First 90 Days of Sobriety Revisited..

A GLANCE BACKWARD AFTER 2+ YEARS OF SOBRIETY & LESSONS LEARNED

I have been reading some journal entries and drafted blog posts I wrote during the first 90 days of my sobriety. I remember well the clarity, determination and clearheadedness I felt.

The beginning of sobriety is actually very simple in terms of priorities, life was about complete devotion to staying sober each day, trying to get to know this other new sober part of my personality. Today, with over At 2 years of sobriety, my life has changed dramatically, trying to stay away from alcohol each day is not my main focus, I no longer wake up thinking about alcohol because this new way of living sober has become my lifestyle.

I feel I am freed from alcohol addiction, I enjoy being sober and love learning about recovery from alcoholism.

Lets take a look at the post I wrote over a year ago;

ORIGINAL POST ~ THE FIRST 90 DAYS OF SOBRIETY

“I am approaching 90 days in sobriety and so far, it has been a journey. When I first decided to quit drinking my mind was full of doubts, insecurities, fear of failure and wonder about whether I would be able to cope and live a normal life without alcohol. It had become very clear to me that I could not go on living the way that I had, the effect of alcohol in my life was becoming unbearable. I was miserable, depressed and had very little enthusiasm for anything, but here I am, nearly 90 days sober, writing this feels so normal it shocks me, I can’t believe it has taken me so long to realize the effect alcohol had to my mind and life.

When I thought about writing this post, I imagined it might be difficult to come up with more than 20 lessons learned in the first 90 days of sobriety, but as I wrote, more and more lessons learned sprung to mind, it’s incredible the amount of positive change sobriety has bought to me. Writing this post from the perspective of being 90 days sober shocks me yet feels like the most natural thing in the world, I am so thankful for my sobriety.

The past 90 days sober haven’t changed my life entirely but there are noticeable differences in my character, these changes are certainly for the better, for the first time in a long time I feel like I am on the right path in life, it’s getting better daily.

At times I feel like having a drink and I get upset if I dwell on never drinking alcohol again, sometimes I feel envious of other people’s ability to handle alcohol, I get frustrated because I want to be like them, these thoughts come and go. Overall I couldn’t be happier, my life has changed for the better and I know the future will continue to improve as long as I stay sober from alcohol and continue to work at my new lifestyle.”

LESSONS LEARNED IN THE FIRST 90 DAYS OF SOBRIETY

Here are some things that come to mind about the first 90 days of sobriety experience…..

1.   Life is not unbearable without alcohol

2.   It is possible to have fun without alcohol

3.   Learning how to live sober is difficult but the overall journey is amazing when you pause and think about it

4.   Your true friends will remain your friends when you stop drinking though your relationship may change

5.   Your authentic self will begin to emerge slowly and surely adding a different dimension to your character and personality

6.   You start to remember who you were a long time ago before the alcohol gave you another identity

7.   You begin to truly experience your emotions again

8.   Your imagination becomes child-like again

9.   You will need to acknowledge, own, and accept your behavior when you were drinking, this will help you move forward toward a new and different life

10.   There will be tears, regret, hurt, fear, shame, and embarrassment

11.   You will feel good about yourself at times

12.   You will meet new people

13.   You will learn new things and your lifestyle will change

14.   As you continue to be sober and work on your yourself, you will stop dreading the future, it will become something you look forward to

15.   The cravings for alcohol will lessen and when they do surface, the feeling is less intense

16.   If  you put what you would usually spend on alcohol into a jar or the bank you will get rich quick

17.   Time becomes precious

18.   People become important

19.   You will transition from a self-centered state of mind and become sensitive to the needs of others

20.   Suddenly, your life might seem very normal now that you don’t drink alcohol,  your mind may begin to trick you into thinking that you never really had a problem, don’t be fooled, you did have a drinking problem,  don’t fool yourself into drinking again

21.   You must constantly re-evaluate your progress

22.   Goals are the pathway to a new life

23.   Books are a great way to escape a bored or frantic state of mind

24.   Exercise is essential to your emotional wellness

25.   You will miss the relationship you had with alcohol

26.   The future holds endless possibilities

27.   There is no turning back now, to have one drink would leave you feeling like the past 90 days were a waste of effort

28.   You spend a lot of time reflecting

29.   You stop counting each day of sobriety and start counting in weeks

30.   It is ok to say ‘No’ when invited to parties and events

31.   You become independent, you don’t rely on others

32.   Your family and close friends can focus on their lives instead of your drama

33.   Social events will be more fun than you anticipate

34.   Writing is an effective way of expressing your true feelings

35.   You plan for the future instead of living day to day

36.   Quotes and affirmations are inspiring, uplifting, enlightening, and mood changing, use them

37.   No more hangovers

38.   You will conveniently forget the misery alcohol caused you while you scheme and plot to drink again, beware of these attacks on your mind

39.   The odds of staying sober are against you, even in AA the chances of staying sober without relapse are extremely low. Be determined not to be the wrong statistic

40.   You may be in denial about being an alcoholic

41.   Just one drink now and again is not going to work

42.  Adopt  Zero Tolerance towards alcohol

43.   You need to work on having a positive attitude every day, hit the reset button every morning

44.   Staying sober is your main priority but creating a new lifestyle is equally important

45.   Know what triggers you to drink; know the reason why you drink, is it more tempting with a particular friend? Is it due to tiredness? boredom? feeling sad? Awareness will keep you from mindlessly drinking again

46.   Get organized; rearrange cupboards, get rid of junk, clear out what you don’t need. Messy surroundings create chaos in the mind

47.   Take care of yourself; get a hair cut, buy a new outfit, spend time at a spa, or gym, pamper yourself frequently so you feel good about yourself

48. If you are used to doing everything  drunk/merry/pissed, then know the first time you do things sober will be difficult, but once you have done it the next time will be easier

49.   In the first few weeks especially, there will be new challenges each day for you to deal with without using alcohol, by thinking through the possibilities of what may go wrong in advance, you will be prepared to react rationally instead of grabbing a drink, it could be people, places, situations or the thoughts in your mind that you need to aware of

50.   Have a good excuse planned for leaving an event

51.   Research different programs for help staying sober; AA, holistic, treatment centers, immerse yourself in recovery and find what works for you

52.   Have a gratitude list, read it often

53.   You may need medical help and therapy to stay sober

54.   Remind yourself constantly that you may not feel as great as you want to every day but each day you stay sober you are making progress toward the life you want to live

55.   Praying helps

56.   You may cry a lot

57.   You might wonder if you will ever experience laughter/fun/excitement/happiness, again, you will

58.   You know people who are alcoholics but maybe never realized it until you got sober

59.   Keeping a journal is a great way to record your progress, It could be the basis for a book someday

60.   Some days you may feel awful, you used to drink it reminds you of why you used to drink. You will overcome these days and feel stronger for doing so without using alcohol.

61.   You can really start to see that by eliminating alcohol, so do you get rid of many of your other problems.

62.   It is possible to quit drinking without going to AA.  – Many years ago when I attempted to give up drinking, I went to AA because I didn’t know where else to turn. I realized back then that if I wanted to stop drinking for good I was going to have to find another way because AA just was not for me. What is for me is determination, a vision of a better life, the use of a journal, life list and a support system within the friends and family that I have.

63.   The ability to think clearly and argue less.

64.   That living life in a drunken haze is to not live in reality. Most people drink to escape reality and they often do, but they also create a new reality that is far more harmful to themselves than if they were to face up to real life. Drinking creates far more problems in ones life than living sober.

65.   There is far less drama in a sober life.

66.   You learn to regain self respect and confidence.

67.   No amount of drinking will change the way you feel about yourself, nor will it make you happier, nor will it make you more fun, good looking. The negative effects of alcohol will always out win the good for an alcoholic.

