Connection conquers addiction. Miranda knows this. She has been one year sober! She celebrated her Soberversary on 29th Sept 2021. Her greatest insight? Connection with the Tribe Sober community worked to change her relationship with alcohol.
When she joined Tribe Sober in September 2020, Miranda made a huge stride forward: taking her journey to a group of like-minded individuals to help her stay on her sober path.
“This Tribe has made the journey for me happen,” acknowledges Miranda. “The work is individual but without this Tribe, who knows when a year would have come? The focus it gave me to be part of this wonderful group made it possible.”
Miranda had a quiet celebratory day on her Soberversary. In fact, her husband was more excited than she was! “My husband is so proud, kind of acting like it’s my birthday! No pressies or anything. But feeling very special. The biggest gift really is … this.”
Sober one Year and Smiling!
Miranda says it as it is – in a nutshell, sobriety IS THIS. Real, raw life. “I’ve had a very regular day but feeling it inside … that secret smile kind of feeling! I am just giving myself a lot of time, paced time, in the days around this day. Feeling very grateful. I’ve been carrying my little wooden pebble Spud which is inscribed with last year’s date on it.”
Spud is a gift her husband had made for her when she set her date to give up. It’s a hand-carved wooden pebble that fits into the palm of her hand. It boasts the date 29th September 2020 and an engraving of a tree with wide branches. A small, significant reminder.
Miranda says that one year sober has made her feel like she is becoming “me”. The best gift of all for her is a clear head and a peaceful soul.
Did you know that celebrating the first sober anniversary is a good idea?
Achieving a full year of continuous sobriety is an incredible achievement. While each person’s journey to sobriety is filled with its own unique challenges, each person may still experience their own constant stressors and demands for change. As a result, it is important to celebrate these huge milestones along with your sober birthday. Not only are these sober birthdays indicative of a time of profound change for each person, but they are also symbols that someone is finding their success in their personal lives beyond the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Miranda’s Goodbye Letter to Alcohol is testimony to her 12 months of emotional healing, spiritual knowing and physical health.
She wrote: But I say goodbye now. Happily, freely and I look forward to living my life being completely me. Always me. Consistently me. And I’ll work on the things I know I will have more access to because of it – my health, my energy, the peace in my life. And I’ll face the challenges that come my way with courage and honour that those challenges deserve.
Miranda gave her mind and heart a chance to break a habit. She gave herself 365 days. Did you know that it does NOT take 21 days (3 weeks) to BREAK a habit – it takes 21 days to create a NEW habit! It takes a longer time to break a habit like drinking.
Scientific evidence shows that it takes approximately 90 days for the brain to reset itself and shake off the effects of an addiction. Researchers discovered re-engaging of decision making and analytical functions in the prefrontal cortex of the brain after an addict has abstained for at least 90 days.
From Teenage Drinking to Mid-Life Wake-up Call
Miranda is like many of us reading this blog right now. She started drinking when she was 17 or 18 years old. “It was a big cultural and social thing to do. Not with meals or a celebration but to go out with the aim of drinking a lot, way over what I know as “the guidelines” now,” she admits.
A small (125ml) glass at one sitting? No way! That was not what was happening in my youth in Capital cities in the U.K. where youngsters are drawn to meet up with friends. It was the thing that you “could do” as an adult. Vodka, other spirits, shots, drinks with Red bull to extend the length of drinking. Wine came later as a more regular drink which was just “normal”.
And then she had that final AHA moment that made her decide to STOP for good. “I call it a hook, like a linchpin. Something that is such a big AHA moment that it holds you and your beliefs at a point of realisation,” says Miranda.
It’s what made her realise that drinking was not for her, she was far more interested in her health and vitality. “It’s huge. It was a cascade of deeply understanding how alcohol affects us. Having good energy every single day, giving your most to life consistently means taking care of what you put into your body. It is that energy that is significant to your relationships, your work, your outlook and ultimately your life. Also, it is the difference in how you focus your mind, how well you sleep and more. It is all connected.”
Drinking is Simply Unhealthy
Miranda realised that she was adding something that disrupts hormones and could not give her body the restful sleep it needed. Something that accelerates aging and disease, attitude, mood, and ability.
“And I am not talking now about that act of the short-lived drinking itself but the effects. Wow… we as a society seek out and pay for things to layer on top of supporting or preventing all those things rather than look at what is disrupting all of those factors. That’s like a bad economy!”
Miranda started looking at all of this, seeing the small amount of alcohol that disrupts our fine and delicate physiological balance. And understanding how it is only by many months free of alcohol that we get back our vitality.
She was drinking during that emotional period of perimenopause without realising the compounded impacts. Sleepless nights, huge anxiety. “Debilitating actually to the point it affected my daily life. Night sweats were there but put down to stress by my doctor. It was a long journey over many years that I was confirmed to be in perimenopause. Along that journey, it became necessary to look at my lifestyle. “
And Miranda looked at how alcohol was making all of the symptoms she was experiencing much, much worse. And now, she is one year sober, hooray!
One of the biggest obstacles Miranda had to face was people – or rather her perception of people’s attitude. “The stereotyping that comes with why one must have given up the alcohol. There are so many reasons. So many hurdles surrounding why someone may have leaned too hard into having alcohol. And the fact that many people are giving up because they have lifted their heads out of what is considered normal and are doing it for health.”
“Luckily this is now becoming much more common. So, it is probably about reframing the belief about alcohol and the people who choose not to have it in their lives. It may be an obstacle but one that is healthy to reconsider. And ultimately, everyone who gives up alcohol is doing it for health reasons one way or another. And that is extremely positive.”
Miranda notes that the successes have been the upswing in all the wellness effects. “Basically, as I have written above, it is every success that comes by having vital energy and prolonged health. I am not invincible. But the role that alcohol plays in disease and energy is not one I will have to combat,” she says gratefully.
Miranda is married with kids, and she follows a busy work life. Her time is always something she aims to strike a balance with.
“I am not waiting to retire to enjoy life. I love the outdoors, swimming, taking our dog for walks in beautiful open spaces. I love yoga and meditation. Time at home is one of my favourite things. I love good food. Healthy food. And travelling. I love warm weather and beaches! Authentic people and good chats. Reading, writing and drawing. And `good films. “
Well, Miranda has a holistic approach to life and she can do it without the booze. Can you?