Finding new highs when you’re alcohol free #100dayssober 31 day update

Today marks 31 days since my last alcoholic drink. (read more on why that is here) I’m pretty sure that this blog isn’t become a sobriety blog long term, but right now it’s something new and pretty remarkable that’s going on in my life so read on if you’re interested in finding out what it’s like on the other side…

The response from people IRL so far has been pretty mixed. Well, that’s a lie, the positivity has been quite outweighed by shock horror, being told it’s a boring and unnecessary idea, alongside a handful of encouraging remarks applauding me to go for it. So I’ve pretty much kept it low key that I’m not drinking. I’ve also been asked twice outright if I’m preggers. (I’m not!). So if you do know me, and you saw me lately sipping on that huge G&T, well there was no Gin in that Gin and Tonic. There’s a time and place to get into that conversation and it’s not out at a party surrounded by loads of people drinking. #SneakyMcSober

I’m actually feeling pretty amazing, after just one month of no drinking – something I didn’t experience in my previous dry January experiences. In so many ways this has been a revelation, at times hard, due to the inevitable breaking of habits formed over 22 years of life, but I am already thanking myself for  being a little bit kinder to my 37 year old self. I feel energised, positive, sharply in focus and most importantly, healthier. My sleep has been insanely deep and I’ve had some of the best nights kip I can remember in a looong time. I’ve had people message me out of the blue to say how great I looked when I saw them (that’s never happened in my life let alone multiple times in the same month) so I guess I must have a bit of a glow. Result.

I’d be lying if I said this month I’ve been on cloud nine of happy all the time, but it’s a funny time of year – the kids going back to school and nursery, the building project that consumed our life is done, the Mouses friends we’ve knocked about with during the week now at school and my Mum support network increasing work hours, I’ve been reflecting on how our second baby would have started school this September (whilst reading #AskMeHisName), the weathers turning and I’ve been questioning my own path a huge amount. My career, blog, family life balance; I have wondered whether being so sharply focused has opened up a need for something else in my life? Who knows, but this time next year I’ll have two kids in school and I’m open minded about the future, whatever that may be.

It’s amazing the fun and focus I’ve had on other things this month, far from the boring tag I’ve already been labelled with (!) – I guess if you remove the element you’ve always seen as the ‘fun’, you start to pay more attention to the real fun bits that were there all along…It’s been an eye opener to say the least.

Booze free Alternatives

There’s no denying that some alcohol free ‘grown up drinks’ have got me through the moments I have craved a beer, a G&T, a glass of wine. I think it’s as much to do with having something in your hand in a familiar glass, and it’s surprising how strong the placebo effect is! Heineken 0%, seedlip non alcoholic spirits, virgin mojitos and G&T cocktails minus the G have played a huge part in making this month easier.

Free stock photo of alcohol, bar, cocktail, drink

Exercise

This month I have dusted off my running shoes (quite literally, they were last seen pre-loft-extension) and been out running again. I’ve completed my second ever parkrun and have reconnected a little with the feeling I always loved after a good long run. I also joined a kick boxing class and am enjoying being more active after a summer of indulgence. Those post run endorphins have been missed and I’m determined to stick at it.

Food

Maybe it’s the weather, but I’ve certainly found since removing the wine with the meal, it’s all become about THE MEAL. There’s a hell of a lot of joy to be had from a seriously good dinner and it’s amazing how the focus shifts once you remove the glass of wine you’ve been craving from that scenario. Whether a take away, a Roast dinner, an apple crumble or a home made cake…there’s a whole new appreciation for the food itself. I’ve definitely found myself in the kitchen more, trying out new recipes, with a different headspace for enjoying the creations for the family (and for me…all of the cake).

Happiness Is a Piece of Cake Close Up Photography

Nature

I guess this is nothing new, but the passion for the outdoors seems to have found a new level. Afternoon wanderings to the allotment, Sunday walks exploring new places and watching the sun set over the horizon is something that really focuses your attention onto how incredible life is – no #wineoclock required.

Fashion

Okay, here’s an admission. I haven’t really worn heels out out in years because I was always too scared of literally falling over on them. The nickname Bambi On Ice as coined by Dad Muddling Through weren’t for nothing and my poor ankles took a battering during my twenties. This month I haven’t splashed out on clothes (as much as I would have loved to!) but I did pick up myself a couple of items for a special occasion as a well deserved treat. After all, I’ve saved a bit on alcohol right? I also felt confident to wear bright red lipstick without smearing it all over my face, teeth, wine glass, and better still, I wore heels again. And I felt in control which totally overpowered any feelings of missing out.