68.   I am more interested in how the mind works and the reasons why people use alcohol and become alcoholics.

69.   You can spot an alcoholic very easily

70.   You will never know how much better your life could be if you don’t take the first step and commit to sobriety

71.   There is a process in sobriety, without a doubt getting through the first day, week, and month is the hardest, then the process changes to dealing with all the memories, and reliving everything.

72.   That it is better to give up alcohol on your own accord than being ordered to by a doctor.

73.   You only have one life and you owe it to yourself to give yourself a chance to be truly happy.

74.   Sobriety may be unattainable unless you make some big changes in your life. If you are able to make minimal changes to your current lifestyle then that is great. But the chances are that if you are reading this then you need to make some important lifestyle changes otherwise quitting drinking will be unsuccessful.

75.   Reasons for drinking can depend a lot on your age and lifestyle, when you are younger you tend to drink more because of the social aspect, this is also another reason why it is so hard to quit because you may not be able to give up alcohol as comfortably as if you are married, settled etc.

76.   Socialization is one of the many reasons that people drink.

77.   Life is a journey

78.   It is important to have a support system around you, close friends, family or a group where you can openly discuss how you feel and what you are experiencing in sobriety.

79.   Bad days can really sap your energy but you can get past them without drinking.

80.   There will be days when you feel so good it is almost unbelievable. On these days, grab a pen and write down how good you feel as well as a list of everything that you are proud of yourself about. Tuck it away and get it out on next day that you don’t feel so good and could do with some tender loving care.

81.   It is a good idea to spend a little bit of time researching anything that you enjoy doing, just to see if you could take it further. If you like writing; experiment by setting a goal to write every day for a week or exercise, train for a mini marathon, or art, sign up for a class.

82.   In 90 days I have learned more about myself than in the last 10 years.

83.   I don’t feel like I am missing out on alcohol anymore, I feel lucky to be this aware of how badly it was affecting me.

84.   That usually, there are underlying problems associated with alcoholism, I don’t think you become an alcoholic just because you like the taste and love how it makes you feel.

85.   That you shouldn’t really need to alter your everyday mood.

86.   That if you have children, you owe it to them to stop drinking.

87.   Alcohol ruins lives

88.   I still fear many things but instead of covering them over by drinking, I am learning to deal with them and face them and thus move forward.

89. You learn something new about yourself every sober day

90. You have more free time than you know what to do with


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97 thoughts on “First 90 Days of Sobriety Revisited..

  1. hi this is helpful to me im 23 and about to come up on 90 days i almost drank today. but i prayed in a parking lot instead much love. loreal

  2. I can’t tell you how many times I have been on the verge of having a drink or feeling absolutely hopeless and I have just dropped to my knees in prayer. Works every time! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Congrats on Day 4 Jesse. The early days are extremely hard but also so rewarding. Thanks for your comment!

    Madison

  4. Wow Madison,

    I love this list! I am so happy I found this blog! it is amazing how far you have come and you are an inspiration.

    Thank-you so much for sharing,

    Jen

  5. You are very welcome Jen.

    Feel free to share here yourself as often as you would like.

    In the past, I used to have people guest write about their own experience with sobriety. If you would like to write something, just let me know and I will post it for all of Recovery Princess readers.

    Congratulations on your sobriety.

    Thanks!
    Madison

  6. Thanks Madison,

    I may take you up on that.

    I do enjoy visiting your site. I can’t believe how common my symptoms and feelings are. I mean, I was crying when I read that list the first time (I have read it more then once). Then I hit #56 and I cried more, probably because someone understood and had been through this. Not sure if they were happy tears or what they were. I guess I am just not used to feeling my emotions so much?

    Either way, I feel great and it is time for me. It is challenging, but the rewards make it all worth it. Everyday I wake up with so much energy. My family worries about me less. I haven’t come out a said anything about my sobriety, but they notice. I am also finding alcoholics very easy to spot now and can see the old me in them. Stepping back and looking in makes it very transparent.

    I am making new sober friends so easily. I just attract them now and am creating genuine friendships that are not based on substance use; they are based on common interests, ideas we enjoying discussing and real creativity.

    Like you, I don’t believe in God in the biblical sense, but I do believe in the Universe. I told the Universe I wanted to stop, and it is supporting me. It is giving me the tools, people and support I need to be able to move on and live a decent, rewarding and healthy life.

    Checking into your site just affirms I am doing the right thing and that I have so much to look forward to. Thank-you so much for sharing and creating a positive forum for people getting sober. A forum where people can interact, and it is so helpful for me, to be able to post my thoughts and experiences somewhere where people can understand. Just get these ideas out of my head and put down.

    Jen

  7. My sobriety date was May 5– the same as a childhood friend of mine. He has been sober 15 years. I was in denial that I had a problem, felt that I was nowhere near as bad off as the people in AA, and that I really did not need to be there.
    Soon, I will have 90 sobriety. If I have to go to AA meetings for the rest of my life to stay that way,fine. I don’t have to walk into my kitchen each morning and see a grocery bag full of empty wine bottles. This is to say nothing of the money I have saved.
    Alcohol does not make ANYTHING better– only worse. I am 54 , and I would not go back to the way I was living and feeling for anything.

  8. I love the way we have people of all ages and all kinds of experiences commenting on recovery princess. Congratulations on your sobriety! don’t forget how good it feels to not wake up with a hangover! Thanks for your comment.

  9. I have just read this blog and found it inspirational so thankyou. I am at the end of day 5 and am already feeling infinitely better and positive in my outlook – albeit obviously apprehensive about living the rest of my life without booze – determined to make it though so wish me luck !

  10. Isn’t it great? 88! Really! No lie! Coming up on a 90 day chip. I feel so much better. I love your post, Madison, and read it often. —- Vamping on your inspiration, allow me chime in with “88 things I haven’t done in the last 88 days (since I quit drinking)”

