The Amazing Reality Of Living Without Drugs And Alcohol

I am very open about my alcoholism and drug addiction and it is very interesting that so many people think that it is a constant struggle for me even though I am now 9+ years clean and sober, working a program of recovery.

Getting clean was terribly hard, I can’t deny that and the first few years in recovery were exceptionally hard. Simple things like going out for a meal without having an alcoholic drink was painful. Getting through Christmas and New years Eve was a trial.

For a long time I stayed clean and worked my recovery but the truth is that there were so many times that I wondered what the point was if it was so uncomfortable and hard to get through everything. My first instinct to cope with any uncomfortable situation was to use drugs or drink alcohol. Keep in mind that almost every situation in early recovery is uncomfortable. For so long my feelings were numbed with alcohol and drugs, just dealing with people in normal social situations became a terrifying ordeal.

The thought of going through my whole life without touching another drink or drug again was horrifying. Hence why there is such a focus on “just for today”.

Thankfully these feelings don’t last forever and over time being in recovery becomes easier. I am so grateful that I persevered through my uncomfortable feelings and fears to get to where I am today. The fact is that living free from drugs and alcohol is amazing and it is hard to grasp just how incredible it can be when trying to get clean. Being in an alcohol and drug treatment facility helped me to get clean and to lay down my foundation for recovery, but is was still a long time before I started feeling “normal” in recovery.

If you are struggling to get clean and not sure exactly what it is you are working towards, here are some amazing things you can expect being free from drugs and alcohol:

The Amazing Reality Of Living Without Drugs And Alcohol

Having Real Fun

Yes it may not seem like it but having good, clean fun really is possible. In fact now that I have spent a while in recovery I realize that being drunk and high wasn’t really much fun at all. Being sober is not boring at all, it just takes some getting used to that’s all and once I got used to feeling normal sober I realized that I can have so much fun. The bonus here is that I have fun and I don’t look like an idiot or regret that fun in the morning.

Plus photos taken now while having fun are cherished memories, not embarrassing moments for the wall of shame.

Healthy Relationships

I was not able to have a healthy relationship with anyone in my life while I was in the throes of my addiction. Every romantic relationship I was in was toxic and my relationships with family members were mostly codependent relationships.

Now that I am free from alcohol and drugs my relationships with others are healthy and loving. I have a good marriage, great friendships and I am on good terms with my family. I am also able to be a good mother to my children.

Enjoying The Moment Without Cravings

While stuck in addiction I could never stop thinking about using and it controlled my every waking moment. I would constantly be thinking about how to use, how to get money to use, where to use or be using. Or I may be caught up with the consequences of my using, how to get out of trouble for using or how to get out of a fix caused by my using.

There was never a moment that went by that was not taken up with my addiction.

Today I hardly ever think of using and I spend my time living my life and enjoying precious moments. I spend time with my children, I can focus on my work and I can enjoy the company of my husband, my friends and my family.

Sleeping drunk

Living Without Fear And Shame

I remember how I used to wake up every morning. With a wave of nausea and a pounding head then a feeling of panic as I wonder what day it is and whether I need to be at work, am I late. There were times I opened my eyes and with horror realized I didn’t even know where I was or how I got there.

If you are an addict you know this feeling well.

Now every day I wake up it is calmly, without fear, shame, guilt or feeling like I need to go to the hospital to have my stomach pumped. I am clear headed, happy and ready for the day.

Looking back I can see clearly how much stress I was putting myself under, not just the obvious physical damage to my body but the emotional turmoil too.

I can drive through a road block without fear, walk through a shopping mall without hanging my head in shame and trying to dodge people. I can look people in the eye again, but more importantly I can face myself and look myself in the eye.

What A Money Saver

Binge drinking and taking drugs costs a fortune, plus you also need to factor in things like the cost of being evicted, crashing your car, losing your job and even possibly court cases. This is not cheap.

Being sober means you can budget and you will not be spending a fortune to wreck your life.

Drinking and Driving

Isn’t Life Boring Without Drugs and Alcohol?

Yes the first year or two felt boring, I won’t lie to anyone about that. It felt like I was missing out on so much and I wanted to go party!

Now I love my “boring” life. My life revolves around my little family – my husband and my two young children. On Friday afternoon I walk my kids to the shop and give them their pocket money to buy their sweets. We come home and choose a movie for the evening before they have their bath. My husband picks up 2 pizzas on the way home. Then we all watch a movie while eating pizza. My kids stay up late (or so they think… I actually just switch their routine around to confuse them) and eat their sweets after the pizza is finished.

On Saturday nights I feed my kids and put them to bed before hubby and I have a steak braai and I make hot chips. Then we watch our movie – its like a regular date night, but we don’t go out.

On Sundays we spend the day as a family.

I have a friend that I sometimes have coffee with during the week. Yes coffee… and I love it.

I work from home in the mornings before picking my kids up from playschool and I spend the afternoon at home with them. I am a mom in the afternoons. I’m not the perfect mom, but I am present and I am sober. I am a good mom.

This life may sound incredibly boring to an addict, it would have sounded terribly boring to me when I was using but the truth is that I love my life. I love the quietness of it. I love spending time at home with my family. There is nothing else I need in my life. I crave for nothing.

My absolute favorite part of my week is walking my kids to the shop to buy their sweets. I remember my dad taking me and my two sisters to the shop every Saturday morning to buy our sweets. It was the highlight of our day and a cherished tradition.

