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.