150 Days of Change

Yesterday I hit the 150-day mark of sobriety, and at this point it just felt like any other day. In some ways my sobriety feels new and fragile, something to be protected, but in others it just feels like a part of my life now. It’s only been five months and yet feels like a lifetime. As the summer draws nearer, and it looks like we may be able to socialize somewhat normally in the coming months, I wonder if my cravings will come back, or if I’ve built enough of a platform for myself to refrain from alcohol while all my friends are imbibing. Once we are able to celebrate in groups I think the party-like atmosphere will be enough to get me contact drunk without actually ingesting any; that would be a perfect scenario for me. All of the energy and giddiness without any of the negative ramifications.

To say that sobriety has changed my life is not an overstatement. As mentioned in other posts I didn’t really hit a rock bottom or get to the point where my drinking was affecting every day life, but it was on the edge of veering in that direction. I was constantly drinking by myself and trying to hide the evidence from my husband, a sure sign of an unhealthy addiction. Nowadays I am confident and comfortable speaking about both my sobriety and past drunken shenanigans with fondness. I lean into my history with drinking because it was a big part in shaping who I am now – plus some of my stories are genuinely funny. I’m not ashamed of my past but I am certainly looking forward to the future with pride and a confidence that I’ve previously lacked.

I’m becoming a health machine because of all of this. I decided to continue with my healthy eating habits, focusing on high-quality protein and veggies in every meal, and upped my workouts. Now I’m hiking at least once a week, getting a couple of sprinting sessions in whenever I feel like it, and working out in the weight room every other day. Just typing it out sounds exhausting but on the contrary I have more energy than ever. I love the feeling of being active every day and I especially love how it’s changing my body composition. I’ve dropped a pant size, and am about to drop another one if my jeans’ waistband is anything to go by. I’d love to say that vanity isn’t playing a part, but hot damn I love the way I look right now, and I’m excited to see how I look in a couple of months.

Because sobriety is a long-term habit (or life-long!) I am able to create more long-term goals for myself both physically and mentally. Physical goals are easy to set, and relatively straightforward to work towards. There’s no secret in how to get fit – you eat right and you lift heavy, you be kind to yourself and work up a sweat every day (as an aside it’s weird that it took me 33 years to really figure it out). Now that I’m walking the walk of being a fit person it’s so incredibly straightforward and, more importantly, enjoyable. All it took was a couple of months of hard work to get into healthy habits, and now it seems like it’s coasting on autopilot. Mental goals I haven’t really worked out yet. On the whole my headspace is clear and happy, but perhaps a little unfulfilled. I have a new friend whom I work with who is incredible: he chooses to do something and just…does it. He self-published a book, learned how to shoot a bow and arrow, started making art using reclaimed natural materials, bought a motorcycle for the hell of it, etc. Every time I talk to him there seems to be a new project. He doesn’t possess huge amounts of money to fund his activities, he just sets his mind to something and doesn’t wile away his hours on passive consumption. It’s really inspiring, and I hope some of his motivation rubs off on me.

As the school year winds down and I have a few weeks of summer vacation ahead of me I have to find a way to fill my time in a meaningful sense. I’m not against a lazy day, but I also now feel quite shitty if I do waste a day. After 150 days of working towards change I feel like I lose momentum if I sit around watching Netflix all day. So I guess the biggest change after these past five months is that I’m now constantly looking for the next challenge. That’s a pretty sweet change, go me.

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