Do No Harm

Hi folks! I am back from a fun but stressful trip to visit family (aren’t all family visits kinda stressful? Is it just me?), and I wanted to pop in to say hello. It was a scary trip for me; I saw family that I haven’t seen in years, and I don’t think I would have planned it or gone if I had been drinking this year.

Stress still makes me want to drink in an abstract kind of way, but luckily it is getting much easier to see what is going on in my little lizard brain. Whenever I begin to think that drinking is a good idea, or that everyone drinks and why can’t I, or some other version of “poor me”, chances are that I am stressed or tired or sick. Once I talk about my feelings, or get some rest, or get away from the stressful situation, or practice some sort of self-care, I stop thinking that drinking is a good idea. Pretty simple, right? Yet it is amazingly difficult to remember sometimes, especially when in the thick of the bad feelings. Keep going going going, stay sober, and those tricky drinking thoughts get easier to recognize for what they are: bullshit. So that’s a cool development.

I am fast approaching one year of sobriety and I am pretty happy about it. I get discouraged sometimes that I am not moving fast enough in recovery, doing enough for others, actualizing into super-Jen, or making and achieving big goals. Yep- I still doubt myself and the path that I am on. BUT- and this is big- I am not hurting other people so much anymore, my goals are clarifying, and I am learning how to be happy with who I am, where I am, what I have, and what I am doing. I would say sobriety is a general success for me so far. And this is just the beginning! 

When I was a drinker I hurt people through my thoughtless actions, or brainless actions, as I did a lot of mean/stupid/careless things when I was blacked out. I still hurt people sometimes, especially those close to me, but the amount is so much less than it used to be. I can guarantee that if I had been drinking this year there would have been more fights, more hurt feelings and more tears. More DRAMA. And who freakin’ needs that? It is worth going through this tough transition- from a drinker to a sober woman- to hurt people less often and less severely. Do no harm. It is a good motto, I think.

I am finding it less necessary to delve into the past these days. I can hold my head high knowing that I am doing the right things for myself and the people that I love. That sounds pretty smug, but it just feels good. I don’t feel better than anyone else, I just could care less what others are doing most of the time (especially about drinking) as long as I am taking care of my own stuff. What YOU do doesn’t lessen ME. Who knew it would take almost 35 years to realize that? This vacation that I took with my family gave me a slight shift in perspective- a good reminder of the power of travel- that I needed to hopefully make this next year the best yet.



15 thoughts on “Do No Harm

  1. Nearly a year! Go you, what an inspiration you are. I like this post about taking control and doing no harm to others. It is so important to be kind, and when we’ve lost that checkpoint between our brain and mouth we so often get it wrong. Thank you for this post, I am only a week in and am grasping at every bit of inspiration I can. Seeing someone like you who has made it so far and is realising so much about yourself, makes you a pretty amazing person to me. Take care. x

  2. I love that. Doing the right thing for you and the people you love.
    Those are all that matter, aren’t they? That is what make daily life special instead of routine. Those you love.

  3. Hi Jen, you sound so calm and positive and together, it’s great. I loved this bit, “Keep going going going, stay sober, and those tricky drinking thoughts get easier to recognize for what they are: bullshit. So that’s a cool development.” Cool indeed 🙂 Well done on getting through the family visit…. families can be big triggers, so glad that the vacation went well. 🙂 xx

    • Thanks!! There definitely were some triggers….one day the resort we stayed at loaded up the fridge and counters with a variety of booze they were selling!! I called them and asked to take it away- felt a bit freaky in the process- oh well. Such a rude assumption that everyone drinks alcohol! Overall it was a good experience. Thanks for your comment. xoxo

  4. I’m sure next year will be your best year yet Jen – but we need to celebrate the success of the last one first! 😉 Almost a whole year sober is pretty fab in my book!! 🙂 xx

  5. Thank you so much for sharing!! I was talking to my husband today about some of the stupid things I did while drunk. I’m so happy to be sober now! But thinking of the things I did before still bring shame. I have to remember that I can’t do anything about it, I have to try to be the best person I can be now.

    • I think it gets easier to let go of that stuff as time passes…at least it has been for me. I was SO ashamed at first, but now I understand addiction better and know that what I experienced was normal. Now I feel so grateful that I got out of that mess unharmed! Thanks for stopping by and reading and commenting. xo

  6. I really loved reading this. It just felt so genuine, real, and honest. It’s nice to be reminded that sometimes the things that seem small, small changes…are really the most important changes of all. Good for you on almost a year! Awesome!

  7. Living life less harmfully. To ourselves and to others. YES! It’s a very spiritual concept, this righting our karma almost, but probably what most keeps me sober.

    I don’t want to hurt anyone more than I want to drink.

    You’ve come so far. It’s a pleasure watching you bloom!

  8. Hi Jen,

    To make it one year sober is a great success and a testament to your determination to become a better person so well done.

    I managed to quit and have never had the ‘drinky’ moments. If you want to talk through this with me some time I am here for you.

    Keep up the good work.


  9. Jenn, I’ve missed you so much! It is wonderful to hear that you are doing well. I wish you and your family the best. Sending you hugs!! – Heather

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