12 observations from my 90 day sobriety challenge.
By Amy Crawford
This week marks the end of my 90 day sobriety challenge. If I'm honest, I almost can't believe I'm here; it only feels like yesterday that I was happily pouring my 6pm gin, topping it up with Fever Tree tonic, dropping in a piece of lemon and stirring it up with a sprig of fresh rosemary. Of course I'd enjoy this lovely refreshing gin, all the while telling myself it was just one, that one couldn't hurt, that one didn't mean I had any kind of 'problem', and that surely I deserved it after my busy day.
How things have changed.
Things have changed so much that I'm having a difficult time finding any reason to go back.
The purpose of this blog post is not to gloat, to judge or to rant. It's purely to share my observations on the off chance the words land exactly where they need. Maybe you are considering a similar challenge, maybe you don't have the confidence or the courage to take the first step, maybe you are just at the beginning of this thought process. Whatever the case, let the words fall and see how they feel to you. You'll know, if it's your time.
1. Weight loss.
I'm not sure exactly how much, possibly 3kgs, and mainly around my stomach. That happened very quickly.
2. Sugar cravings.
Over the first 3 nights, I ate a whole tub of (refined sugar-filled) Connoisseur ice cream. There was no stopping me - far out it was good. That sugar craving didn't let up for some time and I've needed to exercise much restraint around chocolate.
3. Greater self confidence.
This was unexpected and is hard to explain, particularly given so many of us think we need alcohol for confidence. Not so. I believe it's ultimately because in my sobriety, amidst my reclaimed control, I am a much truer, authentic and real version of myself. And, because I've proven something to myself, that I'm capable of such an incredibly transformative challenge. Once you stop drinking you learn to become far less worried about what others think of you and far more focussed on how you think and feel. This is the key to confidence!
4. Every day is a good day.
This is really great feeling. Never waking up to a hangover and owning the day, every day. I feel super energised; there's a sense of vitality I'm very excited to have around.
5. Mental clarity.
No more haziness. I wake up with a clear head and am far more focussed and able to concentrate.
6. Skin glow and sparkling eyes!
Even skin tone, less fine lines, plumper skin, sparkly eyes, a healthy glow. Bring it!
7. Better food choices.
This happened without me even consciously thinking about it. I guess I just started feeling so good I wanted to feed that feeling, with the good stuff! Obviously there's also no hangover to satiate with carbs and fried food.
8. Greater joy in the day to day.
The little things seem to matter more. I feel like I am freer, smiling and laughing more than I ever have. See point 10.
9. People's reactions.
These often seem to speak more about someone's relationship with alcohol than my own. It's interesting to hear a regular drinker say "Oh, did you have a problem with it?" Or, very quickly justifying all the reasons why they don't need to give it up, because "Oh I only drink a couple of nights a week/I only drink when I've had a really stressful day/I couldn't give it up because people would just judge me and think I'm boring..."
It unfortunately seems just so ingrained in Australian culture, that the very idea of giving up must surely mean you have a significant problem.
10. There's more time.
Seriously. I get up earlier, I'm more productive with my time during the week and on my weekends. I'm generally getting more stuff done. I move more, I connect more, I do more.
11. There's more money in my bank account.
Going out for dinner is so much cheaper these days!
12. A sense of coming home.
To the real, authentic, original version of myself. This is an immensely empowering feeling, and to be honest, the most liberating observation of all.
Well, that's a good question. I'm immensely aware of what happens in my life when I put strict rules around things. The discipline required to adhere to rules feel stressful, restrictive and places emphasis on the very thing you're looking to avoid. Right now, I don't have an urge to pour a drink and that's unlikely to change any time soon. Would I enjoy a glass of champagne one New Years Eve? Maybe? Would one glass of champagne undo the good work I've done? Possibly. Is there a slippery slope that comes with alcohol addiction? You betcha.
And that last statement there is exactly the reason I'm likely to stay dry, for good.
Now I'd love to hear from you. Can you share any other observations below from your personal journey with sobriety? Or, if for whatever reason you are on the fence and need more convincing, do you have any questions for me?