Day 100!

100candle

Crikey. Wowsers. Amazeballs. It has been 100 days since I last had a drink and that feels like a long time and a short time, all at the same time (if that makes any sense).

The first few weeks went so slowly, time seemed to be going backwards. But somewhere around Day 30 things just started to speed up a bit. My sober car moved up a gear. My cravings became a lot easier to manage; they came and went pretty quickly. I was on a high from all the amazing things you notice when you stop drinking: the improved sleep, the weight loss, the sudden ability to Get Shit Done. The money saved. The improved mood. The freedom from all the guilt.

A bit later, maybe around the Day 40 or 50 mark, I started to realise that I didn’t really miss alcohol itself. I didn’t miss the ‘pleasure’ that alcohol supposedly provided — that buzz. No. What I really missed was the escapism and the ability booze gave me to avoid life. The tricky thing about being sober is that you have to deal with everything that’s thrown at you. There’s no running away. You can’t block out or squash down uncomfortable emotions with a bucket of wine. Instead you actually have to deal with stuff.

And this – I realised – this is what is called ‘life’. This is what proper grown ups do.

I am still finding my feet. Alcohol was my comfort blanket, my way of dealing with everything. I’ve had to learn how to survive nights out, sober. Networking, sober. Dealing with stress, sober. Heck, even dealing with success and achievements whilst sober is a bit weird – because that was always a good excuse to drink, right? I’ve been on a couple of first dates recently where I missed alcohol. I didn’t really want a drink but I still couldn’t help feeling that it would be handy to drink. Alcohol helps people bond. It is a social lubricant. I am still jealous of people who can enjoy a few drinks, get tipsy, then put the glass down.

I’ve had to learn what I do and don’t like. Once you take the booze away, a lot of things that seemed fun – clubbing for example – don’t interest me anymore. Looking back I think I only liked going clubbing because it was an excuse drink a lot. 

I feel like this post is taking on a bit of a negative tone and I didn’t mean it to. Let me say this very loudly: I really, REALLY love my life at the moment. The other day Carrie wrote on her blog that “if this is as good as it gets then I still choose this”. I loved that because it summed up how I’m feeling so perfectly. In the last 100 days my life has improved so much that the few ‘downsides’ to being sober don’t really matter. I just love being back in control of my life.

The question now is: what next?

Well … I think another 100 days might be in order. Because 200 days has a pretty nice ring to it.

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35 thoughts on “Day 100!

  1. carrythemessage July 15, 2013 at 9:48 pm Reply

    Congrats!! That’s ab fab!

    Don’t worry about this “being it” – there is a LOT more to come. At 90-100 days, we are still transitioning. Took me some time to just get settled in and to even contemplate the great picture. Early recovery tends to be the small stuff…the immediate and the tactile. As we get further from the drink, we start looking bigger picture stuff. And it sounds like you’re just edging on that. You are also seeing that certain things and places (i.e. clubs) don’t serve you any more. You’re on a different path.

    So I don’t see this as negative, but you’re realizing what doesn’t work, and you are starting to shed…we all shed. So at this moment it’s addition by subtraction.

    Congrats again…awesome stuff 🙂

    Blessings,
    Paul

    • soberjournalist July 16, 2013 at 12:31 pm Reply

      Thanks Paul. I tend to want everything to be sorted NOW! Got to learn to be more patient…

  2. carrieonsober July 15, 2013 at 10:40 pm Reply

    Hip hip hooray for Kate!!
    Congratulations….you did it!!
    It’s full of ups and downs isn’t it? But the downs are not ANYTHING like those described in you Wimbledon minus one year hangover recount!! What a great hungover/hairofthedog/hungover/hairofthedog/nearly suicidal picture, it took me right back to old times. I really don’t miss hangovers.
    The highs, the real emotions, especially the good ones, the growth, it’s all worth it.
    Not negative at all. You sound in a good place. I am so happy for you.
    Been thrilled to be on the ride with you
    C xx

  3. jamilynaz July 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm Reply

    Congratulations! 100 days is a huge achievment, I am really happy for you. Keep up the good work!

