I feel a sense of joy this morning as I write this. Today marks my 100th consecutive day sober. I never thought I would get here!
I first stumbled across Belle’s 100 day challenge last February, when I was desperately searching for support to quit drinking online. I think I found Belle’s challenged mentioned somewhere on Soberista’s. I remember that time with a deep sadness, but also with fondness as it was a turning point for me. I remember feeling so lost. I had just returned from a trip overseas and was struggling with jet lag. I couldn’t sleep and was exhausted. I could not stop drinking and it was driving me insane. I was losing control over my behaviour and ended up doing something very inappropriate. That time was kind of a bottom for me, and I started Belle’s challenge the next day.
I was very excited to start the 100 day challenge and thought it was the answer for me. Getting connected to another person who was going through the same thing as me, even though it was online, gave me hope that I could do this. I didn’t feel as alone anymore. I had previously been trying to control my drinking for almost a dozen years. I gave myself every rule in the book- only drinking on weekends, only drinking wine, only drinking after 7pm, only drinking 2 glasses, only drinking when I was with other people… you name it, I tried it. And I failed. Every time. In the last year or two, I was trying more concerted efforts, including trying some AA meetings, seeing a counsellor for addiction, taking an anti-alcohol medication, and trying an outpatient detox program, but was still failing miserably to effect any kind of true change. I would quit for a few days, or maybe some weeks before falling back off the wagon.
Through Belle’s site, I became aware of and connected to the world of sober blogging. Since I had already tried blogging myself, about a year earlier, I resurrected and renamed my blog and began the journey that I am currently on. This has been life changing for me. Just as it has taken me time to get to the 100 day mark, it also taken me time to find a voice and consistency with this blog. I am not the most frequent blogger, but that’s okay. I am what I am. I don’t post everything that I write either, preferring to keep some posts as private journal entires. This blog has given me a space to record my thoughts and feelings as I stumble along this sober path.
I am enormously grateful for those who read and comment on my blog- your support has been incredible to me.
I am even more grateful to other sober bloggers. You have carved out a niche in cyberspace that has helped to save my life, and the lives of so many others. There is a space for everyone here. Some bloggers attend traditional recovery programs, some attend alternative ones, and some attend none at all. But equally, everyone shares their knowledge, wisdom and sobriety tools. Everyone shares their not only their triumphs, which is infinitely inspiring, but also their struggles and their pain, which I see as a revolutionary act. When we know that others struggle like us, it gives us the courage to be honest and accept ourselves. It is only through this acceptance, that change can really happen.
I thought this post was going to be about me, and where I’m at in my journey, but as I type, I realize that I am only here because of all of you. My gratitude is endless for all sober bloggers and sober blogger readers out there.
So thank you for continuing to be there for everyone trying to get sober! The words you type inspire me to keep going every single day.
I have a lot more to report about how my life has been going but I think I’ll leave it for another day. What I really want to express today is how happy I am that I have reached this goal and that I truly could not have done it without all of your support and experience.
I also want to dedicate my 100th day to all of the folks out there who are still struggling to get sober. I know how hard it is. While my “bottom” might not seem that bad- I hadn’t lost my home, job or family (yet)… what I did lose was myself, and I was on the path of losing my life. I could not live another day the way I was living. The pain inside me was all-consuming.
Since I have stopped drinking, that pain is going away. I am healing. It takes some time and it’s not always easy but my life is improving. The craving to drink is so much less and the freedom I feel can not be replaced. I am getting excited about life again. I am getting into things, figuring out who I am and what I want to do.
If you are still struggling, know that you are not alone. And know that a sober life and a better life is possible. And do not give up. Ever. Keep reaching out, keep trying. You’ll get there. I believe in you. You know why? Because I finally believe in myself.
That’s one of the gifts of sobriety.
And I’m going to keep going! This is only the beginning.
Love and blessings to all.