My First 100 Days - Guest Blog - By Lucy Good
I'm re-sharing this today as some people couldn't read it because of a glitch and it's such an important read for those at 100 days. x
Like many sober curious souls, I have attempted sobriety countless times over my life-sucking thirty-year drinking escapade. Now, sitting proudly at Day 120, I’m pleased to say I am riding on the crest of my “best attempt EVER”.
But what a journey it has been!
Parts that I was expecting to be nail-bitingly hard were bizarrely easy, whilst other parts I assumed would be easy, were desperately difficult.
Everyone’s journey to sobriety is unique, but for me it has been so full of surprises that I’d like to share what I’ve learnt to help others also taking the unconventional yet highly rewarding alcohol-free path.
1.THE POWER OF A REPLACEMENT
The simple action of sipping (ok swigging) on a glass of wine had become as natural as breathing for me. One of my biggest issues was: What the hell do I do instead?
In my case, it was … don’t laugh … knitting!
Such a simple, monotonous task which I could do without thinking. It kept my hands busy and relieved the need to reach for that ominous and ever-present glass.
Fact: Knitting is waaaaay healthier than drinking.
People may laugh but it was the saviour I needed in the first few weeks and beyond. And I’d rather have a lifetime of handmade knitwear than a lifetime of hangovers.
2.THE “JUST ONE THING” RULE
I’ve met a few peeps like me, you know, addicts. We tend to be extremists with the “all or nothing” mentality.
Previously, when I tried to give up the booze, it has been accompanied by grand plans such as going to the gym daily, changing diets and generally reinventing myself.
Don’t do this!
When you are giving up drink you need to focus on just one thing: DO NOT PUT A DRINK TO YOUR LIPS.
If it means you have to hide under the doona for the day, eat a litre of ice cream or knit a scarf that reaches from here to Timbuktu, do that instead. Just don’t drink.
3.PEOPLE CAN SURPRISE YOU
For some, getting is sober is a very private thing, and I totally get this. However, what I would say is to share your grog goals with those close to you.
I did this and was pleasantly surprised.
I have drinking friends who I (stupidly) thought wouldn’t want to hang out with me anymore and I would be reduced to leper status.
Not so, people still invite me places. And get this: Some even say they like having me there as having a non-drinking friend on the scene stopped them getting too plastered.
Now that was truly something I didn’t see coming.
4.DRINKING DREAMS MAY HAUNT YOU
In past endeavours of sobriety, I have experienced drinking dreams.
For me, they loosely involve me accidently getting wasted, doing something outrageous and upsetting everyone, followed by a mother-of-all hangovers and crippling anxiety. In fact, they are so like the reality of my drinking days, it’s scary.
Well, 120 days in and these little delights still fill my nights.
Just sayin’ … be ready.
5.I DO HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE!
My drinking started as social but following having children and then becoming a single mother, it became more introvert and sinister.
I found myself turning down invites because I was concerned (and rightly so) of drinking too much and shaming myself in the public. Not only that, I could drink waaaaay more at home.
Since stopping drinking, my social life has unexpectedly blossomed.
I can accept invites knowing that I can have a nice lunch/dinner/catch-up without spending too much money and trying to shag the bartender. I make it home with my memory and my dignity intact.