    Jami

  4. runningonsober July 15, 2013 at 11:12 pm Reply

    Wow! Has it been 100 days already?! I still remember when you first posted, feels like yesterday. Cannot express how happy I am for you, or how thrilled I am that you’re going to check out 200–I bet 200 days will look fabulous on you. 🙂

    Huge congrats on this very very very impressive milestone! I’m so happy for you!
    Christy

    • soberjournalist July 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm Reply

      Thank you! Still get very excited when I check my sober app and there are three digits on there..

  5. Lilly July 16, 2013 at 1:53 am Reply

    Wowwowwow! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You can’t see me but I am throwing my very own disco dance party for you all the way down here in Australia. It has been such a pleasure to share this journey with you – I relate to so much you write – and I am so, so happy to hear this.

    It’s funny you mentioned that you realised you were missing the escape of alcohol rather than the supposed pleasure, as I’m working out i think that’s what’s really behind my current ‘meh’ and cravings. Missing that escape hatch and numbing facility. But it just allows us to avoid important stuff and brings so much shit with it too. Where you are now – sooooo much better!!!

    So, what’s the 100 pound present gonna be then? I want pics!

    Go out and celebrate my friend. this is a fantastic achievement!

    Lilly xx

  6. Lilly July 16, 2013 at 1:56 am Reply

    P.S. Oh and I’d love to hear more about the first sober dates too as this is something I’m still scared to tackle. How did you handle the non drinking issue? How was it? Any love gossip? 😉

    • soberjournalist July 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm Reply

      I’ve yet to buy my present! Gotta get a move on with that.
      I’ve been on 3 sober dates, though two were with the same person. The first one was in a cafe for an hour one afternoon. He’d sounded great on paper (and in his pictures) but in the flesh was not so good!
      The 2nd guy I met in a bar. We had a great first date (think i was relieved this one didnt have two heads) and even though he was drinking I didn’t mind, though I felt more relaxed after he’d had a few! How weird is that? Anyway, I think he found me not drinking a bit odd. On our 2nd date he was driving so he didn’t drink either and this time the conversation was a bit stilted and I didn’t feel we had that much in common. So no juicy gossip for you I’m afraid – not even a cheeky snog!

      • Lilly July 17, 2013 at 12:40 am

        Yes, yes, buy your present. Do it! Then post us pics 🙂

        As for the sober dating, well, at least you got out there and did it. That in itself is progress. And I can think of many occasions where I’ve kind of known a guy wasn’t right, but then had a few drinks and suddenly he seemed more right, and that never really ended well. So look at it as not drinking allowing you to cut to the chase and figure that out sooner. I totally get what you mean about feeling more relaxed after other people have had a few – I often feel like I’m picking up on other people’s drinking vibe even when I’m not. It is weird but maybe we’ve been there so many times we can still feel it a bit just by association.

        What did you tell the guy at the bar about your not drinking? I guess I keep wondering/worrying how I’d handle that conversation but you have to figure also that anyone who really minds your not drinking probably isn’t someone we should be dating anyway. People who don’t have a drinking problem themselves won’t really care.

    • soberjournalist July 17, 2013 at 9:39 am Reply

      To start with I was like ‘oh I don’t drink’ – no explanation, no nothing, I said it like I was just one of those people who didn’t drink, ever. And that was fine only later I landed myself in it when we were talking about some dodgy club we’d both been to and how you have to be really drunk to enjoy it. So then he realised that I did used to drink. I ended up saying that I’d decided to stop drinking because I was a terrible drunk… I waffled on a bit and have made a mental note to work on that answer for next time. I’m not sure this guy had a drinking problem but an awful lot of his free time is spent watching rugby and drinking. So I don’t think that would have worked out too well as I don’t drink and I don’t like rugby …

  7. Mental Rollercoaster July 16, 2013 at 3:14 am Reply

    Congratulations! Those “first time sober” events are very tough and you deserve so much credit for navigating them sober. I identify a great deal with you missing the escapism alcohol once provided – that is one of the toughest things to deal with. Congrats again!!!

  8. soberorbust July 16, 2013 at 5:00 am Reply

    W00t! Congrats on a 100 days!