    1 – I haven’t thrown up in 88 days
    2 – I haven’t had a headache in 88 days
    3 – I haven’t staggered
    4 – I haven’t been dizzy
    5 – I haven’t missed a day of work
    6 – I haven’t driven drunk in 88 days
    7 – I haven’t tried to disguise my breath from someone
    8 – I haven’t dodged the boss
    9 – I haven’t said anything hurtful to anyone
    10 – I haven’t been depressed
    11 – I haven’t passed out
    12 – I haven’t missed a good night’s sleep
    13 – I haven’t avoided eye contact with anyone in 88 days
    14 – I haven’t said anything inappropriate
    15 – I haven’t drunk dialed anyone
    16 – I haven’t given anyone any reason to worry about me
    17 – I haven’t made any of my problems worse in 88 days
    18 – I haven’t had any policeman in my house
    19 – I haven’t been assaulted by anyone
    20 – I haven’t been a net drain on society
    21 – I haven’t made someone I love feel like I didn’t
    22 – I haven’t pushed anyone out of my life
    23 – I haven’t hated myself in 88 days
    24 – I haven’t done anything self-destructive
    25 – I haven’t done anything really stupid
    26 – I haven’t missed an AA meeting in 88 days
    27 – I haven’t dreaded tomorrow in 88 days
    28 – I haven’t had to take a nap at work to try to sober up
    29 – I haven’t been waiting for something bad to happen
    30 – I haven’t been mad at anyone
    31 – I haven’t been sad for no reason
    32 – I haven’t had road rage
    33 – I haven’t swallowed poison in 88 days
    34 – I haven’t been insane in 88 days
    35 – I haven’t had a blackout
    36 – I haven’t been horribly drunk
    37 – I haven’t suffered a hangover
    38 – I haven’t worried about my liver in 88 days
    39 – I haven’t said anything I wish I could take back
    40 – I haven’t had vodka for breakfast
    41 – I haven’t had trouble focusing
    42 – I haven’t put any obstacles in my own path
    43 – I haven’t let anyone down in 88 days
    44 – I haven’t bumped into anything
    45 – I haven’t dropped anything
    46 – I haven’t hit anything with my car
    47 – I haven’t worried about seeing a police car
    48 – I haven’t done anything I really knew I shouldn’t in 88 days
    49 – I haven’t felt overwhelmed by life
    50 – I haven’t lost control of my emotions
    51 – I haven’t felt hopeless
    52 – I haven’t felt like a total loser in 88 days
    53 – I haven’t forgotten that I’m an alcoholic
    54 – I haven’t felt the urge to give anyone the finger in 88 days
    55 – I haven’t regretted toughing out the urge to drink
    56 – I haven’t wondered if I did anything wrong last night
    57 – I haven’t worried about getting fired
    58 – I haven’t raised my voice about anything in 88 days
    59 – I haven’t carried around that awful secret about myself
    60 – I haven’t worried if i was weaving
    61 – I haven’t argued with myself
    62 – I haven’t blamed myself for everything
    63 – I haven’t lied to myself
    68 – I haven’t woken up in a panic
    69 – I haven’t driven to work drenched in sweat
    70 – I haven’t groaned in pain first thing in the morning in 88 days
    71 – I haven’t worried if I was slurring my speech
    72 – I haven’t woken up tired
    73 – I haven’t been rude to anyone
    74 – I haven’t been a burden on anyone
    75 – I haven’t broken any promises
    76 – I haven’t felt ashamed of my behavior
    77 – I haven’t wondered how I was going to make it through the day
    78 – I haven’t felt handicapped
    79 – I haven’t had a stomachache
    80 – I haven’t done the next wrong thing in 88 days
    81 – I haven’t forgotten how fortunate I really am
    82 – I haven’t hidden from reality in 88 days
    83 – I haven’t been terrified of the future
    84 – I haven’t felt excluded from society
    85 – I haven’t felt suicidal in 88 days
    86 – I haven’t worshiped a false idol
    87 – I haven’t felt so far away from God
    88 – and I haven’t forgotten to thank Him in 88 days

  11. That is an amazing list.
    Congratulations on nearly 90 days of sobriety. Keep these lists tucked close by. When you hit a low point, this list will bring you right back up or at the very least be an awesome reminder of just how far you have come in a short space of time. Not to mention how capable you are of changing your life for the better.
    I know that in my own sobriety, just reflecting on how awful I felt whilst drinking is enough to make me never want to experience that again.
    Well done and thanks for sharing!

  12. It amazes me to see how strong people can be after falling. I’m at day 2 and it hurts everywhere, Detox Medication helps, but still hurts. First time stopping after 15 years of straight drinking. I’m done with the bottle 🙂 88 more sobriety day to go to feel like you.

  13. I stopped drugs and alc august 18 so I’m almost at a month.. This blog is the best because I’m only 20 and still in college. I’ve been doing drugs and alc since I was 14, so I’m trying to figure out who I am. I question if this is the right thing to be doing at times but not having a hangover 3 times a week is almost enough to reassure me lol. It’s a Thursday night now and its hard not I want to go get bombed like I always used to but I want to stop hidin behind the alcohol! I’m ranting now because I feel vulnerable lol. Thank you all for your posts!

  14. Olivia,

    I can speak to you from my own experience. The first thing I want to say to you is that you should be proud of yourself for acknowledging that you have a problem and are in need of some help. Secondly, I think you should get proffessional help, a therpist, counsellor or even a sponsor. It is hard to do this alone but you are so young that if you could get past the initial awful time of early sobriety you would then have your whole life stretched out for you to live your dreams.

    I was a teen drinker etc and that continued on into my early 30’s. Boy do I wish I would have been as smart as you are at 20. If you know you have a problem now, seek help and do everything you can to overcome this and move forward with your life. I try not to regret my past but I can’t help but wonder what I would be like now as a person had I not spent so much time numbing myself. Instead, I am playing catch up all the time, absorbing as much as I can about the world around me, working on myself and my issues and basically trying to live a good clean happy life. I have to say that it is working but it is also hard work. Get some help. Read all of my posts and read spiritual river.com Good luck! Also, rant as much as you like, get it all out, journal, write, comment, join forums, read, educate yourself, exercise, make a vision board, find mentors, role models, good luck!!!!!

  15. I am on day 7, i have never done this before, well since I was 12 and i am 36. I have never made it more than one or 2 days due to the withdrawal symptoms i have. Extreme anxiety, swets,and just utter miserableness. I took vacation this week to detox myself and ive made it 7 days, i feel great , thinking very clearly, i feel relaxed and optimistic.
    M

  16. I went out on my first day and bought all kinds of snacks and food, I made a monster bowl of chilli, bought everything i might need for the week. I made sure that i would not need to leave home. my first three days where hell. I watched netflix played video games slept and cleaned like crzy,had to get past the axiety days. Since than every day has gotten better,, cant wait to know what 90 days feels like. I do go back to work on tuesday, I am nervous about work, I like most of us have a stressful job,afraid i will have a bad day and stop for boos after work.I have formated my free time with things to do, work out, clean , read etc. Routine seams to releive stress. If I make it through week one , i feel I will be in the clear. Wish me luck, please help with any suggestions.

  17. Hi Jeff,
    It sounds to me like you are on the right path. I wish you all the best in your journey. Just hang in through the tough times and try to keep the routine. That is what I did. I remember getting up super early each day and literally planning what I was going to do with that day in 15 minute increments.

    When there were difficult moments, I went with it. Cried when I had too. Screamed if I had too. I took hundreds of walks through a quiet local park to either walk off the rage I felt or to cry tears of sadness. I can also tell you that I hit the deck of my bathroom floor more than a few times in prayer and desperation. At that time I wasn’t even religious just downright desperate to get over the awful feelings that would wash over me.

    I also saw a therapist pretty early on and I recommend it highly. They do not have to be expensive, insurance will cover a hefty part of it. Also, I hear that if you Google’ therapists in training’ you can find local therapists who are studying and can offer their services for less. I don’t know what your financial situation is but I am just saying that whatever the financial situation is, there is help available.

    Routine, water, exercise, good books, great movies, kleenex for tears, someone to talk too, writing down whatever is going on inside the mind, recovery forums (try Spiritual River.com which has recently launched a fantastic one), education, inspiration, walking, running, therapist, cooking new a great meals, looking into new hobbies, goals, decorating, all of these things have been immensly helpful to me. More recently, Church, Bible study group, education, prayer, a renewed interest in history, the world.

    Good luck Jeff!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hang in there!!!!!!! Keep trying. Sobriety Books and success stories are great too. Like ‘Chicken soup for the alcoholics soul’ or Broken by William Moyer or take a look at my posts about Sobriety Books at the top of the page in the links section. ‘Cooked in LA’ by Paul Cook is hilarious but also very serious.

  18. WOW, Thanks for the quick reply and advice. Cant wait to be at that 90 day mark. Along with the struggle of not drinking, for some reason im all of a sudden aware of all the stupid and horrible things that ive done in drunk like, I gues thats part of the process. Just curiuos to hear from others on this questions. At what point does it not seam like such a struggle, 3 months , 6 months, etc… THANKS AGAIN, Have a good week. oh ya DAY 8 WOOT WOOT

  19. You go girl!
    Keep busy, have a plan for the day, read, exercise, drink water, see a dr, reinvent yourself!
    Good luck!

