100 Days. No Alcohol. 30 Lessons.

by Rebecca A. Watson on July 1, 2013

in change, habits, Recovery

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved Jagermeister, but, after many learning opportunities, discovered it did not love her back. Later on, she realized gluten prohibited her from enjoying her favorite beers.

3147_1153313390992_6018134_n

Not my favorite beer, but definitely my favorite way of *getting* beer.

Soon after, the wine she replaced it with made her sad. She thought and thought. What could she drink now? Since the answers didn’t seem to come easily, she figured she’d join Team 100 until she figured it out.

In case you haven’t followed my blog for long, that girl is me and this is my 100th day without any alcohol. It’s a celebration! In honor of that, I’d thought I’d write down a few observations about my last 100 days.

1. Running immediately became easier. I went from misery to enjoyment on my jogs in about two days.

2. I didn’t have trouble falling asleep like some people do, but I became a sleep monster. I was averaging around 10 hours a night with naps for the first month. I’ve never been a nap person mostly because I hate waking up, so why do it twice in a day? Who was this person?

3. The first few weeks I smelled weird. I think this is a chemistry thing. I’m one of those people who tends to smell like a brewery the next day, even if I didn’t really tie one on. Some people don’t. I read a very funny article about it here.

4. There are no words for how dehydrated I have felt in these last few months. I can’t explain it and couldn’t really find anything online about it. My theory is that aside from a 30-day stint last year, I haven’t really given my body a break from alcohol for an extended period of time in more than a decade.  It’s probably working its ass off doing some repair work and needs all the water it can get.

Glass of Water

More please!

5. Many people think I’m pregnant, from waitresses to friends of mine. I am not.

6. Other people don’t question me at all about it. These weren’t the people I expected. These were the friends who seemingly associated alcohol with every part of their lives. This led me to realize …

7. Not every one drinks as much as I thought. In fact, most people sip on and off throughout the evening, never really having more than one or two.

8. I don’t weigh myself so I can’t say whether I’ve lost weight (many people do), but I will say my muscle tone is pretty stellar these days. Alcohol apparently makes it pretty tough to build muscle.

9. Things I thought would be difficult really weren’t. Vacations aren’t so hard. I went camping this weekend. No biggie. I visited New Orleans 30 days in, a place where you practically have to have a BAC of .08 to get in the city limits (or so I thought), and I ended up having a blast. I just wrote a crafty blog post about it.

10. My other addictions showed up though. I definitely drank a TON of caffeine. I also legitimately considered smoking a cigarette. The moment passed, thankfully.

coffee beignets

Caffeine. Sugar. Sweet nectar.

11. I got irritated with people who drank for a while. I got over it.

12. After spending most of my adult life thinking about drinking (how much I’ve drank, how much I can drink, how much wine is left, when I’ll drink again, why I’m hung over, what will I drink differently next time, why I drank so much and on and on), it is refreshing to stop thinking about it for awhile.

13. Even if I’m making it sound easy, the cravings were pretty intense sometimes. I guess I’m just used to it because I quit smoking. Seriously, alcohol may be a bitch, but I swear nicotine is its older sister who taught it everything it knows.

14. One of my biggest dreams became a reality during this time, I think because I was more ready to handle it and I had the space for it.

15. I feel remarkably free. I can go anywhere in the world without anything more than food, water and shelter. I am no longer tethered to the liquor store and the wine bottle. I felt this way after quitting smoking too.

16. I’m a big fan of mineral water with a splash of juice, like Strawberry C Monster. Not too sweet. Very refreshing.

17. Non-alcoholic wine is OK. It did the trick when I really missed wine. I wouldn’t recommend it over the real thing. See No. 16.

18. Time has slowed down. I seem to have a lot more of it.

Time is a spiral

19. I watch much less TV. Shows that used to enthrall me now seem really, really bad.

20.  I still say things I cringe about later, but now I know it’s a self-esteem thing (or maybe an insert-foot-in-mouth thing) rather than a booze thing.

21. Other people have stopped drinking for a time. It’s fun to share observations.

22. The Artists Way was right. This is my biggest creative block.

23. There are loads of ways to quit drinking. There is no one right way.

24. Sometimes I feel like I get off on depriving myself: dairy, wheat, caffeine, and now alcohol? It seems easier to take things away from my life than add them.

