When you make the choice to stop drinking, you realize your friends are not always your friends. When I first told people that I was trying not to drink, I mostly got laughs. My "friends" thought it was funny that I wanted to step back from drinking. They tried pressuring me into having a drink or shot with them. They told me I wouldn't last. I even was told, on numerous occasions, that I was boring without drinking.
What I did learn about people, was that there were a few who weren't necessarily good friends, but more of acquaintances, that wished me luck. Those were the people that thought it was wonderful I was trying to better myself. Those were the people who reached out to me to hang out during the day.
Don't get me wrong, some of my "drinking friends" turned into "real friends" and went on day time adventures with me and never tried offering me a drink. But I also gained some new friends who wanted to also be active with me and eat healthy and focus on life instead of drinking it away.
I learned how much there was to do during the day when you're not puking your stomach inside out. I now craved living! I immediately wanted to do everything I could because I felt like I had gained a life rather than living for the nights.
My health and nutrition immediately meant more to me. Once you remove the poison of alcohol out of your body, you start to care a lot more about when you put in it. I learned that food tasted better and water is my best friend. Had I not had CrossFit and the gym, I may have not stayed sober.
My skin got more clear and my hair got incredibly more healthy. I did however, and still do, always want desserts. I've heard from friends that it's something that happens when you take the sugars of alcohol away. I definitely don't mind, though. I'll take ice cream dates over beer dates any day.
I learned that my family took me more serious. They respected things I did and had to say, much more. I think knowing that I had a clear mind and my thinking was straight, it earned me some type of respect. On the other hand of that, I also got pushed away by a lot of people. People who assumed that I thought I was better than them for not drinking. I still deal with that, but I now know how to respond. Not being able to lightheartedly consume alcohol is not anything to feel superior about. It means I am not strong enough to casually drink and trust me when I say that there's times when I wish I could.
I learned that having to deal with your emotions is a part of life. And it sometimes really sucks. I have become the type of person that is either crying or laughing my heart out. I have had to learn that sometimes it's okay to be sad and sit in your sadness. A drink is not going to make you less sad. And when you're happy, be happy. No need to fog the moment with a drink. And when life gets really, really hard, lean on your loved ones. It's always okay to ask for help and it's okay to not always be okay.
I've learned more about my wants, and needs, and desires. And that I'm not actually the person that I pretended to be for so long. When you're sober, you have the clarity to see things as they really are. Even if it's something as simple as a food you may or may not like. Or not being afraid to be honest with people.
I have learned to be unapologetically passionate about the things I care about and know to be true. I have no need to fit in when I have been standing out all this time. I am much stronger than I ever thought I was based on the things I can handle and work through, not how many shots I can take back to back.
I use the gym as my meeting place and the barbell is my therapist.
I have attended AA and NA meetings in the past and even did 90 meetings in 90 days when I was 17 (read my testimony here https://www.mentalkilter.com/blogs/testimonies/leah-casciano-testimony) With those guidelines in the back of my head, I know that if I stay active, and focus on the things that bring me joy, I have no reason to relapse.
addiction.com will help you find a meeting or treatment facility nearest you
map.crossfit.com will direct you to the gym nearest you