  20. Your post is amazing! Today is 90 days for me and although it’s something I never thought I could do, I feel so powerful in knowing that I’ve come this far. My drinking had really gotten to a gross point after the death of my partner 2 years ago. I drank A LOT. Then on August 23, depressed and down down down on myself, I said “that’s it”. I knew I had to quit if I really wanted to move forward. The thought of quitting forever, however, just felt too big. So I made a deal that I’d set a goal of New Years Day. And with how great…GREAT…I feel, I think that come Jan. 1, I’m going to extend it to April 1st. It’s a stupid mind trick but it just takes the edge off the whole “forever” thing. I also knew that AA was not for me and I’m doing this with the support of friends and that brilliant voice in my head that says “You’re never going back there”.

    And I love Michael’s list of 88 things he hasn’t done in the last 90 days. I was just thinking about not having alcohol sweats anymore…such a big thing! Anyway, thanks again. I’m going to keep this close at hand.

  21. Today I am feeling tired and irritable today is day 16! My chest feels tight, I feel angry at the thought of never drinking again.

  22. Hi there, 4 weeks today for me 🙂 Louise, you are doing really well and it does get better. On day 17 you will feel really pleased that you didn’t give in on day 16; or at least that’s what happens for me.

    I’m looking forward to the first day that I don’t even think about drinking – I think that may be a way off though. Still, I guess I’m 28 days closer to it than I was.

    Thanks for the lists: they are amazing and help so much xx

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  24. Hi Madison that’s a very good list of advice and tips.On day 1 of sobriety after 20 years binge drinking.Took lots of drugs too in the past-both legal highs and weed-dabbled with ecstasy and coke a few times.Stopped weed few weeks ago but have been drinking more and more everyday after work-continuing drinking after my partner has gone to bed.Tried AA 5 years ago for about 6 months but started again after foolishly believing I could control my drinking-especially coming from Ireland where binge drinking is rampant.Behaviour out of control when too drunk on a bender and drinking just makes me feel like shit now where in the past it was all parties and good times I thought-only I never knew when to stop-usually when I passed out.Have already been in court for drink driving and nearly died in an car accident-thankfully no one else involved.Decided I need to get my head and life back in order.Dropped out of college 3 times due to drink and drug use and have just had a chaotic journey of shit low paid jobs-but always worked hard just to fund my habits.Am determined to change now and quit for good-I can never do the moderate drinking game or just a glass of wine for dinner-the mad benders will soon follow.hopefully with some support I will finally regain the life I’m meant to live and be a better person to my loved ones.Thanks your blog is great help:)

  25. Hi Peter,

    Hope you are doing ok. Thanks for sharing. I remember benders alright! There were many fun times but eventually it becomes just what you wrote. It isn’t fun anymore. I suppose we all have to grow up and take control of our lives, hard but essential and possible. It takes work and support. I was clearing out a closet yesterday and I came across a tower of books that I read during the very first stages of sobriety, I realized that those books played such an enormous part in my ability to stay sober, I don’t think I would have been able to change my life without the knowledge I experienced from all that reading. My point here is that sobriety is a bloody hard slog at the beginning but it is possible. I did it my way and that worked for me. You need to find what works for you. I know that simply not drinking is not enough, new healthy habits must be made and supportive people are a must. Don’t be afraid to get a therapist, they should be mandatory! It seems like men may have more trouble opening up and talking about it but I really wish they wouldn’t, we are all human and full of emotions, talking can really help. Good luck Peter.

  26. Hi Madison,

    I made a pact 4 days ago that I would not engage in alcohol consumption for the next 90 days. I am unsure as to why I chose this arbitrary number. But, upon further online research, it seems to be a number most addicts think of as the “magic number” that will insure success at sobriety. I am a highly functioning alcoholic who has learned to use intellect and charm to maintain my professional job. Only problem is that I have to change jobs and locations frequently because of anger issues, personality conflicts, and inappropriate things I write or say when drunk. I could have gotten so much further in life from a career perspective if I never touched alcohol in my life. I curse the day I started. I have also lost “true” friends, alienated family members, and have done unspeakable things when intoxicated. I completely understand why the USA government banned alcohol at one point in our history. Your website and blog is inspirational. I no longer wish to be a portal for demons to enter my mind. It is dangerous and I am lucky to even still be alive. Day # 4 is almost over.

    Best Regards

    Tony

  27. Hi Tony,
    Good for you. Sobriety is not easy but if you put the hard work in, it is totally possible. My life is radically different from over 5 years ago when I was drinking. I don’t regret a minute of my sobriety, in fact there is so much to catch up on, so much good clean living to be done I rarely think about drinking alcohol anymore.

    I am reading a book that you have probably heard of “The Road Less Traveled” by M.Scott Peck, it’s quite old but the content is timeless. I logged in to Recovery Princess to share a section written about depression which I found interesting and useful and saw your post.

    You talk of losing friends and of doing unspeakable things, the hardest part of sobriety may be facing those things. Sobriety is tough to do alone, you should invest time and money and find a therapist to work with you and of course there is AA and support forums. A good forum is on SpiritualRiver.com.

    I wish you well Tony. Feel free to share here as often as you need.

    Madison

  28. Hi Madison,

    Thank you for your reply and words of encouragement. I appreciate your sincere advice and must commend you again regarding this great website. I decided to take you up on your offer, thus am posting my progress.

    I am now on Day #16 and feel good (not great). It is amazing the mixed emotions and rollercoaster ride the biochemistry of your brain puts one through. However, just like any negative feelings that occur in life, I tell myself that “this too shall pass.” At this point, I have no cravings, however do miss the social aspects of alcohol.

    I was a regular at many high-end restaurants and bars and enjoyed the conversations and networking that I would do at these establishments. At this stage of my plan, I am shunning all situations or scenarios that could possibly be a trigger for relapse. This includes turning down invitations to parties and events that may have alcohol there. This is a temporary measure, but necessary in order for me to attain my goal.

    AA is not for me as I could not connect or relate with the members that attend. I did not like the “forced” religious aspect. The philosophy that we are “powerless” and need to turn to a “higher power” did not appeal to me. I am a spiritual person, but the veiled Christian motif was not for me. I take full responsibility for my actions and decisions in life whether they be good or bad. As a mature adult, I also understand the ramifications of bad decisions.

    My profession is an unforgiving one and it is very dangerous to demonstrate any weakness in one’s character or need for help. Thus, my battle needs to remain private as even counselors are judgmental and “talk.” Trust me, I know this for a fact as I hear some of the things they say in social settings. I do have the support of my family which is enough at this point.

    I have substituted my addiction with exercise and cooking. The great thing is that I already lost 7 lbs in just 2 weeks with my regimen and avoidance of alcohol. I have also become a voracious reader and internet surfer. It is a way to pass my time in the evening hours when I miss the enjoyment of alcohol the most.

    Thank you again for listening.

    Best Regards

    Tony

  29. Hi!
    Sounds like you are off to a great start! I hope as of today ( Jan 27th) you are doing even better than your last post.

    I understand the need for anonymity, I think it’s important more so in the early days of sobriety, one wrong comment can be enough to shake your world, as you continue through sobriety this becomes far easier. It really does get better with time if you persevere.

    Check in with us soon!

