A Year Without Alcohol

May 7, 2014

Wow I can’t even believe I’m typing this! If you’re reading this it’s because I made it.  I made it to one full year without alcohol.  On May 6, 2013 I took my last drink.  I will never forget how it felt.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I was tired of being the party girl, I was tired of feeling like shit, I was tired of disappointing and embarrassing my friends and loved ones.  I decided I needed a big change. Trying to drink in moderation hadn’t proved to be the best option for me.  It never worked.  Enough was enough.  I tried something that I never did before – stopped drinking alcohol completely.

When I started this sober journey I wasn’t sure how long it would last and now I can’t imagine going back to how my life was before.  The positives have been plentiful and the negatives have been slim to none.

sobriety before and after
On the left, a peak drinking time / On the right, a few weeks ago, almost one year sober.

 

Here’s what I’ve learned in my one year sans alcohol:

1.  My senses are heightened x1000

Wow I feel everything with a noticeable heightened sensitivity.  This includes emotions, muscle pain, sense of smell, hearing, and taste.  My nose is so sensitive to smells I am ALWAYS saying “it smells like ___ in here”, or whoa, it smells SO strong.  My emotions are crazy, sometimes I think this is what it must feel like to be pregnant.  I cry at the drop of a hat, I’m offended easily, and sometimes I am so happy I feel like I’m going to burst.  I actually care what people think about me, I know those of you who know me are now saying, who are you and what have you done with Kelly? This ‘feeling everything’ thing can be extremely overwhelming at times, but I’ve never felt something so amazing.

2.  I’m just beginning to understand who I really am

I’ve been learning that there are things I thought I liked that I really don’t like and things I like that  I never knew I did.  I’m learning how to socialize and be myself with friends and family without the crutch of alcohol.  I learned that waking up on the weekend without a hangover, having a cup of coffee, and going for a run is exactly what I want to be doing.  I’m learning that person who was under the cloud of constant alcohol black outs for the last several years was not me.  I am not the stupid embarrassing things I did, I am a real person who does not mix well with alcohol.

3.  Alcohol was not fun for me anymore

I had been trying and failing for years to regulate my drinking.  I’m only going to drink two, ok three, just on the weekends.  It never worked and I finally figured out why – I’m not a person who can ingest alcohol.  It started out as a fun, social thing for me years ago, but last year I realized that it wasn’t fun anymore.  In fact it was the root of any type of problem I had.  Bad things happened to me when I drank and I should have wanted to stop sooner than I did.

4.  My life is manageable

When actively drinking my life was a hot mess and I was comfortable that way.  I fought through the scary first days and months of not drinking and now being sober is my normal.  I’m so glad it is.  Bad things would happen in the past and I always felt like it was the end of the world and drinking was the answer to everything.  Now, I feel more prepared if something bad were to happen, I am able to handle it in a healthy way.  Additionally, less bad things have happened since I stopped drinking alcohol which was the cause of many problems in the past.  I am now present and thankful for each day.

5.  I am worthy of love

I’m positive I have been sabotaging my romantic relationships for a long time.  Why? Now that might take years to find out, but the drinking just helped fuel this problem.  It supported, encouraged, and justified bad decisions of all kinds, especially those related to men.  What I didn’t realize until the drinking stopped was that I am capable of being in a normal relationship and I do in fact, deserve to be loved.  You see, I had this way of thinking that since I was fucked up, I was meant to be in a fucked up relationship.  Now I know that is crazy talk.  I am lucky enough to be in a loving, healthy relationship with an amazing man who has helped show me that I deserve all the love in the world and I am finally starting to believe him.

6.  Toxic people are just like toxic habits

This is a big one for me.  Obviously when you stop drinking or doing drugs you probably need to change some friends you hang out with.  I definitely had to do this and I realized just how little I had in common with some people.   I also realized that I had friends that were completely different from me, without the same goals and outlook on life.  It felt all too fake.  When you make a big life decision like admitting you have an alcohol problem and decide to to stop drinking, you really find out who your true friends are.  There are those who will love you unconditionally, those who won’t bat an eyelash, and those who will still offer you cocktails after they already know you don’t drink.  I’ve encountered all of the above.  Getting rid of my toxic friendships along with my toxic habits just makes sense and I’m learning not to feel bad about it.

7.  I’m not perfect and that’s ok

Stopping a nasty habit like alcohol abuse can bring out a lot of guilt, shame, and regret.  I’d be lying if I said I haven’t felt all of the above at times.  However, I am realizing feeling all the emotions I spent years trying to numb is actually a beautiful thing.  Not only am I learning to feel them, I’m learning how to deal with them, and live a healthy and successful life.  I have made mistakes along the way and I will never be perfect.  Every day I have to make a conscious decision not to beat myself up.  I am a work in progress and I have come a LONG way.  There are good days and bad days.  Sometimes I feel like life isn’t fair and I wish I could just drink alcohol normally like everyone else.  Mostly, I have accepted that this is the way my life is, kind of like having five knee surgeries, quitting alcohol has become one of my stories of perseverance.

I never thought that sobriety would be my preferred way of life, but now I can’t imagine going back to my party girl ways.  I never dreamed I would feel SO happy, full, and healthy living a life without drugs and alcohol.  I was always that girl who needed alcohol to have fun and now I am a testament to the fact that you don’t need it to enjoy yourself. I wake up every day feeling relieved that I never have to feel hungover.  I hope that by sharing my story other party girls (and boys) will have the courage to put down the drink and live the life they have always imagined.  The best is yet to come.

 

 

 

337 Comments

  1. Fernando

    The best is yet to come sis. 🙂
    Incredibly proud and happy for you.

    • Hi Kelly,
      I agree Fernando – it is such a wonderful achievement and a truly inspirational act for so many of us to follow. Staying away from alcohol for a year will restore clarity and calm to your sense of self as well as save you from further shame and embarrassment.
      Wonderful Work Kelly,
      Thanks
      bren

  2. Congrats! What an achievement in one of the world’s most popular party city with Corona/Tequila events all around the year everywhere, on the beach’ in the hotel zone and downtown.

  3. Congrats on your achievement.!! That’s awesome 🙂

  4. Jim

    Good for you! Smart girl.

  5. Ash pal

    Happy Soberversary my #1 always and forever mfbf!! Reading this post made my day and brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy for you and proud of how far you have come! Te amo mucho!

  6. Kelly! This is awesome. I love how honest you are in your post. Keep it up!!

  7. roberto lopez

    Hey kelly te conoci en la party con los amigos, y aunque en verdad no convivi mucho contigo me da gusto ver que has hecho un cambio radical en tu vida, felicidades y sigue asi mujer, muchos deberiamos tomarte de inspiracion…keep going girl…regards 🙂

  8. Congratulations! Thanks for posting about your own personal story, it’s great to see someone who is promoting being alcohol free! I wrote a few months ago about how I’d been struggling to avoid alcohol since moving to Madrid, and how friends seem to drop away when you’re not willing to party hard like they are. I made a decision a good few years ago to quit the drink, I did and only drank on special occasions. That decision changed me and my life. I too was becoming consumed with toxic habits and a lifestyle that was having adverse effects. Now when I drink I only have a couple of small wines or beers and that is enough! I don’t want to go back to the old Bex, not ever!

  9. Andrés

    Es algo muy positivo en tu vida, recuerdo cuando te conocí, cada fin de semana veía tus posts de tus noches locas, me da mucho gusto que disfrutes más de la vida y tus relaciones en familia, amigos y tu pareja, sigue en ese camino y sigue disfrutando y aprendiendo de las lecciones que la vida nos da.

  10. Alyssa Manning

    Congrats, Kel. I’m unbelievably proud of you for being brave enough to take your first steps towards being the happiest, healthiest, and most confident version of you. I wish I could celebrate this monumental occasion with you. Sending my love, and best regards from the West side!

    • LISA don’t make me cry! Thank you for your support, it means the world to me. I love you & miss you and I’m so happy to see you at your dream job!

  11. I have always loved you no matter what! This anni just goes to show you that you can do ANYTHING you can put your mind to. I look up to you now on how to lead a happy, healthy, fulfilling life. me amo mucho! xoxoxoxo

  12. Mi ninia hermosa, tu te mereces todo lo bueno y maravilloso de la vida, eres una gran persona te felicito, te admiro y te quiero millon!!!

  13. Nadya

    Congratulations, Kelly! You have clearly worked really hard to give yourself what you deserve: health, happiness, and clarity. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  14. irene diaz

    QUERER ES PODER SI SE PUEDE FELICIDADES ADMIRABLE NINA HERMOSA COMO TE DICE MI BELLA SOBRINITA KOCKIS T Q M

  15. Great post! Thank you for sharing your experience. I know that quitting drinking would save me money and help me lose weight, but I still have two glasses of red wine on most nights. One of these days I will quit…probably when I can no longer find red wine…which might not be that unlikely considering I’m an expat in Venezuela!

    -Amanda at http://teachingwanderlust.com/

  16. You go girl! Awesome, honest post. So proud of you!

  17. Jenni

    Girl, YES! get it. I’m so happy to see this and on HuffPo too. I’ve been 3 years alchy free and it is by FAR the best decision I’ve EVER made in my life. Just wait until you look back on your life and see how far you’ve taken yourself because you decided to stop getting in the way of yourself.

  18. Ahmed El-Sayed

    I quit the same lifestyle four years ago and find a lot of what you say here very similar to my experiences. Congratulations and cheers to living the sober life.

  19. Sara Pimentel

    Thank you so much for sharing your sober experience, you’re my inspiration to start what I’ve been trying for so long! I too am sick and tired of the nightlife. Just when I met the love of my life I had decided to stop going out so much and drinking too much, but unfortunately, he’s a DJ and that made me postpone my goal! But now more than a year is past and everyone knows how alcohol doesn’t satisfy me. I guess, if I managed to forgo pot and other stuff because I preferred the natural bliss of life, why not the same with booze?

    Thank you! Lots of love and strength from Portugal

  20. Helen

    Kelly, this post has made me cry and smile all at the same time. I was the exact same person until I realized alcohol and me do NOT mix well. It wasn’t until I stopped that everything good started happening. I had to push people away but then better ones came in. It’s so good to hear your story and know I’m not the only one. Thank you.

  21. Amy

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. The 7 things you have learned in the past year without alcohol could have been written by my own hand. I like the new me! Being the party girl is tiring. I can’t wait to read more of your alcohol free adventures!

  22. Myles

    Just saw your piece on Huffpo. Congratulations Kelly! I did the same thing a little while ago. I just stopped, after several years of drinking/partying too much, and completely concur with your realisations. I did it as a ‘few months off the sauce’ thing and after 2 1/2 years can safely say I wont be drinking again.
    I love the sober me more than the party me…and so do my loved ones!
    Keep it up & thanks for writing this!

  23. Amy

    Congratulations! This is a lesson that so many people fail to learn in their lives, to be really accountable and clear about what they need to do to live a happy, healthy life.
    When I was going through a bout of depression in my early twenties I gave up drinking for twelve months and it really enabled me to get my head right. Now, five years later, I only have about three glasses of wine a year! The boyfriend loves that he has a designated driver, and I love that I feel happy and healthy in my own body and mind. Thank you for sharing your story and the best of luck for all the sober years to come.

  24. Tom

    What an inspiring post! Alcohol seduces. All the trouble doesn’t happen at once but it does happen, in fits and starts, then more often. I stopped 5 years ago for Lent. And never looked back. I’m happy for you and proud of you too. Congratulations and don’t stop being human. Tom

  25. Rob

    Congrats! Kudos for doing something to bettering yourself. I know it wasn’t easy, but you definately sound like your on a better path today!

  26. Congrats on everything that you have done and will continue to do….really wonderful to read this and know that there are other people that get it!!

  27. Sam

    Thank you so much for writing this. It resonated so deep within me. I, at the ripe old age of 22, decided to go on a similar journey through sobriety because I saw my life spiraling downward and decided it was time for a change. I used to insist that I didn’t have a problem, but now I understand that there’s really no other word for toxic habits and behaviors. I never really knew how to get into words my thoughts on this particular subject – but now I see you’ve done it for me. Thank you so, so much.

  28. Found this blog on Huffington Post !! Created a Word Press just for the fact I wanted to share how amazing I think this is.

    I am one semester away from getting my undergrad and stopped drinking as much as I used to. I had an alter ego, in which, I would not take blame for any of the stories I heard about “Lala.”

    I stopped drinking when I broke my foot while drunk which required surgery to fix.

    However, this blog made me realize I am not missing out on the partying aspect of college. All the benefits you listed are soo true! THANKS for reassuring me that partying is something I am missing out on!!

  29. Kimmi

    First and foremost CONGRATS!!! IM SO HAPPY FOR YOU AND PROUD OF YOU AS WELL 🙂 I also would like to ask for your assistance. My husband has been struggling with sobriety for years. I showed him your article as a source of encouragement and he would like to speak with you personally. Please email me and I will give you his number as I really don’t want to post it in a public comment section. Thanks in advance 🙂

  30. Allie

    This is amazing. I too have put down the alcohol only to see that I’m a much better person without it. That my life is in my control, and I can accept reaponsibility for my actions and live without the crutch. To live life making excuses isn’t living at all. Staying Sober is truly one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time, but the most rewarding. You listed you that you are worthy. This hit home to me. Alcohol inhibited my ability to see I was in a verbally abusive relationship for years. To know that I worthy is such an amazing feeling.

    Thank you for this!

