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Musings from 200 Days Sober
It strikes me that my first 100 days sober were a sort of phase 1. What can I say about those hundred days now, looking back? Were they ok? Brutal? Easy? Hard? Wonderful? Painful? Blurry? I suppose the answer is: ALL OF THE ABOVE. For the first sober month or so I did nothing but just avoid getting in the fuck-it bucket. Anything but NOT THAT.
I viewed my first 100 days as totally non-negotiable. The way I saw it, was that if I was going to honour the sober curious person within me, then 100 days was the bare minimum trial period. I knew it wasn’t enough to give me a fully new skin, but I figured it was a nice number that could get me out of the rinse and repeat ditch I was living in, walk up to dry ground to take a bit of a view.
I got to those 100 days sober with the help of 3 main things:
1. Being sober curious for a period of time before stopping (research).
2. Being ape shit active on Boom.
3. I developed a rather serious Yoga practice.
When I committed to stop drinking I took a leap of faith. And I did get out of the ditch and up to a viewpoint well before the first 100 sober days were up. Things looked a bit clearer. I still wanted to drink, fairly regularly, and I felt socially a bit weird, but almost everything in my life was vastly improving, and writing about it in Boom was self-affirming.
I found my voice in those first 100 days sober, the real one, not the loud-mouthed party girl one, who I was so sick of listening to. She talked so much crap. I started building up some strength and trading self-hate for self OK-ness. Found some lost parts of the puzzle that makes me, well me. I also was very reflective. I thought about my childhood, I thought about everything that got me to that ditch of drunk I’d just climbed out of. I felt a roller coaster of emotion in those first 100 days sober.
Once there, once I’d made it to 100 days, I didn’t really need to think shall I keep going? I’m not saying the not drinking was easy, but the evidence was clear. I liked myself a bit again. I wanted to continue to make room for that.
So if the first 100 sober days were about getting to higher ground, in order to reflect and look back, the second stint of 100 have been a case of holding onto that, but adding a new layer. A looking forward layer. I developed a keener eye maybe? A critical view of what exactly are my needs versus my wants? I came to terms with some hard stuff. Buckets. I’ve had more capacity to look at other areas, not just avoiding the fuck-it bucket. (but that too) I’ve been able look at my other LIFE BUCKETS. I’ve needed less wrapping up in cotton wool. I began to see clearer what kind of life I want to lead, and start to really imagine and plan what the steps might be.
I studied and practiced a lot of kundalini yoga, which is all about tapping into our primal energy. This helped me do the work I needed. For much of the last 100 days I have stayed within my metaphysical self where things like context and gravity were irrelevant. To find out exactly what I want. I would encourage everyone to do this. We can’t healthily stay in that zone all the time (well maybe some of us can!!) but planet earth was calling, and I think my kids were missing me, however I did need my Phase 2 to be a creative mental journey of planning. Thoughts before action is a much simpler way of putting it.
And now that I am entering my third lot of 100 days sober, I see carrying forward phase 1 and 2, but a coming back into real time and starting to actually do stuff. Some little changes, some big ones. I’ve come back into my body and it’s now time for thoughts to slowly become actions. Slow and careful action. Its easy to add too much, so I’m doing my best to avoid overwhelm. All I know is that I cannot stand at the sidelines of my life anymore. I did that for so long. Too long.
I’m trying to not be too afraid of change too. And this next phase of change will likely take longer than 100 days. But I knew when I stopped drinking I had to face some stuff, and you know one of the things that helps me not be afraid? My bones.
I’ll leave you with a fun fact: Approximately every 7-10 years our entire skeletal system replaces itself. It’s true. We often think of our bones as static, but they are quite the opposite. Old bone gets absorbed into your body, new bone is always being formed. That means I’m only age 4 in bone years! See. Lots of life to live.
I’m so happy to be entering this 3rd phase with you all, and here’s to whatever phase you are currently in!
My mantra lately has been: Go through life in an embodied way.
To those starting out, do your best. Which is always enough. Try to stay curious. Someone said to show up as the Day 1 person and I absolutely love that. I did that in the first month, every day I pretended it was day one. Truly ODAAT. And you might not know me, but know this: I am not by nature a disciplined person. I’m a little childish that way. And here I am at day 200 sober!
If I can do it You can do it too.
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