90 Sober Days
Today, I have been sober for 90 days.
So much has changed, really quickly. Do you remember watching time-lapse videos of flowers blooming in 5th grade science class? Cause it's a lot like that. Sometimes I swear I can stare at my face in the mirror long enough to see changes in my eyes. Or I can watch things happen in my life and it's like I am hovering above myself watching it. The awe of the simple things is magic in early sobriety.
Never have I ever been sober this long when I was not carrying a human in life in my body, since I began drinking at around 15, and that is a crazy thought. You can't compare sobriety during pregnancy to being sober when you're not for a couple of reasons. A. When you're pregnant, your body is going through so much, you wouldn't know how you really feel being sober and B. You aren't doing it for yourself then. You HAVE to be sober. It's a whole different animal to choose this.
So, a lot of things have come up and changed for me in 3 months. So many things in fact that it blows my mind that all it took was to stop pouring wine down my throat to see theses changes come to life. 90 days ago, I was about as scared and miserable as I had been. I had been trying to stay sober for a year and a half and I just couldn't string it together. The days wouldn't add up.
90 days later, I can see exactly what the problem was.
I kept on drinking again.
The only cure to not wanting to drink again, is to not drink. To feel like shit for a while and just deal with it. To do everything differently than the way you are used to. And when you want to drink, you don't. Until you choose the discomfort. Until you choose to do the opposite of your natural inclination, you will continue to have day 1s. I didn't want anymore day 1s. I wanted to see what day 31 was like, since I already knew what days 1-30 looked and felt like.
That was the game changer. The desire to see what happens when I don't say fuck it I can quit again tomorrow. Right now, and every day past day 31 has been completely unfamiliar territory and instead of treating getting sober as something that I had to do that I didn't want to do, I treated it like an adventure. I looked at myself curiously every single day. I said, OK-so this is how I feel on day 40 when I don't drink- and on and on until here I am on day 90 examining how I feel when I don't drink.
And I feel fantastic.
Finally, on one of these sober days, I stopped craving alcohol. My body quit telling me that I needed wine, because at some point it realized that it definitely doesn't need wine. I gained freedom from my cravings and that shift was huge. The reason you crave alcohol, is because you put alcohol in your body. Stop doing that long enough and you will stop craving it.
I find now, one of my biggest challenges is allowing myself to feel as good as I do and to not be scared that I will lose it. I'm not afraid of drinking, because today I know that I won't drink, but I am afraid of suddenly wanting to again. Even though my cravings are very small and don't happen often, I fear that could change. I fear that I will lose the joy I feel being sober and that all these good things that are happening in my life are flukes and everything will fall apart soon. I have an upper limit problem.
I don't know how to trust living in a positive way and trust that all the good things happening are actually MINE. But, even as I type that, I know that it is mine. I have earned it all and I have worked for it. I have chosen a positive and joyful mindset and am not just riding on a pink cloud. I wake up everyday excited to get out of bed and live my new sober life. It's a choice. I have done so many next right things and I have created real change in my life and knocked down a lot of obstacles that were causing me stress and misery. I have only ever known stress and misery. I can't remember very many times that I have EVER felt this happy and solid and proud of myself.
Alcohol has been my curse, but it has also been my gift. I have had to spend 35 years under its grasp, having been a child of two alcoholics and grown up in a toxic environment due to that. I've been through a lot of shit that probably would never have happened if it weren't for alcohol. I haven't had the best life, or the life I wanted-but I get to change that now.
I get to be one of those people that walks out of the burning building. I get to save myself. I get to save my kids from saying that their life was shit because of an alcoholic parent. I wouldn't have the grit, the knowledge, the appreciation and gratitude that I have for life that I do right now without having gone through what I have gone through. And I couldn't sit here writing about it hoping that my words reach you and you walk out of that burning building, too.
I am changing my brain one day at a time. I think of alcohol less and less. I only work to keep it front of mind enough so that I remember how awful it is and what it was doing to me. I would't trade one sober morning for a drink ever. I wouldn't throw my days away ever again. They are precious and finite.
90 days sober and I have GAINED far more than what I have lost. I can't believe I have this thing that I never wanted. I never wanted to be this person, who had to fight this and change who I was. Even the things I had convinced myself I would miss about drinking don't even exist for me anymore. I don't need alcohol to socialize, or destress, or fix me when I am falling apart. I was afraid of losing my in case of emergency button for so long, but now that I know what is on the other side, I wouldn't trade it. I have a knowing and clarity that I have never had before.