Guest Blog - 'Time to Look Forward.' By Jodi Clark.
Updated: 5 days ago
Note from vic - Joe has a great instagram account @soberflourish. I reached out to her to write a blog because I found her posts so relatable and down to earth. A huge shout out to Jodi for stepping out of her comfort zone and writhing this brilliant piece for Cuppa and DMSM - She did not disappoint - A sober writer in the making! This is Jodi's story. #SundayGuestBlogs
It's time to look forward...
That dreaded 4am wake up call, the overwhelming loud wave of anxiety stopping me from being able to relax enough to get back to sleep. The roll call of the day ahead playing on loop in my head, the morning school routine, the meetings, presenting, life admin… the frustration of feeling like crap, the regret & disappointment in myself for going overboard even though I’d promised myself I wouldn’t open that extra bottle… I started every Monday this way, every.single.Monday. That’s around 900 Mondays of my life where I began the week in a pity party for 1.
I could use this moment to go on about how much of a party girl I used to be, how I was always one of the last ones standing. I could share how I’d rather not go to an event if it meant I had to drive and couldn’t wear my comfort blanket of prosecco. The truth is, yes that was me, I wasn’t the girl that didn’t drink… But you’ve heard this tale before, sadly thousands of women share a very similar story of how the drink took over and eventually turned them into someone they no longer recognised. But today I’m inviting you to start to look forwards, to metaphorically put the old version of you in a little box, tie a big bow around it and send it off down the river and allow yourself to step into the new you and shed the old skin. We all have our demons, our alcohol induced shame but we need to let it go once and for all.
I never really had a picture in my head of what sobriety would look like, mainly because I never thought I would ever be someone that didn’t drink, even our retirement plans were me and my husband in our camper van, travelling the world from beach bar to beach bar, country pub to country pub… every adventure embarked upon in my head ended with a glass of fizz snuggled up somewhere. Alcohol played a huge part in the vision of my future, as it did in my everyday life. But no more.
Over the last 6 months my life has been completely transformed and I just wish I could bottle up this feeling and give it to anyone that's 'sober curious' or just finding their feet on their alcohol free / sobriety path. They would never look back. There is not a single thing that has not improved since I ditched the booze. Here are some of the highlights, the things that I never thought alcohol was affecting are some of the same things that have been changed beyond recognition,
No more Monday morning hangovers. No more popping beta blockers to get my heart to behave normally after inducing a ridiculous level of anxiety from drinking 2 bottles of wine on a school night ahead of the big Monday morning trade meeting.
I’m no longer a giant douche bag, I don’t turn everything into an argument. I no longer record my drunken version of events on my phone ready to reel off to my husband the following morning after the night before - another night where i’d ushered him off to bed, with another row so that I could sit and drink another couple of glasses of wine alone, shovelling snacks in my mouth like I was auditioning to play Bruce Bogtrotter in Matilda.
I now know that drinking wine did not make me a better mum, it made me a much less patient, less empathetic person. I coped much worse when drinking. My tolerance was practically non-existent. Today I’m a freaking awesome mum because THEY are always my priority. Weekend evenings are movie nights with them, not movie nights without them, ushering them off to bed so I can open a bottle and numb out.
Health & fitness
Dare I say it? Nowadays, I absolutely bloody LOVE working out, I love walking, I love lifting weights, I even love cardio. Working out on a Monday is no longer off the cards due to a raging hang over of doom & since I knocked the booze on the head, I’ve shed 2 stone!
Sobriety suits me, what can I say. Things are good. I didn’t even realise they were that bad until I came out the other side and looked back at how I wasn’t living a full life, just dragging myself through the days.
Gone are the days of me feeling nervous as hell trying to fumble my way through an answer to 'why aren't you drinking', now I just belt out a firm & confident 'I don't drink' without even thinking about it. Gone too are the days when I’d wake up full of regret, dehydrated, miserable, over the limit & anxious as hell. You don’t have to be entirely dependent on alcohol at every waking moment for it to be having an enormous impact on your life. And you don’t have to have that level of dependency for the thought of living without it to feel like a ridiculous, insurmountable notion. A few years ago, I would have passed off sobriety, for me, as an overreaction, a fad or something that I would never stick to. How wrong I was.
Sobriety takes preparation, a strong mind & the skill to play situations forward.
It takes resilience, bravery, openness, the willingness to learn & the ability to be vulnerable. You’ll need to learn how to set boundaries & stay focused. You’ll need to believe in yourself and your ability to change. None of this will come straight away or easily … It's a steep learning curve. But stick at it & before you know it, you’ll be reaching your first sober milestone! And when you do, you’ll not only feel like you can achieve anything; you’ll know it as a fact.
P.S That little alcohol-free retirement plan looks equally as good, except now I’m going to remember every tiny bit of it x