  31. Hey! Just read your article off Huffingtonpost and I’m SO glad I stumbled upon it. My boyfriend is a recovering addict and he was listening as I read aloud while getting ready for bed. I know he relates to the days that are tough and think a drink will solve the issue, he’s expressed wishing having the ability to have a drink like everyone else. I, on the other hand, used to be a party girl but haven’t been out of control for sometime. Although I’ve obtained control of my social life, I am still in a grey area of occasional drinks and the next day I wonder why I even bothered to have that one drink through an emotional hangover. I commend, and thank you for this article. It is 100% honest and true, and it helped both of us being exactly what we needed to hear.

  32. lara

    Thank you for writing this. I read this article on HuffPo and it made my whole week. I was a party girl. I lived that way for years and convinced myself that I was living the dream. I was fun when I was drinking, charming, the life of the party. Maybe I was for a minute. But it didn’t last. I am not a person who can drink alcohol. Not casually, and not in moderation. I’m ten months sober this month and your story feels so much like my story. I’m happier, I’m a morning person, I’ve adopted a Paleo lifestyle, and I lost forty five pounds. Despite all the reasons to rejoice in my victories not drinking can make you feel like an outsider. Like a screw up for not being able to control myself when I drink. It’s so wonderful to read a journey so similar to my own. I look forward to my one year anniversary, and take comfort and encouragement from your post.

  33. This was an excellent article. I too am in my first year, of what hopefully be, an alcohol free existence. I feel this nails it on the things people start to discover when they cease to numb their emotions and address things head on.

    I’m working on distancing myself from toxicity and embracing the adventure of rediscovering who I am. Though, I realize it is good to stay present in the day, not the furture or past.

    Thanks

  34. Lisa G

    Congratulations! The new picture of you….You are beautiful. Thank you for your story and being an inspiration.

  35. Congratulations on starting your journey. You look much healthier and happier in the new picture. Little bit over 5 years myself and like you I can’t imaging going back to that life. I’m so much happier, healthier and involved in living now. I still feel I’m just beginning and have so much more to learn and experience. God willing I will continue this journey of growth and you as well.

  36. Pat W

    Congratulations! I am so envious. I have been struggling with alcohol for years.

  37. Ford Serna

    Thank you for sharing your experience strength and hope with us! I sat here welling up with tears to see the change in someone as I too am making that change. Just a little over 10 months ago I put aside the bottle and set out on a journey I never thought would happen in my life! I may not know you but I’m glad we trudge the road of happy destiny together 🙂 Congrats on your milestone!

  38. Scott

    You rock. Seriously. Keep it up.

  39. Thank you for writing this. I’m in my 8th month without alcohol and I am still working some things out but your story is really inspiring.

  40. Thank you for writing this. I’m in my 8th month without alcohol and your story was very inspiring.

  41. Matthew

    Brilliant, great blog. I really enjoyed reading about your journey. I think it is all about living in the moment or trying to avoid the moment. You have chosen to live in the moment, to experience life as it happens. Go get them:-)

  42. Randolph

    I sincerely applaud you and hope that every dream you ever had comes to you from now on. Life is too short to live without an actual life. This face stuck in a cell phone, drinking too much, eating wrong when you KNOW its bad for you but, still feeling sorry for yourself will never work. A lot of people can blame it on others.. (including myself). however, the fate of your life lays in your own hands. Every decision you make, friend or foe, emotion or food, will a/effect you (or others) in more ways than anyone could imagine. I have my flaws..Honestly, I’m drunk right now.. but, I feel your strength and it gives me strength. Thank you for what you have done for yourself. Thank you for what you have shared. You are an inspiration to many who need to look at the brighter side of what lies beneath the heavy weight of addiction. One love!!

  43. drootire

    Do you attend AA at all? I’m going through the same thing(5 months sober) and have been attending but I don’t like the “higher power” & saying The Lord’s Prayer aspect of it. Great article! Thanks!

  44. Dear Kelly:

    On behalf of The OutJustice Foundation and our members, supporters and clients, many of whom – like yourself – chose sobriety over the seemingly never-ending drama and unnecessary problems, we’d like to congratulate you on this massive accomplishment. Well done!

    My colleagues and I were discussing your piece earlier. There were vocal exclamations from both our experiences working with clients who’ve know about the clarity and peace that you describe. And, we include organizers who know this personally, too (one of whom brought your words to my attention).

    Be well. Stay strong in what you know to be true – that it would be insane to go back to a such a poor way of “living.” You look happier and healthier; it shows in your smile.

    Never get “cocky” about it and think that you can manage drinking socially (as you’ve described having done in the past). “One is too many.” One will only shatter your hard and painful work and progress. If you do slip ever (or anyone reading this does), get back up and wipe yourself off moving forward once again. Our client liaisons are fans of SMART Recovery and we recommend it to anyone who wishes to live a better life as well as to those who’ve tried 12-step programs (which are also wonderful) and felt these programs didn’t work for them. Try all that is out there. And we are happy to assist with referrals no matter where you are. Call us any time.

    Kelly, you deserve the good things happening to you. And you deserve it even more for sharing publicly a very private and personal aspect of your life. The OutJustice Foundation is grateful to you for sharing your experiences with the world. You are changing lives now, Kelly. You’ll never grasp the real impact you’re having and will have. Kudos to you! We wish you continued happiness and well-being. Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Daniel Hauff
    The OutJustice Foundation

    • Dgood

      This is so true. I also struggle with alcoholism and my longest bout of sobriety was only 3 months and once I picked up again and haven’t been able to stop again. It’s such a progressive disease constantly waiting in the shadows to strike at your weakest moment!

  45. I’ve just come across your story on Huffington Post and just wanted to say that you’ve absolutely moved me to tears. Alcohol is something I’ve been struggling with over the last few years and I’m trying my hardest to break away from it. It’s not easy, and I still haven’t done it, but I desperately want to. Stories like yours (and those in the comments) are beyond inspiring. I hope to be on the same level as the rest of you one of these days. x

  46. Kim Johnson

    Such beautiful hair for a beautiful lady, congrats! And those glasses are to die for, I must know where you got them 🙂

  47. A. Benay Charron

    My husband sent me a link to this today, six months after taking my last drink. Wonderful artical and completely relatable. Thank you for putting yourself out there like this. You are a true inspiration 🙂

  48. Congratulations! I can’t wait to read more of your blog 🙂

  49. “Toxic people are like toxic habits” well said!!! July 18th will be 11 years for me.

  50. JJ

    Glad to have read your article. Good for you! I recently gratefully passed 2 yrs but have been getting mired again in “life” since then– it’s amazing how quickly the mundane can take over the big picture without proper attention, like dandelions on a new lawn. Your piece reminded me how much I have already discovered. Keep up the acceptance and growth.

  51. Declan Max

    just under 3 years for me, and it was like you were writing my words, keep it up…it only gets better

    • Leah

      I am celebrating my 3 years in July! It only gets better is right!

  52. Anjelica

    I just wanna say that you are an inspiration and this is exactly what I needed to read. I’m only 22 but I feel like I’m going through all the exact motions that you did and reading this gives me hope. It almost makes me cry because I know exactly how you felt, disappointing your loved ones and not believing that you could truly be loved. Everything you’ve said I can completely relate to. I’ve had a last couple episodes after a night of drinking that for one, makes me thankful I’m still alive, and two, that made me realize that something just isn’t mixing. It’s definitely not those mixed drinks. And it’s definitely not myself and alcohol. Thank you for sharing this, you truly inspired me to become a greater me. I wish you the best of luck in your journey! 🙂

  53. dschmittler

    I’m coming up on year four 10/30/14 and I just made the conscious decision to leave it behind. Lost a lot of friends but, gained confidence and became a man I never knew I could be. Best choice u ever made!

  54. I made this decision at the start of the year, slipped up here and there. But for the vast majority of it, I’ve realised exactly the same things that you have! Congratulations on being disciplined and completing this journey. All the best in the future!

  55. Tittan

    This text makes sense, a lot of sense. I didn’t touch alcohol at all until I turned 24, and then I did like a lot of other people, I got totally wasted on weekends. So wasted you don’t know who, or where you are. I ended up in fights, I had a lot of “friends” who also got hammered, and the week was a period of time to endure before the drinking started on Friday.

    I haven’t completely stopped drinking, but I really do not need alcohol to have fun any more. This year, I think I’ve had a grand total of four beers, and I’ve been to a lot of social happenings without drinking. I think I’m able to do it this way because I, as I said, didn’t drink until 24, so I have been sober at parties before. I guess I could stop completely, but the way it is now feels right for me.

    The people I used to party with have disappeared from my life, and I have found true friends. I know who I am, and where I am at all times, and as you say, I have more energy, better senses, and best of all, I go through life without hangovers!

    Water is a brilliant drink by the way. Chilled with ice, oh, it’s perfect! 🙂

  56. Courtney

    Can we please be pen-pals?! Haha I am really serious. I would love to email and share stories!

  57. You look amazing! Glowing! Coming up on 5 years. My life is amazing. I’m grateful for this gift of a reset on my life. Great work!!

  58. I am so proud of you….you are definitely a positive influence on others. I had my last drink when I was 40 and I am now 69 years of age. I agree with everything you have said and applaud your decision to live your life instead of wading through it with drunken vision. I wish everyone who depends on drink for their way of life could read your posting. You are awesome!!! Congratulations!!!

  59. A year since I gave up the pub, and all the false people and relationships that went with it too. Never been more content in my own skin 🙂

  60. Chad Fernandez

    Thank you for this great, honest article. I am 5 months sober and your article gave me a confidence today to keep pushing strong. You gave me an “I can do this feeling”. I’m experiencing every point you talk about and it’s a great feeling to realize I CAN be happy without alcohol. Thanks again! 🙂

  61. Denton TX Anon

    I wanted to say that I read your piece on HuffPo and found it spot on. Just one thing, don’t go “graduating” from anything, accept maybe school. You have achieved something incredibly difficult, congradulations and “happy birthday.” Achievement does not imply having finished anything in this case. If you are anything like me, and it sure sounds like you are, then the conditions you described will not improve, once reintroduced to alcohol, no matter how long abstonace lasts. Or as you said, “I am not a person who can drink alcohol.” I am not either, and there are many like us. Turn to those near you with simalar experiences for help, and help those in need to get out of your head. I think you probably know all of this by now. Keep coming back.

    -Another friend of Bill’s

  62. Denton TX Anon

    Oh and one more thing. You forgot the sugar cravings! That has always been the weirdest part for me. I am just over 3 years sober, and I went my entire adult (drinking) life hating sweet things. They just didn’t appeal to me, and were actually a little aversive. about a month or 2 after sobering up, someone put a cupcake in my hand and I LOVED IT. I mean, wow. I really like cake and ice cream and stuff now. I’ve gained a few pounds but so what. I have also met a lot of people who have gone through the same experience. Anyway, congrats and happy birthday.

  63. Morgan

    I loved your piece. I felt like I could have written this! 3 years ago I made the decision to go a year without drinking because I too was tired of wondering what I did during my blackout the night before. I was tired of making friends and family worry and be responsible for me as a grown adult. It was the best choice ive ever made and its taken a lot to get to the place of acceptance when I can say without hesitation no thank you Im dont drink. Truth be told, for someone like me I Cant drink if I want to be a person that I like. It also gives me anxiety even thinking about being drunk! Once I got rid of the toxic friends in my life I realized I didnt have any because my role was being the crazy drunk on friday night…no more shady behavior meant I became the enemy somehow. I am able to now focus on everything else I love about life. Thank u for putting this into words!

  64. maddiep

    Hello 🙂 A friend of mine posted this blog post on my Facebook wall, and I got chills just reading it…I, too, had my last sip of alcohol on May 6, 2013, and also celebrated my one-year this week. Everything you said hit close to home. I wanted to say thank you for sharing your story, and congratulations!

  65. maddieparro

    Hello 🙂 A friend posted this blog post on my Facebook page, and I got chills just reading it. I, too, had my last sip of alcohol on May 6, 2013, and celebrated my one-year this week. It’s been a year of ups and downs, but like you said, more ups than downs. I wanted to say thank you for sharing your story (which totally hit close to home) and congratulations! Best, Maddie.

  66. Thank you so much for sharing this. I recently made the same decision as you to give up alcohol for good, and though it’s been tough, it’s not only necessary but beneficial for the same reasons you describe. Keep kicking ass! 🙂

  67. Scott S

    Read this today as I reach 30 days sober. So much of what you said resonates with me. Congrats to you an thank you for sharing your thoughts to help others.

  68. levi b

    this reminds me a lot of the rooms of recovery…

  69. This is such an awesome blog!!! A friend of mine shared it on facebook, which is how I came across it. While I haven’t personally struggled with alcohol, many people in my family have. You spoke so much truth as you shared your insights! The things you shared are some of the reasons I choose not to drink at all – life is fuller without it. Thanks for sharing so candidly! I pray that you continue to experience the full, free life God intended for you!

  70. Tammy

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are so brave for taking the step but more importantly for being willing to face the demons you knew would surface. You are an inspiration to many who are facing the same challenges you did before your life altering decision. I wish you well in your future.

  71. Samantha

    Well done! I wish my husband was as brave as you, you’re amazing and should be very proud xx

  72. Melissa

    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your journey. Hopefully others will see what you did and how you made it through and how much better off you are. And even more hopefully…maybe others will do what you did. I lived too many years with an alcoholic husband and I know how much he missed out on life…still is. It doesn’t just affect the drinker, it affects everyone in their life. Not only have you made your life so much better, I’m sure those who love you are better. Thanks for being an inspiration, a brave example, someone who is living wholeheartedly. You are awesome!

  73. Jonathan

    Congrats on your cake.

    I took my last drink on March 1, 2013. So I have a little over a year. I was skeptical about entering AA. I consider myself an atheist, so the idea of having to understand and accept a higher power was an unappealing obstacle.