25. Other animals besides us get drunk and make asses of themselves. I always thought we did it more often. Turns out it just depends on who you spend time with. Looking back over the past few years, I’d say that the incidences of drunken stupidity in my company has decreased exponentially.

This makes it easier to not get stupid drunk yourself. Or to drink at all. Because the only way to enjoy that kind of stupidity is to be drunk yourself.

26. Waking up every morning feeling NOT hungover is not easily described. Know that it is a very special feeling.

Here's to more sunrises.

Here’s to more sunrises.

27. My depression has lifted significantly. I also notice I am more comfortable handling emotions I used to ignore.

28. On the other hand, my anxiety increased for the first few months. I upped my St. Johns Wort dose to the recommended amount (I took less before; I’m pretty sensitive to the effects of medicine) and feel much better now. I can’t decide if the anxiety was just temporary or if the meds helped.

29. I do not want to host a party at this point. I don’t mind being around a few drunk folks at a BBQ as long as I can get away from it all. I hope this changes because hosting parties is fun.

30. There are some great sober bloggers. I’m a fan of Belle over at Tired of Thinking about Drinking. I also like Taking a New Path. You can see my whole list here. They prove to me the thing I’ve been desperately searching for ever since I read Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn: Being a drunk isn’t a prerequisite for being a good writer.

I guess the biggest thing I realized in this 100 days is that I don’t have to come up with an answer for the question: What can I drink now? I know I can drink whatever I want, really. I guess it’s more, What do I want to drink now? And the answer is soda water with a splash of strawberry juice please! Although I might try this NSFW-named mocktail as well.

At this point, there are just too many good things going on to consider this all a coincidence. I’ve decided to re-up for another 100 days and see what happens. Who knows. Maybe that Nothing’s Impossible List will have to change.

Interested in what happens next? Check out my 200 day post, my 1 year post or all my recovery posts.

Wondering if you should quit drinking? Check out my audio class here. In the 20 minute class, I’ll walk you through my simple test to tell you if you should and tips on how to do it. Ready to quit? Take my audio class How to Thrive During the First Month Without Alcohol.

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly July 1, 2013 at 5:55 pm

So, are you going to stop completely now or have it every once in a while? Like, every 100 days you get a glass.

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Ms. Becca July 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm

For now I’m just not drinking for another 100 days, so 200 days total if I make it through the next 100. (I’m planning on it.) I’m celebrating tonight with cookies 🙂

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Lily April 9, 2016 at 3:55 am

I stop drinking for 8 weeks. Trust me I have a huge problem. But I stop and started drinking tea.

Belle July 2, 2013 at 12:39 am

You’re so generous with your words, thanks so much for this glorious shout-out 🙂 It’s easier to have no booze at all, than it is to manage quantities and timing and ‘special occasions’ – really… it’s weird to someone who hasn’t tried to quit, but it really is easier to NOT drink. like you say here, drinking takes up a lot of space in our heads AND it hides us from who we really are (creative lovers of the artists way unite!). love, belle xo

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Ms. Becca July 2, 2013 at 7:55 am

Happy to send the shout out 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration! And it makes me so happy to know you’re a fan of The Artists Way. What a gift that book is.

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Ann Watson Duval July 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Hey Becca,
Finally a Watson who likes to be “real” as much as I do. Thanks so much!
I look forward to reading more.
Ann

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Ms. Becca July 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Ha! Yep, I’m definitely real 🙂 I think there might be a few of us in the Watson clan like that. Glad you liked it! Thanks for reading.

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Lilly July 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Hello!

Firstly, a huge congratulations on your 100 days! Whoo hoo! Fabulous stuff and we all know what a giant accomplishment that really is – so much work and growing self awareness and effort goes into it. So, well done you and what a terrific post. I especially relate to the feeling of freedom. Isn’t it wonderful to feel you don’t “need” anything else but you, food, light, water and air? For me, after all those years of “needing” booze, cigarettes, weed etc… it’s so light. It feels so much easier.

Also, thank you for the lovely compliment in #30. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. You made my day! I’ve struggled with the same feelings myself about writers and booze since reading Miller and his ilk back in my idealistic wannabe-baby-writer days. But the truth is, when drunk I could never really focus on writing at any length and anything I wrote was rubbish. I honestly believe that being sober opens us up to much greater, deeper creativity. Plus, booze didn’t really work out so well for most of those dudes in the end… 😉 But, really, thank you.

