today I have 30 days

Ten good reasons to be 30 days sober:

  1. Celebrating a new ‘personal best’ every day. That doesn’t happen much when you’re an adult, taking on a new skill and seeing progress and improvement each and every day.
  2. Sleeping through the night. Doctor thought i was premenopausal when i complained of waking at 4 am. she should have asked how many glasses of wine i was having every night (answer: 3+).
  3. No arguments.  I haven’t had one disagreement with my husband in 30 days. I can’t tell you how often I used to go to bed teary, feeling completely misunderstood. That seems to be over.
  4. Supportive sober (online) friends. This blogging world rocks, is beyond anything i could have imagined. advice to lurkers: don’t lurk. you’re missing out on a life-line that’ll make the difference. my advice to lurkers is to be brave, read, comment and write every single day (well, for the first 30 days at least!).
  5. No one really gives a shit that i’m not drinking. All the worries of not ‘fitting in’ or being ‘different’ if i gave up drinking were totally bogus. no one gives a rat’s ass. I drink tea and you drink wine? who cares. We go to dinner, you guys order wine, I say i’m not drinking, only one comment in 30 days from Mister, a social acquaintance who i see about every 6 weeks, and now will probably see even less…
  6. It is quiet(er) in my head. This is the main reason I have given up drinking. I’m fortunate to have a “high bottom”. I wasn’t convicted of a DUI, and my marriage was not in jeopardy. But I drank much more than I wanted to, didn’t seem to be able to string together many days alcohol-free. I used to spend a lot of time thinking about when I could drink, how much, was there enough, should i start drinking from my husband’s glass when he left the room…
  7. I’m a nicer person. I’m kinder and more patient and less sarcastic. Much less sarcastic. I think I see people more clearly now. now I meet a new client who talks too much, and i see lonely instead of irritating.
  8. My irritation and frustration levels are diminished. This is a side by-product of being sober that I did not anticipate. Didn’t realize that drinking made me really grumpy, and itchy in my own skin. I think i’m less impulsive, too. Certainly there’ve been NO late-night stupid emails (to friends and clients) promising the moon.
  9. Motivation levels are higher. I used to get a lot done before. Now i’m getting things done with purpose. I’m not just running all over town on some kind of ‘urgent’ mission. Now i make plans and cross things off the list.
  10. I’ve stopped straightening my hair. OK, you can laugh if you want to. But straight hair is all the rage, and for the last 30 days i’ve just stopped. (Honestly some days it takes all of my concentration and focus to get up and get through the day, remember to run, to eat 3 times a day, and to not-drink.) I have naturally curly hair that i’ve been forcing into ‘style’ with a hot iron. this has stopped. my husband now tells me he likes the curly hair better (really? you didn’t say anything for the two years you’ve watched me straighten it?) He says i look younger and less like someone’s “aunt”  (i.e. less like a cougar)…) I think it’s also an outward expression of being more comfortable in my own skin … or it shows a complete abandon of personal grooming while i focus hard on being sober.  we’ll see.

i feel i should now re-order the list, to end with something punchy and strong. Instead it ends with a vain comment about my hair. oh well. there you go. I have cute curly hair, that isn’t the least bit in style. I’ll keep you posted.

Belle

I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

19 thoughts to “today I have 30 days”

  1. Great list. I love your writing! I love your blog! I love that you are reminding me about all the great things about giving up booze, I really am. I love your honesty and insight. And re the hair, I have actually started attempting to blow-dry it in the mornings using a brush and a low fan setting, rather than just on a bloody hot fast as fuck setting with my head upside down. Yep, at 40 I am finally attempting to become more groomed. I’m not very good at it yet, but I’m getting better. And I’m sure I wouldn’t even be trying if I was still guzzling the wines. xxxxx

  2. Such a great list, so well put – and I can relate to all of them. (Ok – Maybe not curly hair). You really are such a wonderful part of this blog community. So glad I found you. Cleo xx

  3. I love the bit about the hair. When I first got sober I finally felt comfortable enough to begin wearing my glasses. And while it was such a minor, outward adjustment; to me it was reflection of something much deeper going on inside.

    Congratulations 🙂

  4. Can’t relate personally at all to all the hair talk, but it did make me smile because my wife is struggling to come to grips with the straightening iron herself, oh the contortions! Hair for me is a disminishing sacred resource lol.

