Today I am celebrating 3 years of sobriety.


1096 days since I last woke up with the pain, shame, foggy memories and fuzzy mouth of the morning after.

I sometimes look back to how I lived and thought then, and I am amazed that this sober life is my life now

4 years ago if you’d asked me what 3 years of sobriety would feel like I’d have probably thought about boredom, stress, punishment, depressing, no fun, like the end of the world.

needed alcohol, it was my stress relief, my social lubricant, my insomnia cure, my best friend, my rock that I clung to when life got hard.

3 years ago I started to find out that it was none of these things.

3 years of sobriety have been intense, sometimes difficult, because life is sometimes difficult, but I have not experienced any of the things I feared about sobriety.

I have had difficult times, lots of them, but I have felt the emotions, and got through them.  I have had moments when I have thought briefly about drinking, but they have been very few, and I have never succumbed to them.  

I know now that it is ok to be upset, to be stressed, to be sad, to be bored, to feel fearful, to feel anger, frustration and every other emotion that I used to hide from.  I can feel them fully now and allow them into my life.  And because I can allow those emotions, I can fully experience the flip side, joy, love, peace, contentment, excitement, and more.  

I can look in the mirror and smile at the woman I see, instead of glaring at her with contempt, shame and loathing.

I sleep well (most of the time), and wake up with a clear head, memories of the night before, and gratitude for the new day ahead.

I am a good mother to my sons, a good role model, and am able to be fully present in their lives how and when they need me to be.  Marcus is safe in my care at all times.

I don’t have to worry about my health, and no longer spend unhappy hours googling how my lifestyle is going to kill me (one of the many ‘fun’ things I used to do on late, wine sodden nights)

I no longer filter new friend on the basis of ‘can I get drunk with them?’.  In the past, if the answer to that question was ‘probably not’, the friendship wouldn’t have got very far.  I remember being quite confused as to how people could possibly enjoy social gatherings without getting hammered, but now wonder how I ever thought I was enjoying them if I felt the need to get that drunk!

I am still very much a work in progress.  I have days when I feel completely lost and adrift, but I now know that these days are not who I am, but are just a bad day, and that they will pass.  I can listen to my body and my mind a lot easier now that I have a clear head, and am better able to pay attention and give myself what I need.  I am also able to accept that I am not perfect, and nor do I have to be!  I can be a flawed human being and still be of huge value to the world.  Just like you are!

Seeing through the lies of alcohol

I know now that far from being the solver of problems and boredom I used to think it was, alcohol created virtually all the problems I experienced in my day to day life.  My life was an endless cycle of stress that had its roots in the alcohol I was drinking on an almost nightly basis.  Alcohol does not ease stress, it fools us into thinking it does, but actually it increases the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body.  Couple that with the shockingly bad sleep I was getting and the constant but barely noticed anymore hangovers, and it is no wonder my life felt out of control!

I have not eliminated all my problems by giving up drinking and smoking, but I have given myself a clear head with which to deal with them.  As the Yoga Sutras tell us, once you clear the obvious habits, there are a whole load lurking under the surface that need to be dealt with, and, let’s face it, if there were no problems under the surface, I wouldn’t have needed to drink and smoke the way I did!  I am, like all humans, a work in progress, my life is my recovery and I embrace every lesson I get along the way.

With Yoga as my ‘program’, I know that my recovery and life will continue to grow.  As I grow and get stronger in my sobriety, and expand to be the biggest, brightest, happiest version of me I can possibly be, I can help you to do the same.  I can teach you the tools and practices that helped me to gain the resilience I needed to get sober, and stay sober.  I can help you tackle sleeplessness, learn to control and reduce stress in your life, let go of past resentments, and reframe how you see yourself and your place in the world.  

If you would like to know more about we could work together, get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.  And if not, I wish you well and send you love.

Esther Nagle on EmailEsther Nagle on FacebookEsther Nagle on InstagramEsther Nagle on LinkedinEsther Nagle on PinterestEsther Nagle on TwitterEsther Nagle on Youtube
Esther Nagle
Teacher, writer, speaker at Balance and Breathe
Esther is a former alcoholic, smoker and all round stressed out mess. She found the path to health, happiness, freedom and joy through Yoga. She is a passionate advocate for the power of Yoga, and time in Nature, in bringing balance to life, and giving you control over your health, happiness and wellbeing.

Esther is a powerful public speaker, writer and author. Her first book, Bent Back into Shape, Beating Addiction Through Yoga, has gained many 5 star reviews and has helped many people along their recovery journey.