100 Days Without a Drink - Part 3

Click here to read Part 1  &  here to read Part 2.

 
I knew a lifestyle change of this magnitude (and the internal work it required) called for radical self-kindness, so I ‘rewarded’ myself for getting through each day with little treats like long walks, fresh sheets, fresh flowers, new books, raw desserts, and anything else that made things easier. I drank sparkling mineral water from fancy glasses and hugged my love a lot. I went to bed early. I cried some more and began to find it easier to talk about my fears and the jumbled mess of emotions that kept pouring out of me.

And in amongst the jumbled mess came some pretty big lessons and discoveries…
 

The Problem Wasn’t What I Thought it Was

All this time I thought the problem was my lack of willpower. As soon as I had that first drink, I didn’t want to stop, even though drinking to excess (and the awful shame and hangovers it left in its wake) had stopped being fun a long time ago.

It was a beautiful breakthrough when I realised that after I had that first drink, it wasn’t really me making the decisions anymore – my judgement was impaired, the Wine Monster was in full control and it wanted more, more, MORE!  So it wasn’t actually the fourth or fifth drink that was the big problem for me – it was that very first one.
 

It’s Okay (and Healthy) to Redefine ‘Fun’

One of my biggest fears about quitting drinking was that I’d never have – or be – fun, ever again. I honestly didn’t believe I’d feel joy in a world without endless social events and free-flowing bubbles… Without a crisp white wine with dinner… Without cheeky sunset cocktails…

After a bit of (sober) time to think, I began to realise that perhaps the reason I got so drunk at particular events was because I wasn’t comfortable there in the first place.

Now I skip events that don’t feel right for me. With my increasing self-respect (thank you, sobriety!) comes a feeling of being quite protective of my energy and not subjecting myself to unnecessarily toxic environments or situations.

If I’m invited to a big, boozy affair, I’ll arrive early and leave early. I have a great time chatting to everyone and then make a hasty exit before things get too messy.

It took some adjustment but I realise now it’s only natural that my social life will change as a result of my decision, and with each passing day I feel more okay with that.
 

I Don’t Need Alcohol to Have a Good Time

Trust me, no-one was more shocked at this one than me. I was awestruck the first time I went to an event sober and had a really great time.

Belly ache from laughing?  Check.
Deep and meaningful conversations?  Check.
A clear and grateful head hitting the pillow well before midnight?  Ohhhh, scrumptious check!
 

I Love People More

Back when I socialised with a drink in my hand, there was always part of my mind that was preoccupied with thoughts of booze.

Did I bring enough wine? Is it too soon to get another drink? Will anyone notice if I pour another? What happens if we run out? Will the bottle shop still be open? Will we make it in time?

Now, when I talk to people, I’m 100% present and focused on what they’re saying. Better yet, I remember everything we talked about! My relationships are so much stronger and deeper, and that sense of connection makes me feel so much happier.
 

Dutch Courage is a Diddle

I thought I needed to drink to feel confident. And yet, the longer I go without drinking, the more confident I feel in every situation. I trust myself more. I feel strong and graceful and grounded. I feel so incredibly peaceful without all that internal angst and drama.
 

I Feel Healthier

After decades of insomnia, I now sleep like an angel. No waking at 3am, staring at the ceiling, wishing my dehydrated head would stop pounding. It feels heavenly to wake up feeling fresh every morning with clarity, a feeling of connection, and a sense of purpose.

My face and eyes feel less ‘puffy’, my skin is less dry, and my little ‘wine pouch’ belly disappeared. I have more energy, my digestion has improved ten fold, and brain fog is a thing of the past.
 

I Feel Happier

I feel more myself than I have in a very long time.

That cheeky sense of humour I thought only came out to play at wine o’clock? Turns out it wanted to play all the time – I was just pigeonholing it.

The anxiety I thought I was drinking to soothe? Turns out drinking only delayed it and invited it back double-strength the next day. Craziest of all is that drinking actually caused most of it to begin with. I’ve rarely felt anxious in the past few months – instead feeling only increasing calm and bliss. Sweet Heavens!
 

I Have So Much More Time Now

Without late nights or days wasted in hangover-mode, I have so much more time and energy. Time for movies (and remembering the entire plot), farmers markets, brunch dates, early morning writing sessions, long walks, trying new things, and daydreams.

Time for greater creativity and clarity, productivity, and deep, peaceful relationships.
 

The Part I Love Most

The absolute, delicious, blissful freedom.

Freedom from counting drinks. Freedom from giving myself ‘those lectures’ about not making an idiot of myself this time. Freedom from saying stupid things I regret. Freedom from believing I can only connect with people when I have a drink in my hand. Freedom from searching for late-night cabs in the freezing cold, or worrying about how to get home. Freedom from the morning-after cocktail of tiredness, nausea, anxiety and paranoia.

