Sober milestones are pretty hard to come by once you pass the first day, week, month, quarter and year. That annual soberversary takes so long to come around and although it’s a special moment to reflect on the time gone by, you have to look a little bit harder for the moments to cheer yourself on.
And as it goes, this week I noticed, I hit 1000 days without an alcoholic drink.
And believe me when I say, there was a time I would have laughed in the face of sobriety; a time when I tried and failed to do dry January and when despite promising myself I wouldn’t drink mid week, it had just been too tough a day.
The weird thing about quitting booze is that whilst it doesn’t fundamentally change you, it’s the alcohol that does that, in time, it sort of does, change you. Brings you back in tune with the real person underneath the well trodden paths the of habits your formative years created and pushes a reset button.
I don’t know that everyone has welcomed the change. Perhaps some people may miss the old Sarah who would share a bottle of wine (or three) with them, look for any excuse to hit the pub or lead a sensible night astray with shots at the bar. She was after all fun, unpredictable and a good laugh.
But I have to say, I do not miss her. I do not miss her fuzzy head after half a glass of wine, the erratic behaviour that was so alien to the sober version of her, and the pretense that came with every hangover, trying to kid herself it wasn’t that bad.
I even wrote a book about it all. I set up an instagram page to spread the joy I’d found as a newly fledged sober person. Revelling in the simple joys of the breaking dawn and the energy I’d found, I was able to thrive in new areas of life using the reserves previously assigned to drinking and hanging.
The strange thing is that recently that sparkle has died down. Not because the joy has disseminated, but because I’ve found a new aspect of sobriety I’m totally here for; peace and normality.
A drama free existence that doesn’t draw attention to the past or the fuck ups; doesn’t wallow in regret nor look to seek the glory of rollerskating into the sunset like some kind of tampax advert.
Because actually, all I want is the here and now. The first hot cup of coffee in the morning, to focus on the job that I love and hang out with Dad Muddling Through and the kids. Sometimes doing spectacular stuff, but often doing incredibly mundane everyday stuff that brings as much happiness if not more as the stuff worthy of an instagram share.
These days I can be found eating chocolate in my PJs in front of the telly, and being at peace with not writing blog content or planning social media world domination. I’m far more interested in the latest Netflix binge and an early night, a run on a Saturday and a take away on Friday nights.
I know I’m selling myself as the life and soul of the party… but seriously, sober lockdown life has been an opportunity to rest, take time out and to indulge in crap TV and family time. Although granted, I do kinda miss getting dressed up and laughing with friends… but those times will come again.
I often wonder how the pandemic experience would have been had I still been a drinker? Drunk zoom parties and pissed up picnics… or would it have actually meant passing out on the sofa before the climax of the Tiger King episode 1.
Guess I’ll never know, but I do know that I wouldn’t change a thing.
A thousand days of waking up fresh.
A thousand days of no regrets.
A thousand days of remembering last night.
A thousand days of putting my health first.
A thousand days of getting my shit together.
A thousand days of feeling better.