    I could relate to much of your post and I didn’t see it as negative. 😉

    I’ve yet to go on a sober date. I’m a bit scared. ha ha 😉 Sometimes I think all men drink like I did and I know I can’t go there or even remotely close. I’m looking forward to a sober relationship, when that happens.

    Again, Congrats.

    • soberjournalist July 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm Reply

      Thank you. With the sober dating thing (I’ve only been on 3 so far!) I’d say only go to a bar if you’re ready for that. If you’re not then meet for coffee in the middle of the day. If you meet in a cafe you can wrap it up pretty quick if you realise it’s going nowhere – I think there’s less pressure to stick it out for several hours!

  9. tfay64 July 16, 2013 at 5:01 am Reply

    Can I get a woop!!! Congrats to you on 100 days! Wasn’t it crazy trying to remember how you felt at the beginning to now? Thanks for sharing your journey! I’m in your corner! tfay

    • soberjournalist July 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm Reply

      Thank you! I agree, looking back at what I wrote and felt at the beginning is weird! A lot has changed 🙂

  10. runningfromthebooze July 16, 2013 at 5:02 am Reply

    Happy 100!!!! Such an incredible accomplishment. I’m sitting over here with a smile after reading your post. Well done 🙂

  11. lifecorked July 16, 2013 at 5:42 am Reply

    Awesome! Congrats! Sometimes truly feeling things sucks, but I would rather feel than be numb to life. Keep up the good work!

  12. Amy July 16, 2013 at 11:01 am Reply

    Yay! 🙂

  13. Debbie July 16, 2013 at 3:48 pm Reply

    That’s so awesome! Congratulations 🙂

  14. Mrs D July 16, 2013 at 7:16 pm Reply

    So great my sober journalist friend (I am a journalist too).. so very very great. I’ve just got this feeling that you are slowly but surely going to reveal to us here a life that opens up and changes.. such a huge massive big ginormous congratulations to you on 100 days! Look forward to the next 100.. xxxx

    • Lilly July 17, 2013 at 12:36 am Reply

      Mrs D, I didn’t realise you were a journalist too! But of course, it all makes sense now. Your excellent writing that is. Was your PhD in a related topic? Or did it have something to do with psychology/addiction, as I seem to recall? Sober journalists unite!

      • Mrs D July 17, 2013 at 4:00 am

        My MA was on reality TV!!! True!!!

      • Lilly July 17, 2013 at 4:28 am

        That’s even fucking better! You. Rule.

      • Lilly July 17, 2013 at 4:29 am

        Under which field? Just curious.

    • soberjournalist July 17, 2013 at 9:29 am Reply

      I didn’t realise you were a journalist either! As Lilly says, it all kind of makes sense now…x

      • Mrs D July 20, 2013 at 7:44 am

        Ok sorry only just back here to reply to the other comment .. it was in the Film, TV and Media Studies Dept…kind of about ethics… power and emotion and knowledge… my data was interviews with past participants of reality tv shows…

  15. Katherine July 16, 2013 at 11:43 pm Reply

    Congratulations Kate!!! I love the “100” candle lit picture! Awesome!!! You are so right about how great it is to have 100 days of FREEDOM from GUILT!!! Yes!!! I know you can do the next 100 days, no problem! Can’t wait to see a cake with a “200” on it! 🙂 Hugs!

  16. Bitch Slapping Myself | One Too Many July 17, 2013 at 1:14 am Reply

    […] touched on this too in her excellent post about reaching 100 days and I couldn’t have said it […]

  17. Christina July 17, 2013 at 3:11 pm Reply

    A bit late: CONGRATS!!!!Youhou!!!! 100 day= done! Well 102 now!

  18. byebyebeer July 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm Reply

    Congratulations on 100 days! You’ve described the process beautifully and it’s a challenge to feel life full-on sometimes, but then also a real gift. 200 days definitely has a nice ring to it. Best to you.

  19. […] I saw on Lilly’s blog that Kate at SoberJournalist is in training for a September half-marathon. Kate recently successfully completed the 100-day […]

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