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  • Writer's pictureLily T

80 Days Into a Sober 2024 : Reflection

80 days into the new year, and 80 days of no drinking. It's been easy at times, lonely others, and some days just down right hard. I've always hated feeling anxious but it's something I feel often, so alcohol was a coping mechanism for years. When I first quit drinking the first month went by quickly and there was little to no friction because of how dedicated I was to changing my habit. Now at almost 3 months in I can say it isn't all sunshine and rainbows, somedays the thought of having a glass of wine is something I dream of, but I quickly snap out of it when I think about what a waste it would be to ruin my sobriety. When I was drinking I thought everything exciting and creative about me was due to me drinking. I would drink every night, some nights I would take it easier than others, but most of the time I just went for it until I couldn't drink anymore. I would sneak extra drinks if hanging out with other people, a shot before bed type of thing. I was emotional, I felt a large range of emotions every single day, and it made me a very *interesting* person to spend a lot of time with. I was able to be very open (often times too much looking back) and I felt like I was able to express myself more with alcohol. I don't think that was necessarily wrong, but it also wasn't right, I am still able to express myself, I just have more control over it now. After quitting life felt "boring" for awhile, come to learn that that's how life is supposed to be, even keeled. No big highs followed by sadness and no hangovers that last the whole day. I'm still not a morning person, I still have bad days, I still get anxious, I still smoke the occasional cigarette, I still don't exercise regularly enough, or drink enough water, but I'm no longer slowly killing myself. I feel more capable of being a good friend, girlfriend, employee, and person generally.

I was kindly told by my boyfriend one day that he had always loved hanging out with me but he loved it even more when I wasn't drinking. I hadn't ever really thought about what he must have seen over that year, when we had first started seeing each other he would make an hour drive to come see me and I would drink gin straight in my living room while we talked and hung out, then he would make the drive back home. I never thought about it, it was just an escape for me, and my drinking felt so personal to me that I had never really thought about it affecting someone else. I knew that going to a party with me was a liability, I would say I would DD and then get shitfaced, I could say some stupid stuff, or just generally become annoying. I had acknowledged all of those parts mentally, but had never understood that overtime that it truly takes a toll on someone. I also drank alone, and I drank a lot when I was alone because there was no one there to tell me when I was too fucked up. When I drank alone, every time it was like trying to drown myself slowly. I remember he had expressed how worried he got when I drank alone, how I could fall down the stairs and die, or go to bed and not wake up. All things that at the time I was able to brush off and to make him feel better about it I would lie about how much I would drink. It was a dangerous game. The idea of falling down the stairs drunk has recently come back into my thoughts since a few Saturdays ago my Dad fell down the stairs after having a party for a friend and a few too many Margaritas. He gashed his head open, and needed 7 staples in his head, but was generally unscathed. That was the best case scenario, it was terrifying and it was extremely lucky he didn't die or get a traumatic brain injury. It gave me a new perspective of how difficult that must have been for my boyfriend Kevin to worry about almost nightly.

Life without alcohol is the peace and quiet I've needed for awhile. I am able to focus on things I want to do and I have the energy to do them. While planning a trip to Oregon with Kevin, I mentioned we had never really gone on a trip together, and asked why, he reminded me that before I was either drunk, getting drunk, or hungover, and had never had the energy to go anywhere, nor did I want to. Which is also true, I would have picked a drunk night at home over almost anything. I am still a homebody, I still would rather stay in some nights, but jesus it's so much better. I am still finding things that I haven't done in years that I realize I actually really enjoy but didn't align with drinking. I quit vaping also, and I hated vaping, but after a drink it was the only thing I wanted. On a particularly stressful day I still reach for a cigarette but it's sort of one of those things that I know I have improved on so much that I kind of let myself just indulge a little bit.

Alcohol is pretty obviously seen a normal part of many people's lives, and I don't think it's all bad. But I have come to the conclusion that it isn't for me anymore, and I don't know if it ever will be again. It's a little bit like dating someone very toxic, breaking up, and then dating them again later on. Which is something I have done, and learned from. That being said, Never say Never, and I wouldn't feel right proclaiming I am never drinking alcohol again until my sober 2024 is over, then I can revisit the idea, reflect on the year, and then decide what's best. Also, if you're reading this and have been thinking about quitting, do it! Seriously. ❤️



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