Radical Acceptance - Donna's Sober Living Story
I’m so excited to present the FIRST of a blog series, each focusing on one person’s journey to sobriety. Sobriety comes in many shapes and sizes and every experience is respected.
It means a lot to share these stories since our own family member has struggled with addiction. In fact, this person gave the blog its name. These experiences motivate us to donate nontoxic body care to sober living centers.
Donna is a friend and an author. I know how driven she is but I never knew she wanted to be sober - until she was. I'm so thankful that she shared her experience.
“Sobriety has been a gift - I wish I had gotten sober earlier.”
“It took years to realize the impact drinking was having on my life. But slowly as a byproduct of my yoga and meditation practice, I noticed that my worst behavior came with a drink in my hand. That said, it wasn’t until a beta reader for my book asked why I didn’t write more about my “drinking problem” that I made a commitment to quit.”
WHY SEEK SOBRIETY?
“Friends and family have been very supportive. Many of them are sober as well. Drinkers sometimes say - you didn’t have a drinking problem so why did you stop? I just tell them that it is healthier for me to be alcohol-free and that typically ends the conversation.”
“Annie Grace who wrote This Naked Mind most influenced my sober living journey. She leads the 30-day Alcohol Experiment which was the turning point that made me sober curious and, eventually sober.”
“I have never been to an AA meeting. I have found a sober living community on-line in Facebook groups. My favorite is the PillowPledge group.”
Donna Y. Ferris
FORMING NEW HABITS
“It helps to look at the times I used to drink as habits and finding other things to do at those times. After work was a big drinking time for me. So now I have a mocktail, or go watch a sunset, or go shopping for groceries or books instead.”
EVERY MORNING IS A GIFT
“Drinking would exacerbate my anxiety so I wake up much less anxious now that I am sober and have time to do things I love like writing and walking the dog.”
(I know Donna gets up early. I see the sunrise meditation she does, much later in the day, of course).
GETTING TIME BACK
“Now that I am sober, I’m grateful for the time I have gotten back. I’ve lost many friends that are dear to me. So getting time back with those I love is the biggest gift.”
THERE IS NO DOWN SIDE
“I sleep better, I’m thinner, my dentist and doctor are amazed at how much healthier I am. There is no down side. I don’t miss drinking at all."
IT’S ALL GOOD
“My relationships are stronger because I am able to connect more, and have more friends on this path. I am healthier, less anxious and more productive than ever.”
Donna Y. Ferris is the author of "We've Got to Stop Meeting Like This - A Memoir of Missed Connections", which has 4.6 stars and is available in paperback, ebook and audiobook. Donna lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania and Duck, North Carolina with her husband and dogs - and spends as much time as possible with her two Musketeers in Pittsburgh (the home of her beloved Steelers). In addition to continuing to work in corporate America, Donna teaches yoga, provides transformation coaching, leads workshops, and writes (for publications like Elephant Journal and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) as side hustles.