I joined the ranks of the sober on May 5, 2009. I had always envisioned myself as the brash, hard-drinking, hard-smoking business guy. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The truth was that I was living in a very small apartment (long-term motel room) as I had for the last 7 or so years, drinking at least a six-pack of beer every night at home. I no longer could afford the bar tabs that I generated. I used to call it “networking” when I went out to justify my drinking (even though, sometimes, I really was networking). I would go for stretches without drinking, usually lasting about 45 days. This was just long enough to convince myself I didn’t have a problem. Then, I’d celebrate the little successes I had over those 45 days, usually erasing my successes and returning to the troubled things as they were. This time, after a four-day bender, I was laying in bed, feeling the pounding in my chest and feeling like hell. I wondered that my heart was going to stop or explode. All I could think about was everything I had not accomplished.
On May 5, 2013, I celebrated four years sober. My life is much different now than it was before I started living my life sober. I’m not writing this to anyone in particular, but if someone out there is considering making this lifestyle adjustment, here is how my life has improved over the last four years sober.
I live in a Nicer Apartment
I live in a nice apartment for the first time in about 13 years. I don’t have any roommates, and I pay the rent on time. I was living in a long-term motel for about 6 years since I moved to Atlanta. I once lived on a picnic table in Coral Springs, FL for about 2 months. The apartment I recently moved into is a huge improvement.
I Have Fewer Problems When I am Sober
I was never in trouble with the law, but I did have problems that would just appear out of nowhere. I have noticed that I have fewer problems happening than I did when I was drinking. Life is no longer about battling from one problem to the next, but is stable and getting more enjoyable.
I Have a Clearer Sense of Direction Sober
I know what the next thing I need to work on is when working on personal and business goals. I have a better idea of where I am going and what I am doing.
I Don’t Feel Compelled to Drink Alcohol Anymore
I actually tried this recently. I went to a bar after work with some friends and didn’t drink alcohol. I had my long-time favorite Coca-Cola. I had a lot of them. No one made fun of me, and no one shunned me. The bartender was actually very friendly, but I also tip very well under those circumstances. I don’t frequent bars, but I no longer fear attending social functions where other people are drinking.
I Get a Lot More Done Sober
If you ever are wondering about where you are going in life, track your time and your money. This will lead to your greatest priorities. The question then, is “Is my time and my money going to my greatest priorities?” I tried this little experiment in late 2008 and discovered that my life’s purpose was drinking instead of what I thought it was. I don’t spend a few hours every night drinking and a few more hours every morning recovering physically. If you want a different perspective, doing that equates to the same amount of time a part-time job takes.
I like Myself a Lot More Sober
I like myself a lot more. This is more like a net result of all the other things I have mentioned already, but I genuinely like myself a lot more. I am building a few new web sites and working on building some business concepts and doing what I have always wanted to do.
My life, in general, is a lot better sober. If you think that you would like to try living sober, then I highly recommend it.