When I first stopped drinking 8 years ago, I needed help to make it stick.
One of the quit-lit books I read had a suggestion, and it turned out to be one of the best things I did in early sobriety.
The suggestion was to write down my list of “the goods and the bads”.
The “bads” were all the awful things that happened while I was drinking that I never wanted to happen again.
The “goods” were all the good things that happened when I stopped – and that list has grown and grown.
I was so ashamed of the “bads” list that I had it hidden on my phone with a decoy name and a password. I didn’t show anyone.
I love my list of “goods”. I found these so helpful in seeing how far I'd come. I still look at them today.
I’m now ready to share them in public (well some of the things on them anyway!) and I hope this helps someone out there.
I’d encourage anyone quitting drinking to do the same.
· Going to see gigs and not remembering the performance.
· Always burning myself when I cooked dinner (sipping away).
· Paying hundreds of pounds for a posh dinner with “matched wine” and not remembering what I ate.
· Actually, going out for any dinner and not remembering what I ate.
· Always ordering the cheese course as an excuse to get more wine. Now I eat cake!
· Feeling guilty about making someone else drink more.
· Always having a bruise or a sprained ankle or ripped clothes after a night out.
· Reading about people who had given up alcohol and feeling uncomfortable or guilty myself.
· Dreading a big event like a wedding, never knowing if I would behave or do something awful.
· Forgetting to turn things off especially hair straighteners when getting ready with a glass in hand.
(That is just a small excerpt!!)
· My face became less bloated
· My sleep was amazing
· I didn’t spend all night thinking “I want to drink more but have to work tomorrow, can I do it?"
· Everything seemed brighter and more real.
· My self-confidence skyrocketed.
· My face wasn’t red anymore and my skin started to glow.
· I heard about other people’s boozy nights out and didn’t feel jealous or guilty – just happy I’m not drinking.
· I could drive to friends’ houses and stay over and not worry about being over the limit driving into work the next morning.
· Everyone was at work talking about a colleague, how drunk he was etc… I was so grateful and relieved this was not something I’d be known for going forwards.
· I read about famous people getting sober and I thought “that’s like me, I’m in their gang” – no uncomfortable feelings just relief and a proud feeling.
· I gained so much more time and energy.
· When family came to visit me, I felt present and spent time with them without worrying about where the next drink was coming from.
As time went on, many more things got added to my list.
These were just the very early changes.
What are your goods and bads?
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