I've just been away for a week with my extended family to a beautiful location...and I was away from the Internet for the entire week! No social media, no Living Sober, no blogging, no work emails, no Daily Mail (!), no news sites.. nothing. Just a quick check of home emails after 5 days for some kid admin stuff.
Boy had I over-emphasised what a big deal this digital detox would be. In the lead up I had gotten all excited/nervous like it would be hard work or totally liberating or something. I wondered how I'd go not checking all my online spaces regularly like I normally do. Normally I check, check, and check again.
Did I miss it? Surprisingly no! Not at all. The only things I was wondering about was whether my publisher had emailed feedback about the work I'd just sent her, whether Kim Kardashian had broken her social media silence after her Paris robbery (sad I know), and what Trump had done next.
But those were idle thoughts and most of the week was spent reading books and hanging out with my extended family having a lovely, relaxing time.
Everyone else was drinking booze on holiday but I didn't care. I wasn't tempted, didn't feel left out, didn't want what they had, didn't see the need to enhance my already lovely experience with a drug that triggers pleasure receptors in the brain. Maybe I've just forgotten what it feels like to have the impact of alcohol on my brain - it obviously has an appeal - but I'm happy without it. I slept great, felt calm, felt happy, felt lots of love and affection for my family, felt good.
Love being sober. Just saying.
Returning to the Internet has been a bit of a surprising let-down too. Not only had I built up what leaving it would feel like, but I'd built up what returning to it would feel like too. There were very few notifications on social media, tonnes of emails but nothing terribly exciting, and Kim Kardashian is still quiet.
Actually I've re-evaluated my addiction to the Daily Mail and have removed the shortcut from my computer. Don't need that shit in my life any more. Celebrities just aren't that interesting. So that was something good to come out of my digital detox after all.
As soon as I got off the plane I shared a photo to Instagram and then found myself checking back again and again for feedback.. so there's obviously a thrill to be had there, but how much it actually fuels my soul I'm unsure about.
One day I will stop sharing online and that will feel good. But not yet. I still feel driven to promote sobriety and recovery online to whoever wants to read/see it. I still feel like there are loads of people who are working hard to get free from the booze trap and the more that sober people can share their truth online (highlights and struggles) the better it is for all of us.
So I'll keep shouting from the rooftops (and online): LIVING SOBER IS AWESOME!!! IT IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE TO REMOVE ALCOHOL AND LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT IT!! IT IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE TO HAVE GREAT HOLIDAYS WITHOUT TOUCHING BOOZE AT ALL!!
If you are still drinking and feel worried that your life will be awful and boring if you quit (like I did), please know that it won't. Absolutely it won't. It will be hard work at times but so, so rewarding.
You will grow to love your calm, authentic life and till the end of your days you'll be so proud of yourself for kicking that shit to the curb.
Love, Mrs D xxx