Hobbies

As mentioned, I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching about my future and identity lately. I think September hits us Mums in a way like January – it’s that new year feeling of change, and questioning what’s next, which can be difficult if you don’t have a clear idea of where you’re headed. One thing I have decided is that I want to do something for me, other than domestic stuff and the blog. And so I’m in the process of setting up guitar lessons. This is something I toyed with in my twenties with the help of You tube, but I’m going in again with a bit more gusto this time so watch this space Glasto here I come.

Free stock photo of black-and-white, music, string instrument, guitar

Reading

Earlier this year I spoke a bit about reigniting a love of reading. There is no doubt that getting lost in a good book for me has a similar feeling of winding down to a Friday night glass of wine. That may sound odd, but I have found reading so incredibly relaxing, and there’s no doubt that it’s something I will continue to enjoy as this journey continues. I’ve loved seeing recommendations from people through social media, and have read some amazing books on giving up booze, as well as novels, tearjerkers, crime mysteries and more. In fact, I’m having to put a limit on how many books I buy a month, and trying to swap more with friends for an all round economical approach to churning through so many good reads.

Meditation

Here’s something I NEVER thought I’d say, but I was recommended a meditation app called Simple Habit. (Not an ad!) And so, with a little bit of apprehension, I gave one of it’s 5 minute meditations a go. I have to say, I am a total convert – the simple, relaxing voices have been a huge help in relaxing, unwinding, letting go of stresses and anxieties, and a 5 minute meditation before bed has probably been a big part of making me sleep incredibly. I’m committed to finding at least 5 minutes to keep practising this every day and hopefully increasing the time. Honestly, go try it…Meditation, my kind of thing? Who knew.

Free stock photo of relaxation, sitting, reflection, statue

Gratitude

On a similar wavelength to the meditation route, I’ve been thinking alot about gratitude, and actively acknowledging each day the things I’m grateful for. I know I can have a tendency to slip into a negative mindset, and within the Simple habit app, and the books I’ve read, there seems to be a huge amount of talk about how gratitude can cause a real shift in your happiness levels. I’ve just been thinking, but am seriously considering investing in a gratitude journal or diary to start executing this on a physical level. I kinda like the concept, and I think  a little more gratitude in my life wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.

Cleaning

I debated leaving this one out as I realise it’s a bit sad (!). But I have to be honest…this month I threw myself into getting the house back in shape after the loft conversion which filled our lives with chaos the last three months. There’s no denying my house has always been pretty tidy most of the time, but who has time for actual cleaning?! Well, apparently, now, me. Fuelled on by the amazing Gem at The Organised Mum I have become slightly obsessed with actual hardcore cleaning. And my house has never looked so fricking spotless, with so little extra time or energy. I also have had to stop with the daily Amazon Prime of cleaning materials…it was getting out of hand! Drawers, cupboards, wardrobes…I’m taking no prisoners! My house has somehow taken on show home levels…well, maybe not in the play room, but kids gotta be kids right?

People

I have no doubt that the biggest and simplest joys to be had when not drinking is in the people around you that you love. Spending time with friends and family, people who make me laugh, people I can talk openly to and most importantly be myself around has been the biggest and simplest joy to be had.

Spending a weekend camping with family, being totally tuned in to every conversation, to the needs of the kids, to having actual fun like a kid again was a revelation. Being out socialising and engaging my ears as well as my mouth, making time to catch up with people instead of bumbling around not really connecting with anyone, and of course not one single hangover, headache or fuzzy head meaning two little girls and a pretty special bloke have had the best of me, every single morning.

So with one month down, I’m feeling incredibly positive to make it to 100 days, and then, who knows, but this is one experiment which is panning out to be a bit of alright.

x MMT

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21 thoughts on “Finding new highs when you’re alcohol free #100dayssober 31 day update

  1. Jo Reply

    Well done you! You’ve given up for all the right reasons and it’s great to see you enjoying other things instead. I maybe should give it a go! #coolmumclub

  2. beautybabyandme Reply

    Well done honey! I love what a positive attitude you have towards the challenge – I think you’re going to inspire so many others to give this a go! xxx

  3. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Lol this is me on a daily basis! I find that yoga, meditation and hugging a tree works well…and a spot of shopping too haha. But I do still miss a glass of vino. #coolmumclub co-hosts rocking the sober life eh? x

  4. Kate (@TheMumConundrum) Reply

    Oh I love this! I love that you’ve taken the plunge and are reaping so many lovely rewards – I feel like I need to take a leaf out of your book… Especially as far as exercise and cleaning are concerned – I feel I’m getting more and more podgy in my increasingly grubby house lately. Perhaps once my two year old finally sleeps through again I’ll give it a bash. Well done you!! #coolmumclub xxx

  5. viewfromthebeachchair Reply

    For whatever reason you have decided this good for you. It is something you are doing for you. Best of luck with it. #coolmumclub

  6. Claire Rocks Reply

    Well done you! thats great. Keep going!