    However, I needed support and the reassurance that there were others who could live without drugs and alcohol. I found a sponsor, worked the steps and found a way to understand a higher power without compromising my disbelief in traditional, organized religion.

    Take a drunken a**hole and sober him up and you’re left with just an a**hole. But, by developing a sense of humility and working towards realizing my potential as a sober person allows me, every day, to experience a feeling of success in living a healthy, sane life where I can choose my priorities wisely. I can move forward and focus on doing good.

    I don’t preach sobriety. But I can’t drink like normal people. I drink until I destroy myself and, by doing so, hurt those around me. So I don’t drink. Thanks for sharing your story and giving hope to those who suffer. Keep running towards something, instead of running away.

  74. Meagan

    On May 13/14 I’ll be 8 years sober. Reading this brought on a lot of feelings. It’s honestly like you could read my mind. I can definetly say that I have felt and experienced all these things and I am so happy that you have put this in to words! Thank you so much for writing something I myself have never been able to put into words.

  75. Kristy

    Thank you for writing this. I wasn’t sure if what I was feeling was”normal”. I can’t help but feeling afraid of feeling lonely…. Not matter how hard I try I can never moderate my drinking. I’m 24 now and started at 15. You’d think after all the bad things that have happened to me and all the self destructive things I’ve done to myself over the years because of drinking and partying, you’d think id stop by now. But after this I’m done. Though I’ve said it a thousands times already, I’m actually willing and excited to see where this year of sobriety takes me. The only thing that does bother me is the fact that literally 100% of my friends are the drinking and partying type… I know once I’m MIA I won’t have anyone left. But I think I’m ready for that. Well not afraid as I used to be about being alone. I guess it gives me a chance to get my life together and appreciate my family that I’ve taken for granted, and maybe I’ll get a real chance at finding a healthy relationship and not feel guilty about being loved…. Long story short thank you so much for sharing this with us. If you can do it and have so many positives come out then that means it has to work for me too.

    • Hi Kristy, just wanted to encourage you – as you have read, there are so many that have lived through the same experiences! I always thought I am the only one with this “Special” Problem – I had no Problems NOT drinking alcohol, but if I took a drink, I never knew what would come. Next friday I have been sober for three years – best Thing I ever did! You can do this too, and your life will improve, in ways you can’t imagine now. Be blessed!

    • Courtney

      I am here to also send you words of encouragement. I am also just 24 years old, and know the boat you are in. I am a little over one year sober and I PROMISE that it does and will get better.

  76. TDS1970

    Good on you!

    P.S. You are gorgeous!

  77. brenna

    Thank you so much for sharing this. You are truly inspiring. I really needed to see this

  78. Leah

    On you will go… On you will hike and I know you will hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are! Your mountain is waiting.. get on your way!. “Oh the Places You’ll Go” By Dr. Seuss is the BEST book for life and there is a little tid bit about these kinds of journeys in it. I celebrate my 3 years in July. It gets better and better. So proud of you!!

  79. I.AM.HERE

    this article brought tears to my eyes. I want to change my ways. but i am not quite there yet. ready to stop drinking. i am someone who can go for ages without drinking. for years, i was simply a social drinker…but thta’s because in my twenties i socialized a lot more…so i was still drinking a lot — who’s kidding who? now i drink alone at home all the time ( after 5pm…because i do feel the urge. to think that it has got to the stage where i crave my wine and beer, where i feel that it is necessary to have a glass or four at night… i think i am sliding down a slippery slope.
    but the worst part is the party-drinking…. i might be the life and soul up to a point…but then i have got myself into bad situations that i would NEVER be in sober. never. done things that i hope shall remain secret…..things that are not me. not who i want to be.
    also, the worst fights i have ever had with my partner..in fact 80 percent of them ( in an 11 year relationship) are fueled by alcohol.
    i have depression problems…so hangovers exacerbate my depression. i KNOW that alcohol and depression dont’ mix but for years i have drank anyway!
    but man, the bit of alcohol…if only it could be just a bit…makes me feel so good!!! the laughs, the fun, the silliness!!!!! i love it.
    but….you have inspired me to truly consider the huge price i pay for the initial effects of alcohol….the initial effects are unfortunately overtaken by over indulgence and all the negative consequences of overindulgence. and i think i need to be honest and accept that moderation had never worked for me. and you stating that fact about yourself, has made it easier for me to really see that i share your truth. no doubt.

    okay.

    wow…i am writing all this… i guess i need to . to declare.

    thank you so much…so very, very much for such a beautifully written description fo your life sans alcohol…I am inspired…

    • Johnny

      Hey, I have never touched a drink in my entire life. Nor have i had the urge to. I’m not rubbing that in your face, i’m saying it’s totally possible to quit if you want to.. Alcohol is a social lubricant/crutch that many people need and crave, (like you said about the laughs and the silliness). I myself and silly in public places regardless. I know this may not be the case for some. If you come on blogs and read the comments like this one, it makes it a whole lot easier to see that there are kindred spirits like yourself, and it helps that every single one knows what you’re going through, and want the best for you. I hope one day drinking becomes as unacceptable as smoking… in a perfect world.

  80. Randall

    Congratulations! I am 27 months sober and it was the best decision I made. You truly do find out how your friends are by their support of you and your choice. Like you, I can’t imagine going to back to drinking. While some people are able to have that healthy relationship with alcohol, I am not one of them. It is a fantastic feeling driving home after midnight on a night out that I will reach home safely with no fear of being pulled over, hurting someone else, having the memory of my night and waking up without a hangover.

    Keep up the good work and keep raking up the days living a sober life!

  81. ann

    Stumbling upon this today, as I deal with the fallout from some major mistakes I’ve made recently, feels a bit like kismet for me. Thank you for sharing your journey with honesty and style.

  82. Bill Prindle

    “Drinking: A Love Story” by Caroline Knapp” may be familiar to many of you. It too chronicles a woman’s struggle with alcohol. A powerful story as well.

  83. christinaelizabethm

    Hmm… Abstaining from alcohol has never crossed my mind, except when dieting. Your post has me considering it. I would say I’m marginal when it comes to having a problem: very few poor decision making incidences, drink on a weekday about every other week, rarely get sh*tfaced… However, I struggle with at least three of the items on your list and I’m involved with a wonderful man who hasn’t had a drink in about five years.
    And the fact that I wonder if I can even do it makes me think I should give it a try. It would be nice to know what I’m really made of.

  84. Congrats to your sincere, awesome post and to your decision! I did the same Thing three years ago, and it radically changed my life to the better! I found out who I really am, restarted writing and had an Inspiration for a CD/Book Project. Next Friday (exacty three years after my last drink) I will celebrate the release of my book and CD, and I so know that I wouldn’t be there if I hadn’t quit drinking alcohol. Sometimes I have bad dreams in which I again am drunk, and when I wake up, I am soooo relieved that it was just a dream. Be blessed and stick with it, Kelly – there are still more, better, awesome things to come :-)! Be blessed!

  85. LauraLucia

    I know every word of your article is true. In the past I also did a lot of bad things to people under the influence of alcohol, including betraying and lying to my boyfriends, and I felt constantly ashamed and not worthy of being loved by anyone. Because I always had problems with my father and felt that his might have to do with his alcohol consume, I went to an AlAnon Meeting. This really opened my eyes. I saw the past years of my life, my childhood, in a completely new way. I also saw how alcohol changed me. Now I’m lucky to know about the mechanics and the reasons behind my behavior. What I try to do now is drinking alcohol only for the taste of it, only when I’m happy and content, only with people I know. I wish that in the future I’ll have the guts to simply stop drinking alcohol completely, like you did. I’m happy for you, congratulations to this big step and to your power to do it. Thanks for sharing this with the world, this is an inspiration for me, and hopefully for many other people. Cheers from Germany! =)

  86. I just hit 3 years of recovery on April 1st. You are doing remarkable. It took me almost 2 years to get to where you are now. Always remember, recovery isn’t a program where you get clean, receive a diploma and sent into the world CURED. This should be a lifelong commitment. You are doing great and I wish you well on your journey of self discovery.

  87. Alexander Summers

    I want to say bless you for having the courage to share this! I took my last drink October 16, 2006. I don’t regret it a bit. I now have an excellent wife, a home, and real friends who don’t use, or drink. I thank God every day for pulling me out of the hell of addiction. Sober life can be challenging but it is so worth it! I am praying for everyone still trapped in addiction. I couldn’t quit on my own. I had to go to a 1 year program with The Salvation Army. They saved my life. I want to say to addicts/alcoholics, you CAN beat this. You can live SOBER. I believe in you. God bless you. If you don’t believe in God, then please accept my positivity toward you. You can do this! Stay strong! It is so worth it. Nothing is easy, but in the end, the peace you feel will be worth it. Bless you all.

  88. Next Thursday 5/15 will be eight months without alcohol for me. I have not had the serious challenges (cravings, temptations, and relapses) that many of my friends in AA have had to deal with — I think it is because I attended The Landmark Forum in Chicago a year ago and learned that I can choose not to give alcohol any value (good or bad), “Nothing means ANYTHING until someone PERCEIVES it.”. I have seen many of the positive things you relate, and realize foremost that choosing to drink is never likely to actually make anything BETTER. Thank you for your strength and strong words 🙂 KENNY, East Lansing MI

  89. Alina

    Sweetie, reading your article was like reading my own thoughts! Congrats and keep up the good work!
    I started practicing and studying sports and the more I did, the more I realised what alcohol does to the human body.
    Not drinking alcohol feels so natural right now! I am sooo fresh all the time, it’s crazy! I can concentrate so well, my memory has an amazing capacity, I enjoy so much! Fantastic! studying and reading and playing sports

  90. John D

    Congratulations, and thanks for your insights. You are so right, the best is yet to come! God bless you on your journey.

  91. shmo

    Congratulations! I come from a long line of alcoholics and I know it’s not easy to do what you’ve done. If you haven’t already, you might like to read The Diet Cure or The Mood Cure both by Julia Ross. She explains why some people are more likely to dull the pain with alcohol in the first place. I don’t drink, but recognized some of what she describes and more importantly she gives useful, easy to apply advice. Wishing you all the best for your road ahead!

  92. Tom B. (TyeDyeNurse)

    Thank you for sharing your story. I celebrate my Clean date on May the 6th also. For me the miracle happened when I realized what I had become. As you also realized , it stopped being fun and became a way of daily living. Congratulations on your sobriety. I just celebrated my 18th year and it truly does get better and better. Recovery – a life worth Living! I love you all, God bless you.

  93. thisisitreally

    I’ll be 4 months sober tomorrow! Thank you for sharing your journey… It was as if I was reading excerpts from my own thoughts. Congrats on your year of sobriety!

  94. Nicole

    I will be 4 months sober tomorrow! Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s as if I was reading through my own experience. Congrats on your year of sobriety!

  95. Janelle

    I’ve been sober 5 years and I still thank my lucky stars that I will never have to feel a hangover ever again. I tell people that don’t understand my sobriety that it’s like a food allergy: bad things happen when I have alcohol. They usually get the hint pretty quick and leave it be. Be strong and remember that there are tons of reformed party girls cheering for you!

    • Janet

      I am 30 days sober today … I’m so ready to finally stop drinking … Thank U for your story Kelly …

    • more like 3 years sober no smoking

  96. Lyn

    I will be 2 years off the booze come August. I don’t relate to your experiences as much, but definitely have found that I do not need alcohol to be a fun person and have found my own, drink free path. I began drinking around the age of 12/13, casually with friends, as is the norm in my country. What seemed like fun times, were really taking their toll on my health, my mental well being and my body shape! After having a major anxiety attack after a real heavy drinking session, I decided enough was enough – I was moving to a new city to embark on a new career and decided to see how long I could go. I’ve never looked back or touched a drop since 01.08.12.
    What I was amazed at was the judgement I received by NOT drinking…judgement way worse than I expected; I felt persecuted for deciding I was happier without it. I also found out who my true friends were, and who were just out for a good time.
    Ultimately, I have lost weight and feel way healthier. I might be boring to some, but I would rather have clearer skin and get asked if I am 5 years younger than I am. Keep it up and see how far you can take it. I don’t think I will NEVER drink again, there are occasions when I might have a glass of champagne, but being a regular drinker? Never.

  97. Hi! We, too, are Consciously Sober parents! We decided this not because we drank often, but we knew we were modeling for our young daughters. We have not had any alcohol in almost 3 years, simply by choice. Congrats! Isn’t it amazing? It’s a wonderful decision that really does increase your “awareness.”

  98. I gave up alcohol on the 23rd of December 2012. It was quite easy to made decision, because the thought of sober life was growing inside me for many years. I have been just like Kelly ” sick and tired of being sick and tired”. Maybe that is cliche but you really don’t need alcohol to have a good time, furthermore I very rarely had fun being drunk. The moment when you realizing that it doesn’t make sense to get drunk and do stupid things that you would never do sober. Especially that I didnt know how to drink in moderation. Now when I am thinking about this, I am realizing that it was quite big achievement cosidering tham I am Polish and our national sport is drinking vodka shots on the weekend. It was really brave and you need a lot of courage to do it. That was first step to improve my health and start being aware of my body. Now I am in charge in my life and I am fully conscious of my food choices and I know how certain things affect my body . I lost 20 kg of weight, and now I am mostly on raw diet, doing excercises and having happy life . I become that person that few years ago I would laugh on myself for not drinking alcohol and soft drinks and quiting meat and dairy products. So never say “never ” 🙂

  99. Well done Kelly! Here’s to a long happy sober life!!!

  100. I really enjoyed your story as I made an effort to stop drinking almost one year ago myself. Recently I decided to quit smoking as well. Life is very different now. I am definitely enjoying life more now… My heavy drinking in the past came with some costly consequences.

