It’s been three very long months of going sober.
When I first started giving up alcohol, I tried not to count the days. It was so hard not to. I would remember my current number of days every time I woke up. It was something that I had become obsessed with. After a while though, I stopped counting the days and just set reminders for the big milestones. 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months and then a year. Here’s what I learned after 3 months of sobriety.
How the first month felt
After hitting the month milestone, I honestly didn’t feel any different. 30 days didn’t feel like it was long enough to really understand who I was before drinking. It was everything that you would expect a first month to be.
- I did have the worst hangover feeling for about a week when I first quit
- All the sudden free time made me really restless and bored
- The craving for sweets is pretty unreal
It didn’t feel real to me though. I had also done quite a few ‘dry’ January months or ‘sober’ Octobers so it didn’t feel like much of an accomplishment to me. I also noticed that the first month didn’t really seem to be long enough for other people as well. I would tell them I hadn’t drank in a month and it was assumed I would go back to it.
I figured once I got to 60 days, that’s when it would really click that I’ve succeeded. And it did.
Sixty days was when I started to be taken seriously by other people, including people I had drank with before.
The cravings were still there though and this is when I started having thoughts about drinking. Not exactly that I wanted to go get black out drunk at a bar but more like, I missed the feeling of relaxation and distraction I had gotten from drinking. The same day that I hit sixty days, I went to a birthday lunch and there was a lot of drinking there. I started to feel anxious and a little jealous that people could still drink while I couldn’t.
It was harder during this time to remember why I gave up drinking in the first place. It was long enough that I couldn’t remember the taste exactly but also long enough that I started to feel like I could handle drinking again. I really only have online forums to thank for not going back. I read so many stories of people who had been in the same boat with drinking that I was and they could definitely not handle drinking again.
Having a work challenge of having a month of going vegetarian was the perfect distraction. I was able to stop thinking that what I was doing was silly, that everyone should be able to drink again.
For this month, I kept being sober and I also got to explore not eating meat. Being able to stay sober and go without meat revealed something I hadn’t realized. I was so much stronger than I give myself credit for. I started thinking about all of the little changes I did and improvements that happened this month.
- I started trying harder at the gym and have been seeing improvements
- Writing was something I was starting to do and enjoy
- My creativity and imagination started to reappear
I didn’t lose any weight nor did I feel like I suddenly became happy. I had emotions and thoughts that I needed to deal with and they weren’t being kept away by alcohol. Writing was helping but I know that it will still take time to really process.
Three months in and it could never be better
Having just hit three months, I’m starting to feel something again that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Hope.
I didn’t lose any weight, nor did I make any big changes. I wasn’t becoming a #bosslady or anything like that. But my sobriety wasn’t something that I was ashamed of anymore and it stopped feeling weird to tell people at bars and parties that I didn’t drink.
But let’s talk about that hope that I started feeling. It was like I hadn’t seen myself in a long time and I was given a second chance at seeing who I was and who I could become. I was always someone that if you asked me to describe myself, I didn’t have an answer. So I started spending more time with myself and trying out new hobbies and even new foods.
I was able to check off things on my 2019 goal list. I even did something I always have on my list and never end up doing. I signed up to run a 5k. That’s something that’s been on my list for about 10–15 years.
Who will I become? Who am I really? I’ve never been so excited to find out!