Today marks 200 days sober and free! That’s over 4,800 hours, 288,000 minutes, and 17,280,000 seconds that I’ve chosen to not uncork my old friends- pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon.
Last year I hit this amazing mark, and believe me, it felt awesome! But this time around it feels SO different in the best of ways.
This time I feel more at peace and confident in my journey. I feel like I can share my story and the embarrassment is little-to-none. I feel like it’s second nature to opt for a mocktail rather than a cocktail all while holding my head high.
Last go-around, I felt like I had to hide from people and was deeply trapped in my head. The feelings of “being different” or “being the elephant in the room” loomed over me. I felt like I was missing out on the fun and was viewed as boring.
But now, I embrace the mess that brought me to this point. I am grateful for the genuine happiness and confidence that has sprouted over the last 200 days. I am grateful for the relationships I’m building and mending. I’m grateful to be alive.
Don’t get me wrong, though- not everyday is roses! In fact, I’ve had dozens of dark days where I get lost in my head and question “why can’t I be a ‘normal’?” Thankfully, those days are becoming fewer and fewer, and I’m always learning new ways to bring about brightness once again.
Earlier this year as I was perusing the web for sober blogs and groups (my support method of choice), I stumbled across Kate Bee’s The Sober School. I read a couple of her blogs, and found this little gem that really hit home for me:
“Alcohol-free living gives you the time, energy, and headspace to craft a life you genuinely love. One that’s so good, you don’t need to numb yourself at the end of everyday.”
I love everything about this quote especially as I break it down for myself-
I have SO much more time now! Time to read books, workout, clean, go out with friends, go shopping, do house projects, cook, and be with my family. I think about all the time that was stolen from me because of hangovers or because I was too far gone to do the things I really love, the activities that allow me to live a life I love.
At this moment in time, I feel like I’ll forever be in mombie-mode, but overall, I really do have way more energy! When you don’t wake up feeling like death or feel (extra) sleepy after a couple of glasses of wine, you can take on the world! You also have more stamina to handle toddler meltdowns.
This one is HUGE for me because I think of how much headspace was stolen by booze. My head was constantly filled with- when will I get my first glass? How will I get my nightly bottle? When I can have my second glass? Do I have enough money in my account to get (more) booze? How do I get more in single-mom-mode? What if I run out? When can I start drinking at so-and-so’s house? Am I acting drunk? What did I do last night? Just one more. Maybe I should take a shot to balance myself out this morning.
And now, all those thoughts are GONE! My head is clear, and I get to fill it with new, happy thoughts like- what workout am I going to do this early a.m.? What goals do I have for myself this month? What healthy food choices am I going to make today? Who can I go share a coffee and a laugh with this week? Where should I take the kids today? What ice cream do I want to try (and not feel in the lease bit guilty about it!)? What book do I want to read this week? When can I work on my blog? What activities are going on at church that I can attend?
This lifestyle I’m living is truly amazing and so liberating! The desire to numb myself out has vastly faded because I am creating a life I love. I’m in control, not the booze. And I know that if I’m feeling this good at 200 days, the feeling is only going to get greater with each passing day.