  101. Deniro

    Absolutely inspiring article which touched me! As soon as I turned 18 all I cared about was partying, but by the time I was 22 I was depressed and broke through my drinking problem and any problems that I had I would use alcohol as an escape. The turning point came when my partying was causing me significant health problems. From that point (23.11.13) I have cut my drinking down to moderation. I found out who my true friends were as a result, but overall I’m feeling healthy, happy and financially secure! Even better I have control of myself and able to do routine tasks in my life as a result without having a nasty hangover every second or third day of the week!

  102. Kiki

    I recently celebrated one year, too, on April 4th – spring babies, where y’at!! Congratulations on your one year of sobriety! Here’s to many more!!!

  103. gargravarr

    It’s great that you have made it to one year. I had my last drink on Easter Sunday, 1989. I stopped drinking while on my probationary licence and, after 2 years, didn’t feel the need to start again. So I haven’t. I’m surely better off physically and financially. Stick with it.

  104. Christy S.

    Thanks for sharing your story and big, huge congratulations! I will have 7 years sober under my belt by mid-summer, still the very best decision I have ever made. I am healthy, happy, more successful, a better friend, and just a better human being. Your story sounds exactly like mine – my twenties were a roller-coaster of periodic blackouts, guilt, shame, attempts to control it, decisions to just embrace the mess until I accidentally caused someone I loved fear or pain, and then the same cycle over again. Until I was just done. One hungover Sunday, with lost keys and another boyfriend done with me and a bachelorette party that I nearly ruined by disappearing, I just stopped. And it’s easy now – because the benefits so far outweigh any costs. I try to help others understand when I see them spin out – especially women in their 20s and 30s – that there is a better life out there, even though I feel like I am far too subtle. The more we share, the better!

  105. Thank you for this post, Kelly! I, too, do not tolerate alcohol as well as some people. I typically feel depressed even after 2 glasses of wine! I’ve given up alcohol for week and months at a time and have felt amazing. So much energy and clarity. While I do enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail on occasion with my family or boyfriend, I no longer go out drinking at bars, or spend my weekends hungover. It’s been a huge lifestyle shift for me, and I love it! No looking back! I, too, am a reformed party girl, who cleaned up her life and is now helping others do the same. Best wishes to you!

    • Hi Jess, just a quick question- how do you know where to draw the line (and ensure you stick to the decision you make)? I too genuinely enjoy drinking alcohol, not to get drunk, but because I like the taste and the social aspect (by that I mean with a meal, not necessarily in nightclubs). For that reason, I don’t want to give up completely. I have already given up all spirits, I only drink beer and wine now, but even those seem to make me too drunk, and I lose control and often black out, resulting in the need to be told about the awful things I did the following day, whilst my head is pounding… not fun. Any tips would be much appreciated! Thanks 🙂

  106. Kelly your story is beyond inspiring….as are all the supportive comments here. This is what it takes to break the stigma and encourage others to find recovery and inspire those in recovery to celebrate the wonderful things that come along with recovery. I would love to talk to you about sharing with Heroes in Recovery. Our mission is to break the stigma and the way this happens is by having more and more people share. Felicidades! HEIDI

  107. Jonna De Joli

    I loved your “lessons learned” synopsis. I too find clarity in sobriety, however, some of the other things you point our about the relationship with yourself are hard for me to grasp. I’m going to try to find a way to print this so I can keep it in my journal to reread when I feel down. Thanks for the inspiration. Come to think of it – inspiring others is something to add to your list of your qualities.

  108. Congratulations – not only on overcoming what was apparently a very destructive behavior, but also on recognizing what it was doing in your life and confront it! I would encourage you that there are a lot fewer “normal people” (those who truly drink in moderation) than you might think. Most people have the same problems you described, but don’t have the courage to face their own responsibility for the way their life is spiraling out of control or to take the first step to overcome their addiction.

  109. Reblogged this on eloquentzen and commented:
    Even when as unique individuals we could not be more different from one another, when it comes down to it we alcoholics all really share the same story.
    Thanks Emily for bringing this piece/blog to my attention!

  110. I love this so much. I haven’t given up alcohol, but have given up the whole “going out” on weekends and my life has changed immensely in only a few short weeks! This is wonderful!

  111. Dustin Hercules

    Wow! This is such an inspiration. You’ve hit the nail on the head with all I’ve been feeling about drinking lately. I am now 10 days sober, and hope to stop forever! This is just what I needed for strength! Thank you!

  112. Hi Kelly, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and found it comforting that there are other people out there whose bodies simply don’t agree with alcohol! I have tried to cut down, though am reluctant to give it up entirely for these three reasons: 1) I love the taste of wine (can do without pretty much every other drink!) 2) The cultural aspect – I adore travelling, and believe it would be a shame to visit a country without fully sampling its culture (and this, unfortunately, often includes alcoholic beverages) 3) The social aspect – drinking, in the same way as eating, is for me a sociable affair; it’s something I enjoy doing with friends/family/on a date, and I don’t think ‘going for a drink’ would be the same if I were just to buy a soft drink (which I think are a waste of money anyway). However, I think it’s great what you did and I would really like to give it a go myself. Any tips on how to deal with the issues mentioned above would be much appreciated!! Thanks 🙂

  113. Kelly, I am 38 and have lived in and around Pittsburgh all my life. Your story basically mirrors my life. Started off in middle school and partying on the weekends, did that until I was 20 then it became during the day, more and more and so on up until recently. I have done the rehab thing but didn’t work since I wasn’t doing it for myself. Being “that guy” too man, I know how you feel when you say being that girl. Waking up on the floor not knowing why, how, or what even happened…on a daily basis. The definition of insanity was my life story. I could go on but I’m not going to, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing and I have almost stopped, I maybe drink 2 or 3 times a month now but I can say the positives most definitely out weight the negatives since I’ve cut back. Stay strong and rock on…
    Larry

  114. Elise

    I never respond or comment on Blogs, that being said I just has to say something here…thank you. Thank you for sharing this and being an inspiration to many others especially young adults who feel they need to drink to have a good time.

    I am 29 years old and took my last drink in October of 2012. In no means was I an alcoholic but I had a drinking problem in the sense that when I did drink (2-3 times a month) it ended much the same way it did for you. Gulit, shame, embarrassment. I had tried to cut back or drink in moderation but any time I had more than 2 drinks I was unable to stop. I woke up one day feeling so awful and I said “that’s it! I’m done!”. I don’t think a lot of people believed I could or would do it (and stick with it) but I did garner a lot of support from my friends and family who wanted me to succeed. With their help (and love) I did.

    I’ve grown up so much in the last year and a half and realized (for the most part) I really like the woman I’ve become. I realized that family is the most important thing to me and there is nothing I won’t do for them. I have become less selfish and more caring for others., The best feeling in the world for me is making someone I love happy. My relationships with close friends and family have strength so much since I stopped drinking that I am thankful everyday I made the decision I did.I am now a better daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, friend and one of my favourite titles – godmother 🙂

    My relationship of 4 years (with the love of my life) has done nothing but grow. When I was drinking I wasn’t a great girlfriend and I was unsure of what I wanted. Through the love and support of my better half I put down the bottle and was able to see what I had in front of me. I know now I have been blessed to find a man who truly loves me for me. He saw who I really was and stuck with me through it. For that reason alone giving up drinking has been worth it. I am grateful for him everyday.

    I am sure a lot of people reading your blog or all the comments of the other amazing people who have chosen the life of sobriety fear they won’t be able to do it or worry their life will be less social. I will tell you this, of course it is difficult at first. I say the first 3 months are the toughest but once you feel you have accomplished something it becomes your motivation to keep going. A lot may worry their social life will suffer. For me it was the complete opposite. I find I am there for my friends more. I feel better and more energized so I am always up for doing more (dinner date with a gal pal in the middle of the work week would have never happened before). I have no problem just drinking pop, water or a fun virgin drink. I have now travelled down to the Caribbean twice since quitting and I had no problems not drinking. It did help I travelled with amazing people who I enjoy so much it never occurs to me I need to drink (yet they are all drinkers). You will quickly learn it can be fun to be the sober one. You get to sit back and watch your friends say and do silly things that you may not of notice before (because you were drunk too). It can be very entertaining to be the non-drinker but it can be equally annoying. I have become my groups DD/babysitter. I think it’s important to make sure everyone gets home safe and lord knows they’ve done it for me several times in the past. If you feel you can not handle this in the beginning or it may drive you to want to drink then I recommend distancing yourself until you feel strong enough. For me I was able to go out with my friends after a few weeks.

    Now that I have rambled on for 4 paragraphs I just want to again thank the ‘Sober Senorita” for sharing her inspiring story and encouraging other’s who are struggling with alcohol to consider the same path. I know it is not easy but it gets better everyday and I am truly the happiest I have ever been. It is the single best decision I have ever made and I only regret not making it sooner.

    I will leave you with this tip: When initially quitting drinking and being at a social function many may ask why you aren’t drinking or continuously try to offer you a drink(I was very lucky to have amazingly supportive friends who NEVER pushed this). What I did was drink out of a glass or a “Red Solo Cup” so people couldn’t always tell I wasn’t drinking and they wouldn’t ask or just assume I was. This will prevent people asking you questions you may not want to answer.

  115. Congratulation Kelly!! I’m so happy for you. I’m closing in on a year June 3, 2014. You were so right about how the first days and months are scary. I had to really figure out new coping skills. It’s so nice to be more clear headed. Thank you for having the courage to share your story.

  116. Melo D

    When I quit I had a friend who suggested that when offered a drink I could say”No thanks, I”ve had enough”. I drink my juice or pop out of a wine glass and I feel I have as much fun as everyone else and I remember it

  117. Heather

    My best friend read this and forwarded it to me. I have since read it and felt compelled to leave you a message. First off congrats on your year!! Secondly, I celebrated my one year on February 26th, so you are not that far behind me. Reading your blog sounded exactly like what my year has been and where I am at now. I read this to my husband as well. Since I started this journey it has been amazing how many women have very similar stories as my own and how much alike they are to me. All my life I felt like I didn’t belong and nobody “understood” me, but now I realize that so many people have similar struggles in their own lives. Thank you for sharing your story. You put everything I have experienced this past year in very eloquent words, something I have been struggling to communicate. Good luck on your journey. When you have those rough days, remember you have at least one other person in this world that totally gets what you are feeling and I will do the same. Take care!

  118. Your story resonated so deeply with me! Thank you so very much for sharing. It’s encouraging and so…yea..well…sobering read! I experienced so much of the same when I kicked my drug habit. It’s a journey, a process and the discovering of new things about oneself each and every day:)
    Keep on keeping on, girl!!

  119. Awesome – you go girl. I’m starting today – and have started up a blog about my little journey (blushingaimee.wordpress.com). I’m excited, and looking forward to coming here again and commenting when I’m one year sober! X

  120. […] on ‘flipping the bird’, and walking away from a life entrenched in an alcoholic stupor: A Year Without Alcohol. It’s a cleverly crafted piece of prose written by Sober Señorita, and is something (without […]

  121. Sarah Barten

    I am just starting the journey of sobriety (10 days) and have to admit each day is still very hard. I so relate to this article, and hope that a year from now I will be saying the same thing. I hear very inspiring stories in AA etc and on line in forums like this. But, as those of you may know, the nature of alcoholism is the instant gratification. The pain going away (even though for the short term to usually cause you more problems in the long term) so the WAITING is hard. I know it is a day to day journey and will get easier, but right now I am a bit raw and it is hard to feel pain without the numbing affects.

  122. Great post, thanks for sharing your discoveries, and well done for reaching a year! This was a really positive story to read 🙂

  123. Grey

    “I am now present and thankful for each day.” Well said. I’ve been sober for over 9 months, and I agree with you that the positives are overwhelming. I’m a better husband and father…I think almost everything is better. Congratulations and thank you for writing about your journey. It serves as great inspiration for those of us doing the same thing.

  124. Sarah Barten

    I keep rereading your story as it inspires me.

  125. Sarah

    I recently became very honest with myself and all close friends and family about my relationship with alcohol. As well as my decision to quit. Within days of the announcement, I had 2 people send me your story, it is so relatable. I find such strength in your last year of sobriety and will revisit this article often along my own journey.
    Thank you for sharing!

  126. Sarah

    I agree Sarah, It is hard though, correct? and I am not trying to take away from the story or the strength butwas also hoping to get some feedback and strength as a newly sober person as you are. It is hard.

    • Sarah

      Yes. I think the story is more than inspiring, but I also am NEW and want some help to be like this. It is scary and hard, perhaps this is not the right forum for this… But I am there for you Sarah #2 🙂

      • Sarah

        Perhaps we should chat. If you would like, I am REALLY new like 12 days.

      • Janet

        I’m @ 38 days…

      • deb summers

        I’ve not drank since August last year but unfortunately it is too late for me as at the age of 39 I was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. Another drink, not a session, ! Drink could push me over the edge. Im not going to die anytime soon so im hear if you wish to contact me or have any support. Lets hope you find sobriety as much fun as I do, I challenge you lol.
        Kindest regards
        Debs x x

    • Janet

      It IS hard, Sarah, Just wanted to u to know u r not alone…

  127. Thanks for sharing this. What a great post 🙂 Congrats on a year! I just recently celebrated mine and I could relate to a lot of what you wrote here. The best IS yet to come. How exciting that you’ve found this for yourself. Big hugs!

  128. Michelle Rhoads

    Reading your story made me smile and realize i too made the right choice! Ive been sober for 140 days today!!

