From my inbox:
Julie-Joy (day 100):
“My dad and I did the challenge together. Making a promise to him meant, to me, that drinking was not an option at all … What I DID have to deal with though, were some things that came up that I would usually just use alcohol to deal with.
1. I actually have a touch of social anxiety. I am such a talkative, out-going person, if you know me, you would scoff at me saying that I have some social anxiety, but I do a little. So drinking was my social lubricant.
2. I want EVERYTHING to be FUN all the time! I have a very celebratory personality. Because of this, I think every DAY is awesome and worth celebrating! And hell, we could all die tomorrow anyway, so LET’S PARTY!! Have to do the laundry? Drink some wine! Have to clean? Drink some wine! Anyway. When I had to do things I did not want to do during this 100 days, I would just have to do them, even if it was not fun.
3. Shit storm! OK, so the hysterical thing is that this is the pledge:
“I will not drink for 100 days. No matter what. I can cry, but I will not drink. I can go to bed or go home early. I might feel distressed … but I will not drink. Bad things might happen, but I will not drink. Incredibly shitty things may happen to someone around me, or my neighbor, or my friend’s friend’s grandmother. But there will be no booze. Funerals? Weddings? Amputation? I’m not drinking for 100 days no matter what happens … No matter what.”
When I read this pledge, I was like, oh, well none of that will happen to me during this 100 days. Boy was I wrong. There was surgery, there was a premature baby. There was death. There was a visiting in-law. And there was divorce (not mine).
I didn’t drink. No checking out for me. And I got it done.
I’m kind of sad my 100 days are ending. Mostly because it was a bonding thing my dad and I did together. Every morning, as our indication of sobriety, we would text each other what day it was. Mine in regular numbers and he used roman numerals the whole way through. And we talked soooo much more. When you are neither drunk, nor hungover, you are in a much better mood to chat with your dad! … Time to open a new chapter.
Love and Gratitude, Julie-Joy ~ Happy Day 100 to me”
From Julie-Joy’s Dad (day 100):
“Alcohol was not a part of my life until I had my first beer at the age of 16, and on my first night of drinking I drank 16 beers. I didn’t feel too good the next day. But from that first day, alcohol was always a part of my life. It was a nice ice breaker when dating. Regrets? Yes.
I grew into wanting to drink. I wanted to make sure that when I got my own home that I would have this really cool bar so I could host really cool parties. This thought process happened gradually. I remember going to church and thinking during the service that I can’t wait to get home and pour my drink while I watched the football game … I really did not think I had a problem until just recently.
Julie-Joy mentioned to me about the 100 day challenge while she was visiting. I said let’s do it. We shook on it. I loved checking in my daughter. It was a wonderful drill and it was good to be accountable to someone. In fact, I probably would not have been able to go 100 days if it wasn’t for her.
And now I feel normal again. Normal is: waking up without a hangover. Although I did not realize it was a hangover each morning until I started my 100 day challenge. Thinking clearly. Wanting to exercise and actually doing it.
There have been some sad times during this challenge. Premature grandchild, my wife’s mother died, and on day 44 my oldest daughter found out that her husband wanted to divorce her. I faced these situations without alcohol.
Now I am looking into my future … I don’t want to go back to where I was. I know that if i drink again, the drinking would start out slow. Maybe a drink here and a celebration there, but my cyclical nature I could see that I could get back to that darkness.
… By the way, I don’t like the word sobriety, but I guess it describes my 99 days of not drinking. So here is what sobriety means to me: feeling great, sleeping great, losing weight, thinking clearly, being filled with the “Spirit” rather than spirits, enjoying being a man again, enjoying being positive again. I rather call sobriety … normalcy; being normal.
I am going to do the 180 challenge with Belle because I still need to be accountable to someone. And here is my pledge: “I’ve done 100 days NORMAL, and I know my life is better. It’s not always easy, but I am moving in the right direction. I’d like to continue going in that direction. And I’d like to see what happens next. I will not drink for 180 days…not even if my wife drinks, my daughter drinks, not if I need surgery, if my best friend is in jail, not if there is a blasted zombie apocalypse. No matter what because I want to see what happens next. I love being (sober) NORMAL.
Julie-Joy’s Dad (my screen name)”