    Really glad you could share this list. You guys have helped me, and others, so much, particularly in the early days.

  5. This is your list to read every day in August now!
    I know I’ll read it again because I’m grateful for the same things….even the hair!
    Xo Jen

  6. Damn good post to start the day with, Belle. hair-ah yes, a sweet woman with a headful of her own said to me one sunny day when I was eleven and bemoaning my head Full of heavy, thick, curly, dark (gorgeous and to-die-for) “Make peace with your hair, Lynda, you’re going to have it for the rest of y our life.”

    That was a game-changer for me and, boy oh boy, it has saved me billions of dollars in hair products and garnered me thousands of compliments over the forty-plus years since. I appreciate that woman every day and I don’t even remember who it was and i wish I could thank her. Maybe someone will read this and be saved from the ball and chain of society’s idea of what’s “right hair”. Pay it forward perhaps…

    Thanks, Belle, you’re the best new blogger on the horizon and we, your followers, are loving your efforts. have a good week. August, are you ready? Cuz, here we come, sober and ecited.

    1. wow thanks for the very kind compliments Lynda, you’re very sweet. and you’re sooo right about the hair. i haven’t used a hair dryer since the end of May and i’m glad for it. i’ve just given up trying to have ‘hair like her’ – whoever she is!

      1. “Her” hair was all studio brushed anyway and no matter what we do ours will Never Ever look like that. They’ll just keep selling us product until we die trying to get what we will never have. I love that we can just say no to their bull-pucky and be real women.

  7. I am on day 3 and have been here before and been to day 8 before. Being able to read a post two or three times a day helps keep on track. I have lots of tools and am going to use them all. I know I will coast for a while before the wolf starts peeking in.

    I like to think about drinking as breaking up a bad relationship. Who would stay with someone who lies to you, makes you feel shitty and beats you down. You do not want to break up because of all the good times you once had, do not want to go through the pain of the break up and afraid no one new will fill the void. In the first days you only remember the good times and happy days and want them back. So you try that person again, again and again only to be let down over and over. You talk to your friends and they tell you that you are crazy to keep taking them back. So finally you let them go. The first few days suck, consuming you’re mind. Then yu pick yourself up and little by little it gets bette, you meet someone new(you always have) and you stop thinking about that person.

    If I want a drink, before I do, I am writing a break up letter.

    Dear alcohol, it is time for us to move on. You do not treat me well, always lie to me and tell me things will be different but the never are. We have had lots of great times but they have been long gone. I may miss but I deserve better. Good luck with someone else.

    Foggy

  8. I made a couple mistakes in this post. I have been to day 88 before and many times very close to that. In February I made 24 days. My example break up letter was to help you and others who are getting eff it feeling. My problem has been that when the wolf knocks, I do not always reach out. I am committed to doing so. Day one I considered putting it off another day which is what I did for several days before. A recommitment to expanding my tools and using them. Having done this before, I know I’ll cruise to do 9. Then, the wolf will check in and I will be glad the next day to wake up sober. Then I will cruise for a couple more weeks before he checks in again. The point is, I have never stuck it out long enough before the miracle happens. Who knows, I could have been only one day away. I am fine today and don’t want to drink and feel great. I have my guard up. This blog and site are great and just what I needed.

  9. This list totally resonates with me!!!!! I’m on Day 10 and, now this may sound daft but, i just made a really clever joke to my husband! And I *laughed*, like really laughed. What a beautiful feeling. No rows with my wonderful hubby, glorious sleep, it just feels bloody marvellous. Thanks xxx

  10. I hit day 30 yesterday and read this list today. So many good reasons. People really don’t give a shit whether or not you’re drinking, do they? I want to get to a place where I don’t give a shit whether they do or don’t – on a good day, I’m there. And yes, it is so much quieter in my head. I never realized til now how much noise there was in my head from drinking – either berating myself for not sticking to a previously half-made promise I made to myself, or wondering if/when/how much I could drink. Wondering whether I was outdrinking everyone else in the room. The other thing I would add to this list is that because of the lack of “drinking noise” in my head, I feel so much more present to the people around me, people I’m socializing with, and the people I love. My husband. My kids. (My teenage boys who are on the threshold of experimenting with alcohol themselves. Sorry I didn’t set a better example for them earlier on. Mom’s working on it, fellas….) Thank you for publishing your journey. Oh, and I WISH I had curly hair.

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