Last year, I kept my milestones to ones that I felt were the most impactful so I only wrote about the really big milestones like 3 month, 6 month, and a year. I even referenced writing only about the big milestones in my three month milestone post.
What I learned after 3 months of sobriety
It’s been three very long months of going sober.
Because it didn’t feel like those between months were valuable, I lumped them all into single posts. Why would someone care about what happens after two months, or even four?
But now that I’m going through it again, I regret not doing it every month because every month is so nuanced, it’s a roller coaster the entire time. Some months I’d be doing fine but others, I’d be struggling to make it through the day. And now that I’m at two months of sobriety in my second attempt, I’m already seeing major differences from last year and even from last month. So what’s changed?
I went an entire year without drinking, started drinking again, and realized I had to stop. You’d think that if I was able to see so clearly that alcohol was always going to be bad for me that I’d finally be free of its grasp.
But there I was at Shake Shack staring longingly at the hazy IPA that they had on tap, regretting that I had told my new friend I was sober. You see, hazy IPAs were my jam and they usually had clever names and lots of fruity notes. It was the perfect beer for me and it also happened to have a high alcohol content.
One thing to note is that hazy IPAs didn’t actually end up being what had caused me to drink again- it was all of those memes and references to White Claws. I had quit drinking before all of the hard seltzers had come into play and White Claws ended up feeling like “the one who got away” almost the entire time I was sober. In the end, I fell for the “ain’t no laws when you’re drinking claws” idea and started drinking them heavily. I went from having just one, once a week, to drinking six a day in under a month. When I noticed that we were having to buy more almost daily, I immediately quit again.
I still think about drinking all of the time though. At two months of sobriety, I know that any alcohol is too much for me but I can’t help feeling like I wasted the time I did drink after sobriety drinking White Claws. Now I see hazy IPAs and can’t help but salivate, they were my comfort drink for the longest time. And because I didn’t drink a lot of them when I started drinking again, the craving for them is stronger than last year at two months.
I cut back on caffeine
Something I should have done last year was either cut back or completely quit caffeine to help with anxiety but it felt like I was removing just one more thing that separated me from connecting to people. If I couldn’t meet for drinks, I could at least meet for a coffee.
But a couple of weeks ago, I had a panic attack that felt like I was dying and it was after days of drinking multiple cups of coffee during a stressful work week. I couldn’t deny anymore that caffeine was having a detrimental effect on me so I started replacing coffee with tea and completely cut out any kind of caffeinated soda or energy drink.
And it was successful. When I stopped having so much caffeine, my headaches went away and while I still had a lot of anxiety, it wasn’t terror inducing like they had been before. I went from clenching my jaw almost constantly to being able to relax just a little. It’s made me realize how much caffeine was harming me.
I’ve kept up replacing coffee with tea and not having anything caffeinated after 10 am and have also noticed that my sleep has gotten better. Even though I haven’t been sleeping as much as I would like recently, it’s been more satisfying.
This one is a given and I’ve debated not talking about it because honestly, it would be in every post I write about my progress with sobriety.
But it is a really relevant part of my timeline, the pandemic has changed things for a lot of people and sobriety is both easier and harder to deal with in isolation.
On one hand, you don’t have the social pressure to drink because we can’t be that social at this time. But then, isolation can be lonely and the desire to distract myself with alcohol is strong, especially on days where I haven’t reached out to anyone.
The pandemic has taught me to be comfortable at home more often though. In the past, I would get restless and get a strong desire to go somewhere. Now that we aren’t able to go anywhere, I’ve been watching more movies, going on walks, and learning more about programming for my job.
Things have also been changing regarding my relationship which has been difficult in such a confined space.I quit last year with the full support of my significant other and because I realized if I didn’t quit, I wasn’t being the best that I could be for them or for myself. Things have been harder this time because we’ve been having more fights recently and some of what we’ve talked about could mean the end of our relationship. Thinking about my life without them and the almost five years that we’ve been together, has been a struggle to resist alcohol.
So it’s been important that I keep myself busy now more than ever. Going for walks every day, playing video games with friends, these are all things I’ve been doing when I feel like I want to pick up a bottle.
This two month milestone has felt more significant in the end due to all of the factors in play. Relationships, anxiety, and isolation has put sobriety on hard mode but it’s felt even better to know that against all of those odds, I still made it. So as strange as it is to say, this two month milestone feels more substantial than last years.
And I’m so glad I went sober again.
If you’re interested in my sober journey, check out these posts:
Sometimes you can’t moderate yourself with alcohol.
You’ve probably heard this story so many times before. Girl gets drunk.Girl gets drunk a lot. Girl realizes she has to…
What sobriety means for me: The good and the bad.
It’s not always good things. At least, not yet.