I haven’t had alcohol in 100 days. 100 days! That’s a long time! I am shocked and proud of myself, and because I feel better, I will continue this journey forever, or until I feel like stopping, whichever comes first.
I have noticed numerous positive changes in my life since I’ve stopped drinking. However, the changes I wanted were not the changes I’ve so far received.
-dramatic weight loss (zero pounds lost)
-to stop mixing up my words (still mixing)
-to sleep through the night (not completely)
-to shoot out of bed every morning, ready for what may come (NOPE)
-endless energy (nope)
-a fat pocketbook from all of the money I was saving from not buying alcohol (NOPE, NOPE, NOPE)
-an incredible sober community through Tempest. I had no idea that I craved community until I had it. I’ve been avoiding talking about my relationship with alcohol when it turns out it was best for me to find others to talk to. With my Tempest membership I have access to numerous groups and coursework, and I’m actually showing up for it all.
-more energy. It’s certainly not endless, but having even a tiny increment of more energy keeps me positive and moving forward.
-better sleep. It’s not a perfect night’s sleep by any means, but I don’t wake up in the middle of the night wondering why I drank the night before.
-a natural wake-up every day between 6-7 a.m. I still set my alarm for when I absolutely have to be awake, but otherwise, I wake up naturally feeling (mostly) refreshed. I don’t bounce out of bed, but I also don’t lie around for an hour trying to find the strength to get-going or berating myself for drinking two beers the night before.
Here’s the BIGGEST gift I’ve received since I’ve stopped drinking: more time to be creative. I spent SO MUCH TIME thinking about drinking. “Should I drink tonight?” “How much will I drink tonight?” “I’ll drink x amount tonight and then I’ll go home.” “Do I have a drinking problem?” “I’m not as bad as so-and-so, which must mean I’m fine” “I’m way under the recommended weekly allowance for women, so how could I have a problem?” It was a daily conversation in my head and I spent so much time worrying about it and then feeling guilty about how much time I was thinking about it and it was SO MUCH WORK.
Now I have time to paint and write and read and cross-stitch and get ready to launch a new business. I can put work into to managing my non-profit and I can help get an artist collective up and running. Instead of just being an “ideas person,” I have the capacity to execute the good ideas as well.
It’s not like I have endless hours in my day, but I do have more time and energy to focus on things that bring me joy instead of focusing on what a loser I think I am because I drank again last night.
At 100 days in, I can tell you that my life is better without alcohol. It is not necessarily leaps and bounds better, but better is better, amirite?
Sending you love, thanks for reading.
*the first sip was about 50 days in. We were at our friend’s place, and I was sipping sparkling water while Paul was drinking a Stiegl Radler, one of my favorite beers. I asked for a sip. Instead of swallowing it right away, I let the beer sit in my mouth for a couple of seconds so I could really taste it. I loved the taste of the grapefruit and the bubbles on my tongue, but the rest tasted gross. It was bitter and I didn’t need to taste it ever again. HOW COULD THIS BE? What did this mean??? Admittedly, I overanalyzed the entire experience for a minute and determined that if I liked the grapefruit and bubbly so much, I could just get a LaCroix and leave it at that. However, ten minutes later my face got very flushed and warm (I didn’t like it) and I had a buzz (I liked that part)! A buzz off of one sip of 2.5 ABV! Fantastic! A buzz off of one sip of 2.5 sounds just fine with me.
The second sip was a couple of weeks ago. Paul bought some amber-lager-brown ale-I dunno what it was and I took a sip and loved it. So I stopped at one sip and made myself some tea instead.