I made it! It has now been 100 days since I quit drinking, and I’ve achieved my goal. Hooray!
So, what’s it like at 100 days sober? Well, lots of different things. It sort of depends on when you ask, but there are some trends. The biggest one is something I wrote about yesterday, something my friend Claire (Clairei47 at Ditching the Wine, for those who don’t know her) calls the “Invisible Shield.” For me, this means having enough calmness and mental space to be able to react more reasonably to life’s uncomfortable events and stressors, not obsessing too much on what other people may or may not be thinking, noting the facts of what is happening rather than conjecture, and staying more present with the here and now. For example, it is getting easier to allow others to take responsibility for telling me what they want or don’t want, instead of stressing about figuring it out myself. Or assuming that someone’s bad mood must have something to do with me. Or just generally feeling like I should take up less space in the world sometimes. How ridiculous and futile. Not that I can use the shield all of the time (yet), but I can feel it strapped to my back and can use it more and more frequently at time goes on.
Also, I have to be honest that my brain is working much better now than when I was drinking. Work is easier and better. And I’m taking better care of my health (although I’m not going to lie. I ate a whole bag of licorice last night, and it was delicious!). I also think I am more patient with my family. I have WAY fewer arguments with my partner now. And I have more moments where I am calm and able to appreciate the things – big and small – around me in my life. Feel love and affection for them all.
The present moment thing is real. Lots of people have been writing about it lately, and I get why. If you spend too much time in the past or the future, you get stuck there. Not that you can’t plan for the future or learn from the past, but all you can really do now is take the next step. The best advice I received in graduate school was in the first week when the dean told us not to focus on how much work there was ahead. She said it would be paralyzing to do that, but if we just focused on the next thing we had to do, then the next, then the next, we would get there. It was so true, and I think it applies to many things in life.
The downside is that I miss drinking still. It isn’t hard not to drink now, but I do miss it. All I can really say about that is that I’m going to keep going with sobriety, at least for now, because it is helpful. And I really want to see where this is going.
Finally, I just want to say something about what a wonderful community it is here in the blogging world. I am not going to mention everyone (even though I would love to tell each of you what I love about you) because I am sure that I would forget someone. But I’ll keep trying to tell you along the way with comments, however awkward I may be at times. Everyone that has taken the time to comment, blog their experience, and support me (and everyone else) has been really wonderful. I appreciate you all so much!
With love and support to all.
Leafy (otherwise known as Ms. New Leaf)