I got sober nine years ago. It was the most important decision I ever made

Photo by Heath Vester on Unsplash

I got sober nine years ago. It was the most important decision I ever made — a rare moment when the survival instinct I didn’t know I had (and which my well-meaning mother, in a truly hurtful moment, once told me I did not have) asserted itself. And if I hadn’t made that decision, I have no doubt that today I would be on the street, dead or in jail.

Thankfully, I am none of those things, but rather a mostly happy and healthy person living a rich and enjoyable life doing something I love (teaching) in an amazing place…

Last year, I decided to stop buying new clothes. Actually, I decided to stop buying clothes altogether many times in the years leading up to that too, but I never succeeded. The allure of flashy and fashionable new garments was too enticing, my sense of boredom and need of stimulation too profound, and my self-confidence still too shaky to sustain continued existence without the support of continually purchasing more and more new stuff.

But last year was the year that I actually succeeded. Here’s how I did it.

Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

It wasn’t just that the pandemic happened, making it complicated and dangerous…

Until you do, you’ll never be completely satisfied, completely fulfilled, or completely yourself.

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

There is something that you were put here to do, and when you make time to do it consistently, everyone benefits. Whether that thing is designing clothes or doing yoga or gardening or knitting or writing poetry or making pottery, when you make time to pursue and perfect it, it makes you more full and free.

This may require you to take time away from other responsibilities and pastimes. But that’s okay, because the fuller your own life and heart are, the more of that fullness and…

On learning to use a word that most of the rest of the world still misunderstands.

Photo Jacek Dylag on Unsplash.

Since I stopped drinking almost a decade ago, I don’t experience as much uncertainty or embarrassment in relation to being sober as I did initially. I’m mostly happy to tell people I don’t drink, and why — even if the depth and detail involved in that explanation can vary a lot depending on the person, and our relationship. But in general, when it comes to being sober, I own it.

It wasn’t always this way; actually, it used to be the exact opposite. In the first few years of my recovery, I hesitated — and of course occasionally I hesitate…

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash.

I got sober nine years ago. I made the decision a few weeks beforehand, so I could really go out with a bang and savour a few more sweet rounds of beautiful chaos before my retirement from the wild life. And I really did savour them — sipping, shooting, and straight-up chugging more than ever as I approached the fateful day when I would finally call it quits. As a result, when the time came, I felt like I could give up drinking without regret, and even with a feeling of dark satisfaction. I had drunk deeply from the tankard…

If you’re a problem drinker, you have my permission to disregard any and all cynical dismissals of the concept of New Year’s resolutions. I got sober on a New Year’s resolution nine years ago and I’m not exaggerating or being dramatic when I say that it probably saved my life.

So if your drinking has become a problem and you’re considering giving it up altogether in 2021, I’m here today to tell you to do it. Do it now.

Since that fateful day nine years ago, every year in late December and early January I find myself wandering through my…

Quit fucking around — this is your life.

  1. Now is the only time you can do it.

If you want to get sober, the time to do it is right now. There is no getting sober at some point in the future, after the next concert or party, victory or celebration, heartbreak or defeat. If you know with your whole body that the time has come for you to stop drinking, listen to it, and stop right now.

Pour out the alcohol you have in your house and never buy more. Avoid people and places that might make it harder…

This year I decided to stop buying clothes. I didn’t intend to go a year without shopping as some kind of New Year’s challenge or anything like that. But rather to really change my patterns of consumption, and how I think about material things, and about myself, in a lasting, sustainable way.

I did this to try to break my habit of addictive, emotional shopping, and also to discover more diverse sources of confidence beyond how I dress. I did it to try to align my lifestyle with my beliefs, and my aesthetics, and the state of the world and…

If meditation is hard, it’s not because it’s necessarily strenuous to do, but because as a practice, it doesn’t generate the kinds of rewards that encourage us to stick with it. There’s no immediate, noticeable, lasting effect, or at least not the one we expect to get when we first start sitting. When I meditate I usually feel more calm, grounded, centred, and kind right afterwards. Maybe even for the rest of the day. But it’s not the case that the more I meditate, the more enlightened (or whatever) I am. Meditation is work that doesn’t build towards anything.


Mind Games

That little voice telling you to stop drinking might just be worth listening to

Illustration: CSA Images/Getty Images

If you’ve been thinking about getting sober in the new year—or whenever you’re reading this—but are also wondering whether it’s really necessary and actually a good idea, trust me: It is.

If you’re considering getting sober, getting sober is a good idea. The fact that you’re wondering whether you need to get sober is a sign that you need to try sobriety.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stop drinking forever. Maybe you just need a break, and maybe—whatever you choose to do—your life will be fine. …

Seizan Egyo

Meditation, mindfulness, recovery, writing. Stockholm, Sweden.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store