What does life look like on the other side of addiction?  I tried to imagine my life without drinking years before I started my journey into recovery, and what I saw was a boring a** life.  Who would want to live without a buzz?  I could not even absorb the concept, because drinking was all I knew. 

I would look around me at restaurants and weddings, any event and see non-drinkers; I would judge them as lame, annoying people. Now I’m that person who sits and watches the parties go on around me, and wonder if others are viewing me in the same way.

The truth is that sometimes I choose to sit and watch people. I still feel a little lost in a social event where there is a lot of drinking.  The difference is I see the old me, the one that drank way too much.  The obnoxious and loud, women that I thought people noticed because she was having fun, now I see that they saw me because I was that drunk girl at the party.  I have flashbacks of stupid things that I did with a buzz, which makes me grateful that I’m now the one watching from afar.

I don’t want to say that drinking makes everyone a bit crazy. I only know that it made me into someone I was not proud to be. I know many people who can drink with grace, they can have just enough to relax; I never had enough.  I was the girl who refilled her glass the moment it was empty, carrying around my glass as if it were a part of my being, my best friend.

Living on the other side of addiction is a blessing.  I am so grateful to be fully coherent and alive with my natural energy.  To be present in life.  I am available to my family and friends. I never forget what I did or said the night before.  My life is not filled with shame and regret because I acted in such a way that I have to apologize the next morning.  I might not always move gracefully, my fighting self can still step forward and outwardly express my thoughts unkindly, but I can also recognize them and apologize right away because I remembered my actions, I’m fully aware.

If you’re struggling with wanting to become a person who is more present in your life, if drinking makes you become someone your not proud of, please consider reaching out for help.  I can’t promise you that changing your life will be easy, but I can tell you that you will enjoy a healthy lifestyle and that it is not dull, it can be complete if your willing to work on your self-care. Join me and become present and aware in your day to day living, on your self-discovery journey.