  7. craftcartwright Reply

    It’s so much nicer the next day, when everyone else is feeling rough #colmumclub

  8. Mummy here and there Reply

    Sounds like you have really benefited from giving up alcohol especially with sleep, amazing X #coolmumclub

  9. Emma Island living 365 Reply

    So much love for this post! As you know I did 100 days sober but I was a bit gutted not to get the deep sleep or glow. I’m blaming that on the fact that I started eating all of the sugar ;-). However, like you I felt amazing in other ways. More positive, energised and just excited about the whole sobriety shindig. Like you I’m never going to say never, but it has altered my way of thinking towards booze (now I sound like I’m in a cult!). I’m now doing Sober October too and I’ve treated myself to some Brew Dog Nanny State for tonight. Whooooop!

    Well done you are doing amazing!

  10. Island Living 365 Reply

    whoops. I should have said I’m from Cool Mum Club

  11. oldhouseintheshires Reply

    Well done!
    I don’t drink much but find it really hard to resist cake and chocolate (well, sugar basically). I have been cake and chocolate free for 2 weeks and do you know what? I don’t miss it at all now. It took about a week but I don’t crave it at all. Result.
    #coolmumclub

  12. Tracey Carr Reply

    I totally understand this. I think sometimes it takes making just one significant change in your life for everything else to follow suit. Almost like it ignites something inside you. I sometimes think I need that myself. Maybe in a way we all do?! It’s an inspiring post and definitely something to think about. #CoolMumClub

  13. Unmindfulmama Reply

    I have to confess, in my sleep addled state, that the thought of being alcohol free at this point in time, gives me the shakes! I am sure, however, once my 16 month old decides it’s much more fun to sleep through the night, it will be a different story. I loved what you said though about having the clarity to enjoy the moment. Definitely something to consider once I’ve had a good night’s kip! #CoolMumClub

  14. anywaytostayathome Reply

    Oh I’m so glad you’re doing well. I love a meditation session, very good for me. #coolmumclub

  15. Emma T Reply

    Wow you’ve found so many differences. I rarely drink anyway, but maybe I should take it up so I can stop again. Because I don’t think I really have that much benefit to not drinking #coolmumclub

  16. Rosie Doal Reply

    It looks like its going well. For someone who hasnt’t drank since I was 22, it’s totally do-able. I recently started having an odd drink now and then and it’s become take-it-or-leave it, after so many years x #coolmumclub

  17. Liberty on the Lighter Side - (LoLS) Reply

    Oh wow, you are amazing with all you have achieved over the past month – a real Super Mum! Hubby and I gave up alcohol for a month along with a whole range of foods like sugar, wheat and dairy. We definitely felt better but have now gone back to our old ways although with great moderation (and have just about dropped the sugar). I mostly envy your enthusiasm for a clean house, I would love to be like that as i have four kids and I hate having a messy home but just can’t motivate myself to sort it all – I’m just biding my time til there are fewer people to clean up after! #coolmumclub

  18. Jo - Mother of Teenagers Reply

    Well done Sarah. Like you and many others I have done several dry January’s and Sober October’s but never really enjoyed them! Was I supposed to? Perhaps it wasn’t long enough and I need to set myself a new goal. You have inspired me. Good luck. Look forward to hearing how you progress with giving up as well as with all your new hobbies and interests. #coolmumclub

  19. Sensational Learning with Penguin Reply

    Great to read how this is such a positive experience for you! I’ve noticed (as I’ve got older) that alcohol makes me more tired and sluggisg the day after, even if I’ve omly had a glas or two. So tend to avoid it a lot of the time as my energy levels are low enough as it is! I’m guessing that even if you don’t stay sober for the rest of your life, this experience will still have an effect on your drinking habits xx #CoolMumClub

  20. The Queen of Collage Reply

    I’ve never liked the taste of drinking and with my health condition it’s one less worry. May you continue to feel positive about not drinking. #CoolMumClub

  21. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... Reply

    My husband is teetotal but I enjoy a glass of wine a few times a month as a treat #coolmumclub

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