How sobriety has changed me

It’s story time once again! Before you even read this post, I want to clarify: I’m not judging anyone.

Most people I mention in this post are my friends and I have nothing against them or their own personal choices. In this post, I’m just sharing my thoughts about me being sober at a party and how sobriety has overall changed the way a think about alcohol.

 

A while ago I was at my friend’s house-warming party. It was nice and relaxed with just few friends filling up the little 30 square feet apartment. As a Finnish party, there was alcohol involved. If you have read my other post, you know I’ve touched the topic about me not drinking anymore. Which is really huge ’cause I used to drink a lot… I’m gonna do a whole other post about all the benefits when I’ve really discovered all the aspects of being without alcohol. But now, since being over 7 month sober, I think could share some thoughts about it.

But back to the party: I wasn’t supposed to be the only one sober. Another friend was on antibiotics and thought that she couldn’t drink either. Cutting the story short, she did drink eventually, so I was left alone. Nothing odd about that and from the beginning, I was in that mind-set of being the only one without alcohol.

So as people got drunk or tipsy, it was interesting to see how people started to change a bit. I’ve been out partying before without alcohol but this time I really observed how people started to react to things and talking with one another. My friends and some new buddies I met there for the first time, were really in good shape. Not in that teenage “I really don’t know what’s going on”- vibe . But even though their words didn’t stumble and nobody threw up, there was something weird going down…

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The pushing of alcohol. Social pressure is the key why people get drunk or even start drinking in the first place. I don’t think we can argue long about that. First it was fun joke that everyone needed to take a shot as a welcome toast but one of my friend said that she didn’t like the taste. It made her sick to her stomach. Really not the alcohol but the taste. But they pushed and pushed her. Why?

She did take the shot and went straight to the bathroom. Complained that she was feeling bad. Why did they push her? Why did she drank it? I didn’t quite understand.

Same goes for that other friend who wasn’t going to drink at all. But the pressure of others made her do it. If I would ask her now, she’d probably say that she did for herself and not for other people. I’d believe her. Who would want to stay sober at a party?

 

The other thing I noticed that people got upset. I feel that everything goes under your skin when you drink. At least I know from my own experience that when I drank, I would get emotional, violent and hurt over little things. Like usually when I go out, people comment on my appearance or other things and my friends get really protective over me. I find it really sweet but I can sense the need for drama in their eyes. They want to have a fight. They want to feel that they are right and others are wrong. When I’m sober, I feel compassion for the person who comes to say something to me. When before I could just push people away and even yell VERY nasty things to them. When sober, I really don’t see why people get so mad and angry.

I still need to be honest now. Going to a bar that you don’t like when you are sober–> SUCKS! Sorry to break it down to you but I’ve had some good nights sober but mostly, it is just waste of time… And that’s the part where it gets hard to spend time with our friends if the only thing you do is drink and go out.

Couple years ago, clubbing was the thing. Being a little tipsy was a normal state of being. It was awesome to dance the night away with your friends and hunt for some random guy. When I wasn’t partying, all I could remember was the time when I was feeling myself in the bar and as a result wanted to go out again and again. On the dance floor with my best friends not seeing clearly.

 

Now, I see the overall picture. That moment a described lasts for 5 minutes max. The other part of the night is stumbling with talking and walking. Getting lost in the bar. Feeling lonely ’cause your friend went to the bathroom or left you alone to dry hump someone. Upset ’cause the guy doesn’t come at your place. The pieces of glass ruining your shoes and the beer that people spill on your dress. The morning after when you feel like shit.

The morning after the house-warming party, my friend suddenly said: Why couldn’t I do like Meeri and still go to the bar and not drink? And I needed to be honest with her and I said that it takes a lot a courage and patience to go out without drinking. Nobody said it was easy. But when you are drunk, you don’t notice these little things and how miserable place a bar or a club can be. At least in Finland. People want to escape something. Want to find something. But which they will never lose or find in there.

I know ’cause I’ve searched for something. I’ve wanted to escape something. But the answer isn’t there.

sober-at-a-club

Being sober has changed me to think that there are more in life than loosing my sense of being. More to a Friday night than getting high. I’ve discovered what I really like and enjoy and not just going on what we think is “normal behaviour”. I’ve learned that being sober is not lame but quite the opposite.

I want to thank the friends in my life who have shown me an example that there is a way of having fun that doesn’t involve alcohol or drugs. I’m so grateful that I have met these people!