  129. Hello. I am Lourdes, from Spain.
    I have been reading your blog and I would like to ask for your help.
    When I started reading your blog, I realized that your history happens in my life. I have a friend who drinks almost every day. He is not conscious, but he has a big problem. For this reason, I would like to ask you if you could help me, if you could say to me what I can do to help him because sometimes I have spoken with him about that but he doesn’t follow my advice.
    I think it is really amazing what you are doing and hope that you can achieve your goal.

  130. Tara

    Your story really changed my life the minute I read the first paragraph. Today will mark my first day starting my own journey towards a year of sobriety. Thank you to the moon and back. I pray that I will make it just like you have and I have amazing feelings that I can.

    Sincerely,
    Tara

  131. Katelyn

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I saw this on facebook so I haven’t had time to read up on much else you’ve written. But I am coming up on 9 months clean and I can’t help but notice how almost everything you’ve said are things I hear in the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. Are you active in any sort of 12 step program or is this something you’re doing on your own? Thanks again for sharing your message of hope and that life truly does get better when you stop drinking and using drugs.

  132. Congratulations!!! I myself am a week away from a year sober and I agree with everything you have said. Sometimes it is hard but in the end I am always glad I am not drinking. You do become very aware of yourself and learn how to take care of yourself, emotionally and physically. You should be very proud and good luck on your continuing journey =)

  133. Congratulations on the first year of your new life! I’m so very happy for you – and am sure you are an inspiration to many, many people. I look forward to reading more of your blog. I find it interesting that you are living in Cancun, as the only time I was there, I was learning to dive and it was one of my only beach vacations that I did not even drink one beer …

  134. saunders095

    very inspiring

  135. Caitlyn Peca

    I can totally relate to this! I was a huge partier… almost five days a week every week. Last semester I took a break off of drinking, and haven’t since. I got the lowest GPA I’ve ever received last semester, and it rose extremely high my second semester because of not drinking… and that’s only a semester! I can’t imagine what it’ll be like in a year! I feel amazing; I feel more alive, more awake, more aware, more fit, and more loved (as you worded very well)… I can totally relate! Its an amazing feeling and I feel like if I did take another shot, or another beer… It just wouldn’t be as fun… It would taste gross and drunk people around me would be annoying to me. I became friends with some girls first semester who just partied… once i stopped, they were rude and inconsiderate. I started hanging out with a better crowd and am happier than ever! My family respects me more, they’re more proud of me and not only am I happy with myself, I received a boyfriend along the way who helped me with this change. I couldn’t be happier… Like I said, I relate to ALL of your points and Im glad theres someone out there who was just like me 🙂

  136. Alex Zakul

    This is really inspiring. I have thought about quitting alcohol entirely many times before but always have found a reason not to. A big burden is how much my family uses alcohol, it’s something I would say I “grew up with” and it seems normal. Hearing about your normal is really pivotal for me, I’ve been looking for a story like yours for a while to give me confidence that a sober life is doable and fun.

    • Kay

      I can so relate to the family ‘normal’ as well. I grew up with parents and family who love to drink.. And they are successful, intelligent all around good people. So I always thought drinking was just part of everyday life. It’s so difficult to say no to a drink when I’m around them. I don’t feel so alone now so thank you for sharing.

  137. Luke Carver

    I am on that adventure right now of not drinking. I am one of the biggest party boys in Denver. Your story really inspired me. Thank you for being so smart with your decision. Feel free to find me on facebook if you ever want to chat. Not hitting on you I am gay. Just if you ever have any advice. i am Luke Cade Carver on facebook. Message me anytime.
    Luke

  138. There is a program that can help with not only the drinking, but learning how to live life again. One where you understand the underlying reasons some people drink in excess. It’s AA – Give it a try if you haven’t already.

    • Sarah B

      I have tried and it has helped as well as medication Naltrelene? spelling sorry. It is very hard to go through the difficulties (and the parties and fun things) without my alcohol lubrication. I feel MORE as mentioned in this article, but not always good. I have lost friends, have had legal trouble and family issues. This story and the posts are inspiring. As I know each day is a journey, but it is worth it.

  139. Kelly H.

    You sound like such a beautiful and strong person, Kelly. (Although typing that feels strange since we share the same first name… but I digress!) And while I’ve had my own dark moments with drinking, I learned from my mistakes and only drink on occasion -and even then, it’s only a glass or two of wine. Thankfully, I never went to the extreme that I can only imagine you speaking of.

    However, I felt another connection to you and your post. The whole “five knee surgeries” comment, as I myself have had five, with a knee replacement due in 10 years, even though I’m not even 30 yet. All of the persistent physical therapy and the fear of “When will the next one be?” are things I know about all too well. But as you said, perseverance is key… And more than anything, a good man helps in so many ways!

    So, congratulations on your one year of sobriety (and to many more!) and your new love! Also, may your knees heal quick and well -I envy the fact that you’re allowed to still go for a run (treasure it)!

    Much love,
    Kelly

  140. I quit drinking 2 years ago. At 57 years old, I was no longer a party person and didn’t drink much anyhow, but I fully understand your points 2, 3 and 7. Number 4 is a temporary illusion, but that’s OK.

  141. Rachel

    Outstanding. Thank you so much for putting this down on paper. I literally said ‘yep’ a bagillion times (ok… Maybe not literally) while reading this. Thank you. This has been my journey too over the last 18 months and it’s been hard to share.

  142. I am thrilled with your story! You have taken a brutal subject and communicated it with dignity and clarity. I work with prisoners, and you have drafted their stories. May I have your permission to share your essay in my monthly letter? Thank you for being delightfully honest and transparent, which helps pave the way for others to better understand sobriety and its freedom.

  143. Erica

    Your post was the best thing I have read, ever. I am almost 6 months sober and everything you said sounded like I wrote it myself. You are an inspiration, I am so glad I found this post on FB. ✌️Congratulations on one year!

  144. Kat

    I will celebrate 2yrs sober in aug. I am so very happy for you and love your blog,it is fantastic for a young woman to be showing that life can be fun and even better sober ,keep up the great work!

  145. Congrats 🙂 Its really a big change and then you realise what life is all about. Sober. 4 years sober myself on next 15 of September. Best wishes and have a good life.. Its just beginning now… 🙂

  146. infectedmushi1982

    Congrats Kelly on your one year of sobriety..! 😀 seems like we were in a prison our whole life, and just escaped to freedom, inst it?! Been sober my self, makes 4 years in 15 of September.. 🙂 your life is just beginning now.. have a good one. a sober one. you don’t live twice.. 🙂

    Regards,

    Zito.

  147. Penelope

    I am on my second week. I haven’t been drinking at all. This is vert difficult, because summer is starting and in Skandinavia the sun and warm weather isn’t exactly something we have alot. I have only been inside, alone, looking out the window these 14 days.
    I only have “party-friends”, who I only see when drinking. I also struggle with anxiety, so it is very hard for me to do things alone. I don’t work or study because of sleep difficulties, so I don’t have other arenas to get a new and better social-life. What should I do? I feel like it is not worth it, if I’m just going to sit alone and feel sorry for myself.

    • infectedmushi1982

      don’t stay at home.. its worse for your mind.. start to go outside. make new friends. like Kelly said, some are toxic… Avoid them. You dont need alcohol to live you life and have fun. The first two – four weeks are the harder.. you’re half-way trough. dont quit..! wish you the best and strength to make your way out.. 🙂

    • Sarah B

      Penelope, I am in your shoes. I have been sober for weeks, not years like most on this blog. The summer is HARD, because I love sitting on my patio and having a beer …. but cannnot I have anxiety, everything that yous say. I am so like you. It was like reading my story and my struggle. I feel JUST like you. Hand in there.

    • Sarah B

      I meant to reply to Penelope… Sorry it went to the wrong person.

  148. Lolo

    can you elaborate on “I actually care what people think about me”? like other people here I have some anxiety and I’m trying to work on *not* caring what people think of me, so this kinda deters me a little from trying to stay sober 🙂 I am assuming you meant you just developed more self respect, and not that you worry about what others think, but just wanted clarification

  149. Hello, i have found your story through the internet and i myself am trying really hard to give up alcohol. I relapse sometimes and i think that’s okay, because i think you only fail when you stop trying. I think it is important for my feeling of self-worth to do that.

    But what i really came here to say is my, you are such an inspiration. I almost cried when i read your story – i have so many friends who say ‘good for you that you are trying to quit’ but they don’t understand it at all , and indeed still offer me drinks etcetera. I’m condemned constantly in the music scene i work in ( i sing in a metal band ) for not drinking , because it’s supposedly ‘not cool’. People say they understand but they have no idea what it’s like at all.

    I used to do a lot of weed too, and i successfully gave that up already. Now i am trying my very best to give up the beer too. Most of the times it’s going really well, sometimes it’s not. And i think that is okay, i think i am allowed to make mistakes, as long as i make my final goal: sobriety.
    After that smoking’s up for getting rid of 🙂

    I love your story and i just want to say -for as much as it means coming from a random stranger- i am very proud of you and you are a very inspiring, loving person. It already helps me a lot to read there are more people who either are, or have struggled with this. It’s very consoling to know that i am not alone, or that there’s something ‘wrong’ with me.

    Thank you again, and keep up enjoying life. You deserve it 🙂

    Most sincerely,
    A troubled Dutch guy.
    <3

  150. What an inspiring story, congratulations. I have been and still am on this journey so I can relate directly to your thoughts, emotions and experiences. I am now 11 years and 5 months sober and would not have it any other way. Stay strong, remain positive and continue to believe in yourself and the path that you are on; heaven knows there are enough people out there willing to attempt to take you down. This is such an exciting journey that you have commenced and one that you will enjoy immensely. Yes, there will be tough times and challenges ahead however stay true to yourself and you will get through each and everyone of of them. You just be super proud of yourself.

  151. Ryno Meyer

    Hi, Kelly. First off, congrats! And thank you for writing this article. My friend just sent it to me and the best part of it is knowing… I am not the only one. 9 months ago, I also made the same decision. Giving up the life of blackouts and hangovers. At first, I only thought to do it till new-years (3 months). However that came and went, and you know that feeling where you know, it’s not done yet… I got that and here I am 9 months later still sober. Aiming for a year. And it only gets easier. Being sober seeing drunk people everywhere… ai ai.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your story. And keep the good work up 🙂

  152. SamRosie

    Everyone’s going to tell you congratulations, but I want to say THANK YOU for writing this. I feel like it could be my future self that wrote it and you’ve definitely inspired me to kick my “cutting down” (which really doesn’t work like you said) up a notch. Starting right now, June 3rd, 2014, no more alcohol for this señorita! Namaste! The spirit in me salutes the spirit in you. <3

  153. @chavezisbored

    Thank you. I’ll share your story and blog to my patients. Your seven reasons are thing I try and teach my patients everyday. Thank you and yes, “The best is yet to come!”

  154. What a great post! I dont know you but I’m so happy for you! I need to forward your blog to my 22 year old daughter, your an inspiration! Cheers! Mi Amiga!! 🙂

  155. Congratulations, what an inspiring post, thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  156. Way to go. Congratulations to you! I, on the other hand, have never drank and have never felt the need to. I really enjoy life sober at all times!! Have a great future and a very fulfilling life!

  157. Fantastic I too quit drinking a year ago and I got my year sober on the 8th may 2014 what a difference my life is now!I too have met a wonderful man who has helped me all the way,we are getting married on the 21st of June this month wow never thought that this would ever happen to me!What has recovery done for me?I am now truly happy yes I have my good days and bad days which I realise now are normal but I feel truly me free and able to cope with life on my terms!Again congratulations.

  158. Congrats, chica! I remember feeling all those exact things the first year I was sober when I was 24. Sobriety is an Ah-mazinggg journey! I just celebrated 11 years on Memorial Day and never has my life been the same. There have been ups and downs of course, but that is life. Keep on Life-ing!

  159. warumnicht?

    5/7/14 was actually my first day sober… I’m now nearly a month into it and have to agree to life is better. It’s a difficult decision to make and even more difficult when you start to analyze how intertwined alcohol is in your life. Reality finally hit and I’m happy it did. Congrats on making it to the year mark and good luck on continuing your journey.

  160. elliegyrl

    Congratulations on your year of sobriety! I absolutely love your blog. I’m almost 5 months sober myself and you’re words say it all. All the best on your journey!

  161. Simon

    A great piece, I’m into year 4 without alcohol, mine was forced because of a medical condition. However I can see a little of everything you’ve put as I’ve recovered.

  162. Congratulations! I am 133 days and already feeling what you learned. Party girl was how everyone knew me. Blackouts were constant. I was scared no one would like me if I quit. But I am learning that the most important person now loves me — ME! I am finding the self-love I have searched for my whole life.

