The best things that have happened to me since quitting drinking are:
- saving over $14,000 (this amount comes from spending an average of $10/day on alcohol and doesn't include any other drinking-related expenses: food delivery, bar tabs, blacked out credit card shopping sprees, etc)
- lost 30 pounds since my heaviest weight and heaviest drinking days
- fell more and more in love with my wife of more than 12 years
- moved to Cleveland, Ohio where we can afford to live
- grew our business enough that it pays the rent and bills!
- let go of more addictions and am facing my "addiction transference" more every day
The addiction transference is the hardest part. Even though I don't drink anymore, and I recently quit my other love kratom, I still have a constant desire to escape. While I used to drink to escape facing my problems, now I want to escape feeling anything other than blissful. My biggest energy drain is constantly wishing I had more energy.
I rarely dream about alcohol anymore but I still dream about Adderall, my sweet, sweet, torturous friend. I still want uppers, still want speed, still want anything to make me more productive, suppress my appetite and help me complete tedious tasks.
This is the most annoying part about being sober--the awareness of wanting to escape but not really being able to stop trying to escape. I am fully aware of the trying to escape, but that doesn't make me not want to escape the moment, the tedium of not being motivated. That's what I'm really looking for now--a source of constant motivation.
So goes sobriety, where it is a continuous peeling back of the onion skins, revealing more and more levels of consciousness. There is no end to the depth of consciousness, which is exciting on one hand, but also sometimes I just want to say fuck it and black out.
So for now I still have my caffeine and weed and occasional psychedelics. I miss the kratom REAL bad but I'm relieved to be free of it. My mission is to find my internal source of motivation, that doesn't require a pill or a person or an emergency to tap it.
Today I keep wanting to say sobriety is tiring, but it's just my thoughts wearing me out. I'm constantly reaching for both euphoria and a disciplined mind and body. I want to eat 1600 calories a day, work out 6 days a week, and feel the best I've ever felt every single day. I want to feel constantly inspired to create my best work. The things I want really haven't changed since I first began my journey into "waking up". I still just want to eat to live (instead of live to eat), support myself with my creative ideas, and have fun from morning to night. Is that so much to ask??
Psychedelics give me respite from these perfectionist thoughts. They remind me that love is what ultimately matters, and that my best course of action is always to accept what is. I imagine there will come a day that I remember these truths without a drug, but I'm in no hurry to get there. I am so grateful for the microdoses and the mental states that make me more receptive to winks from life. I am so grateful for the reminder to be playful!
So wow, I am entering the fifth year of sobriety from alcohol. I really don't miss it anymore and can confirm it was the best decision I ever made for my health, finances, relationships and creativity. The search for escape and external sources of motivation continues, and all I can do to combat those is love myself and accept things as they are.
All the things that make my life so nice and smooth now came slowly since quitting. A regular workout routine came slowly. The morning ritual of EFT, chakra alignment, silent counting and journaling took years to come into alignment. It's getting easier to wake up at 9am and go to bed by 1am. My spending is completely reined in. My life is the exact opposite of chaotic.
My fourth year of sobriety really was a big one. I finally reached a place where I
- lost 15 pounds and hit my (adult) lifelong goal weight
- started working out several times a week without the external motivation of a Gold's gym membership
- quit kratom after enjoying it for 3 years
- stuck to my 3x/week meditation video schedule
- triumphed over a lawsuit
But still on my wishlist for this next year, I would love to
- find a stable, reliable source of energy and motivation within myself
- make some close friends/find more community in Cleveland
- make more money than I spend
- be brave about cycling again (alcohol sure made me fearless about riding my bike)
- maintain my weight and increase my fitness level
In conclusion, I am so happy and grateful to be four years sober. I am so proud of myself for sticking to it, and amazed at how good my life got without it. I still struggle with finding energy and motivation, and would love to be more adventurous and spontaneous. I am so thankful for my supportive wife and for all the encouragement from friends and family I receive. I am so happy to be here with a clear mind and excited to see what comes next.
If you are sober-curious or have any questions about quitting drinking, or if you want someone to talk to about alcohol, feel free to email me any time.