In Finland, unfortunately alcohol is a normalized drug. We all know that it’s not healthy for us. If someone still believes those old articles which say that one glass of red wine = one hour in the gym, could just go back to the elementary school ’cause they’ve missed a very important class called: common sense.

I think we need to stop poisoning ourselves and like a said in my post about ethical lifestyle, this isn’t “do everything at once” but more of a “do something now”. Not saying everyone should be sober and I tend to avoid the term “absolutist” ’cause if I want to have a glass of wine, I can have it. Like a can have a bag of chips or a joint. But most likely, I’m not going to ’cause I know what’s best for me. But we are not perfect and missteps are a part of this journey called life.

 

Although I mentioned my own dear friends, I’m not judging anybody. If you want to drink, you drink. We live in a privileged world where there are millions of possibilities and freedom to choose the life you want. So if drinking is what you want to do, I’m not gonna hunt you down. I know how you feel ’cause I’ve been the worst case scenario. I’m just gonna leave you with this: if you think drinking is freedom, you are trapped in an invisible prison.

party-with-perunavenla

Anyway, I really did have some fun in the house-warming party but it came even clearer to me that drinking is not for me. But having fun with my friends is! I’m so grateful that I have friends in my life who understand me and that we have so much more in our relationships than drinking.

 

If you liked this post, please remember to follow my blog via email 😉 

You are awesome!

Take Care ❤

*Meeri

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MIAMI MARCH | mini lookbook

Hi guys!

Even though my Youtube videos are mostly in Finnish, these types of styling videos are fortunately not bind to any particular language!

The last time I was in Miami, I had to of course make my bf to film couple of my OOTDs and here is the result. I’m still using my iPhone to film these types of videos but I realize that this cannot go on forever ;D Slo-mo is always fun, just remember to watch this in HD !

Outfit 1

Jumpsuit : Urban Outfitters Vintage

Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell Lita

Faux septum: Blackheart

Sunnies: Ninja

Bandana: Second Hand

Outfit 2

Dress: Superdry

Long sleeve shirt: American Apparel

Shoes: Nike

Faux septum: Blackheart

Choker: Second Hand

AND of course, remember to subscribe 😉

You are awesome!

Take Care<3

*Meeri

The Power of Habits

Learning more about our minds and bodies and how they work together is really fascinating. Also the power of habits and not having any is something I find really dominating in my own life. In this post I share a little bit of my recent experience about habits, addiction and how my body reacts to all of that.

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Loosing my grip

Habits are wonderful when you have them and awful when they start to slip into something you really don’t want them to.

For long I wanted to write a post about my morning routines. Generally I’m a morning person and I’ve always had a gift of falling asleep and waking up quickly. I didn’t understand people who snoozed. But the day that I was supposed to write and publish this post, my habits were gone… I couldn’t call myself a “morning person”. I was drowsy, tired and it was hard to get out of bed. I didn’t implement those habits anymore in my own life that I was supposed to write about. All my good habits were somehow lost. Then I understood what people ment by saying: “It’s hard to get out of bed.”

Usually I was excited about mornings but now my enthusiasm was gone. Simply put I didn’t have a reason to get up. No work, no school and I was loosing touch from my own projects like the videos I make on Youtube and my writing. At the same time I also traveled a lot and so my morning habits (and other habits) were tougher to keep ’cause my environment was changing all the time.

My good habits were successful when my environment was in place. Alone in a clear space and basically with no distractions. My things were there where they’re suppose to be and everything I needed was at my disposal. When couch surfing, that isn’t always the case and I was starting to lose my grip.

Then all of this was followed by eating unhealthy ’cause it was “easier”… Not exercising enough ’cause my running shoes didn’t fit into my suitcase. Not reading and educating myself in the mornings ’cause I was so tired from sleeping in a bed that wasn’t mine. That escalated to more unhealthy eating and more tiredness. It was a really vicious cycle.

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Listening to my body

I’m a product of my habits but still my habits are easily broken.

The funny thing is, I know what’s good for me. Well, we all know but we still manage to do otherwise. The thing I’m learning the most at the moment (and struggling with) is that I would put this knowledge into action. I’ve been reading and learning about spirituality, good habits, loving myself etc. for a good three years now. But still I have difficulties to put all that information into action. Does anyone recognize this feeling?

Now we can enter the part where mind and body connection gets very interesting. My body feels amazing when I’m into my good habits: meditation, running, keeping everyday love in my LDR, eating healthy… My body freaking loves it!