    Madison

  30. 1. Hi Madison:
    Day # 33 today and feel good (not great yet). I did have 3 tests over the past few days. Someone at work on a Friday evening tried to invite me to a bar for a beer during happy hour. She is an attractive woman, and I thought to myself, “wow, how cruel!” I did not want to tell her about my 90 day pledge so I respectfully declined while biting my lip. Due to travel, I had to eat out twice and both times sat at the bar. I ordered only a water with lemon and a diet coke both times. There were people around me sipping on their wine and beer smiling away. I stayed strong.
    I think the worst thing in the past week has been my alienation from my best friend. He also was my “party buddy” as we imbibed much alcohol together. He owns a restaurant and we had many days and nights where we would start drinking wine at his restaurant in the afternoon and 7 bottles later at 4 am just crash on some bench booths. We also engaged in some smoking too. I have not visited him or his restaurant for the past 32 days and I think he has taken offense to it.
    I did tell him about my 90 day pledge over the phone and he sheepishly was supportive. He told me he as gone to “costa rica for 2 weeks with his cousin,” which I think is a lie to make me jealous. He has been ignoring my texts now as “payback” for ignoring him. Grown men can be so childish sometimes. However, he is a true friend and I know he will understand in the future when I see him again. But, all triggers and bad influences need to be avoided. This is my decision.
    I have a 14 month old son and I have been spending a lot more time with him over the past month. He wakes up early, so I also wake up and change his diaper, put on new clothes, and take him downstairs with me. Then I sit him next to him, make him eggs and milk and eat breakfast with him. We converse in “baby language.” He is so happy to have his dada next to him in the morning. I have learned to gain such joy hanging with him and watching his development – sober without a headache or hangover. He has also been a motivational factor as I can see the happy energy that emanates from him whenever I am home. I have also become an expert in nursery rhymes and counting songs.
    All for now.
    Best Regards
    Tony

  31. Although, I had a very strong craving yesterday (Day #33). Major stressors hit me and certain things a loved one said hurt me. A trigger point was hit and I almost gave in. Instead, I took my stresses and anger with me to the treadmill. I ran and ran and ran until I was too tired to feel the pain in my heart. Then, I became indifferent. Then, I wrote and wrote and wrote in my journal. It was the longest journal entry during this journey. I went to bed early around 9:00pm and awoke this morning fine. Yesterday was the worst battle that I won. However, the war is still raging on…

  32. That’s amazing! I love the breakthrough moments like the one you just had. You faced such a trying time and came through it SOBER. I experienced these moments too I held on to the feeling of triumph tightly, these are the moments that you can hold on to and remind yourself of time and time again, these moments prove that you really do have it in you to deal with difficult situations differently than before. The more of these moments you build up, the better!
    Thank you for sharing!

  33. Lovely precious time with your son!

    I am so grateful everyday for my sobriety especially because I have children. I know without a doubt that my sobriety impacts their life more greatly than they could ever know. Without my sobriety, their lives wouldn’t be the carefree lives of today, my problems would be their burden. I’m thankful I can present for all that they experience. The young years go by quickly and at the time it can feel like they last forever, but damage done in the young life plays out in the teenage years big time. I can not imagine going through those years without sobriety!

    Good for you!

  34. Hi Madison,

    Thank you as always for your follow up posts and words of encouragement. It is extremely helpful to me during this fragile time of my life. Today is day # 46 of sobriety. Some days I feel hypomanic and on top of the world. Other days I feel depressed and cry to myself. If I were to average out how I feel, then I have to admit that on the whole I feel happier and more positive being sober. Definitely enjoy having more control over my life and emotions in this state.

    The phase of dealing with reality and past demons from intoxication is rushing into my life now. I am dealing with everything maturely and not cowering away from repercussions of my past. I accept the past, but will not repeat it. I can not repeat it.

    Remember the friend I told you about who owns a restaurant? Well, I did go meet him for dinner this past Sunday. He was drinking and smoking. I did not indulge in any alcohol and he did not question it. However, I sense I have grown very far apart from him. I am unable to have a conversation with a stoned and drunk man. It was pointless and futile hanging out with him. I did not enjoy it and in fact didn’t even finish my steak that I had ordered.

    I did try to give him friendly advice about stopping alcohol. He looked very weak and appeared to have muscle wasting. He did not look healthy at all. I pity him and want to help. However, I realize that the only person who can help is the one who makes the decision to put the bottle to his mouth. I have my own family and battle to fight.

    I have been on a strict 1800 calorie restricted diet and excercising vigorously for the past 46 days. I have now lost 22 pounds. I also have become stronger as I supplement my workouts with weighlifting. When I started working out, I could only do 4 push ups. Now, I can do 20 pushups. Also in the beginning I could only run no more than 4-5 minutes without getting short of breath or having pain in my legs. Now, I can run 30 minutes straight nonstop. The physical benefits of quitting alcohol are already taking full effect.

    Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to express my thoughts during this difficult period. I did get craving for alcohol today as I was in a great mood after a good event, and wanted to reward myself. I am glad I came home to my family and played with my baby instead.

    Best Regards

    Tony

  35. Wow! Weight loss and fitness is amazing to hear about! I ran my first 5k at about this time in my sobriety, may be worth you signing up for one? It does wonders for your confidence plus you will be surrounded by others who are also working on accomplishing their goals. It is great experience. There are usually tons going on everywhere!

    It’s interesting to hear you talk about meeting with your friend who was drinking and smoking, you are already experiencing the “First times”, I call the “First times” all of the experiences you will begin to have for the first time whilst being sober. I had reached a point where there were not too many activities that I was taking place in that didn’t first involve having a drink. I really didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything unless a drink could be closely timed around it. I had so many “First time” hurdles to get through but with each one, I grew stronger and my resolve to stay sober grew too. I quickly knew that spending time with people who mainly spent time drinking and smoking was just no longer fun for me. Some people can drink socially and responsibly and I don’t mind being around them, I can’t stand it when I know someone is using alcohol as a crutch, maybe it’s because it reminds me of myself, I definitely don’t want to be around it.

    I think like attracts like, as you grow in sobriety and strength you will probably seek out people whose qualities you admire rather than feel sorry for.

    Therapy can be essential for helping with demons, sometimes the perspective of a professional can be detrimental in getting you through tough things to deal with. You may have to meet with one or two before you find a good one, but when you do, the results can be profound.

    Maybe you can share your 1800 cal diet here!

    Take care!

  36. DAY # 50

    I can not believe I made it this far without even touching a drop of alcohol. It has been years since I have remained this dry. Initially, my idea was to detoxify myself for 90 days then allow 2 days of wine and then to do 45 day cycles where I do not drink, but then reward myself with one wine dinner. I may still hold onto this idea as this way I would become a social drinker every 45 days. I am sure you will caution against this idea.

    With respect to my 1800 calorie diet, it is more along the lines of portion control and rough estimate of caloric intake. I am not being obsessive compulsive about it, however am cognizant of what I am putting in my mouth. For example, for breakfast: I eat 2 boiled eggs, half of an English muffin, glass of 1% milk, and coffee with fat-free hazelnut creamer. Eggs are 76 calories each, 1/2 an English muffin 70 calories, 1% milk 90 calories, and coffee maybe 20-40 calories. This would constitute 352 calorie breakfast. Then I will have a 90 calorie fiber bar around 10 am. Lunch would be half of a sandwich. Dinner would be whatever my wife cooks, but I would only eat 3/4 of it. I do have a sweettooth so will have a small piece of chocolate or apple pie around 8 or 9 pm. The basic idea is not to deprive yourself. However, I have cut down on carbs but not eliminated them. Also increased lean proteins. I calculate my calories per day run between 1200-2000 (on cheat days). However average about 1500-1800. To lose weight, 70% is diet and 30% is exercise. These are hard fast rules that I have followed religiously:

    1. No fast food – This is tough because I loved Wendy’s and Burger king lol

    2. Avoid processed foods. Therefore anything out of a box or has an ingredient list longer than my list of why I need to quit drinking is a no no.

    3. No juices or soda. Most juices have fructose corn syrup or some derivative of refined sugar. I do cheat with the soda with diet coke. But even diet coke is bad for you because of the phosphoric acid and insulin response induced by the sweeteners.