  163. FlyGirl

    Your story is like reading my own, and has given me a kick up the back side. Today will only be day 2 of no alcohol….that would mean nothing to someone who doesn’t have a problem, but I do. I have to give up now and turn my life around because things are just going from bad to worse….and all the while thinking the drinking helps me escape from my problems…..is in fact the problem in the first place.
    My relationship is hanging by a thread just now because of my behaviour….in fact, he threw me out of the home we were so looking forward to share because of my alcohol consumption and the crazy things I said and did. I was drinking alone, secretly, hiding the bottles of wine before he got home from work and if an argument flared up…..I would totally lose it….doing things that I can’t even remember because obviously I would have black outs. I thought black outs meant someone who just drank and then passed out….I had black outs and was doing crazy things and saying the most vile things. I was a walking, talking scary crazed woman. It became very volatile and aggressive.
    I then decided that I need to stop drinking…. I stopped for near on 2 weeks, I lost weight, my skin appeared fresher and I was less bloated and more alert. I was much more sure of my decisions in life…..the clarity was amazing. My boyfriend and I said we would try to work through this and I needed to give myself time to sort my head and this habit out and I was sure I could do it. I gave up smoking on my own 3 yrs ago so surely I can battle this? How wrong I can be.
    Him throwing me out was my wake up call……or should or been. Now I have a new home…. I’m struggling to keep my head above water financially….I stress over the slightest thing, am very tearful and anxious. And because our relationship is teetering on the edge, (I’m blaming him for putting me in this position in the first place, and it seems our relationship has gone backwards now and not forwards) I miss him and time with him greatly…..it feels we are fading away and growing apart …not getting stronger or better, that I’ve gone back to drinking again….. a bottle of wine, if not more, a night…..to forget all this noise around me. And because no one is here and I’m home alone, no one has to know that I’m drinking as long as I don’t text or talk to anyone. I feel like I haven’t laughed or smiled in weeks….I’ve lost sight of myself and am slowly losing everything around me that I care about it. My moods just now are all over the place….sad to unrealistic….pretending I’m strong and ok when in fact it’s a facade.
    I want to stop because I want to feel normal again and be that happy person that I liked and so did my friends and partner. It worries me so much that I can’t because alcohol has been a part of my life since I can remember, my dad was an alcoholic and every day by the time it’s 4pm….I want to crack open a bottle because that’s what I’ve been used to for the past few years. I know I can’t have one social drink anymore….that’s just the start of a heavy night so I must eliminate it altogether.
    At the moment it feels like a very scary journey ahead of me……I wish I was the one a year on in feeling the way you do because I want to be that person now. Any words of encouragement or guidance is greatly accepted right now……. !

    • Mel

      I’m reading these responses as the mother of a son who has had to go through this.I honestly don’t know how many days/months in he is. I know it’s less than a year and probably around 5-6 months. As dark a time as it was for him and all of us around him, I figure I should know. I’m not even sure he can tell you the date. But I can tell you it wasn’t a one day he quit thing. It was a long process. It was Kind of like quitting smoking. It took many quits before it stuck – and I really hope this is it. He’s had long periods of anxiety and depression. But he’s learning to experience his feelings and life without having to escape and hide. He’s learning to feel and be ok with it. He’s actually learning to feel good and happy too. I know it’s tough for you Flygirl because you’re going to be experiencing stuff and feelings and moods and life without the curtain of alcohol. It’s a whole different world and I’m hoping you can find the reason you want to do it. Good luck to you.

  164. Denisse

    This article was all I needed to know I am able to quit drugs and a party life I used to have. Thank you so much for such inspirational article because you have given me hope that nobody in my life has. I decided to fully go sober not that long ago and everything you have described is exactly how I feel. I have a long way but thanks to you I will be able to move foward and know that the best time of my life is yet to come. THANK YOU.

  165. Dakota

    I want to thank you for this article and I feel as if I wrote the first portion myself. Today is one month since my last drink and this past month of not drinking has been wonderful, mixed with panic attacks and fear, but mostly happiness and pride. I don’t know that I won’t drink again but at the moment I have no desire and your article is a big inspiration to keep on this path. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it will mean a lot to people of all ages, but mostly it gives those in their 20s and 30s some insight into what life can be like without alcohol.

  166. Ev

    Thank you for this! I am on month 5, my longest period of not drinking, and already I can relate to everything you wrote. The heightened emotions, the memories of life before, everything. I am so grateful to have read this, and look forward to reading more from you! Thank you!

  167. Rory

    Just read the piece. Really cool! Thanks for that. Life is awesome, if you want it to be 🙂

  168. Hi-

    you are an inspiring person- it’s not easy to let go of the things we rely on to help us get through life and it’s ups and downs. Many of us don’t want to recognize that something’s wrong too- but you took a long hard look at what was happening and decided to make a change. I’m happy to hear that making this one change has led to so many improvements in your life. It goes to show us that changing one ‘little’ thing can have a positive and wide-reaching effect on our whole life and those around us. Even things that you didn’t expect to change will change and will improve your life 🙂

    You go girl!

    PS: I am loving those glasses you are wearing- would you share the brand name and style?

    Lots of love from Vancouver, Canada!

  169. Shannon Summers

    Congrats on the one year!!!
    My name is Shannon(27yrs old)and I’m from PA,USA.I want to say thank you. I have been sober for 2years(March8th) and reading what you wrote touched my heart in so many ways. It was like you were describing my life as well. I was crying so much reading it. I’m proud of you and if you/anyone need someone to chat with or help I’m here for you. I’m not an expert,but I can open my heart up to you. Keep strong and hold your head up high 🙂 My Facebook name is Shannon Summers ,and my email is Shadychick522@gmail.com

  170. Anonymous

    Nice share…after 31 yrs of sobriety, and having been a bad alcoholic, the only thing that has worked is a relentless seeking of God through working the steps…..as our egos always rebuild and the steps help us find humility. good luck!

  171. Becky

    I recently decided the to dothe exact thing. I am 22. I have almost 3 months and I am already feeling the wonderful effects that you describe here. This is very inspiring! I relate on every level to your story..it sounds just like mine. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing!

  172. Wowsa-you are such an inspiration to so many. The sheer numbers of comments is a testament to how your story is healing many others who share the struggle. I wanted to say that in your article you said you wish you could be like others who can handle drinking-I think it should give you a good eye opener that many people who drink can’t really handle it. They may think they can, but in some way, the alcohol is taking a part of their life and well being. I lost my brother and mother to this disease. I am glad you are living fully and had the courage and love for yourself to stop. May your life be full of love and blessings. Thanks for sharing as this is part of your new mission in life.

  173. […] to read about why people have decided to give alcohol the boot. Sober Señorita Kelly gives us seven reasons why she’s better off without booze and Helen Sarah explains how she has survived eight years of […]

  174. cheese coney

    cheers

    • Wgbealer

      Congrats on your 1 year. You have written something hat I have read multiple times to try and get sober. I am you a year ago and have finally been at my wits end with myself. I want so badly to be the person I know I can but but just can’t figure out the steps I need to take. I mean obviously just don’t drink but I’m a chef in the industry with alcohol surrounding me with that lifestyle. How did you begin? Did you just stop going out at first till you grew strong enough to see people that drank around you? I don’t have one friend that doesn’t drink or on something… Anyways just looking for some advice bc you obviously got it down

      • Erin Middleton

        14 years ago I made an importanant decision. I decided my life was unmanageable. For me, it was AA that was my lifesaver. I had to lean on the advice and fellowship of people who had done this before me. Finding a fellowship of people with good, long-term sobriety was a big contributor to my success. Of course you are surrounded by friends who drink, many of them obsessively! Why? Because you designed your life that way. It is no accident.You can design your life another way. Actually, if you stick with the program, you won’t even have to actively re-design your life. That process will follow organically. Find a program in your area and connect with others in the recovery community. Don’t worry about what your life is going to look like. Worry about today. What does today look like?

      • K Nedd

        WGBealer – I am sober almost ten years. The hardest part for me was to make new friends and find another job. Like you, I worked in the restaurant business. All my friends either worked with me or were customers. After I quit drinking, I still hung out at the bars and with those people but I soon learned that drunks don’t want to be around sober people. They want to be with other drunks. One night as I was dressing to “go out”, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought – why bother? No one was going to really talk to me because by the third drink it’s almost impossible to carry on any conversation. So I stayed home that night. And the next. And for the next 8 months, I pretty much had no friends. All those people that I had spent SO much time with drinking? They never called. Never came around. I learned they were not really my friends. Those months were the loneliest I can ever remember but eventually, I did make new friends. People who don’t drink. Some of them do have an occasional beer or glass of wine but they are not consumed with drinking or that lifestyle. I am not going to tell you it is easy because it is not. I will tell you it is worth it. You will grow into a person you never imagined you could be! As for the work, I went into retail. I still love to cook and do so for my friends and family. I find more pleasure doing this and I don’t miss the weekends and the late evening hours. I encourage you to make this change and give it time. Open the door to the remarkable possibilities of Life without alcohol or other drugs. Peace.

    • Henrik

      I think you might be a highly sensitive person (HSP), check out this: http://www.hsperson.com.

      …and by the way, i love what you did 🙂

    • Daniela Dean

      Well done Kelly. I actually didn’t think it was possible for someone who drinks to give it up altogether.Not without being courtappointed to go to AA. I’m a teetotaller. I’ve never jumped on board the whole alcohol-as-part-of-my-life concept and it had always made it hard for me to make friends and get ahead in certain jobs. I had to quit my advertising and marketing career because it just became ridiculous to pretend liking drinking and going out in that way. I’d much rather spend my time having meaningful conversations or outright raucous laughter with intelligent and enlightening people than try and fit in with the gaggle of drunkards that is most of the world – or what it seems like to me. Very cool to see how the other half sees the world once they remove their beer goggles – thanks for sharing. On an unrelated note, where are your fabulous glasses from?

    • You are truly an inspiration to me. I am just starting out with this lifestyle change, but your article made me so hopeful and excited for the future.

  175. K. Townsend

    Congrats to you on your one year anniversary! I gave up alcohol 2 1/2 years ago after a 20+ year habit. I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy, but the difficulties have been worth it! Keep it up… you won’t regret it!

  176. Sophie

    Wow I am so glad I’ve found this , I’m 21 and a f*ck up , this has giving me the push to attempt to stop drinking

  177. Rhiannon

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am 9 weeks sober and discovered your page during those very first weeks and it felt like a blessing.
    That first month, I was excited about what my new life sans-alcohol meant and all the things I would do that I didn’t because of my drinking.. like running, hiking, biking and volunteering. 9 weeks in, and it is definitely a struggle, harder than I even realized – I have tried to prove to myself that I can still go out to happy hour with my friends and have a good time but it is hard. I have had the gasps, “I don’t even know you know anymore”, “sure you don’t want a shot of rum in your diet coke?!”, pregnancies jokes and eye-rolling. Someone else in recovering said to me this week…”you know THIS is the road less travelled” and it really helps to keep reminding myself that on tough days. That I have made a decision to be healthy and create a better life for myself and some people never have that blessing or opportunity.

  178. Danielle

    Awesome article. I decided to try a year without alcohol myself after years of trying to moderate without succeeding. What helped me go almost 6 months without is Maum Meditation. It has been a life saver. Lots of amazing things happen when you meditate and Maum has a great guided program. Your perception completely changes. Life without alcohol is pretty fun and I know I can make my year mark. 🙂

  179. Kev

    Go Kelly! and cats rule!! 😀

  180. Carolini

    Congratulations! Through God’s grace, I gave it up many years ago after quite a lengthy drinking career. Life is so much better!

  181. francheincali

    Kelly, congratulations on your year of sobriety!! And thank you so much for sharing your experiences and on-going journey. Your story appeared in my FB feed several weeks ago, just about when I had come to a very similar point in my life…I was “sick and tired of being sick and tired”, and drinking was genuinely just no fun for me anymore. I’ve read your blog over and over again (and then a few more times) and so much hit home for me. Numbing out for years has taken a toll, so when I had a big birthday on June 22, that was it. I politely drank at an afternoon party with friends, and then realized I was done. No rock bottom moment – I just knew that I wanted to go home, get some rest, and not take a drink again until further notice. Maybe I’ll go a year, maybe more, maybe less…who knows? Today is Day #11, and I am feeling strong and encouraged to keep going. There are certainly knee-jerk/automatic reaction moments, temptations, and guilt (oh boy, the guilt!), but yoga and journaling are keeping me grounded and focused. And I have to say that some s#*t’s been getting clear really fast. Thank you for maintaining this blog. And thank you to all the other folks on this path who have been so wonderfully brave and generous in sharing their own experiences in their own replies. Mucho love and good vibes to all you!!

  182. […] Credits: The Adventures of a Sober Señorita via whydontyoutrythis.com Source : themindunleashed.org var fbShare = {url: 'http://www.trulymind.com/7-things-i-learned-from-1-year-without-alcohol/&#039;,size: 'large',}!function(d,i){if(!d.getElementById(i)){var j=d.createElement("script");j.id=i;j.src="https://widgets.getpocket.com/v1/j/btn.js?v=1&quot;;var w=d.getElementById(i);d.body.appendChild(j);}}(document,"pocket-btn-js");jQuery(document).load(function(){ stLight.options({publisher:''}); });emailvar dd_offset_from_content = 50;var dd_top_offset_from_content = -99;var dd_override_start_anchor_id = "";var dd_override_top_offset = ""; jQuery(document).ready(function($) { window.setTimeout('loadGoogle1_3166()',1000); }); function loadGoogle1_3166(){ jQuery(document).ready(function($) { $('.dd-google1-3166').remove();$.getScript('https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js&#039;); }); } […]

  183. Mark

    God Bless you,my last drink happened when I was 44yrs old. i’m soooo happy for you to figure this out soo much earlier than I did. I also feel a little jealous, yeah cause I can feel now. Be an example that is so much needed. I work with other alcoholics and help them get sober too now. It’s the best thing I can do to give back. As far as the seven things, it’s like you wrote down the exact contents of my brain. I’m crying hard as I write this.

    • Mark

      oh, it’s been just over 21 months for me right now.

  184. Babi

    hi there
    I am really happy to hear about your sobriety. I come from a family with an alcoholic father and I watched from close the bad outcomes it causes. Good job, God Bless you!

  185. Mr G

    Amazing the different world you live in when you stop drinking.
    It’s been a year for me too and all I can do is agree with your written thoughts.
    More productive at home and at work, better memory, and I feel mentally stronger.
    I also lost weight, gained healthier skin, I have generally more energy and more cash to spend on other things, more time to spend on other pursuits, and quality time with family.
    Congratulations on your achievement, now on to year two!

