Today I check off Day 95 of the 100-day challenge.
I’ve been thinking about what my 100-day post will be, but recently there have been quite a few new HSMers posting about their beginnings and struggles. I wanted to take a moment to look back on looking forward, if that makes sense.
On 12 November, I posted what I was experiencing at 18% (18 days) of the challenge. I can look back and say that I maintain my feeling of joy at LIVING life and finding out what more I can do and experience in a sober world. I know I don’t have to go back to the hell I was living in; I am soaring above the clouds because I removed the shackles of alcohol!
I have decided to start another 3-month challenge. Even though I believe I will live a sober life the rest of my days, the me that tried & failed so many times to quit is still cautious against making grandiose claims of being “cured” for fear that I will fall again and flail myself with the shame-stick. So I’m sticking to small steps versus big leaps.
What’s worked for me?
HSM is the difference-maker. A place to come where I know I am understood, where people are available any time and support me every time.
Being gentle with myself early on and through rough moments. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is OK. Have lots of AF treats ready. Baby yourself a lot.
Preparing ahead of time. Having a PLAN in place for every potential situation where alcohol may be present is VITAL. Knowing what I would do or say in a situation, having a plan to override urges, even practicing saying out-loud the AF order I will place with the waiter… it made facing those situations much easier.
Waiting works. Before reacting to a situation or an urge, I told myself to wait. Wait one more hour. Wait until tomorrow. Wait to make a decision. I allowed that the Universe would direct me, all I needed to do was stay AF until…
Everyone has a different experience, a different journey to take. We each have had or are in different degrees of ‘hell’. But I believe we are all extraordinary people who have used and been used by alcohol to figure out these experiences and our path, or to avoid figuring it out.
And when I say extraordinary, I mean uniquely special compared to others – smarter, more creative, more empathetic, more capable. I believe our minds work faster and on vastly more levels than others. And I believe this is why we’ve been drawn to substances that quiet or numb the mind – because it’s tremendously difficult to maintain the level of functioning that is ‘normal’ for us.
(Just to clarify, I’m not saying that we’re naturally a group of Mensa members. Oh, if we all could be Hawkings, Einsteins, Mozarts, etc…. But I really think there is something else at play, a different level of thinking and it can be frightening and overwhelming.)
Enough of my musings.
I am thankful and filled with gratitude for the support and guidance that I’ve received through the wonderful people on this site. I feel that I have a vast network of friends throughout the world! It is my sincere hope to meet many of you. Until then, here is a virtual hug!