    4. Limit red meat. I am a carnivore, so cannot eliminate it. However have been substituting more with turkey, chicken, and fish (tuna/salmon). And any meat portion should not be bigger than the palm of my hand.

    5. No fried foods. This one I have been following strictly.

    6. Increased vegetable intake. Especially leafy greens and broccoli

    7. Increased water intake

    8. Allow myself pizza, but in controlled portions

    These steps do really work, but I think the alcohol elimination has really decreased the empty calories I was taking in. Moreover, I am sure my liver metabolism is improved which allows for better digestion.

    Running a 5k is a great idea. I am researching online which one to do in the spring/summer time. It is too cold to run here right now.

    Ok, until next time 🙂

  37. Thanks for the diet insight, great plan you have. Alcohol is huge calories so I’m not surprised that you are seeing significant weight loss. I craved sugar big time when I quit drinking, I didn’t even relate the two at first, I thought I was just trying to replace the alcohol habit with food but actually, my body was craving the sugar I wasn’t getting from alcohol!

    I will warn against social drinking, it can work for some but I think that’s mainly for those who have never had any kind of issue with it. For me at least, I just know that one drink would never be enough to satiate me, that was part of my drinking issue, I would come alive with a few drinks and everyone else would start winding down and I would be raring to go. Needless to say that I drank alone a lot. I know that one drink in moderation wouldn’t work for me but everyone is different.

    Congrats on day#50!

  38. I lasted only 51 days. I went out with my wife last night and had wine. I enjoyed it and had a fun dinner. I know abstinence is still the more prudent choice however I just can not commit to lifelong deprivation. I am weak

  39. 51 days is huge! At least if you decide to stop drinking in the future you will know that you have what it takes.
    Glad you had a good time with your wife.
    Thanks for all of your sharing and please continue too if you ever feel like it, Sober or not. Insight from both sides is always welcome.

  40. In the short-time that I started to drink alcohol again, a bunch of negative things happened. Just like you stated in of your posts, I too cannot just have a few drinks. I continue to drink until I achieve full intoxication of the mind. When in this state, I lose all rational thought. I also become too emotional and go to places I should not go within my psyche. A few things that have happened are as follows:

    1. Being in the state of intoxication, I was brought back to painful memories from 13 years ago. A cousin who destroyed my soul and ego with hurtful words at that time plays a large part in my psychological instability. I had recently reconnected with him, but after a night of drinking – I ‘drunk emailed’ him hurtful things to try to gain “revenge.” Needless to say, that relationship has sunk again.

    2. I drunk texted a specific individual with whom I had a business relationship. It resulted in that person assaulting me outside of my hotel on a trip this week. It was more of him trying to intimidate, bully, and then he physically shoved me. It was all caught on the security cameras. I called the police, however chose to not press charges and was merciful. Reason being because I kind of deserved it, but it does not at all justify the physical violence. We went out for dinner and hugged before I left his city, but I know it was not genuine on his part. He was protecting himself from arrest.

    3. I met up with my “party buddy” and we went on a binge together. Then, I was driving in a separate car following him. We were both driving fast. At 3 am, we both got pulled over by police. The cop who was talking to me showed me mercy. He gave me a speeding ticket and told me to go home (I was less than 1 mile from my house). My friend was not so fortunate I was arrested for DUI. We were also planning to go to his restaurant to smoke. I have not smoked in almost 2 months and that streak has not been broken due to the arrest.

    4. I also fell one night after drinking and sustained injury to my left knee. There is a contusion and laceration, but is now healing. Still painful as I type this, but feels better.

    All of these events are pointing to one thing – I have to be 100% alcohol-free. I can not be just be a “social” drinker. It also speaks of some type of universal force (whatever you wish to call it, God, Allah, Jesus, Buddah, Yahweh). A Creator-type force that is sending me a clear message and warning about alcohol cessation. I am being given another chance by this Force…

  41. Whoaaaa! What a week for you. That is some scary stuff.

    Thanks for sharing Tony.

    Honestly, You have experienced what many do, your life when drinking is just unmanageable. Sometimes we get sober for a long time (51 days for you, I did 6 weeks once) and then we think we have sobriety nailed and we can control our drinking if we want. Then we realize we can’t. Lucky for you, you know in a week that it is not possible. I unfortunately stopped once for 6 weeks then started again for years.

    I had my own awful times when drinking so I used every bad memory to solidify my resolution not to drink. I kind of connected the two, every time I had the urge to drink I just thought back to that sinking pit stomach feeling of my last drunk episode and it really was enough to stop me from taking that first drink.

    Even now, nearly 6 years sober if I think about having a drink (which is rare), I immediately look at what’s at stake and I can feel the hopelessness of a drunken life.

    I can honestly say with all my heart and mind that No-one would have ever believed that I could have stopped drinking, it was wrapped up in my lifestyle and everything that I did. But here I am today, nearly 6 years sober so I know it is possible.

    Outcome thinking helps a lot. I know AA says one day at a time and I like that too, but I mean outcome thinking vs immediate thinking. So, an example would be: in 30 days, if I don’t drink, the Positive outcome from that will be; 1)Stronger in mind, 2)clearer thought processes, 3)no guilt, 4)nothing crazy is going to happen because I won’t be out of control, 5)relationships will either remain the same but certainly not get worse 6)I will be ready to move on to the next phase of growth 7) I will gain confidence to move forward

    There is no magic here, but you have done it before so you know you can do it again.

    I tried to give up smoking a ton of times before it actually lasted for 6 years now. Every time you try and fail at giving something up, you learn a little more about how to do it better next time.

    Don’t beat yourself up but use the way you feel to move yourself forward to where you want to be in life.

    Hang in there.

  42. First, I wanted to commend you on your blog, I’ve been going through a start/stop process with my sobriety and find that I can go a month or 2 and then I pick up for the weekend and then back to sobriety. I’m beginning to tire of this process because it is not serving my health or falling in line for where I need my life to go. I’m happy that I found your blog and thank you for taking the time to share your journey with us. I wanted to know where I can find your archived post as I would like to know your progress from the beginning stages. Please advise and continue your sobriety journey….Week 1 again for me as I had a beer binge (4 on saturday and 6 lite beers on Sunday) I need to drive this home for good this time and need to initiate a Zero Tolerance rule for myself. Input needed please.

  43. Hi!
    I just added a link on the left sidebar that shows all Archive posts, select the first month which is September 2008 I think.
    Get reading and all the best to you!

  44. Hi Madison,
    Once again I try to give up alcohol which has played a massive and often negative impact on my life,family and career/education. I am 10 days sober, and attending AA(not for first time-6 months 6 years ago)my wife is also attending Al Anon for first time. I don’t fully agree with AA programme but at the moment it’s helping me stay sober. I like your blog and believe in self improvement and educating myself. I stuffed up uni 3 times because of drink and other ‘substances’ and have bounced from 1 crap job to another because of it and my self esteem wouldn’t be too high. I hope I can recover this time. Thanks for your blog.
    Pete

  45. Hi Madison,

    Day # 34 and still clean. Back to living a good clean life of exercise, reading, and thinking rationally again. I am going to keep going. This time need to get to 90 days

    Pete, stay strong brother. I feel your plight and am living it too.

