200 Days Alcohol Free: A Reflection

January 24 marks 200 days of sobriety for me.

Wow. 200.

Looking back on my 100-day post, it’s clear to me how much I’m still changing. The first 100 days consisted of a lot of emotional re-calibration. It’s crazy to think back on the days where I would literally be so overwhelmed that I couldn’t do anything but break down and cry.

My day 1 was spent trying to build a solid case for my own sobriety. I was hungover, of course, but determined. I felt really raw. I had no idea what was coming.

In the first 100 days, I experienced every emotion I’d been stuffing away for 6 years. I cried over little things. I cried about my cats. I cried about the man I broke up with the previous winter, who was stalking me for the better part of a year, because I felt bad about hurting his feelings.

I felt angry. I questioned my relationship a lot. I tried to make peace with “being boring.” It worked, sometimes.

I even got my eyes peeled wide open about drinking culture, and was admittedly a little judgmental about it.

Those first 100 days laid a really strong foundation for who I am, and for who I’m becoming, day after day after day.

The past 100 days, well, it’s weird to say it, but things really have evened out quite a but. Every day of continuous sobriety unveils a thin new sheet of layering, a continuous project of “peeling back” and recognizing myself within myself. But I’m not breaking down crying on my car rides home, nor am I scrutinizing my boyfriend’s every action (or lack thereof). I’m not getting angry for no reason at the people in traffic, or in front of me at the grocery store. I no longer feel horribly awkward about ordering a diet coke when I’m out with friends – now I only feel a little awkward. Baby steps, right?

I still miss having a home to call my own, and I miss my cats desperately. God, I miss them so much. I still worry sometimes about being an almost-28-year-old living in her dad’s basement, unmarried. Yes, I know I’m in graduate school and working full-time. Yes, I know these positives should outweigh that negative self-talk. I’m working on it.

But after all is said and done, the last 100 days have been much more of a cakewalk than the first.

I managed to experience the first of my two required residencies for school back in December, which was a true turning point for me, both personally and in my educational career.

In the last 100 days, I’ve battled with conflicting feelings about social media addiction, and managed to successfully wean myself off of sugar. I’ve lost 7 pounds since going low-carb in December, and it genuinely feels like a good, sustainable change for me.

In November I survived a run-in with the stalker ex,  as well as the 2016 election of Donald Trump (still gives me the heebie jeebies to say it), and connected with some ladies over a shared experience of dating the same abusive asshole years ago.

I was so very sober for all of those things. Shakily sober, at times. Election night was the only night where I broke my cigarette quit, and had serious thoughts about drinking. Thank goodness I was with a good sober friend that night. Thank goodness that with every trial, I’ve continued to reinforce the idea that alcohol isn’t needed to survive anymore. It has no place in my healing, or my forward motion.

Sigh. 200 days.

That means my boyfriend has almost dated me as a non-drinker, longer than he dated me as a drinker.

That means I’m 165 days from one year.

That means I’m almost assuredly through the Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptom phase, and everything I am today is just me.

Unfiltered. Unpickled. No fuzzy lens between me and the world.

That’s pretty cool, if I do say so myself. I think I’ll keep this train on its tracks, barreling forward into the next 100 days – and beyond.

❤ Em

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18 thoughts on “200 Days Alcohol Free: A Reflection

  1. Many say PAWS can last up to two years! Wha?!

    Huge congrats on 200 days. I’m still right behind you at 187 today. I really need to get to posting an update on my blog (you’re so good!), but in the meantime, good for you! (And for the sugar too. That is my next step. I swear it’s as hard as kicking the booze has been…)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Daang, two years?? Bleh. Well, I hope I’m through the majority of it now. I’m sure there will continue to be more emotional re-calibration in the future.

      Also, thanks! And it would be great to hear an update from ya 🙂 though I know getting the time & headspace to blog can be super hard sometimes, with life happening and all. Glad to see you’re still here!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on 200 days! I remember the emotional rollercoaster during the early years of sobriety. I assumed sobriety for me was “just putting down the drink”. Yet, like you, I found that sobriety is something completely different. I always use the analogy of building a house. A solid foundation is essential. Yet, there is still the frame, the roof, and opening the door so we can help others. You’re doing a great job, keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

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