But the moment I step out from my good habits, my body goes into zombie mode. Everything turns into a fog. Since becoming vegan, I’ve manged to listen to my body even more. My body reacts more quickly than ever before ’cause it’s now used to healthier habits. In a way it’s “cleaner”, so anything nasty I put into it, it shows up immediately. Before I could drink all night, smoke a pack of cigarettes, eat a Big Mac, sleep for three hours and still manage to go to work the next day for 8 hours ’cause my body was used to that. It was normal mode for me and my body at the time.

Now I feel that if my friend comes to sleep-over at my place, we eat junkfoood and go to bed late, I have a similar feelings of a hangover. Even without the alcohol consumption and all the, let’s say, worse habits that I used to have.

‘Cause now my body isn’t used to that and it’s immediately sending my a message that “Hey dude, I don’t like this shit”. But because I feel soggy already it’s easier to do the same thing over and over again. Then I feel sad and angry. I’m like “WHY do I feel this bad?” when I really know the answer.

veganlunchinmiami

The addiction to pain

I’ve been addicted to nicotine and maybe a little bit of alcohol. The scenario that I covered previously was part of my addiction or even maybe the whole manifestation of it. Even though I don’t do that anymore, my personality is still pron to get easily addicted to things and emotions. One thing that I’ve come to terms with that I still have some addictions… Not as bad as I used to have but still. Like being addicted to the pain that comes from eating crap, not moving my body and generally not living a healthy life. It’s like I’m telling a story to myself like “Yes, oh how awful you feel now. We’ll now you can’t do anything ’cause you feel so bad. That’s why you cannot do the *fill in the blank* ’cause you are so hurt.”

Excuses.

But it’s hard to admit it to yourself. Hard to accept the fact that you are responsible for your own happiness and no circumstance is really the reason, why you feel bad or why you cannot do something. Admitting to myself that maybe I’m a bit addicted to this pain ’cause it’s “part of my story”, that I keep repeating to myself and keeps me from moving forward.

The little things matter. Those small good habits matter. At least for me. I try my best to live a life that’s good for me but sometimes I get miscarried away. But without these setbacks, how can we know that we are making progress and moving forward in the right direction. When we are getting feedback from our bodies that something isn’t good for us.

Just realizing that these small things can help me on my way to a better and healthier life is a relief. Even with these kind of setbacks we can always get up and learn from it. Nobody is perfect and sometimes that knowledge really comforts me.

Now that I’ve shared a bit of my story about habits and addictions (and still barely just touched the surface of these topics), I want to ask you: Do you notice differences when you practice good habits and when you don’t? Or are you in a place that you know something is bad for you but you do it anyway? 

I know this post may be a bit hard to comment on but if some thoughts or questions rose into your mind, please feel free the leave those in the comment section below 🙂

You are awesome!

Take Care<3

*Meeri

What is an ethical lifestyle?

You may have noticed that my blog (and instagram etc.) is more and more focused on ethicality and ethical living. But even the rising trend of veganism and this type of lifestyle, there are still some misconceptions about what an ethical lifestyle is…

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ethical is really the new black! photo by @inthesoulshine from instagram

 

It’s different for everyone

Keep in mind that there are as many definitions as there is people practicing this way of living.

Wikipedia: Ethical living is the philosophy of making decisions for daily life which take into account ethics and moral values, particularly with regard to consumerism, sustainability, environmentalism, wildlife and animal welfare. At present it is largely a personal choice, and not an organized social movement.

 

No matter if the question is about veganism, minimalism or anything else, you make your own version of it. Many don’t like the use of “ism” behind those words and I personally know people who hate everything “ism” involved. I think that people are just stuck with some negative words like nazism and fascism and therefore think that everything kinda sounding like those words are the same. Sometimes it’s helpful to have labels and boxes where you can scoop out the information that you need on a topic and then move on. It’s also clarifying for other people to know what you are all about. But you don’t have to tattoo it onto your forehead…if you don’t want to.

 

Lifesquared.org: So, what does ‘ethical living’ really mean? This term is often used to simply mean ‘living your own life in a way that is considerate towards the wider world beyond you’. In this context, the wider world includes other people, animals and the environment.

 

Things and ideas that bring us and to our surroundings joy, happiness and peace are good whether or not there is an “ism” behind it. This is not a cult. This is not an exclusive gang. This is just the way I want to live in order to bring peace into my life and into the world I live in.

 

meerielviira-bikini-hiking-miami
realize that this is a big journey that starts with just one step

It’s a journey

Yes, that’s correct. I’m on a journey and I don’t need to require myself to be 100% ready at this or at anything. Nobody is perfect nor will ever be.