    Take/c

    Tony

  46. Hi Everyone,
    Was 2 weeks without a drink at weekend and we had a big dinner party with lots of guests(mostly Irish) and lots of drink available. To be honest I couldn’t bare the thought of not drinking at such an event where my friends would have been like-come on,it’s Christmas in July(we’re in oz!) so I made a conscious choice in conjunction with my wife that I would have a few wine and lite beers with lots if water in between. After 2 weeks sobriety and AA I had time to reflect. I knew drunkeness had destroyed a big chunk of my life and my wife. I was and still am determined not to get drunk again-into the black out states after 12/15+ beers and feeling like shit for 2/3 days later. That night I did stay in control and I didn’t get drunk or black out. I am now going back to staying off drink completely until a major event where I may if strong enough not drink or make a choice beforehand not to get drunk. I know from experience though how easy it is for me to slip into very drunk from being merry! I feel good for not getting drunk and making a fool of myself and falling asleep with my head on the table/standing up sleeping while still holding my beer. 23 years of mad binges has taken too much out of me. I feel better now being sober and with the help of this blog and my own self improvement I can stay sober. Thank you everyone and take care.
    Pete

  47. Hey Pete,
    Thanks for sharing. I wish you the best. Sobriety is not easy, but it’s a step in the right direction. Sounds like you are fairly young, give sobriety your all! Channel your energy into something you love, find what makes you tick and hopefully you can exchange the bad habit of drinking to something worthwhile for you and your wife. My husband and I gave up drinking together, we tried all kinds of things, eating cereal every night trying to fill the void, making strange alcohol free drinks, fitness, it wasn’t easy but eventually we made it through to six years so it can happen. I am living proof. I screwed up so much of my past, I am thankful that I can start to reap rewards of a life well lived for the past six years. My self esteem is slowly but surely recovering too. Yours will also. I am cheering for you!!!!

  48. Hi Madison and Tony
    Thanks for the support-it means a lot. It’s not easy but we can help each other stay sober and start living life again. It’s a big change for me because I started drinking when I was 15 and I’m now 37. I enjoy the social aspect of drinking which is a big part of my culture but I don’t know when to stop or go home. I have been in -court for drink driving and done so many stupid things I’m lucky to be alive! I just know I have to stay sober-not just for me but to save my marriage which is almost hanging by a thread because of my binges. I don’t like the person I become when intoxicated. I want to try and find the real me. Thanks for helping guys,
    Pete

  49. Hi Pete,

    I am close to your age (38) and also married. Drinking was/is destroying my marriage too. And feel free to read what I have written on this blog in the past few months because it will give you insight into how crazy my life can become while intoxicated. The advantage that I have is that my wife doesn’t drink, so it makes it slightly easier. However, it is still a strong addiction. You hit the nail on the head when you stated you want to “find the real me.” Because as you remain sober, you start seeing things about yourself which you may hate. And the trick is to not hate yourself. If you hate yourself then you will fall right became into the intoxicated escape from reality. I am trying to face reality and accept the wrong things I have done in my life. But I strongly believe that we are both young enough to start afresh and even a new life. This may mean giving up the “social party lifestyle” for a while. Just like you, I enjoyed the social aspect and culture of the drinking lifestyle. I must admit that I lead a “boring life” now but I prefer this than destroying my body and more relationships . I think we can help each other Pete on this forum, and Madison’s website is awesome!

    Take/c

    Tony

  50. Hey, I’m 38 too! I think when you get to this age, you just can’t keep pretending everything is ok, it gets harder to live the drinking lifestyle without terrible consequences.

    Tony, you are so right when you talk about seeing things about ourselves when sober that we might hate, it is a battle and you need to find a way to sort through the muddle of mixed thoughts and emotions sobriety will bring. In my early days of sobriety I saw a therapist which was an enormous help!!! People get scared about therapists, men especially I have found but seriously, do not underestimate the help they can give you. I found a good one after trying a few and I went back a few times in the early years. While we are in the subject of help, you might want to see your doctor and get their support. I did this too and I utilized the help of anti-depressants to get me through in conjunction with the therapist. Sobriety is complex and you have to attack it using every tool you have. I had therapy, tried medication, read a million books about sobriety, spent time in sobriety forums, wrote about my experience as it was happening on this blog, read other blogs, tried AA, read the bible, prayed even when I had doubts about God and faith etc, exercised, got fit, started a business.
    Something else that helped me but is quite scary too, I imagined every worse case scenerios that I could think of happening if I stayed sober, I did the same for if I remained a drinker, I took a long walk alone and just thought until I was exhausted, It gave me clarity and conviction.
    Keep at it guys, lean on those you trust, go easy on yourself, forgive yourselves, we are all human and we ALL make mistakes, it’s ok.
    Updates are great! Thanks so much for sharing! And for reaching out Tony.

  51. Stay strong Pete. I began drinking in my teens too, I totally understand the social drinking culture. Maybe you and your wife could try some counseling, it may help. Utilize all the help you can get. Is there a possibility of moving away so that the peer pressure and social aspect don’t continue to tempt and drag you back into the fold? It might seem dramatic, but it might be what you both need. Just a thought!
    I think you are brave for trying to change your life!! Keep at it. 🙂

  52. Hey Guys,
    Thank you so much for the support-it means so much cos I’ve a lot going on and it ain’t easy. It’s mad coincidence but I’m turning 38 next week!it must be the age for change!! I’ll be in touch-still sober today and staying away from that first one. Went to AA yesterday and wife going again to Al Anon.
    Love to all,
    Pete

  53. Good for you both!!! I have a couple of big social events going on too, I worry about all sorts of things but when done it always turns out well. I often drink non-alcoholic beer, helps me feel like I’m still part of things and others think it’s regular beer, which in the early days was important to me, now I really don’t care about what others think, but it helps me and I actually enjoy the taste.

  54. Hi Guys,
    I did the 0% alcohol German beer at our house when we had friends round for dinner-it tasted good and contrary to what some AA people tell you it doesn’t mean you will then pick up an alcoholic beer after. I drank my bottles from a stubby holder so they couldn’t see the alcohol free on label-it looked like a normal beer and they just assumed I was drinking regular beer. I am still early stages but it did prove to me that I could survive a night in company without touching a drop of alcohol. I plan to do same again next time. The only thing I fear is that a lot of pubs here in oz don’t serve alcohol free beer which leaves me in a dilemma of what to order! But still trying to stay on the path of sobriety and I can’t thank you guys enough for your help and advise on this scary and unfamiliar road.
    Love to all,
    Pete

  55. You can always put sprite/7up with ice in a tumbler glass so it looks like a Vodka/mix. I remember ordering a lemonade at a restaurant and they gave it to me in a kids plastic type cup, I was mortified! I have asked for soft drinks in a glass since then!

    Now you know that you can do it sober, build on that success! You will surprise yourself at just how much you are capable of!

    Keep us posted !

  56. Hello All,

    I relapsed after 40 days. I did some irrational things that were based upon inner intuition which was probably not acceptable in societal standards. However, my situation is unique in ways I am unable to describe in a public forum – too many eyes watching. I sincerely wish I could share but cannot. And Madison, I know that you have spoken of seeking help and guidance through counseling which unfortunately I can not do for many reasons. I am going to start again tomorrow and my goal remains the same – to achieve 90 days. If a 64 year old woman can swim nonstop from Cuba to Florida, then I should be ashamed.

    Goodnight

    Tony

  57. I really think it is possible to get help anonymously, it is so important to get support. You can call AA and speak to them completely anonymously about ANYTHING, you don’t have to go to a meeting but just to have a person that you can share with over the phone may help you enormously. Of course you can share here but many times you need much more support than that. There is a very active forum on Spiritualriver.com and on Reddit.com under Staysober subreddit.
    I really urge you to call AA, I did that once just before I got sober, it was completely anonymous and I didn’t call again, it helped. You could go to a local pay phone for complete privacy. The other option is a church, they have lots of resources available for alcohol related problems, they actually don’t try and convert you like many people think, they provide help without judgement, this could be another avenue for you to explore.
    Good for you for trying again.

