You’ve successfully said sayonara to the booze either through a detox center, rehab, or did it on your own. First thing’s first…congrats!!! Whether you may feel it or not, the beginning of your life is here. Maybe you’re rolling your eyes because you feel like this is more of a death than a rebirth.
As someone who has struggled with alcohol addiction for nearly 11 years before I sobered up, I can assure you that I did in fact feel the same way. More than that, I’ve come to understand and appreciate that I was resurrected from the precipice of death. My rebirth happened over three years ago. While I’ve since had numerous ups and downs battling the cycles of life, I wouldn’t have been nearly as successful in handling myself in certain situations had alcohol remained in my life.
You may be feeling scared, trapped, and don’t know how to navigate the choppy waters that are inevitably going to come your way. But, and I am strongly emphasizing the BUT- because there is always a silver lining, you now get to be the person that you’ve always aspired to be. Sans the booze- but, of course.
It doesn’t do me or you any good to tell you how amazing life is without alcohol in it. Because that’s something that you have to experience on your own. It also wouldn’t serve you or myself to tell you that life is sooooo much more fun without alcohol because that’s something you have to cultivate on your own. And it most certainly wouldn’t benefit you or myself if I tell you that the temptation to drink will cease as time elapses because that’s something that you’ll come to find out on your own. But, maybe you’ll find comfort and solace in those words. Because you’re looking for some form of salvation in words.
What I can tell you and hopefully you’ll find a semblance of encouragement is that it’s time to start learning who you are without alcohol in your life. You’ve quit…there’s no need to keep identifying as an alcoholic or someone who battled with drinking. That was a day ago, a week ago, a month ago. That was the past. That’s no longer who you are. We’re now in the present which means that this a brand new you. An upgraded version of yourself. You can better whoever you wish to be. However, before you get to that step, you have to learn who you are in order to climb the ranks of your own life.
So, who are you? Who is the you that’s reading these words? That’s your job now. Aside from your healing and recovery journey in sobriety, your main priority is to figure out who you are. When you do, your life makes sense. You make sense. Why you drank makes sense. And when those things become clear, the more you stand behind your convictions of remaining sober. When your strength lies in your sobriety rather than in your weakness over alcohol, you learn and embrace every part of you. Even the qualities that you may deem to be negative.
Sobriety isn’t just putting down the booze and taking it one day at a time. Or even one minute at a time. It’s about cultivating a self-loving relationship so that you can continue living a life abstaining from alcohol. Self-love comes when you not only learn who you are, but accept yourself wholeheartedly, including all of your fallacies and shortcomings.
It’s going to take time. You may not wake up tomorrow and proclaim to yourself and the world that you love yourself unconditionally. And that’s ok. Because that’s not the point of this. The point is to learn you so that you love yourself so damn much that you don’t have to announce it to anyone. It just oozes out of your pores.
Sounds amazing, right? To be so radiant and filled with bliss that anyone who crosses your path can see your inner shine? Yes, it can happen. And yes, it can be you. All you need are a few prompts to get you started in your journey of self-discovery which is the catalyst for self-love.
Why did you drink?
Scratch below the surface area of this. Set aside the obvious that you were addicted. You weren’t born addicted but you did come to develop the addiction as the years passed. So, what’s the underlying reason why you drank? To feel alive? To feel confident? To feel empowered? Because life is tough and alcohol mitigated the pain and suffering? Because you didn’t want to face reality? Because you didn’t want to learn who you really were?
These are just a few of the reasons behind your drinking. There are so many more but I’m sure you get the point. There is no wrong answer unless you’re lying to yourself so be brutally honest. No one but you has to see your answers.
What other addictions do you suffer from?
You may be thinking that alcohol was your one and only vice. But, it probably wasn’t. Addictions come in all forms; not just substances. Because your drinking wasn’t just an addiction to the booze. It dug deeper than that. And now is the perfect time to find out what they are.
Addictions can be anything- negative thinking, unworthiness, pain, suffering, being a martyr, victimizing yourself, emotional eating, etc. When you evaluate other aspects of yourself that may be reliant on a certain behavior or pattern, you are provided with a deeper glimpse into your psyche. And when that awareness surfaces, you can than heal the self-destructive patterns preventing you from your own progress.
Do you have any spiritual practices?
Spirituality was so integral in my healing and recovery journey and actually still is. I attribute my growth and evolution to the devotion of my spiritual practices. While I conduct many different practices within the esoteric realm, I’m always delving deeper to connect with myself and the Divine on a much more intimate level.
Spirituality teaches you to learn to embrace the darkness so that you can find the light. Don’t misconstrue darkness with evil- those are two completely separate entities. Darkness, like your drinking days, sheds a new perspective on your life when you get sober. You see it as a blessing in disguise. You realize that what was once your world, was built on such a faulty foundation, that the only way to rebuild it was for it be completely demolished. And that’s the best way to start over. From scratch. You’re allowed to build a brand new castle or empire rather than an unstable structure that was prone to destruction. And that’s the light- when you witness your own metamorphosis. Being in the abyss of your own darkness can be a positive thing if you allow it to be. Recognizing and learning the poignancy of pain so that it can be transcended into pleasure is where the magic’s at. And that’s what life is; to learn how to transform pain into pleasure. I’m not by any means telling anyone to be a masochist, far from it. What I’m advocating is that you have the ability to turn your suffering into bliss through spirituality.
And your spiritual practices don’t have to be extreme if you don’t want them to be. You don’t have to travel to an ashram for six months or travel to the Himalayas to find nirvana. You can find it right where you are. Just start little by little. If oracle cards and pendulums aren’t your thing, that’s fine. They don’t have to be. Lighting a candle or incense, waking up in the morning and declaring first thing that you’re going to have an amazing day, or setting an intention while your showering will suffice. Even meditation, which does work wonders, connecting with the earth for a few minutes, and deep breathing will be so pivotal in your outlook on not only your life, but you as a person.
When I got sober, I was so reliant on the Divine to aid me. I didn’t have any faith in myself so placed everything in them. And they’ve been nothing but truly incredible to me. The times that I needed a miracle, they gave me one. The times that I thought money was going to be a problem, they resolved it. The times that I thought I may relapse, they pushed me to keep moving forward. Even if your agnostic or atheist, you can ask for outside help. Because sometimes when you’re all you’ve got, that’s not enough. Call upon the Divine for a helping hand. Let them be your friends and help guide you to the right choices which will inevitably be the right path.
I still get teary eyed when I look back on the day I decided to get sober. I asked for their strength to be my guiding force. And I was bestowed with courage. Because strength wasn’t what I needed, it was courage. They knew better than I did and gave me exactly what I needed to survive myself. And they’ll do the same for you as long a you ask. If you’re not to keen on speaking to spirit guides, just ask it out loud and allow the magic to unfold. But, do remember that if you want miracles, you have to believe in them.
Now that you have your three questions and exercises, its time to start doing the work. When you do, you’ll learn so much about who you are in this moment and when that happens, you’ll keep digging deeper to peel away the layers until you reach your core; your heart.
In taking the time to learn who you are, you’ll be awarded with stunning revelations for your own inner realization which cultivates a power so great, that nothing can stand between you and your sobriety. It’s time to be the provocateur of your own revolution.
Take your time with this. If you’re not comfortable answering one question or even all three right now, that’s ok. You can always come back when you’re ready to face your darkness. This is all about your comfort level and gently pushing beyond its parameters.
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Until next time…stay zenspired!