  186. Tamika

    Thank you for this blog….I’m just beginning my journey and to say the least, I’m scared but I know in order to live the life that I want to live then it’s time to make some changes.

  187. Brava! I’ve got 21 years…yes, that’s a lot more time than you have right now, but it doesn’t matter: we’re only living one day at a time, anyway, so what’s behind us and what’s ahead of us are informed by how we do the here-and-now. Even at 21, the gift never ceases to amaze and humble me, and it sounds like you’re having a similar experience at 1. Keep coming back, sister!

  188. Thank you and Congrats. 🙂

  189. tj1182

    You look amazing now! Very inspiring article!

  190. Thanks for sharing this..I am currently doing dry july and I will be the first to admit I have a drinking problem, your story is giving weight to my thinking about not drinking again – it seems to be less and less worth it. there is way too much cool stuff to do to waste life being wasted

    • If you manage dry July you can go on to do a ‘clear year’!. Honestly it is so, so worth it. I was a life long drinker from a family of drinkers (but not alcohol abusers) so drinking alcohol was deeply ingrained in me. I stopped almost 2 years ago. I struggled for the first few days but what gave me strength was knowing that, as with any addiction, it would get easier. Now I can’t imagine why I would want to feel intoxicated, it is so limiting. Now when I wake each morning I feel mentally sharp and I still feel smug almost every day with my achievement. I will never drink again. I simply don’t need it any more and prefer life without it. Good luck and trust your own strength – you can do this.

  191. I am 8 yrs sober and i totally understand every word you wrote!!! thank you for your honesty. and i can tell you it keeps getting better!! best wishes to you for your future, and most importantly, you are not alone! <3

  192. Douglas Bertelsen

    I am proud of you Kelly Fitzgerald, and everyone who has quit either drinking and/or narcotics. I quit drinking Cold Turkey on May 17, 2013 with no AA or ANY outside help or support from family or friends. If I can do it, anyone can! I started drinking and doing drugs at a very early age, so the total years doing this ‘self destruct’ is 35 years! I am now 55, 56 August 1st 2014. I was prescribed strong narcotic pain meds(Vicodin and others) in 2005 for neck and back injuries(no surgery), and I went through 7 years of HELL doing these narcotics mixed with drinking. I was a dead man. But God had different plans, of course. I quit Narcotics, ‘Cold Turkey’ on Christmas Day 2013. Still no surgery on my neck or back to this day, and I am doing fine dealing with the pain naturally………. I have had no urges to do either since. AA may be good for some, but you can do it without if you just believe.
    Blessing to ALL,
    Doug
    “Freebird”

    • Jo G

      AA is a fellowship of love, support and friendship. Yes, recovery can happen without AA, but why not enhance your life with new friends who have the same struggles and can help you down a tough road that they have traveled before you. Congrats on your sobriety, but you don’t have to do it alone!

  193. “It is by practicing vulnerability of the heart that we discover courage.”

    ( Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche)

    ” Many use alcohol to run away from their feelings and end up in a blubbering mess anyway 😉 ”

    (Jonathan Sherwood)

  194. simono4

    “It is by practicing vulnerability of the heart that we discover courage.”

    (Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche)

    • simono4

      Love your work!

  195. Congrats on your 1 year!!!! My parents are both recovering alcoholics and have been sober for the past 25 years. Everyday is a journey and I am so grateful for their decision to choose sobriety. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your story!!

  196. TimmyD

    Congratulations on your one year! I am glad I stumbled upon your blog on Facebook. I myself could have written word for word about myself about how you felt when you finally decided to give up alcohol. Unlike you I am weak and have quit but then slip up again. The line you wrote “Sometimes I feel like life isn’t fair and I wish I could just drink alcohol normally like everyone else.” is what I personally struggle with. I often ask myself, ‘How come I can’t go out and have a couple of beers?’ I already know the answer it is because it’s never just two beers. Your blog and one year anniversary have made me pause and really think that I need to stop again and journal my road to sobriety. I would love to get a year under my belt of being alcohol free! Keep up the great work and inspiring words.

  197. Wow, it takes courage to take that first step. Well done! And thank your for sharing your story!!!!

  198. Keith

    I just wanted to say I share all of these same feelings and new life discoveries! It truly is an amazing feeling. I also share a close date. May 14, 2013 for me and counting. I feel so much better and life is now with clarity! Amazing!

  199. bw

    what an inspiring testimony! i’ve shared it on my facebook page like many of the others here, and also sent a copy to a friend. she cried. i hope it will give her hope of than an alcohol-free life could be possible for her as well.

    it’s a smaller observation, but you write well and have great insight. thanks for sharing.

  200. Good for you! Here’s some advice from a 56 year old woman that was lucky enough to sober up at age 23. Keep going. Living life sober is not always easy but it is ALWAYS worth it. When you review your life at my age you will NEVER be disappointed with your actions or yourself. Life has many ups and downs, some of them so tough you think you’ll never get through them without a drink, but you will. Your on the good red road, stay on the path. Here’s to you and your very good life a head.

  201. So wonderful, and happy for you. That first year chip is a HUGE one. Thanks for sharing. PS The ad at the bottom of your blog is ironic: a plug for Sauza tequila!

  202. Mikael

    Well done! I like what you wrote and am happy for you. My own story is that I´m 29 years old, living in Sweden, and have only tasted alcohol twice in my entire life (by accident really), and I feel no desire to start. I was raised this way as a mormon and have made a personal choice to continue that way as an adult. Take care!:)

  203. Teri

    Thank you for sharing your story. It has made my daughter seriously consider doing the same thing. I’m very supportive of her and so very hopeful this was just the story she needed to read to give her the push ahead. She needed to hear from someone who was honest and the same as her. Job well done and thank you again!

  204. […] These are the lessons she learned in that one year she did not drink alcohol:1. Heightened senses She feels everything with a heightened sensitivity.  Emotions, smell hearing, muscle pain, hearing and taste got heightened. Her emotions have gone crazy-“I cry at the drop of a hat, I’m offended easily, and sometimes I am so happy I feel like I’m going to burst.  I actually care what people think about me…” And although she is sometimes overwhelmed, the feeling is amazing.2. Self-understandingNot drinking has made her realize who she is. She has realized what she likes and what she doesn’t and can easily socialize with friends and family. “I’m learning that person who was under the cloud of constant alcohol black outs for the last several years was not me.  I am not the stupid embarrassing things I did, I am a real person who does not mix well with alcohol.”  3. Alcohol stopped being fun for herShe had been trying for years to regulate her drinking but kept failing. Alcohol started out as fun and as a social thing but she realized it wasn’t fun anymore. It was in fact the root of most of her problems. Bad things happened to her when she drank and she should have stopped earlier. 4. Life is manageableHer life used to be a total mess when she drank and she felt comfortable that way. After fighting the scary first days and months, being sober is her normal now. Drinking used to be her answer to everything and especially when things went bad, but now she is prepared to face anything and can handle it in a healthy way. “Additionally, less bad things have happened since I stopped drinking alcohol which was the cause of many problems in the past.  I am now present and thankful for each day.” 5. Worthy of loveAlcohol had been sabotaging her romantic relationships for a long time. Alcohol “supported, encouraged, and justified bad decisions of all kinds, especially those related to men.” After she stopped drinking, she realized that she was capable of having a normal relationship and she did deserve to be loved. Oh, and she did find a loving and amazing man who shows her that she deserves all the love in the world!6. Toxic people bring toxic habitsWhen you quit drinking or doing drugs, one of the things you have to do is change friends. She realized that she had nothing in common with some of her friends and that some had completely different goals and outlook on life. They felt fake and when she made the decision, she found out who her true friends were. “There are those who will love you unconditionally, those who won’t bat an eyelash, and those who will still offer you cocktails after they already know you don’t drink.” She has since learned how to get rid of toxic relationships without feeling bad about it.7. She is not perfect and that is ok. Guilt, shame and regret are some of the feelings one gets when you quit a nasty habit.  According to Kelly, however, it’s a beautiful thing to finally feel those emotions she tried to numb with alcohol all those years. “Not only am I learning to feel them, I’m learning how to deal with them, and live a healthy and successful life.  I have made mistakes along the way and I will never be perfect.” There are good and bad days but she has learned to not beat herself up. Alcohol is her story of perseverance.“I never thought that sobriety would be my preferred way of life, but now I can’t imagine going back to my party girl ways.  I never dreamed I would feel SO happy, full, and healthy living a life without drugs and alcohol.  I was always that girl who needed alcohol to have fun and now I am a testament to the fact that you don’t need it to enjoy yourself. I wake up every day feeling relieved that I never have to feel hangover.  I hope that by sharing my story other party girls (and boys) will have the courage to put down the drink and live the life they have always imagined.  The best is yet to come.” [Source:  http://www.sobersenorita.com] […]

  205. Scott

    I’ve been sober one year and five months now. My health is better, I walk, I started playing golf again, I look and feel better. I joined AA. It was the best personal decision I ever made, for just me, in my life. I’m discovering who I really am and can be and it’s very exciting. After years, I look forward to getting up in the morning!

  206. va.ramos64@gmail.com

    WOW, your story is very inspirational! Thank you for sharing and letting the world be a part of it. I am so happy for you and hope that I too can accomplish what you have.

  207. Jackie Madison

    Alcohol is an enormous part in my life. Mostly due to the fact that 6 of the 8 maternal aunts and uncles are or were alcoholics(none of them quit drinking). Until last month I would have x>2 drinks a day, until I worked at a gas station. There I learned that people whom drink were mostly just “trashy” people. I then realized that alcohol depreciates the quality of your life. Instead of investing my money in a better car or apartment, I was creating a beer belly. I have a $10,000 stomach and I don’t even look good. I would’ve been better of with $10,000 of gold chains, rings, and watches like Trinidad James; instead I look like the late mike Tyson without the face tattoo. I don’t drink heavy or really at all now and life is better, and I am looking healthier. Hopefully everyone will stay on the wagon and pursuit to a road of success and “happyness.”

  208. Congratulations! I too am embarking on my sober journey after many years of heavy drinking. Over the past three years, it has gotten really bad. I’ve been in denial for a long time about it, but finally have come to terms with the fact that I can’t live like this anymore. Like you, I’m tired of disappointing those I love. We are moving across the country is a couple of weeks to California and I am happy that I will have a fresh place to start my life over in. Your story resonates a lot with mine. Thanks for publishing it and for publishing the resources to help me out with all of this. I haw tried a couple of times in the past to quit drinking, but have relapsed every time. Third time is a charm. I have everyone in my corner, and I will succeed this time. Thanks again!

  209. Congrats Kelly! This is HUGE! I like your writing–it´s very honest and you make yourself vulnerable which is so important and inspirational. You go girl

  210. Amy M.

    Hi, Kelly! If someone else already has mentioned this, my apologies, but you might be what’s called an HSP: Highly Sensitive Person. You described feeling things more acutely since you stopped drinking—you may have been unconsciously trying to block out the overwhelming stimuli of the word by keeping yourself in an alcoholic haze.

    Google Elaine Aron and her work … see if the HSP description fits you! 🙂 She has a lot of great wisdom on how to handle being a sensitive individual who gets overwhelmed by the world and one’s own feelings.

    Good luck to you,
    Amy

    • Amy M.

      *world, not word 🙂

  211. Dave Heming

    Hi Kelly, thanks for the inspiring words. I myself have stopped drinking. I used to drink and smoke pot daily. I drank until I passed out. I also quit smoking cigarettes. I ended up getting the h1n1 flu and a double lung pneumonia. I was in the icu and intubated for three days. When I woke up I said no more. I’ve been sober for 7 months. I feel like if I ever have an urge to drink I will read your story again.
    Thanks
    Dave

    • Fabiola

      Hi Kelly! Thanks for all of these, you have no idea how you’re helping me, thanks to you I decide to stop this madness, there are so many things that you can’t understand wile you’re drinking and I realice that I’m feeling exactly the way you felt before ….I have the same problem and knowing that there are people out there feeling the same It’s refreshing …It’s a long way but you have to start in some point and I really hope I’ll make a year sober like you!

      Thanks

      • Sarah B

        I am starting my sobriety journey as well. I am surprised, pleasantly, how many people are in the same situation and how much support there is out there. I put myself in inpatient treatment for 40 days and attended outpatient AA etc. I will not lie and say it is easy all the time, but I am certainly regaining some self respect, which I have been lacking for quite some time. Hang in there!

  212. Steve

    Thanks for writing this, living this, and sharing this—keep going! You’ll get a ton of advice from others—but pick and choose the approaches that work for you (writing and non-drinking). You have a lot of people rooting for you (people you don’t even know about).

  213. Stephanie

    I don’t even know you but I’m so proud of you. It’s not easy and I still struggle. Lots of props girl! !!!

  214. Ciara

    Hi Kelly. Congratulations on your one year! Your first observation really intriuges me. When you say you experienced hightened sensitivity including smell, do you mean you just noticed this in social contexts like bars and clubs when sober where you otherwise would have been drinking? or do you mean heightened senses in general? thanks.

    • I left tobacco, Effexor, Vyvance, Ativan and Seroquel behind me. Cold turkey. Can’t stop drinking *for now* BUT I sure know how great you must feel!

