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100 Days Sober – In Treacherous Waters

100 Days Sober. The 100 day mark is one I’ve often feared. As mentioned in previous posts, my energy levels skyrocket when I’m sober and 100 days is the previous record. A racing mind, lack of attention and inability to stop forced a what I saw as a need to crack open a drink and ‘switch off’. So is this year different? How can I make it through these turbulent times?

barefeet in the jungle

Hallucinations

It was just shy of about day 70. Jumping into bed and heading off into slumberland. As it so often did when I was drinking, my mind began racing. Thoughts rapidly coming in and just as quickly disappearing into the dark. Happy thoughts. Sad thoughts. Angry thoughts. Some vibrant, colourful and crystal clear. Others just a paused blink. Faster and faster they appeared and vanished.

Blurring into one. A kaleidoscope of colours rushing by. It took over me, my whole body was moving with the light. I was aware of everything and how fast I was going but stopping was not a possibility. No longer in control of where my mind was going and in full hallucination mode. Created from the breakneck speed of my thoughts, fleeting across my consciousness and dancing with where it was taking me. An experience that took an uncertain amount of time. It could have been a minute or an hour, I’m really not sure.

If this was before day 70, how could I make it to, or even past 100 days?

Catching Up To My Mind

The place from which my hallucination came is not somewhere I’d like to go anytime soon. Perhaps once I’m a little stronger or have a little more practice under my belt. So for now, I learn how to catch up with my mind. Or how to slow it down.

Booze was always a way I could manage the rush of thoughts. It was a trigger to switch off. However, the thing you’re rarely told about booze is that it’s a depressant. I suppose that’s why it worked so well to slow my thoughts and make me stop. But it often went further for me and habitually brought with it self destruction.

Since that hallucination, I set out to contain my thought train. I probably shouldn’t be surprised but without an alcohol fueled thinking process, staying on track was far easier than expected. Stopping myself when a new tangent began and realigning my focus is becoming natural.

Helping Me Take Control.

This year I am going to succeed. As you’ve read in previous posts about quitting alcohol, this is not my first attempt at giving up the booze. But every time has helped me learn something new. And every drink in between, taught a lesson about something else. Writing this blog series is part of my healing. And the list below, a record for me to stay focussed. To go back to if I need to reset.

Goals.

Everyone talks about having goals. I’m not normally one. But for the purpose of giving up alcohol, a habit so ingrained in my daily life, I needed structure and something to work towards. Rather than a set goal, a metric to strive for, my goals were purpose driven. Feeling based. And damn that feels good. I don’t want or need things to distract me from my no alcohol quest. Rather, reasons that show drinking isn’t a necessity. To think about drinking and to be able to assess whether it is helping my progression, or not.

Clarity

Remind me of how clear my mind is right now. My sober mind is, although hard to keep up with sometimes, running clean and clear. The process of thought is an open book complete with contents page and index at the back. Highlightable, searchable and easily referenced. 100 days sober is the tipping point, I think. Where the early days are but a taste of what’s possible. Sometimes 28 days is not quite enough to really stick. My first attempt at 100 days sober a few years back helped solidify the difference my mind could experience.

New Experiences

Giving up alcohol could be seen as a new experience, I suppose. It’s been so long since I’ve stayed sober. But filling my days with new experiences, big and small is helping use my energy. From walking through the forest without shoes, feeling every stick, leaf and pebble is something I highly recommend. Perhaps cold showers and the Wim Hof method as we’ll discuss with Britt in the coming weeks. Trying new things helps awaken the mind.

This year is different.

Now as I reach 100 days sober, I’m in a better place. There’s an understanding of the process I’m in and familiarity with what to expect. Writing is helping me break down everything I approach and decypher my ponderings. Discussing sobriety with friends and family and getting their support is working too. Just as convincing them to join in for a month or two.

What do you think? Could you quit booze for 100 days? What do you stand to benefit? Leave your thoughts below.