What Being 6 Years Sober Taught Me About Sobriety

What Being 6 Years Sober Taught Me About Sobriety

I have been sober since July 5th, 2014.

It was the result of my rock bottom and the trauma that went along with it. I don’t want to go into details about that just now, maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to. My rock bottom consisted of puking into a bucket in a dark room while I tried to piece together what happened. I’m lucky enough that I have no memory of what happened. But then I had to take whatever everyone else said as truth to what happened.

I made my way out of the hole I got myself into and I’ve been going good ever since. However, there are always going to be roadblocks on that journey. This is what I learned after 6 years sober.


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What I Learned From 6 Years Sober

Now that I’ve hit 6 years, I’m considered more than a dinosaur in the sobriety community. Hell, once you hit your first year you’re allowed to join the dino subreddit for sobriety. I spent 6 years without the ability to alter my mental state and that has been a big change considering I spent a good portion of my college career weekends drinking like many others. So getting to 6 years sober has been a journey.

 

Drinking Dreams Still Exist

One of the biggest things sobernauts have to battle with is the drinking dream. For me, my drinking dreams come in two flavors: accidentally drinking and freaking out, or drinking and then declaring it doesn’t count. I don’t know what the second one means, but the first is a real fear that I have. I might go to a bar and order a non-alcoholic beer but be given a real beer instead. A friend of mine who’s decades ahead of me in sobriety and that’s something he’s had to deal with, so I think that’s a valid fear.

These dreams aren’t as frequent as they were when I was at the beginning of the sobriety, but they do still happen. I used to wake up thinking what happened in the dream was real, so that was always a fun way to start the day. I don’t know if or when these dreams will end, but I’m dealing with them as they come now.

 

 

Still Avoid Temptation Areas

While not as severe as when I was first starting out, I went three years without seeing some friends who played at bars because I couldn’t trust myself in a bar, I will try to avoid places where alcohol is the main activity. If I do go out I try to go with a friend so I have someone to lean on if things start to get rough.

It’s made my social life even more sheltered than it already was.

 

 

It’s Still Rough

There are still times when I’m tempted to drink. It could be a really stressful day, a situation I’ve gotten myself into that’s depressing, or whatever else is going on in my life. But there are still times where I wish I could go straight to a bottle to let my forget my problems.

Everyone has those moments where you want to escape what you’re going through, but when it comes to an alcoholic or someone in sobriety those are the hardest times to deal with.

There have been times where I’ve had to take my emergency anxiety meds because I ramp myself up so much in wanting to escape from whatever experience I have going on. Take when I was let go from my job. I wanted nothing more than to go to the closest liquor store and buy something to drink and drink away the pain.

But that’s not the best or even a healthy way to deal with problems. So I fought my way through it all and came out to where I am now. It’s not exactly the other side just yet as I don’t have a new job. But if you’d like to help me out in the time being, check out my ebook or the shop where you can get some merch.

 

 

Temptation is Still There

The temptation to drink is always going to be there. I’m the type of person who is always the responsible one. I’ve had to be “responsible” since I was a child. I was told I needed to grow up. So every so often I really just want to let go and not deal with things anymore. I want to escape from life just for a few hours. And drugs and alcohol are the two big ways people do that.

So what happens when you want to let go but you can’t use those options?

I usually tail spin into an anxiety attack and have a mental breakdown so I haven’t exactly figured it out yet. I’ve been tempted by substances in the past and I think the temptation will always be there. The most I can hope for is that CBD is more helpful in these times. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet.

 

 

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Nancy

    It is amazing that you have reached 6 years and going with being sober! Love hearing about people’s journey in sobriety. I’ve been through those situations – it is not fun when you lose control. Major kudos for finding strength through all of the times when there were challenging situations. Thank you for sharing your journey and keep it up!

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

  2. That Happy Reader

    Congratulations on your sobriety! Your dreams remind me of the first few years after I quit smoking. I would have dreams that I restart smoking and then be royally choked that I’d done so. It was always a relief to wake up and realize it was just a dream. An honest post. Thanks for sharing!

    1. shortstuffblog

      Thanks for reading! I’m hoping as the years go by the dreams start to die down a bit more.

    1. shortstuffblog

      Congrats on six months! Keep it up yourself! That’s a great accomplishment!

  3. Graham Crosby

    Congratulations on the 6 years. Really interesting read.. I’m by no means a big drinker, but feel I’d still struggle to give up.

    1. shortstuffblog

      Thanks for reading! Most people who have to stop need to hit a rock bottom where there isn’t another choice before they fully commit to stopping.

  4. Michael Kelly

    Congratulations on being sober for six years. That is something to be proud of because it is such a long and difficult road. Something that most people don’t understand until they actually have been through it themselves. I have been sober for a long time myself and based on my experience I can tell you:

    1.) The temptation will always be there. Your mind learned that drinking was a way to escape and deal with stress. So when it feels that stress again, it will turn to one of the things that it knows will help. What will happen over time is that temptation will become weaker until it is a thought that you brush aside. Your mind will learn new ways to cope with the stresses of life. Ways that are better than drinking. As you go through life, you will cope with the stress without taking a drink. From that you will say to yourself, I don’t need a drink to cope with this stress.

    2.) The dreams will fade with time. As your mind adjusts more to a life without drinking there will be less reason for you to dream those dreams.

    Most of all have faith in yourself. It is easy to blame and be negative about ourselves when it comes to drinking. That we should have known better than use drinking as an escape and so on. But we also need to realize that we need to learn about ourselves from our mistakes. In learning from those mistakes we can live our lives in a way that works for us.

    I hate to bring it up, but it could happen. That at some point the temptation may be too strong. That you give in and have the drink. The temptation is then to beat ourselves up over it. That we are failures for giving up what we work so hard for in life. Don’t do that.

    There are things that we may not have run across in our lives that make temptation to drink real easy. Until we do come across them then it is hard to prepare for them and we do slip. Instead of beating yourself up over it, just start over again. Learn from the experience. What was about that time that made me slip and take a drink. What could I do better next time.

    I wish you all the best on being sober 🙂

  5. Ebony

    Wow. I’ve never heard of drinking dreams. But it makes total sense that you would dream about your addiction. I had a friend who was a recovering alcoholic. He wouldn’t use mouth wash made with alcohol because it tempted him to have a cocktail. Thanks for sharing this enlightening post. 🙂

    1. shortstuffblog

      Yeah, some of the most mundane things can really trigger anyone. I’ve been a bit more lax about things and will have a non-alcoholic beer, but it took me years to get to that point.

      Thanks for reading!

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