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  • Writer's pictureChristine Coulson

2 Years Sober: From Firsts to Foundations

Updated: Jun 18

Sober Coach Christine sitting in BBC Radio Sheffield Studio and a rip in the image to the other side depicting a full skip

So today I am two years sober! 730 days since I put into action the best decision of my life. As is customary, I have produced a 'reel' for my social media channel as a round up of the year. You can see that here, if you'd like to.

As I was putting it together, something became apparent. And that was the difference between Year 1 and Year 2 of my sobriety. You can see the 'Year 1' reel here, but to summarise, it's full of firsts and excitement. It's full of smiling selfies with friends, there's me an the fastest zip wire in the world. My first year of sobriety was, overall, fun. It was social. I was in the honeymoon period.

My second year, however, has been different. Don't get me wrong - it's not been bad. It's just had a very different .... vibe. There are still 'firsts' - this year I went to my first sober rave and my first wedding sober. There was also my first venture into sober grief when my beautiful cat McTat died in February.

There have still been the socials - I still regularly attend brunches and dinners with my sober friends, as well as seeing my 'boozy' mates too. There was even a sober weekend away as our little local gang went to Suffolk for a couple of nights.

But these just haven't been the focus,.

This year, there seems to have been more of a focus on admin and building stronger foundations within my life. Obviously Your Sober Path has taken up a lot of time, as I've coached some amazing clients, attended CPD events and added to my qualifications. This has really underpinned a lot of my year and I've loved every minute of it. I really enjoy coaching and spreading the word about sobriety - I have definitely found my passion!

I've not liked my home for a number of years; and instead of numbing out the unhappiness with booze, this year I took active steps to move. I'd love to be able to say I'm writing this in my new home, but sadly I've also had my first sober experience of the English conveyancing process - the people buying my home are, at my kindest, a nightmare. So I've not moved yet, but I'm almost there. I hope.

It's not just disliking my home, there are elements of it I'm actively ashamed of. It needs work doing and I just don't like it enough to do it myself. I haven't entertained in the house for years, even my closest friends haven't been allowed across the threshold. I spent many months this year getting the house to the point at which I was happy to bite the bullet and let the valuers in; when I say getting the house ready, there was a massive element of getting myself emotionally prepared for that too. This whole process involved a lot of decluttering, charity shop donations, a gardener and a skip for the furniture I won't want to move. There were a lot of tears, there was a lot of planning.

Actually, it turns out that I shouldn't have been as ashamed of it as I was (am) and it was valued at a price higher than I thought it would have been. A realistic price was set, to reflect the work needed and the fact I wanted a quick sale; which worked and it was 'sold subject to contract' before the flowers in the photographs were dead. My offer on an ideal property was accepted; and finally there was a light at the end of the tunnel for me to start my new chapter. My intentions for my new home are very different. It's a nicer space with some beautiful features. It needs some work, but here I love it enough to want to do it! I can't wait to invite friends into my new home.

The final foundation I've built on this year is becoming financially sensible. From a business perspective I've taken on the services of an accountant and my tax return was submitted in November. Knowing that porting my current mortgage to the new property would involve a dive into my personal finances, I've cleared my short-term debt. It's been a while since I haven't had some sort of a credit card balance and I've lived in my overdraft since starting university in 1998. In addition to the money I'm saving by not drinking most nights of the week; having the mental clarity to actively make an effort to clear balances and not make frivolous purchases on things I (incorrectly) thought would make me happy.

So there you go. From firsts to foundations. I really feel that in my second year of sobriety I have really settled into my groove. I'm living by my values and making decisions that are best for me going forward and, importantly, I'm grabbing the bull by the horns and putting those decisions into practice. I'm creating the life that I no longer wish to escape from through alcohol. I'm calmer and more content than I have ever been; and even when the universe throws up some curveballs (remind me never to sell another house) I've rolled with the punches, acted accordingly and dealt with them. I don't know what Year 3 will bring, but I am certain that, sober, I'm giving myself the best chance to come out of it on top.

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