  58. This article was one of the best I have read about sobriety. The 90 lessons learned was so spot on and sincere.

  59. Hey Tony,
    Sorry to hear you are struggling, I understand. I have days when I struggle too, I remind myself to be kind to myself and take baby steps forward, celebrate small successes. Share more if you can. Take care
    And know you are not alone in your struggle, that is what this website is about, sharing, struggling, learning and having some good times along the way.

  60. Just read all these comments it’s been an eye opener I myself av drank from age of 15 am now 34 an more or less drank the whole time this is first time av been sober for so long it’s my 16th day and it unbelievable how different a feel I can relate to all of the above comments thinkin back everthing that’s gone wrong in my life as always been when av been on drink when I think back to the things av said on dun to others it’s terrable n I didn’t care Wat I said or did to others sometimes to people who didn’t really do anything to me but who wa just there in wrong place when I’d been on drink don’t get me wrong a wasn’t always aggressive or clever with people but thinkin back now a won’t a nice person at times and I don’t even know why I carryed on like that I can’t just blame drink because wen u drink u know Wat your doin to some point but I am sure I won’t be like my old drunk self no more but it is strange been sober for this long for me but also thank you for all others who av shared there comments its been a grate read and its gave me more support n made me more determined to stay dry x

  61. This is my 22 day of been sober just in last few days I am starting to see different things bout people a work with n there problems these are people av worked with for years.it’s crazy its like I’ve been walking round with blinkers on all this time also I’ve reflected back on things and wat do I actually like doin. only hobbie a had was drinkin every night sobering up thou day n drinkin on a night again watching TV how sad’s that and I keep gettin a scared feeling inside like somethin bad going to happen but can’t put my finger on it am not sweating or anything like first few week or gettin anxious but still gettin the scared feelin …maybe it cud be I’m just not used to feelin as much coz a always ad beer in my system I don’t know ..

  62. Hi Tom,
    I had a similar experience when I first got sober, I quickly realized that my blinkers had been on for a very long time too! I began to see most things from a new perspective which isn’t always easy, still, the fact that I had this new awareness made me curious and I continued on.
    I too dealt with fear and anxiety, still do to a lesser extent though, exercise helped me quite a bit with that. There is so much time on your hands when you get sober, at first I didn’t know what to do, now I don’t have enough time for all I want to do. Get stuck into any hobby that comes to mind, reading, fishing, exercising, writing, carving, cooking, whatever it takes to keep you as satisfied as can be expected.
    Thanks for sharing!

  63. Hi Madison,
    Hope all is well. I have restarted my sobriety pledge, yet again :/. Today is day #24 and holding on. One thing different that I am doing this time is making an active effort to reconnect with my Creator and have been praying for help. My body and mind is a gift from God in my possession for a temporal period until it is taken back. So why not go the Source and ask God for help? It makes sense as no other power is greater than the will of God.

    Take/c
    Tony

  64. I am 42 days sober and have been feeling down. I did a search “42 days sober and feeling depressed”. Came across your sight. Thank you I needed to know what I’m feeling is normal and the reassurance that these feelings will get better!

  65. Hi!
    Congrats on day 42! I am so glad that you have found this site helpful, I often revisit the resources here myself because the difficult times come and go!
    Keep in touch,:)

  66. Wow, read through the comments, and really felt it. Funny how emotions change when youre sober. Im 34, I’m on Day 39. I’d be on Day 57 but I went on a weekend bender when an old friend came to visit- had a great time but couldn’t seem to go out without booze with him.
    Hardest part is missing my party friends, and the sinking feeling I get when I tell people I dont drink. I still have so much trouble imagining a life with zero alcohol, so I’m certain I’ll be back- and then I fear they’ll see me as a failure… it’s strange logic.
    I loved the list so much and really felt proud of myself and all of you who posted your stories. Thanks so much for doing that. For however long my sobriety lasts, I’m so grateful to be living a life filled with ease and love.

  67. Hi ! #16 days. I’ve been in and out of Rehabs the last 5years and not once did I want to quit it was forced on me. For the first time I realised how much harm I’m doing to myself and family. The embarresment was the worst of all. Waking up and not knowing what you did the night before. Not knowing if you should apologize or laugh.5 years straight drinking every single night even sneaking alcohol in to rehabs sou I could cope. I know I’m still in the very early stages but for once I(Me, myself and I ) made the choice and I know I’m going to have a long healthy sober life. I’ve read all the comments. Tony keep your head high starting over and over again is amazing you are not giving up and that is the most important !!!! Good luck for all of you battling this ugly demon

  68. I am three months into sobriety. Have found it difficult at times but it is getting easier and I am liking the new me. I loved reading your journal and I agree with and feel everything you say. AA was not for me either, I felt that I wanted to go down a different route personal to me. I am back into walking and feel more confident than for sometime.

    For anyone out there struggling, keep with it. It is not always easy but it is worth it. Look within, dream, be you, go with the flow and live a life with love for yourself and those around you x

  69. Hey guys
    I am on day 1! I have been setting dates for a long time and screwing up going to bed not remembering get the end of the night (I hate that blackout feeling) waking up full of guilt and promising myself not to do it again. This morning I woke up nearly at the end of my annual leave realising that my healthy two weeks haven’t been and full of the same alcohol merry go round!!! I cried this morning and realise it’s time to put and end to this now and to sober up and live my life instead of wishing I was living it differently. Thanks for all the previous comments they keep me going as does recovery princess Madison that I have been visiting for inspiration for a few years now.

  70. Hey!
    Good for you! It’s hard but so worth it. No more guilt, no more hangovers, a new life of possibilities opens up. Keep connected and keep trying. Thanks so much for your comment!

  71. Hi Madison,
    Such an important share an so inspiring to read all the comments following you along. Making the switch to go alcohol free is such a powerful way to re-connect with your essential self. It has literally changed my whole world.
    Thank you, and I hope others who are struggling come to this site for inspiration.

  72. Thank you all for reading…Hit rock bottom. Checked myself into alcohol detox and just discharged. This time seeking medical route for help and got an injection of Vivitrol (literally a pain in the ass shot lol).

  73. I am one week off first 90 days, and am now looking forward to the next stage of my recovery. I wish AA did chips in Australia. I still haven’t been able to get a sponsor though 😂 – any tips?
    Thanks –
    Miles,
    Sydney.

  74. Hey Sammy,
    Just wondered how you were getting on. I understand that feeling, having good intentions and then wondering what happened! It’s a constant battle that we have to keep on fighting. I don’t struggle with alcohol anymore but I still have other things to work on. Hope you are doing well.

  75. Hi there all. Day 63 for me. My real journey began when I nearly died 3 times in same day from massive burns to my body. Doctors amazed I am alive. God in there some where- he knows why I am alive, wish he would share. Every day I push my self to the limit Have to get up, have to walk 3 hours a day, have to have a routine,have to go to absolutely every support group, counselling session, read every piece of research, have to write in my journal. If I do not, then I am a failure and I will relapse.
    I so far have made it alone, my family abandoned me, did not visit once in the 3 months I was recovering in hospital.
    I have come to realise being a perfectionist in recovery is dangerous. Accepting this fact is a necessary and hard part of recovery. Self doubt, guilt at not succeeding can be motivationally damaging. I am learning to accept myself nuts and bolts- good one day, fucked the next. I wish I did have rainbows shooting across my future, that all my problems would dissolve, God would appear and set things right- NOW. No such luck. I am sober, a good start.

  76. congrats on day 63 John. Thanks for sharing! I hope you find some support so you don’t have to go through this alone. Forums and blogs are a great place to turn too. This site is loaded with resources, please use them.
    Best,
    Madison

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