I’m not saying it’s always easy. Some Fridays – especially when I’m hungry and/or tired – my inner 3-year-old throws a tantrum and still wants wine, wine, WINE!

But I am saying it gets much easier. And is so, SO worth it.
 

So Is This Forever?

‘Forever’ still feels too big, too scary, too infinite. It’s still too huge for me to hold-my-hand-on-my-heart and promise on. For now all I know is that sobriety is too beautiful a sanctuary for me to want to give it up anytime soon. I worked so hard to get here and it’s more sublime than I could ever have imagined.

Throughout this journey I promised myself that I’d treat myself to a lovely big gift at the end of 100 days to reward myself for ‘going without’ for so long… only to find now that I’m here (at day 139, according to my trusty little tracker app), I don’t need it anymore.

Alcohol-free  turned out to be the biggest gift of all.   ♥
 
BexSignature small

 
 

Update, September 2014:

It’s been almost six months since I decided to conduct the sassy experiment that changed my life. My darkest hours have inspired a soulful new direction, and I’m so excited to announce I’m now hard at work creating the website & resource I wish I’d had during the first 90 days:
 
::  Interviews + inspiration from kick-ass babes who wouldn’t be where they are now if they hadn’t ditched the drink.

::  Elixirs + desserts to tease your tastebuds and keep your mouth deliciously occupied.

::  Stories + journals for deep reflection and getting your head straight.
 
Sexy Sobriety has become a haven of inspiration, wellness, and empowerment for hundreds of women from around the globe.

Learn more (and receive a free coaching call video) at SexySobriety.com.

 
SexySobriety.com.au

100 Days Without a Drink - Part 3

24 Comments on 100 Days Without a Drink – Part 3

  1. Lena
    August 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm (3 years ago)

    Very inspiring! Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Rachel
    August 8, 2014 at 12:51 pm (3 years ago)

    So well written, and very thought provoking. Has made me stop and think about a few things that I should take a break from. It’s not so much the wine for me, but I could certainly benefit from cutting out the snacks and the bored / emotional eating. You’ve inspired me to get back on the healthy track and give it a go 🙂

    Reply
    • Vegan Sparkles
      August 10, 2014 at 5:43 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh I’m so happy to hear that, Rachel! Sometimes we just need a little break from the unhealthy habits to realise that we really don’t need them (whether that’s wine or snacks) as much as we think we do. Sending you oodles of positive vibes for your health kick. 🙂 xx

      Reply
  3. berrystylegirl
    August 8, 2014 at 1:14 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m so proud and happy of you – you results, your gift, your courage. And I thought about this “forever”. It’s really forever but in another meaning: even if you’ll have “episodes”, you’ll have this experience in your past, this new whole experience – and this is forever. You’ll never return in that trap because you have it. I have tough days now but they are definetely not from my past – they show me how far I had moved, how I changed. These days are a part of recovery and I accept them while I’m trying to get through them. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Vegan Sparkles
      August 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh, such wise and beautiful words, thank you so much, Polina! I love that ‘this’ (completely alcohol-free) is becoming my new ‘normal’ more each day and I love your take on ‘forever’. Here’s to celebrating how far we’ve come and changed. Huge love to you, gorgeous girl. xx

      Reply
  4. Bianca MacLachlan
    August 8, 2014 at 4:11 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Bex, I too am a health coach and I too experienced MANY of the same issues you talk about in your blog. That really could have been me talking! My love affair with wine started early and spent way too long at the top of my priority list (a good 20 years, to be exact). In fact it was that approaching 20-year mark when I decided now was the time to quit, and so, I did! Pretty much cold turkey.
    That was 103 days ago! And I am SO much happier than I have ever been. It’s really inspirational reading blogs like yours and knowing that I’m not the only one that struggled in that way, especially from a fellow health coach.

    I’d love for you to read my blog sometime, especially the one where I announce my impending soberness – http://vitalityhealthcoaching.com.au/2014/05/ive-given-something-up-for-my-34th-birthday/

    Thanks Bex! Bianca xx

    Reply
    • Vegan Sparkles
      August 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh it’s so lovely to hear from you, Bianca, thank you so much for reaching out! I just read your post and am so excited to find another sober Health Coach to be inspired by. Isn’t it amazing – the thing we were so afraid of giving up was really robbing us all this time. I can’t wait to follow along with your journey. xx

      Reply
  5. angieeatspeace
    August 9, 2014 at 12:30 am (3 years ago)

    WOW, this is truly inspiring and admirable. I appreciate you sharing and it has definitely given me a lot to think about.

