Bushwhacking new brain trails (Day 4)

I had the briefest of moments of craving yesterday and told the Thought Bomb essentially to eff off, as it has no place in my life. Did a Zoom call with a couple long distance friends last night where we usually all drink and I didn’t: another win!

My father-in—law is coming to stay tonight and he and I usually share wine. I’ve put some in the fridge and am looking forward to declining when he offers to fill a glass for me.

I don’t have many readers on here yet but this little skeleton crew is keeping me motivated. I WANT to keep writing for you all and for myself of my successes and my aha moments in all this. It’s exciting! I don’t want to fall off the wagon and just disappear.

One thing I’m really trying to internalize from Catherine Gray is when she describes the process of carving out new neuropathways in our brains as essentially bushwhacking a new trail. I’m used to the wide highway of using booze to cope, and now I’m painstakingly carving out a new path of sobriety, mindfulness, meditation and self-awareness. It’s going to be hard – and THAT’S OKAY. I trust all of you who’ve made it to the great beyond past 6 months or a year and tell me the life over on that side is AMAZING. I can’t wait!

I would love to hear some of the most important things all of you have learned in your sober journeys? We hide so much from ourselves behind bottles of booze….

25 thoughts on “Bushwhacking new brain trails (Day 4)

  1. I like myself better sober.

    The hardest thing for me was making the decision not to drink. After that I read and read and read. And I wrote how I was feeling and thinking. Share or do it privately. Writing helps a lot.
    We can do this.

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  2. What have I learned during my sobriety? As someone mentioned, in early sobriety, everything was new. Even today, after a while not having a drink, I still have days I say to myself, “Did you just do that?” For me I learned alcohol just covered up (for a very brief time) all the pain and suffering in my life. I thought everyone and everything was the cause of my problems. In reality, it was all me. When I learned to change or at least attempted to change those qualities in my life which caused my own pain and suffering than things began to turn around. Does it happen overnight? No. It’s not an easy journey. Many turn right back to alcohol because of fear. I would say things like, “Who is this new me?”, “I don’t know if I can do this…”, “This sobriety thing is just not working …” I won’t say sobriety is all peaches and cream. Life for anyone has it’s ups and downs. Sometimes we drift back to old behaviors or thinking. Everyone makes mistakes. Sobriety is a new learning experience and we’re all human; no one is perfect. The point is I couldn’t and still can’t do it by myself. I had to have people who went through or are going through my experiences help me out. The point I’m trying to make is I had to put my sobriety above anything else. Without my sobriety, nothing else really matters. I would cease to exist.

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    1. I can’t remember which author it is but someone I read recently described life as an upside triangle with sobriety at the very bottom, the key balancing point on which everything else rests. Sounds like you’d agree! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post – thank you for sharing! I bloody love Catherine Gray, her book really helped me when I first set out in sobriety😊best of luck in your sober journey – you got this 💜

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  4. See – now you have the support of the best little sober tribe going! You’ll go far now. Also check out Paige on lifebeyondhedonsim…. she’s fairly new to this too.

    For me the first day I woke up after 2 weeks sober and actually wanted to get out of bed and do something with my day was the moment I realised I HAD to do this. You have a great attitude and I have no doubt you’ll get there. Claire. Xx

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  5. Life is so much better sober! I’ve personally used this blog as a safe place to be brutally honest with myself and with a group of people who offer the best support. Support is a big tool in sobriety so take advantage of it. Best of luck and take it one day at a time. You got this! 💖🙌🏻

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    1. Brutal honesty with myself! Exactly! Not the sugar-coated half truths I jokingly tell friends: “oh, I drink more than I should, ha ha ha!” No. I drank a bottle of wine (at least) to myself almost every day for the last 1.5 years and lied to my husband about it. NOT OKAY.

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  6. Welcome! I too like the idea of new pathways and it is real! The best first for me was when I realised I was enjoying a night out more because I was sober and remembering it all the next day! It is hard at times of course – part of it is figuring out what you’ve been avoiding by being drunk and finding new ways to manage – good luck! Xx

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    1. That’s an incredible switch, to notice not just that you enjoyed something sober, but enjoyed it MORE sober. I look forward to my first sober wedding when I can shake my tail feather (terribly) without needing liquid courage!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on Day 4! Keep immersing yourself in the sober community by books and blogs. At least that’s what I did after abusing alcohol for 40 years. The biggest benefit I’ve found is I feel better in so many ways. The guilt of abusing my health is gone. Also, the good feelings of actually facing life without living in the fog and giving myself a chance to “bloom” goes beyond words. Love that you have started this journey – you can do it 😊

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  8. Yay! Well done. I definitely think life is better when I’m not drinking in so many ways. Beware expecting too much immediate amazement, though. For me, the books and other bloggers sometimes made it seem more immediately dramatic than it was (again, for me) at 100 days (although it was definitely better! Way better). I think a lot of the time, it is a slow, cumulative building of little things that turn into some pretty big amazing things eventually.

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    1. I’ll admit that the time I gave up for 30 days I wished I lost a bit more weight… oh well! But it’s a worthy word of caution and I appreciate you saying it. Pink cloud or no, this way is better for me, no questions. Can you think of anything specific that just slowly became better but looking back, is a huge difference?

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      1. My road has not been a straight one, as I’ve had a some days in the last few months where I drank wine. So, I can’t speak with authority to having anything more than 100 days of continuous sobriety and approximately 6 months of a very different relationship with alcohol (and I’m not drinking now). That said, having more patience with my family/less irritability came fairly quickly. But I would say that my relationships with others are so much better now. I have so much less anxiety. In general, the biggest change they was slow in coming in is the ability to have some mental space before reacting- it makes all the difference. I’m also taking much better care of myself, and I have slowly lost some weight now.

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  9. yep the carving out new neural pathways is REAL 🙂 One of the best parts about early sobriety is all the “firsts”, the new experiences where you do “x for the first time sober”. It’s crazy how many there were for me, and how proud I was every time I could check one off 🙂 Let us know how it went with your father in law -that attitude of “looking forward to saying no” is amazing ! 🙂 xxx Anne

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