After reading somewhere that after 90 days of not doing something habitual the brain gets used to the new pattern of behaviour and stops pestering you to return to your old sweet form, I have always had this marked as a big milestone.
I got to 87 days before, but I wasn’t committed. Sure, I wanted to be “normal” and I had had enough of feeling like I wasn’t in control of my life or mind anymore. Alcohol had me in its grip, and I was scared of where it was taking me to.I knew that my brain didn’t operate the same as others when it came to drinking and things needed to change “big time”. What I hadn’t accepted then was that I wasn’t going to be able to mend my relationship with booze. Surely if I put some serious time and work into the situation, there was still time to turn this thing around? I had tried moderating, for about five years, and I mean seriously but I just couldn’t get to the point where I could be “take it or leave it” about drinking. I know now that if I can’t drink with the sense of abandonment, I don’t see the point in drinking at all. So, after my 87 days I decided to test the 90 day (ish) theory to see if I had changed my attitude to alcohol and if my brain had managed to reprogram itself into that of a nice sensible drinker.
Well, I am sure we can all guess how that went. Sadly, after only a couple of weeks back on my beloved booze, I was back to drinking too much and obsessing about it all the time. This time I have accepted that this journey where ever it takes me is about not drinking. I don’t know what else is going to happen but I am sure of that one thing.
So, I know that being sober for 90 days in a row is not about ticking off days until I can drink nor is it about waiting to wake up one day and feel like I am finally a whole person. It’s not a case of perfectionism verses failure. It’s about being somewhere in the middle. To be honest most of the time during the last 90 days that’s where I have been. It’s kind of nice and maybe this is what normal feels like. Maybe normal is not the feeling I get when I am halfway through my first glass of wine. Maybe that is not what de-stressed feels like. Maybe that feeling I have been chasing in a wine bottle is this one instead. Just plain old normal, conventionally plodding along in the middle lane, nice and safe.
Sometimes there are lows, cravings and stresses. Other times I feel like the odd one out, or like I’m faking it or I’ve changed. Those are just normal feelings that come and go and I work through them one by one and move on.
There are highs too, like when I am so proud of being sober at the end of a messy boozy evening. Proud of at least trying to be the best person that I can be. Happily waking up everyday being present for my kids and my life. Having no hangovers, EVER, I can never get enough of that feeling.
I just realised today that I have been sober for 6 months of the past year and I am so amazingly fucking proud of that. I never thought that I could do this. I was terrified of a life without wine. Now, I get scared now and then but no one has an easy ride all of the time. I worried how I’d cope with stress without booze but I don’t have nearly as much stress as I did when I drank.
On the internet, I have “met” a wonderful group of supportive, sympathetic and caring sober friends, who have become a vital part of my recovery and will continue to be so. I couldn’t do this without support and I am so grateful for it.
Today there’s going to be yummy food, mocktails and cake whenever fancy it. I have bought myself some gorgeous new bedding to lay my sober head on tonight. All is well, there is much to celebrate. Here’s to the next 90!!!