  215. adrien

    Big congrats on the one year!!! Your journey is truly inspiring! I recently (this past weekend) decided that my life is in need of change. I was hammered drunk, knocked a guy out and jumped out ofa moving vehicle sustaining a bad concussion… alcohol USED to be fun. I’ve become like you said, “a person that just doesn’t mix well with alcohol anymore.” Old feelings, issues, problems, regrets get amplified, and I get mean, rude… just plain ugly, and with the people I love most. Alcohol has made me push loved ones away. So when I woke up in the ER, I cried and was ashamed of the person I had become. Not just with alcohol, but as a whole. Where had my integrity gone? My self respect, my morals?? My faith??? I was baptized again yesterday, time to put into action what i know to be right. Talk is cheap. 🙂 I hope to hit that one year soon! Congrats again! KEEP IT GOIN!

  216. sasha

    I can relate a 100% i finally got my year in on Aug. 10th 2014. Reading your story was an inspiration especially because almost every person with addiction problems feel the same way when they get sober after spending years getting f***ed up. I’m happy to see someone make a page on their soberty its very refreshing and i wish you the best in your page hopes and dreams but most of all your Soberty!!! Keep kicking ass and showing people anyone can do it i did so did you, the best part of it is you got your friends and family by your side and you don’t have to do it on your own. Congrats ill have a cup of coffee for you:)

  217. There were other factors involved, but I happened to read this post on the day I was arguing with myself about my habits. You’ve inspired me to start a blog to document the journey ahead. I just want to say thank you. Congratulations on your accomplishment.

  218. Amanda

    I love this so much. I relate 100% percent to everything on this list. It’s really comforting to know that there are other people who have struggled like this and have made it through. I stopped drinking almost a year ago and things are definitely better for me, but this post served as a really wonderful reminder that life is so much more amazing and fulfilling than than I ever thought was possible during those two years of my life. I’ve been feeling down lately, but this post really just kicked me in the ass and made me realize that I am taking so many wonderful things for granted and that I am so, so grateful that I found my way out of that dark, horrible place of despair and that I never have to go back. Thank you so much for sharing.

  219. George Allen

    This is in fact, Inspiring! Especially when you are talking about how you were trying to monitor and regulate your alcohol intake sounds like the very thing that I have been doing. I believe that just stems from being in denial, not trying to fully be done with alcohol. I decided to quit this morning when I realized that I have to live a better life for not only myself, but for my children and my girlfriend (who I hope to marry). Thank you for being the light you are, and speaking your story, which liberates others out of their darkness.

  220. Diana

    A big congrats to you! I’m very proud of you! It made me so happy to read how an alcohol free life made your life so much more pleasant. You’re a very strong woman and a big inspiration for me. Thank you for being so brave to share your story to inspire others to quit drinking as well!

  221. Seth

    Wow I love this! You’ve inspired me to try living a year with alcohol starting tomorrow (my 26th bday). It’s going to be tough but it looks like the pros outweigh the cons. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your strength! You rule!

  222. BARBARA

    Congratulations! And THANK YOU! It’s funny how I found this blog just now that I am taking conscious of the mess my life has become because of my alcohol abuse. I am 26 going on 27 and have been that ‘party girl’ for too long. Like you said, it’s just not fun anymore. I have had this problem for too long. Bad things happened to me while drinking too. To name a few, at age 18 I was one night taken in an ambulance to the hospital for alcohol abuse. I promissed my family that would have been the last night I drank so much. But I couldn’t stop..A few months ago I woke up on a sunday morning, fainted and broke my jaw against the floor…I have also lost frinds because I tend to get aggressive after too many drinks…I don’t know why I do it, guys for sure do not take seriously a girl who is always wasted. I guess they can see I have no self-respect…
    I am sooooooo tired of waking up the next morning feeling bad about myself for my excessive drinking, calling my friends and asking them what happened the night before because I have blanks in my head.
    Drinking in moderation has never worked for me either, so I will try to stop drinking completely too. I know it’s gonna be hard because most of my single frinds I go out with drink a lot as well and I know some of them won’t take it too well–or at least I don’t think they will take me seriously. But I really do wanna live a healthier life, and this souds like the way to go. It’s time to finally GROW. I want a new beggining…
    BTW you look amazing!! and HAPPY! You are an inspiration…♥

  223. Maria

    I always drank “socially” (and endured terrible hangovers “privately”… 🙂 ) but had to quit alcohol temporarily for a medical treatment. For those 2 weeks, life was SO much better, I just decided to quit forever. It is a new life: I can count on Sunday mornings to do stuff after Saturday night parties, just like you described, and this is just one of the thousand things which are much better now. What is weird, though, is seeing all my friends and colleagues behaving in an increasingly strange manner as a party goes on (“is this how I used to be?”). What a beautiful and enlightening moment. Now I understand why English-speaking people use the expression “sobering experience”. Very wise.

  224. Reblogged this on josefkonderla and commented:
    Really interesting post about not drinking. Do we need alcohol as much as we think we do?

  225. Roxanna

    I am sober just over six months and relate to everything you say. I don’t want to go back ever again. Curious though what you do w the party girl wants and needs now that the drinking/ drugging is gone? Have you found a replacement? Sometimes party girl wants to come out to play even when there is zero interest in drinking. Thanks very much.

    • Sober Sarah

      Have you tried a 12 step program? I am 112 days sober. I struggle from time to time and though I am not a daily AA person etc, I do find the support helpful and it is a safe place to go when I really think I need that.

  226. SuperGgirl

    I am so inspired and I have been ready to do this for a long time. I have kept the link to your Huffington Post article close by my side….and refer to it when I need support. I have a long road ahead but I can’t begin to express how incredibly ‘sick and tired I am of being sick and tired’. Thank you….thank you. I am very eager to follow you on this journey.

  227. M Saif Ullah

    so nice to read your comments about this

  228. Tell us how you did this great article and congrats its awesome but,what did you do to accomplish this?

  229. Thank you so much for this. I came upon this post in a serendipitous way, or I suppose, quite coincidentally, just after I had my poor life choices slap me in the face with reality and truth. I decided that although I can monitor my drinking and enjoy a glass of wine without intention to numb or create false happiness or joy, I realized for at least right now, there can be no compromise. For once in my life, I want to feel everything, good or bad, especially while seeking counsel and truly finding who I am without all of those distractions and temporary bandaids to my past hurt and abuse. I’ve also decided that, especially right now, if something or someone isn’t aiding in my recovery and mental health, then I’d rather have nothing to do with it, and therefore, have it be all or nothing. I don’t want to risk sugarcoating the feelings and thoughts I know will come with soul searching and talking to my therapist. I want to face my demons head on without running to my past integrated, toxic habits, whether it be a few sips of wine, or a whole bottle. Thanks again for truly igniting that motivation and drive within me to take this journey head on without any fears that I have anything to lose…only everything you stated and more to gain.

  230. Tyler

    I stopped drinking May 4 2014. Was just thinking of writing a diary of what’s changed in my life and did a search to see if anything similar came up. It was an enjoyable read. You look great by the way. It seems there is a nice glow without the alcohol dehydrating the body I’ve noticed in myself as well. Wish you the best

  231. Reblogged this on An Addict, Analyzed and commented:
    Looking for other great recovery blogs and came across The Adventures of a Sober Senorita. Let me know of any others…

    • Yator

      thank so much dear,,,so true& real,, i have scratching all over my face because of drinking two days ago,,,‘sick and tired I am of being sick and tired’ am gonna quit drinking today

  232. Matthew Cohen

    Great read. Thank you for sharing. I am truly inspired.

  233. KNW

    I read this last year right after my 30th birthday. My best friend sent it to me after yet another morning of me hungover, embarrassed and disappointed about my poor decisions the night before, and of course swearing off alcohol. I sent it to my boyfriend to read. His response.. “Uh…did you get in a time machine, go forward a year and write this under a pen name….She is you!”
    I wish I could say I stopped drinking right then, but I didn’t. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t even try. It was the beginning of summer, I wanted Margaritas and Coronas! I re-read your article today and was inspired to just do it already and get on with a healthy, happier me. I look forward to finding out what I learn in 1 year without alcohol. Thanks for the inspiration!

  234. Lynne

    Congratulations. You will keep going through changes, and you are right – the best is yet to come. I quit drinking in 1986, and have no regrets. It is kind of like having another whole side of yourself slowly wake up. You are kind of amazed sometimes with the new feelings. Good Luck.

  235. Jenipher

    I read this off of facebook and reposted this.. I am that party girl that wants to get sober and I have tried everything thing you have tried.. So as of today I am quitting drink and braving the unknown.. Thank you for your inspiring words..

    • Muriel

      @Jenipher.
      Me too.
      Today is the day.
      Stay rad.
      Stay strong.
      Peace.

  236. Holly

    I just wanted to thank you. I’m the old you. To a fuckin’ T! So I wanted to let thank you, over and over. I read your article when I was out of work for about 5 months after I had a grand mal seizure at work – luckily I worked at a hospital – which lead to a MRI’s and CAT scans, which lead to finding an insanely large mass in my brain. Being 28 and seeing massive black hole on a computer screen is life changing. I began to drink like every day was my last day. I became the goto girl when someone was depressed and wanted to drink til dawn, ’cause I was already up doing that! I had a craniotomy a week after my 29th birthday. I went back to work months later and was just so shook still. I drank even more than my 5 month leave! Pounding just bottles of anything, drunk non stop. I read your post, and A. I’m a lesbian and you’re gorgeous, it was posted on Boston Barstool Sports, with gay like instincts I checked it out! (I’m sorry but that completely helped get me to read)…and B. you, being a complete stranger who blogs and popped up on my timeline, completely 180’d my life. I’m a few days shy of a complete month sober and have only had positive things happen…So thanks again and congrats to you 🙂

  237. Georgia

    hey hun, firstly I want to say a big THANK YOU for writing your article and expressing the first year of your journey without alcohol and congratulations!! I am in my first few months of being sober and I have loved the change and life now. I however was happy to hear someone express sometimes that they wish that they could be normal or that it is not fair at times (this is what i felt this weekend in therapy) and also I can relate to feeling a whole lot more. I have also found my friendships have changed a little bit , maybe due to some of my friends also misusing alcohol or drugs . Anyway big love x

  238. Lisa

    This is absolutely amazing and you inspire me! On 04/10/15, I too made the decision that I wanted to cut alcohol out of my life completely. It has been a bit of a challenge for me so far but I am excited about the progress I’ve already made and the positive direction my life has taken in just a few weeks! I am proud of you, myself and anyone else who is brave enough to face/conquer their “demons” – thank you for sharing!

  239. AK

    On the left you look like the type of girl I want to meet in a bar on a Saturday night (the loose ones that will go home with me on the same night) and on the right you look like the type of girl I want to marry

  240. newme

    I found this for a reason… I have been drinking since the age of 10. Enough is enough. I have hurt loved ones, made a fool of myself and others and constantly feel bad, guilty and unhealthy. I have tried on many occasions to talk myself into only having 1 or 2 drinks, but once the ball is rolling its very hard to stop there. I want to do this but am also scared to. Perhaps the best is to take it one day at a time. thanks for the inspirationxxx

  241. IS

    Did you know that you were an alcoholic without esteem?

  242. Radek

    Its incredible 🙂 such great story helps me stay sober and more confident! I lost about 15-18 years drinking and taking sleeping pills… now 4 months and 6 days Im clear and every day gettig stronger and stronger! Got live is great, I love you folks 🙂

  243. I woke up one morning almost a year ago after drinking well into the wee hours of the morning and had to get up and go to my job, in finance, still buzzing. I realized at that moment that it was no longer the life I wanted to lead. As such, I made a New Year’s Resolution to live 2015 without alcohol, and it has, literally, changed my life. We are almost into 2016 and not only have I accomplished my goal thus far but I have no desire to pick up drinking again even in social situations and I could not be happier that I made the decision to finally cut it out of my life.

    Thank you for the good read and come check out hat shedding alcohol has allowed me to do physically: http://www.TravelWithMitch.com

  244. Ukimaraka

    Thank you for this awesome tidbit into your life and your journey. I read this article when it came out, cannot recall where I found the link, Facebook maybe. In any case, it resonated with me very much.
    Last November I decided that it would be my first birthday celebration without alcohol and take that as far as I could. Never did I imagine all the good, positive changes – mental and physical- that would happen.
    It will be a year in November and there is not one day I would trade to drink again.
    I have felt some of the losses in friendships and realizing that some of my “friends” were really just drinking buddies. Nothing more, nothing less.
    And I completely relate to feeling everything, good, bad or indifferent. That took a few months to get used to.
    No hangovers, no bad decisions, no embarrassing moments, no black outs.
    Now I wake up every morning thankful for all those things missing from my life and thankful for all the amazing changes that this has brought to my life.

    Thank you for putting yourself out there, I’m pretty certain you touched many, many people with this article.

  245. […] Credits: The Adventures of a Sober Señorita via whydontyoutrythis.com Source : themindunleashed.org – Scroll down for comments – (function() { var rcel = document.createElement("script"); rcel.id = 'rc_' + Math.floor(Math.random() * 1000); rcel.type = 'text/javascript'; rcel.src = "http://trends.revcontent.com/serve.js.php?w=4923&t="+rcel.id+"&c="+(new Date()).getTime()+"&width="+(window.outerWidth || document.documentElement.clientWidth); rcel.async = true; var rcds = document.getElementById("rcjsload_30a441"); rcds.appendChild(rcel); })(); /* […]

  246. Daniel

    Realmente me has inspirado, eres la prueba de que estas cosas les suceden a muchas personas, gracias por compartir tu historia, me siento más fuerte.

  247. […] one year without alcohol post went completely viral and so, there was no turning back on the anonymity front. When I became […]

  248. This is truly an impressive article, I am glad I stopped by. Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us, readers.

  249. Heather

    I’m hungover and found this site while searching hangover cures. I guess the lesson is that there really only is ONE sure-fire cure. Your courage gives me hope that I can do the same.

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