3 months. 12 weeks. 90 days. 2,160 hours. However you want to put it, it seems like forever, yet at the same time, no time at all. I keep bouncing back and forth between “Man, I’ve come so far!” and “Man, I have so far to go!”. Today, I will try to just focus on being grateful that I made this decision and proud of myself for achieving 90 days of sobriety from alcohol.
The weirdest part for me is how my feelings on the subject shift every now and then. About a week or so ago, I wanted to drink nearly every day. Stressful day at work? “I want a glass of wine”, missed a work out? “A margarita sounds so good right now”, etc. etc. I knew it was a phase, because I have been here before, but that didn’t make it any easier. Unfortunately/fortunately, I used junk food as a vice to curb my alcohol cravings. On top of that, my boyfriend was on tour which made it easier for me to fall off the wagon, so to speak, with food. I ate a lot of fast food, slept a lot, and tried to accept this phase of my sobriety. I even smoked a few cigarettes after 40+ days away from them (yes, I’ve struggled with smoking for years, as healthy as I am otherwise) and told myself it was better than drinking. I know it’s true: eating junk food and even smoking a cigarette or two IS better than resorting to drinking, but when will I no longer need those vices to deal with sobriety? If you asked me how I felt today, I’d tell you with confidence that I am happy never having a drink again. If you had asked me a week ago, or likely a month from now, I’d hesitate, consider that perhaps I will be able to drink in the future, and be fighting off cravings as I answer your question.
This is the mystery for me…how to deal with cravings/uncertainties/the booze monster. I am chasing the feeling I have right now, the 100%, all-in attitude I have about never touching another alcoholic drink again. It’s wild to me that even after months or years it’s possible that we’d still even consider drinking again.
Something I failed to do last time I got sober was decide for sure that I’d never drink again. I always kept it open as a possibility that I’d someday be able to be “normal”. This time, it’s easier to view alcohol as off-limits forever because I tried and failed at drinking again. I know the outcome. I know what it does to me, and never want to experience that again.
Hopefully as time goes on, these phases of craving and temptation will go away. I guess accepting it when it happens is all I can do, and whatever I need to do to stay away from alcohol is fine. With experience, I’ll learn how to cope and stay healthier during those times. For now, I am just happy I made it through my first big phase of doubt, and am better and stronger for it today.
Two thousand, one hundred and sixty hours. It’s weird to think of life in terms of hours. Really makes you think about how much time we actually have and how much time we waste. I spent approximately, on average, 3-5 days of my life drunk or hungover for years. Like, a decade. I’m not even going to do the math of how many hours I’ve wasted because it would just depress me. Let’s just say that 2,160 hours of clarity, peace of mind about my actions, and good sleep looks and feels amazing. It is motivation to keep going, and to continue shaping the life I actually see myself living instead of constantly procrastinating and wondering why nothing cool is happening. If I had to choose how to describe it, 3 months of sobriety looks like ACTION, RESPONSIBILITY, & REALIGNMENT.
ACTION: I now take action on the things I want to achieve. I have started a blog, taken on personal training clients, and met with a business coach. I have also started researching nutrition certification programs, bought a plane ticket to Japan (after talking about it for a year), and am actively saving money. I no longer tell myself, “once I do this…” or “I don’t get why nothing is happening!”. I identify what needs to be done to reach my goals, and thought I may waver occasionally, I generally take the action needed to succeed.
RESPONSIBILITY: This one is very important. I have started to take better responsibility for my actions. I used to make a lot of excuses, play the victim, and avoid conflict. I now welcome constructive criticism at home & work, talk openly about how I can improve, and listen much more actively to the needs, wants, and desires of others. I also know where to invest my energy, and what is and isn’t worth my attention.
REALIGNMENT: I’m still working on this, and it is likely the most challenging. I will probably be working on this for a very long time or even forever! Being absolutely sure of my own values and standing in my truth has always been challenging for me. I’m easily influenced by others and empathetic to a fault, so I have had to realign myself with my beliefs and learn to stand strong in those truths, since I have practiced the opposite for so long, it doesn’t come easily for me. Slowly figuring out what I actually believe in, and figuring out how to rid myself of toxic relationships and stop putting myself in situations I don’t want to be associated with, has felt confusing, sad, and empowering all at the same time. It has been painful at times, but facing these truths also makes me feel more confident in myself, and able to face adversities with the conviction necessary to persevere.