Day 101 – If only I’d known…

Im beginning to understand, the way you respond to whats going on in the outside of you, is reflective of what’s going on within. My life was so much more chaotic and stressful 100 days ago. I was filled with guilt and self loathing and that fed through into my response with everything. Giving up felt like a final cry for help and I never ever thought I’d complete the 100 days.

I think whilst each person’s journey is unique to them, there’s also loads of us out there. Trying to give up. Trying to do better. Trying to find some self worth inbetween the empty bottles.

So the following has helped me over the last 100 days. As I’ve been ploughing through this experience, I made some notes to share. Whilst I appreciate it may not help everyone (and it’s quite rambley), it might just help one person so I thought I’d share.

The books I read during the 100 days were:

Kick the Drink By Jason Vale

The Sober Diaries by Claire Pooley

The Unexpected Joy of being Sober by Catherine Grey

The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin

And…

One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker, whilst this wasn’t a sober/self help book I absolutely loved it.

I also read a ton of blogs and felt like a right stalker going to the beginning of some peoples journeys and reading through their experiences, nodding my head in agreement as I went.

If you’re feeling tempted I found being outdoors always got me out of the mood. Sun, wind, rain or more rain, I’d tell myself I only had to get to the post box and every day I’d do a little bit more.

Find a drink you absolutely love (not alcohol obvs). I found tonic water with bits in for the summer nights and Apple and Camomile tea for the colder nights.

On the subject of drink, I’ve cleared out all the closed bottles of alcohol and regfited them. I found it helped tremendously. The open bottles are still in the cabinets, but I’m clearing them out too. I’ve wrapped up our alcohol glasses and used the space for cookery books.

I hated myself and who I’d become at the start of 100 days. Day 6 my first blog post was a cry for help. I was so lucky lovely sober people answered. My blog and timeline has kept me accountable and really worked for me. I also often think of other bloggers, wondering how they’re getting on and keeping my fingers crossed for them.

The sober community is the most wonderful community I’m lucky to stumble across. I’d suggest jump in with 2 feet. Every single one of you who’ve followed, liked or taken the time to comment, I am forever indebted. I aim to follow in your footsteps and comment on new starters too and hopefully encourage them along the way.

I’ve been also working on the feelings I feel towards myself. If I’m tired, I’ll go to bed. I’ll treat myself to a bath, a candle. I’ve started a skincare routine and had my first hair appointment in nearly a year. I used to keep my perfume, nice body lotions and clothes for best. It’s taken me getting sober to realise these are my best days of my life. So I’ve started using these things daily and spending a moment being grateful for being able to use them. When I’m feeling extra silly, I pretend I’m in a spa as I throw on 3 different smelling moisturizers and then come downstairs smelling like my gran.

I also found that buried under an alcohol addiction was also a raging sugar addiction. I’m being patient with this. If I slip up on the sugar, I slip up. The most important thing is I dont drink and I’m kind to myself.

I’ve tried more new things in these 100 days and I truely hope you get to do this too. I found when drinking, my world was getting smaller and darker. Until it folded up messily into a match box. Whilst it’s been hard, (especially in covid times), I’ve tried to say yes to new opportunities and anything that’s sparked an interest I’ve given it ago. This has included open water swimming and solo hiking. Both I’ve loved and can’t wait to do it again.

I’ve started practicing gratitude and even on hard days there’s still things to be grateful for. Even if it’s the air in my lungs and the now stable rhythm of my heart.

Whilst this has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, I’ve loved this adventure. I’d never want to go back to the dark, tired, achy, cravey first few weeks but in a weird way I’m so envious of everyone starting out. The realisations and moments of clarity. The pink fluffy clouds.

So if you’re reading this and just starting out good luck to you. Without sounding all xfactor, it’s a rollercoaster of emotions but so terribly worth while.

Other bloggers what’s helped you stay sober?

Love

JS x

Published by lifesippingaway

36 years old, wife, stay at home mum, outdoors lover, wild swimmer, starting the journey to an AF life

22 thoughts on “Day 101 – If only I’d known…

  1. What a lovely recounting! I love the idea of floating down the stairs in a cloud of moisturizer aroma… 🙂 I’m still early days but I definitely find that momentum is key. The farther I get from Day 1, the more I can breathe. I’m also learning to be SUPER vigilant about my baby sobriety and just refusing to put myself in seemingly normal situations where I might be tempted. This is key for me! And, of course, learning and analyzing what triggers me in the first place.
    Also aware of a nasty sugar habit in my life… Doing my best on that one but same as you, not at the expense of sobriety!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isnt the sugar habit amazing, like I had no idea until I gave up alcohol how much my body craves sugar. I’ve found I’ve been really lucky as we’ve been in lock down for most of it and my hubby doesnt really drink. And I’m the same, the further away I got the less I wanted to return to day 1 xx

      Like

  2. This is so lovely.
    The truth is, sugar isn’t going to kill any of us.
    Most of the time it’s that we haven’t planned meals and are hungry.
    And life is complicated. Treats are called treats because they feel special. Sometimes we need that little acknowledgement.

    7 years down the road I can say that sugar and food are always going to be there as issues. Many many things will change, things you never expected and definitely don’t plan. Food, weight, hairstyles, skincare. They all come and go.

    But sobriety can stay as a foundation. It helps me weather the storms and allows me to enjoy the bliss.

    I look forward to hearing more from you.

    Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with Anne (again!) it’s a foundation and when other things are shaky, sobriety gives you strength to manage. It’s a lovely post JS and I know you will be a great support to others starting out. Sugar is a hard one to break. I did really well for a month or so and now I’ve fallen spectacularly off the ‘no sugar wagon’ and I’m on a slippery slope. But I know it doesn’t make me feel great so it needs to stop again. I just needed to have a few days where I indulged a bit. We all need that. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very lovely! Also, that’s a rather cute looking hutch cabinet- I’m sure you’ve repurposed it wonderfully! I can totally relate to putting more into “self-care” – it does feel great treating yourself like you are special, because you are! I also agree with finding other drinks you really enjoy. For a while it was Spindrift Sparkling; now it’s Pellegrino Sparkling Water (the lemon and also the cherry are quite delightful!). I love reading about your journey and I’m really happy for you.

    Like

  5. Great post! I think the things that keep me sober the most are realizing how much better I feel in general and remembering how great the mornings are whenever I feel tempted. Pretty cabinet! Must feel cleansing to clear it out. Lately, I’ve been loving fresh grapefruit juice and sparkling water. Yum! xo

    Like

  6. Rubbish to be honest, still drinking. Hope the test comes back negative my daughter had it last week. She was in bed a couple of days but not too poorly. Fingers crossed for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this! So proud of you. I wrote a post on What’s Working for Me when I hit my 10 month mark… check it out if you have a few minutes. This post is beautiful! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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