For example there is certain percent of nuclear power heating up my stove at my parents house where I live at the moment. Can I make a difference about what type of electricity comes to our house? Unfortunately not. I could just start to eat a raw vegan diet that doesn’t require a heating process but in Finland and for me as an unemployed, that is not sustainable. So I can go raw or wait until I move into my own house and have the chance to really make a decision about my own electricity.

Sadly some people have a problem with making your life sustainable for you. “So you allow nuclear power but cry for the dairy cows. How can you say that you’re ethical when you are just choosing what type of ethical things you do? That’s hypocrisy and labeling yourself as a better person than everyone else. You are just being passive!”

*deep breath*

Not everyone want or can go to live on deserted island with no electricity.

Not everyone can go and save all the starving African children.

And fiy, living a more ethical life is not passive.

It’s extremely active. The effort of every time I go outside, check my instagram or even turn on TV (which I don’t do very often). Every time I need to be conscious about who is trying to sell me, what and in what cause? What ideas these mainly huge corporations are trying to plant in my head? That I need something ’cause I’m not good enough? That it’s okay the slaughter innocent beings for my appetite? Because bacon tho’ ??

Being conscious and living a more ethical lifestyle is the least we can do, living in a first-world country where we vote with our money for the reality we want to see.

But it’s also realizing that you don’t have and cannot save everyone at once. Many people have the dissolution that you would have to do everything once in order to live more ethically. And as a result, people don’t even start ’cause they think it’s too hard. Guys, this is not true. Allow yourself to go on to this journey. If you are new to this whole idea, don’t freak out that the world is a mess and you cannot change anything. We’ve all been there and it feels horrible. But the shame and quilt from living in a privileged world is still not helping anyone… Not you, not the fast fashion slaves and not the dairy cows. Open your eyes and take action.

plant-based diet

My definition

At the moment in life I can be charge at least these things: what I eat, what I wear and what I buy. So here is my short definition of what an ethical lifestyle holds for me:

  • A plant-based diet is the obvious choice: nothing is more sustainable in the world. If you want proof go and watch Cowspicary on Netflix! Harming other beings and this planet is a very un-ethical way of living. Being a vegan is really a no-brainer.

 

  • Not buying from fast fashion brands: the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. We always want the newest version of everything and don’t think about the origin of the garment. In my other blogpost I shared some handy questions whether or not you should buy a certain item, so if you are having problem with impulse shopping, I highly suggest you read that. But hail thrift shops, vintage and trashion!

 

  • Always keeping in mind the origin: Every item we purchase has a story. That story can be sad and scary or relatively okay. Making a habit of buying fair trade, organic and local when ever I can is a way of consuming I want to continue.

 

  • Learning all the time: It’s not about buying the latest fair trade coffee or just being “vegan” for the sake that it’s popular atm. This is about learning continuously about new ways of doing something ethically. Keeping your mind open for new ideas and exposures ’cause nothing is like it seems. Living ethically is more about the mindset not the shopping list.

 

Now it’s up to you

I have laid out my thoughts on what an ethical lifestyle holds for me. A way of living that bring peace and joy for me and for others. Now it’s up to you to define it to yourself. Some things that I hold valuable may not be so relevant in your life. But I encourage you to ask yourself about your values: what type of world do you want to live in? How can you make an impact to really make this world a better place?

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Thank you for reading and of course if you have any comments please leave them down below. I would love to hear your thoughts!

You are awesome!

Take Care ❤

*Meeri

 

 

If you want further reading / watching :

MITEN SELVITÄ PITKÄSTÄ MATKASTA

(Don’t understand Finnish? It’s okay, I have a translation for you at the end of this post)

 

Meitsi on matkustellut paljon ja tulen vielä matkustamaan (esim. koko tulevan kuukauden, voit seurata menojani instastooreista @meerielviira ), joten tässä mun vinkit, miten näistä pitkistä matkustuspäivistä selvitään!

 

Video sai innoituksen toisesta postauksestani, jossa kerroin omista must-have tuotteista matkustaessa.

 

 

Toivottavasti videosta on sulle iloa tai hyötyä ja toki muista tilata meitsin kanava, jos haluat nähdä lisää höpötyksiä suomeksi!

 

 

I share my tips on how to survive a long travel day! Video is in Finnish but I have a blogpost covering some of the same tips here.  

You are awesome!

Take Care ❤

*Meeri