NAILED IT!! – SOBER EIGHTY (SOBRIETY) CHALLENGE – “JUST THE TONIC” – Complete

Could you stay sober for 80 days???

3 months ago on a holiday in Northumberland, after a few weeks of contemplation and some serious insight into what alcohol was doing to me, I came up with the idea of going sober for 80 days.

When I say “what alcohol was doing to me”, there was no major situation, no collapsing in a heap, no mad night out with an alcohol induced coma, no waking up with a million regrets.. it just hit me steady – like, my casual weekend drinking is making me feel like shit about myself and doing bad things to my body and I am relying on alcohol for far too many things.

Today marks the end of that challenge and I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned and also the changes that have occurred. It’s pretty weird to sit the other side of the fence after spending years and years with an alcoholic beverage in hand.

So here we go;

1. Alcohol is ethanol. Ethanol is poison. Alcohol is therefore a toxic, poisonous substance. Like really, not being dramatic with words, this is actual scientific truth. Actual poison. Worse than that, we drink poison to have a ‘good time’. This irony is totally mind blowing to me.

2. Alcohol is the only drug you have to justify not taking, and the only drug people will try to persuade you to continue to take. No-one would dispute it if you said you were giving up cigarettes, cocaine or heroin.

3. Alcohol is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. Truth bomb.

4. If you go Sober people automatically suspect you may be an alcoholic. Grey area for me. I’ve never been physically dependent, but pyschologically?? – for sure. It’s just a sliding scale from tee total downwards and where you sit on that scale is most often not where you’d like to be. No-one wants to admit they have a problem though.

5. Most people who drink alcohol are dependent on it to some degree. And if you think you’re not, you are probably kidding yourself. See point no.4.

6. Alcohol is that cleverly packaged and marketed and such an intrinsic part of society that we have all been brainwashed to believe;
a. It is necessary to have a good time – life must be so boring sober.. right?
b. It is a reward, hard earned and deserved (who treats themselves with poison? – “mummy needs wine”)

7. We are therefore all sheeples – everyone else does it so it must be ok. I’ve spent most of my life surrounded by people who drink – a lot. I think there is an underlying reason for that.

8. In becoming sober I have found clarity of thought, I have managed to stick to a fitness program. I have more energy, more motivation and I have found my waistline again. My eyes are brighter, my skin is smoother and I genuinely feel a lot happier. I eat better and I could win competitions for sleeping.

9. There is a sober movement out there which I never knew existed. Sober parties and festivals. People enjoying themselves without drink. It is an evolution that is finding a voice, collecting supporters, and steadily growing.

10. I have missed so many things throughout life by being too pissed to be present, too wasted to appreciate the moments. I have spent lots of money, and hidden myself behind alcohol. Days wasted hungover. This makes me sad.

I have gained so much from being sober and lost nothing, apart from that which is better to lose.

So, challenge complete and I am super proud of what I’ve achieved (along with my partner in crime who’s had his own tests over the last 80 days and been awesome support).

What happens now there are no self imposed restrictions? Are we drinkers or are we non-drinkers?

For now, I’m not quite ready to give up on all I’ve attained, not willing to return to old habits. I have life goals, fitness targets, focus – and alcohol will not help me achieve any of these.

It has been a life changing experience.

Could you stay sober for 80 days???

Well done to all the others who joined in our challenge too!!Β 20180919_081450hangover-photo

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The Sober Eighty Challenge – Just the Tonic. Day 74 sober. Deal With It.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being sober. Right now I wouldn’t change it for the world, but there are times when the self-recognition hits you like a big wet fish slap around the face.
This is me.
Being sober makes shit more prominent – the good shit and the bad shit. The bad shit is having to accept the odd, the crap, the ugly sides of your own personality that you now have to sit with as you can no longer avoid them. You cannot drink away any insecurities, anxieties or oddities. You have to actually deal with them. There is nothing to hide behind, no pretence. Some days it’s just fucking raw.
This is me.
So, my daily morning routine consists of a cup of tea, breakfast and a little social media scrolling (I’m normally alone). Today I have woken up in an odd mood courtesy of my sober sleep which is now riddled with dreams and I am still processing. Then I see something in my FB notifications that makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach.
….I’ve received an invite to an ‘event’ – a fitness and yoga workshop.
WTF??? Yes, this is me. Who else would find this a total trauma?
To most people this would be, you know, what a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning. I must obvs go hang with some babes for a couple of hours in my cool and trendy gym gear and get in a good workout and some good stretching… and….
To me: Literal Horror. Panic about who will be there, how many will be there. Panic about how to politely decline. Panic about whether there is an actual need to respond. Finally decide to respond and then panic over what I’ve written in said response. Too much to think about and it’s barely 6.30am. I can’t go ‘cos I’m busy so I don’t know why all the stress and at the end of the day basically no-one will give a shit anyway. Frustrated with self.
The problem is the instant reaction in my head: Have received invite to spend morning with big group of cliquey women and have to pay for the privilege. No way bitches.
*shudders
*pulls imaginary blanket over head
It’s always lovely to receive invites and I must say at this point – it’s not you, it’s me. And I don’t mean offence at the clique. Honest. What makes me think such horrible thoughts!!??
I am essentially an introvert. Most groups look like a clique to me. How it’s taken me 41 years to figure this out I’ll never know. You may have once seen me at the party of the century, hilariously pissed, dancing like there’s nobody watching (and hoping the next day that nobody actually was), spilling wine, falling over, losing shoes, coat, phone and/or handbag (delete as appropriate), partying like I am everyone’s friend and the life and soul. Social butterfly. I’ll talk shit to anyone when I’m drunk.
In real life, there are very few big groups that I ever want to hang out with, especially groups of women. I just don’t belong. I find small talk a huge waste of energy expenditure. Big groups of women make me feel uncomfortable.
This is me.
I have a lot to give, I’m just very selective about who I give it to. I’m also very selective about how.
Energy is my currency… I want to save it and spend it wisely.

There was a time I didn’t like being the odd one out, tried desperately hard to fit in. I believed life was a popularity contest and the more friends you had the more you were winning at life.
Needless to say this is probably why and where my relationship with alcohol began.
Nowadays I don’t feel the need to try to fit in so much. Why should I try to pretend to be someone I’m not? I’ll always be odd. Not antisocial, just…lets say… a little picky?

Embrace it.

I am better in small groups, with other odd friends (sorry, but if you’re my friend there’s a strong likelihood you are) and (after my little mini melt down this morning) I’ll get comfortable with that. The sober me is a little up and down, dealing with my shy, awkward, weird self but at the same time I’m regrouping, rediscovering, remembering, regrounding, reconnecting and that can never be a bad thing.
This is totally fucking me.