Sure, there are some downers, if that’s what you want to call them: I won’t ever go wine tasting in Napa again. I’ll never know what Oola Rosemary flavored vodka tastes like. I’ll continue to sit through awkward first dates knowing it would be less awkward if wine were involved. But what I have gained the past 1,000 days is so much more. I can go anywhere and do anything while being true to myself and not have to drink. 1,001 days ago I was drinking not because I wanted to but because I had to. Today I have a choice and today I choose sobriety.’

and many more I found which were all really interesting in their own way, all saying,

‘for me, this is better. so much better I can hardly believe it.’

one last great quote from Liene at thinksplendid.com, who says, and I paraphrase, that alcohol is a common substitute for therapy – which is so true it makes my teeth hurt.

it might be debatable whether we get a truer perspective on addiction the further we move away from it. it may be that our view when we are very close to our addiction is more accurate but we are unable to see the bigger picture of what our lives could be without it.

the image of Central Park at the head of this posts was created by AirPano, a not-for-profit project that creates virtual tours from a bird’s eye view. the issues around sobriety can get very detailed and our worlds can shrink accordingly. I would highly recommend an AirPano trip if you feel you need to get some perspective into your life!

have a smashing weekend, whether you are one day sober, a gazillion days sober, or somewhere or nowhere in between. it’s a wild and wonderful world out there – let’s go and enjoy it! Prim xx

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