I am so grateful that I am sober and I can create lasting memories for my children that they will cherish when they are adults.


Freedom From Addiction – Life in Recovery is Amazing!

I am so sorry that I have not found the time to post on this blog for about 6 months. The time goes so quickly and I get caught up in life and then I blink and see that my last post here was in April 2016.

A lot of people ask me why I still bother trying to post on this website and my answer is that I just love it. I love the freedom from addiction and I want to share my love for life with other addicts that are in recovery or addicts that feel stuck where they are and perhaps have no hope.

A lot of the posts I have written have been quite dark, but the truth is that I have to share the darkness. A good example of this is how my path into addiction started, it is not a happy story but it must be told.

Today however I want to share about happiness, love and light.

This post is about Freedom from Addiction.

Freedom from addiction life in recovery


Freedom From Addiction

9 years ago I was in a terrible place. I was stuck in the cycle of addiction. I was in an abusive relationship and quite frankly I had no hope for my future.

On the 2nd August 2016 I was 8 years clean from drugs and alcohol. On the 1st October 2016 I was 1 year nicotine free.

Yes I totally did it, I quit smoking!

I usually always post on my websites when I have reached awesome milestones and this year I was just too busy with my life.

In a lot of ways that is sad, that I couldn’t find the time to share about such incredible achievements, but on the other side life is great and I am living it to the fullest.

There was a time when drugs and alcohol consumed me completely, yes also in recovery. Maybe I wasn’t taking the drugs or alcohol but in my thoughts they consumed me. The obsessions.

Then for a long time the thought of drugs and alcohol didn’t exactly consume me, but I lived with fear of relapse and I made recovery my whole life.

Recovery is still essential to me but instead of it consuming me and being my life it has become one aspect of my life.

There are many aspects to by being and recovery is one of them. In the same way that I am a mother and my my children mean the world to me, I am not 100% defined by this role of being a mother. It is part of who I am.

How Does It Feel Being Clean?

This is the true miracle for me. I feel amazing.

I can remember being so angry when I went out to eat in early recovery. As we all know one of the first things that happens when you go out to eat is the waiter arrives with a huge smile and asks you what you want to drink.

I would feel this bubble of anger rising and I wanted to scream “What the fuck do you think I want to drink? A stupid chocolate milkshake? No bring me booze you idiot!”.

Seriously I was angry, I was resentful and the worst part is that I couldn’t see how one day it would feel better. I refused to order anything to drink when I went out anywhere for months.

I would also watch what everyone else in the restaurant was drinking and if anyone left some alcohol on their table I would be shocked and it would disturb me. I mean who orders a beer and leaves a third of it behind? I would see people leaving a table with some wine left in the bottle and it would take everything in me not to shout at them and tell them to polish it off or to cork it and take it with them.

But you know what? Today I don’t notice what other people drink and I don’t care what they do with their drinks.

Today I do have that chocolate milkshake and I order it because I love it. They taste great. Or sometimes I order a hot chocolate with a flake in it and sometimes I have a red grapetizer.

The thought of booze doesn’t usually cross my mind.

Every now and then I suddenly have the thought that I want a drink/ drug or cigarette. It comes quickly and it feels strange but not uncomfortable at all. It is more like “oh how strange” and the moment is gone and forgotten.

It happened last night after supper. I thought I am going to make a cup of coffee and go smoke outside. Then I remembered I haven’t smoked in over a year! Thought gone.

I used to think that I wouldn’t want to live my life sober, I thought it would be boring and that I would have no fun at all.

The truth is that life is immensely enjoyable and rewarding.

The Gifts of Recovery

In treatment and in the 12 Step Program people talk about the gifts of recovery.

When I first got into recovery I struggled to see how I would be receiving any gifts of recovery.

A little later on in my recovery journey yes I started seeing and appreciating some gifts of recovery but I still had this niggly little feeling of is this is? Is this all there is, surely there is more?

Even two or three years into recovery there was a little feeling of being let down. There were times when things just felt too tame and mundane and I longed for a bit of something else.

Today I enjoy the “mundane-ness” of my life.

A good example of this is that my hubby and I have two young kids. It was my birthday in April and we had organized one a date night, a very rare occurrence in our life. On the Friday night we were going to go out to dinner and his mother was going to baby sit.

His father then called and invited us out to supper on the Saturday night for my birthday and we said we would go.

A little while later I turned to my husband and said maybe we should cancel our Friday night date otherwise we will be packing our weekend quite full with going out both nights. He agreed and we cancelled our Friday date.

A few minutes later I started laughing and I told my husband it is amazing how content and happy I am with life. How I can happily stay in on a Friday night.

Of course he thinks I am a little batty since he met me when I was already in recovery so he has no idea what I am talking about.

The thought of a 5 day New years outdoor Vortex festival creeps into my mind where I literally did not sleep those entire 5 days, I just partied…. and here I am not able to cope with going out for two (early) nights in a row.

If you only know me from my blog you may not understand how amusing this thought is.

If you ever partied with me you will fully understand the irony in this story.

One day I will share some war stories, some drunken and drugged craziness that happened and perhaps that will shed some light on this strange picture of domesticity of my life.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you too can find freedom from addiction, if you have any questions or just want to chat please leave a comment.