Updated: Aug 12, 2020
Ahhh, day 53. Not a particularly momentous day in the sobriety calendar [I suppose the next biggie is number 60], but I'm feeling positive about the journey so far. Except for the fact I'm so tired. I sleep the best sleep I've had in years [literally], a solid, unbroken, 7-8 hours a night but I'm currently exhausted. I don't think the rampant sugar cravings are aiding this either. I cannot stop eating chocolate, sweets and white carbs [sigh]. For someone who is usually a pretty good eater, lots of vegetables and salads, this new found craving for sugar reminds me of early pregnancy. In fact so does the tiredness. Joy.
I follow lots of closed sobriety groups on social media who regularly report on the battle of sugar cravings. Replacing one addiction with another. Wine contains so much sugar that it's apparently normal to indulge in cakes and sweets in early sobriety and wine was my absolute best friend.
My general drinking habits used to be a bottle of wine [or sometimes more] at least five times a week. I would often drink every night for 10-14 nights and then have a conversation with myself about 'moderation': 'I must not drink in the week', or 'stick to only one colour [of alcohol]'. Other moderation 'rules' I've tried to master over the years include 'stop at 3 glasses', 'have regular breaks of 1-2 weeks alcohol free', 'don't drink before you even get out of the door for a night out on the town', [oh I loved pre-drinking but always got really pissed too early]. The list of constraints were endless and fruitless. I could never moderate properly and felt absolutely shit for not being 'normal'. The drinking would spiral out of control and with it my self esteem, anxiety and equilibrium. I'd say its no understatement that I wrestled with these feelings and issues for half of my life. What a long time to be listening to the alcohol dependant chatter in my head. It was exhausting.
Anyway, now that I am 53 days in, one of the biggest gains in sobriety so far [apart from the rock solid sleep and less anger towards everything in life], has to be the silence in my mind. Then freedom to have thoughts about other things outside of what am I going to drink, when and how much. This constant hidden conversation with myself has completely gone away. What a relief. I've noticed that I look forward to the actual food when I go out for dinner, I enjoy the conversations with people when in company and genuinely feel engaged with friends instead of wondering when we can order the next bottle of wine. My head is clearer and I'm more centred. Don't get me wrong there are still challenging times, with two children under six there are definitely moments where I feel lost, on edge and unable to cope with life, but they pass. Pass without being numbed by Merlot. Thanks to the supportive communities I read daily, plus the uplifting surge of sobriety podcasts I listen to, I've learned to become aware of these fleeting moments of stress, deal with them head on and reflect on how strong I am being continuing my sober journey. I'm very grateful for that and embrace the next 53 days [which will be over 100 then - YAY!].