    Reply
    • Vegan Sparkles
      August 10, 2014 at 5:52 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Angie, and I’m so happy to hear it’s inspiring deep thought. Huge love to you. xx

      Reply
  6. Shannan
    September 4, 2014 at 8:34 pm (3 years ago)

    I can relate to everything you have written….. Thank you for doing so. I’ve downloaded the app – one day at a time! Thank you my darling friend.

    xxxx

    Reply
    • Vegan Sparkles
      September 6, 2014 at 11:02 am (3 years ago)

      My absolute pleasure, gorgeous girl. Huge love to you, Shanny! xxx

      Reply
  7. jeunesse0608
    September 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm (3 years ago)

    This is just so so so on time for me. I have been trying, thinking, pleading with myself, wanting to quit and just cant quite do it alone. One huge obstacle is that my husband, who I have been with for 24 years, will never give up beer. I know he doesnt HAVE to, but he works out of town and when he is in town so much of our time is in the pub, or with friends, or on the deck having drinks. It is how it has been FOREVER. I have NO idea what will happen once I ditch the bottle. When we travel, we drink, when we chat, I fact it is safe to say that unless we are drinking we really don’t talk. I know what you are thinking…. I think it to. We have had many struggles over the years and I am not sure how this one will shake out…. Could be the best thing that has ever happened, but boy oh boy is it ever going to be a change.

    Reply
    • Vegan Sparkles
      September 14, 2014 at 8:48 pm (3 years ago)

      Sending you huge hugs, Jeunesse! Big lifestyle changes can be SO tough – both within ourselves and within our relationships – because it’s so confronting to challenge something we’ve done for so long. But without fear and change, there is no growth.
      Start small, if that helps. What can you do today to start down the path you truly want to be on? Then, what can you do tomorrow? Sexy Sobriety is launching soon and will include some incredible resources in addition to the ones I’ve already mentioned. xx

      Reply
  8. Shelly
    September 28, 2014 at 4:39 am (3 years ago)

    I am also finding this at just the right time! I got really, really sick after drinking with friends on my 46th birthday last month. I haven’t had a drink since, but drinking to excess and being sick has been my M.O. all of my life. I want sober and happy and confident to be my new mode of operation! Thank you Bex!

    Reply
    • Vegan Sparkles
      September 29, 2014 at 5:10 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh those big birthday celebrations can be a killer, can’t they, Shelly! Drinking to excess and being sick was my previous M.O. too. Here’s to beautiful, sober, happy and confident new beginnings. xx

      Reply
  9. AARR
    December 28, 2014 at 3:29 am (2 years ago)

    Bex, I found your story today and it brought me to tears. It could have been me writing every single word. I am so sick of the hold that alcohol has on me. It’s my friend when I’m lonely, when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when something good happens and when something bad happens — but it’s not a friend at all. It turns me into a mean person who does ridiculous and hurtful things, it leaves me feeling anxious and sick, and it is a huge waste of time. I’m scared that if I don’t stop now, I’m going to destroy my relationships and end up alone forever. I am so glad I found your blog today…it has given me hope. I am planning to sign up for Sexy Sobriety very soon.

    Reply
    • Vegan Sparkles
      December 28, 2014 at 2:42 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh I’m SO glad you found me too, beautiful! It really is no friend at all. Sending you the hugest of hugs, and we’ll all be waiting in Sexy Sobriety to cheer you on, every step of the way. Here’s to your beautiful beginning. xx

      Reply
  10. Shannon
    February 24, 2015 at 7:56 am (2 years ago)

    Wow Bex! I relate to your journey so much!

    Reply
    • Vegan Sparkles
      March 11, 2015 at 3:35 pm (2 years ago)

      Huge hugs to you, Shannon, beautiful! xx

      Reply
  11. Cristina
    March 10, 2015 at 1:24 pm (2 years ago)

    I cannot tell you how much this post meant to me. I too am in the wellness/fitness industry and what you said in response to your client “that’s okay” really resonated with me. have been kicking myself for not practicing what I preach. Thank you for your absolute honesty and inspiration !!

    Reply
    • Vegan Sparkles
      March 11, 2015 at 3:37 pm (2 years ago)

      My absolute pleasure, Cristina. We often teach/coach what we ourselves need to learn most, right? Here’s to walking our talk and standing strong, beautiful! xx

      Reply
  12. Sass
    March 16, 2015 at 5:28 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi lovely Bex, I think my angels led me to your link, this is precisely what I needed to read at just the right time. It’s floored me the parallels between your story & mine, including the health coaching & I feel like such a fraud at times, hating the saboteur within. Its only day 2 early into the program yet I’m feeling good, empowered & a little excited! Your words have really resonated because I can really relate, so thank you for inviting me on the journey of my sober life! Mwah xxx

    Reply
    • Vegan Sparkles
      March 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh my absolute pleasure, Sass! I’m so happy to hear that my story resonates with you – and more importantly, that you have some pretty awesome angels looking after you! Here’s to kicking that internal saboteur to the kerb and creating a sexy and empowered new life! Huge love to you, beauty! x

      Reply

Talk to Me