What happened when I switched off Autopilot and had a look at how far I’d travelled?

Do you ever start some new adventure, or regime with gusto and then slowly it grinds to a halt? Or you reach a point about 2/3 months later and then check back in and think ‘what’s just happened, where did that time go?, how have we got to the 16th March already!’

Like you’ve been in it, deeply engrossed for so long and then you suddenly snap out of it, and take a look from a different perspective.

Like when you go out for a run, or walk and you’re in your own mind and then you suddenly come to and think, how have I got here so quickly!? Or even worse when you’re driving ‘who’s been driving this car for the last 20 mins!? Where are we?’

We’ll I feel like I’ve just snapped to from the start of the year until now. As I signed into work this morning, writing March 16 2018, I thought, where has this year gone!

Sometimes it’s hard to see the changes, because we don’t carry around two perspectives. We only know ourselves in the now. It’s only looking back at where I was, physically, mentally, emotionally, at the turn of the year and comparing it to now that I can start to recognise changes.

Some of the major changes from not drinking are:

Blogging. At the turn of the year I had never blogged before in my life. Now I have written over 60 blogs. I’ve played around with the blogs, attempted creative writing, factual writing, reviews, timelogs, poetry. Anything. It’s all a work in progress but that fact is that blogging has helped to offload my thoughts, an alternative outlet if you will.

Work life. I started the year intending to remain an assistant manager, telling myself that I’m happy to just coast. I’m not. The clarity of a sober head has made me realise I’m not fulfilling myself at work. I’m doing myself down when I really shouldn’t be. My confidence has pushed me to break out of the trap I was in. Take on another challenge, get a promotion, get a new job and get a pay rise. Can’t wait to get started.

Physical Health. I have taken to training in the mornings before work. Mainly because I don’t have time in the evenings due to the pleasures of fatherhood. But also because it kickstarts my day. By the time everyone else starts work. I’ve already achieved something. My body composition stats show a great improvement since the turn of the year and I feel good. But to be honest, I also feel like I’ve been taking it easy with training. Like I have another couple of levels I can push it up to. All in good time.

Relationships. My relationships have improved. Both my intimate and my not so intimate. I feel calmer, more confident and more content. I do feel like my relationships still need a lot of work, I feel that I need to reset boundaries and expectations because I’m changing and maybe those that know me still expect, the old me. They haven’t yet learned who I am without alcohol (I’m still learning). So it’s a developing area, but one that I feel more empowered and excited to develop as time goes on.

Mental Clarity. I’ve spoken about it in previous blogs, about how I felt in such a haze from alcohol. How the haze has been lifted and I’m now left seeing things as they are. With that clarity of vision I can make better decisions. I had a period a couple of weeks ago where I couldn’t sleep, I had too much on my mind. I was trying to think of so many areas and create absolute clarity in my mind that I was suffering from analysis paralysis. I took some time to mindmap my different trains of thought and that has helped no end. I now know where I am, where I want to be, and how to get there. The rest is just perserverance and mechanics…

Inspiring Others. This is something that I have noticed, without intending. At the turn of the year, going alcohol free, I remember being so apprehensive about telling other people. I blogged anonymously, I whispered about it. Now I shout it from the rooftops. I was scared about what others might think of me. What I’ve noticed is that these people that I was scared of, are starting to make comments and even attempting to go alcohol free. I’m definitely not preaching to anyone, but I do feel that others are slowly becoming inspired to lay of the booze, if only for a bit.

Fatherhood. My little boy Harrison is 4 months old. I’ve been sober for nearly 3 of them. In my heart I feel like that will have aided his development 100 x better than it would if I was still drinking as I was. Homelife is peaceful now, and fun. We have no/less arguments. I beleive that infants pick up on their parents energy and tonality. And I’m happy and proud that he is picking up on a happy, healthy, focussed, loving energy. Rather than an angry, hungover, lethargic, incoherent energy as he would have been otherwise. Plus I’m there for him, I’m present with him when I’m there. I’m not zoned out, or seeing my time with him as an obstacle to drinking.

Money – How did I ever afford to drink! Drinking is such an expensive waste. My financial position is improving slowly. But now I find myself spending money on personal education, personal growth. I would never have been able to afford these things had I have still been drinking.

All of these areas have been areas of growth since quitting drinking. Some of them expected, some of them not. As I mentioned earlier though. I only ‘feel’ these growths with a comparison. In the moment I don’t feel radically different, I just feel me.

Sometimes that brings a challenge because I feel like having a drink. Like cracking open a beer ‘I’m ok, why not’. But I have to remind myself of all that ways that my life is so much better without alcohol.

So, now that I’ve snapped out of it and come back to an overview perspective, I feel proud. I feel proud of the changes I have already made, and excited about the changes to come. One thing that is becoming clear, if I just stay away from alcohol. Everything will get better and does get better.

I’m still building, still working, still recovering.

Things don’t just happen over night, but if you just get your head down and work, when you come up for air and take a look back, you’ll soon see how far you have come.

Time for me to take a deep breath and dive back in!



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