In my recent interview with Sexy Sobriety, we dove head first into my past relationship with alcohol and drugs, what caused me to quit, how I sustained my sobriety and what my lifestyle looks like on the other side of the bottle. Besides all of the benefits we discussed throughout the conversations, I was asked, “What is the best thing about sobriety?”
After thinking on this for some time, it became so clear to me that one of the best things is: The Impact.
Most would probably expect an answer to the tune of: my anxiety subsided; I get better sleep; I feel better; I’m healthier; my bank account has never looked better; my relationships with others improved; I found myself; or my health has drastically improved. While all of these things did happen and are such blessings, the real blessing is the impact of it all.
Impact is defined as: The action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another; to have a strong effect on someone or something.
“I look at pictures of me from back in that time and I’m like: who IS that person? I feel like I wasn’t even really living. Now I’m just very present. I’m in the moment. Like, I’m here. I hear you. And when I go out, I’m making eye contact, and I’m actually listening. I’m not thinking about: well what bar are we going to next, or hey let’s go get shots, or what did you say? I’m too drunk to remember… Life is just a whole new level when you practice sobriety. And it takes a lot of guts. You know, I talk to a lot of people and I tell them: it’s not for the faint of heart. But if it’s something that you do, you can do anything.”
Sobriety and I collided in a collision of great, miraculous magnitude. It stopped me dead in my tracks. It brought me to my knees, literally in prayer. It became something so much bigger than me because there was something behind it larger and more powerful than anything on this earth.
When something changes you down to your core and flips you inside out, upside down and turns your life at a sharp yet delicate180 degrees, you cannot ignore it or deny it.
I have told the story of the last night I partied hundreds of times. Every time I tell it, I get the chills. I even have them as I am typing right this very moment. Because that day, August 17, 2008 changed the course of my life forever. I give thanks to God because a miracle was set into motion that day that continues to unfold every day of my life.
I have never been so affected by anything so strongly and I think I would be hard pressed for that record breaker to change. It’s an impact beyond measure.
Sobriety impacts people.
It is a commitment to keep your word to yourself and to change in ways you never knew were possible. For me, it was a complete surrender to something bigger than me. It was giving in to that small voice inside me that keep urging me to be better and to do better. When something effects you to this degree you cannot help but have it radiate its beauty in and through you.
When we are impacted, we are changed. When we are changed, it is noticeable. When it is noticeable, it’s admired, whether from a distance or up close and personal. And when admiration is present, that is when the impact takes on a new shape. The impact you felt, becomes an impact on others.
I was reminded of this very thing today on a coaching call with one of my clients. We’ve been working together for several weeks now and as a daily drinker, this person decided to commit to 60 days of sobriety. Today was one week. What a blessing!
At the end of the session we shared a beautiful exchange where thanks, gratitude and appreciation were expressed towards me for being there to help. And the impact hit me once again. This person’s life is being changed by this work. I couldn’t help but get tears in my eyes as I witnessed one of my favorite things about sobriety happening in the present moment between this human being and myself.
The impact on me has become the impact on others.
So, when asked what is what I consider to be the best thing about sobriety:
“I think the overarching best thing is the impact. It’s an impact on yourself as you step into a new you. And it feels better, it feels more true and you’re in the present moment, feeling your feelings, realizing you don’t need to run and hide – and all of this makes an impact on you. When you feel an impact like that, you’re going to impact other people just by telling your story and just by being you. Being authentic and saying I don’t drink. I used to have a drinking and drug problem and I wanted better for myself. Here I am. It’s that impact. It happens inside of you and then it happens on the outside of you. Making that change for yourself and then being able to turn around and help other people do it too. That’s the best thing about sobriety if you ask me. You can’t beat that. Being of service. That’s what this life is about.”
Sexy Sobriety is an Australian based site which is becoming an awesome resource for women who are craving more in their sobriety. It’s a membership site full of interviews, recipes, advice and videos that dive deeper into having a sober lifestyle. Give it a peak if that sounds like something you might like to explore.