Guest Post: Kim of Sober in Vegas
When Ashley put up a call asking for guest writings on mindfulness, I was a little nervous about suggesting a post on sobriety--but she was encouraging and kind to allow me a voice here.
I like to start when talking with people about sobriety with this caveat: I don't judge. What is right for me may not be right for you and I believe in respecting others' decisions. You know yourself best, and many people are able to drink in moderation and responsibly. For me however, that was not the case. A few years ago I started to notice my drinking was getting in the way of other areas of my life. I wasn't missing work due to hangovers, and I didn't have a rock bottom, but I certainly felt like I was not my best self when I was drinking.
Mindfulness is a term that's gained popularity recently, and to me, it means being present and aware of your daily choices, and determining if those decisions are leading you to the best version of yourself. Drinking was causing me to lie to others about how often and how much I was indulging, it created a spiral of self-loathing, and it fogged up my mind. Such a large part of being mindful is being aware and tuned in. With alcohol, I was trying to tune out. To shut down. I was trying to distract myself from my depression, dull my emotions, and mute my mind.
Mindfulness is being present in the moment, and without alcohol, I immediately felt very present with all of my emotions.
Walking, hiking, and yoga have become my new go-to's instead of drinking. When I feel my mind become restless, I turn to these options instead of a drink. Being active outdoors has helped my tune in more clearly to my thoughts, and helped me deal with issues I had disregarded for so long. Once I stopped drinking I was able to be honest with myself about needing counseling for depression, which has been its own exercise in introspection. It has forced me to deal with difficult issues head on, instead of hiding from them. For so long I thought alcohol helped me be more present, but now that I've stepped away, I see that wasn't the case. I'm grateful for the opportunity to start each day fresh, and I look forward to growing and learning more about this beautiful world we live in through the coming sober years.
Kim is the writer behind Sober in Vegas, a blog dedicated to exploring an alcohol free life in Las Vegas. Big thank you to Kim for contributing this wonderful article!