What Does Debt-Free Sobriety Look Like?

Right now, I don’t know. I’m not feeling hopeless by any means. I just have a hell of a time imagining it. I still haven’t had a sip, for what it’s worth (I don’t plan on relapsing, obviously, but if I ever do, I would be honest about it here. I’m not lying by omission. I’m not drinking. My finances are another story though. Need some serious work.)

I try to imagine a sober, debt free B. and a blank woman comes to mind, a question mark over where my face should be. Booze and financial struggles have colored so much of my young life so far. What happens when those factors are removed?

I hope she:

  • takes good care of her body and works out regularly
  • is eventually married to M.
  • pursues some indulgent hobbies
  • takes classes for fun
  • reads voraciously
  • volunteers her time to the less fortunate
  • donates some of her income to a worthwhile cause close to her heart
  • makes time for her family, always
  • keeps and maintains the healthy friendships she has
  • doesn’t meddle or gossip
  • gets enough sleep
  • knows how good she is without the overspending, sans countless glasses of wine

It feels very self-help to refer to myself in third person but I need to have some sort of identity to work toward. I know who I am, I just need to nurture the qualities that have been buried and drunk for too long.

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16 thoughts on “What Does Debt-Free Sobriety Look Like?

  1. I don’t know what I’ll be like tomorrow or three weeks from now or who I’m working toward some days either, but I do know my hope is to be a better person and a very different person in a deeply substantive way too.

    I like the person you’re building. Know that we’re all working to be someone someday whether it’s a conscious effort or not. Oftentimes, not being conscious of it is how people wake up one day and wonder, what happened? So in some ways, I think yours is the best route.

    And just because yours happens to belong in what feels like a wholly different category than who you are today doesn’t make it any less attainable, I suspect you’re a very different person today than you were 15 years ago, too.

    *hugs* Fill in the blanks one by one!

      • I think personally, I’d work on getting to the point of actually liking your you.

        We, in this modern society, tend to forget how to embrace contentment and that’s something that would be valuable to bake in – being ready to be happy with what you’ve attained. The idea of being happy with what you have, or “needing what you have.”

        And you might be surprised with what that’s like and whether you really get to the point of vanity. There’s a solid difference between satisfaction and vanity.

  2. I’m with Tammy – that was what I was sort of going to say, only much more succinct.

    One thing, I’m not really economically insecure at the moment, well I could be if the monumental mistake in my tax calcualtion isn’t quickly fixed but… however the fear of it never goes away – actually when you are financially secure you think the freedom it would give you isn’t there. It just has another load of constraints you have to live in…

    Life is life – you just have to deal with it… I find dealing with it sober is by far the best for me

    • That’s such an excellent point. Once I’m out of debt, I’ll probably start obsessing about how little I have saved, retirement, and so forth. It’s just another turning wheel. I agree that it’s better sober though.

  3. I have a lot of the same feelings you are expressing. I have to tip my hat to you for having the clarity to tackle both issues at a younger age than I started at. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and making the small changes and that’s all we can do. I think facing these things instead of sticking our heads in the sand is admirable and we need to pat ourselves on the back for just that!


    • Thanks so much. I read all the blogs of women who are doing this with two or three kids or an unsupportive husband and I feel so overwhelmed. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be.

  4. As so many have said, just take it one day at a time. I love how you are visualizing the you after debt/sobriety. I think that is something that I need to do as well. It’s extremely hard visualizing what my life will look like after I’m debt free.

  5. I like all these things you imagine for your future self. They all sound very attainable, plus I bet there are more you haven’t even thought of yet. I never liked the phrase ‘self-help’ before I stopped drinking, but self-improvement seems to come naturally (even effortlessly, at times) after we find all that new free time and mental energy we used for drinking.

  6. I think you are on a fine way to becoming who you think you would like to be. I like that you listed everything out because then it’s good to see it all there in person, all together. To me, when you list it out you can picture in your mind how your life will be. If it’s what you want, it’s what you’ll make it! I think you are a strong lady and I look forward to reading along on your journey!

  7. Pingback: Firday’s Link Love for the 22nd: « bogofdebt

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