Onwards to 200 and beyond! I can’t imagine that it won’t just keep getting better and better.

xo

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Ms. Becca July 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Yay Lilly! Thanks for the congrats and the kind words about my post. I love that you said we need light, because we totally do 🙂 YAY for sunshine! And yes, life feels so much easier.

I’m also super happy to hear you get what I’m talking about when I posted about #30. It’s true, the booze didn’t work out too well in the end, but that didn’t stop us from romanticizing it, right? And god, the crap I wrote when I was drunk. Ha! I couldn’t even read my own handwriting sometimes.

Here’s to great works of art that we’ll create in sobriety! 🙂 Cheers!

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BST August 2, 2013 at 12:17 am

I discovered the 100 day challenge and started it. I’m on day 10. The sober blogging community has also inspired me to start my own blog. It’s part therapy, writing practice and hopefully someday help for others.

I enjoy your blog!

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Ms. Becca August 2, 2013 at 2:10 am

Hey girl! So glad you discovered the challenge! Isn’t it a great community? I’m stoked you’re writing too. It’s awesome accountability and therapy 🙂 Congrats on your 10 days!! Nicely done!

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Troy November 8, 2013 at 9:21 am

Hi there. Good blog! I am approaching day 30. Been about 4yrs since I have gone nearly that long without alcohol. I am someone who has a huge tolerance, and am a longtime drinker.

Right now I am considering re-upping for 30days. Holidays are approaching so that should be interesting.

Take care, good work!

t

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Tonytoenails March 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm

T,
Same here, many many years of a pint a day. Yuk. It’s only day three but with a partial nephrectomy coming up i took the thirty day challenge. Ended up going to bed a 8pm. Sure hope I don’t do that for ever. It easier than sitting around ruminating and bargaining. I can tell writing helps already this morning.
T.

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Rebecca A. Watson March 21, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Glad the writing helps. Good for you for taking the challenge. The first 6-9 days are the toughest for sure. Hang in there and know it gets easier! Remember what you’re doing is hard and that you deserve treats 🙂 Not sure what your health allows but I love cake, tea, sparkling juices, nice pens, yarn, walks, bath salts, nice chocolate bar, mangoes, flowers….the list could go on for awhile! Best wishes and thanks for stopping by!

Ms. Becca November 9, 2013 at 3:55 am

Hey Troy! That is pretty awesome…going 30 days is probably the toughest I think. Those first days SUCK which is probably why I keep on keeping on 😀 Yes the holidays should be interesting. They’ll be my first since I was 21 without booze. If you decide to reup, you’ll be happy about it (most of the time). Keep in touch! Thanks for the comment.

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ryan November 20, 2013 at 12:08 am

great blog, congrats on your perseverance thus far….I assume that your streak of sobriety has continued? I look forward to checking back on this blog, I appreciate your candidness.

Ryan

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Ms. Becca November 25, 2013 at 2:28 am

Hey Ryan! Thanks so much for dropping by 🙂 Yes, my streak has continued. Not sure exactly what day I’m on. Somewhere near 250 maybe? Thanks for your kind comment. You can read more about my recovery here.

Hey Renato, I’m so impressed with you going making it to 30 days! Yes, sober rockstar 🙂 I feel like 30 days was the hardest part. I had to laugh when you wrote that you can’t drink 4 glasses of juice without a hangover. That is exactly how I feel! Ha! I have to stop at 2. I can’t handle people who get too drunk either. So glad you’ve decided to stick with it. It’s totally worth it and gets easier most every day. Congrats 🙂

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Renato November 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Hey, Congrats!

I ended up here trying to find relates from people doing the same as you, english is not my native language so sry about it, hope you get it right 😀

I just hit 30 days without alcohol, im great an thinking about one year.

I was used to drink, sometimes too much, every weekend since 14 years old. im 34 so 20 years almost non stop. Decided to give a break to get my head in order, i was tired to take one day, sometimes 2 days to get ok again and when i was getting sharp was the time to drink again and so on.

The first 2 weeks was terrible, headaches, i felt my hands empty, just like when i stopped to smoke, as you said, stop smoking is WAY harder, but we got a lesson from it, good stuff. I heard another day: “when we question ourselves we change, when we change we grown” from Bernardinho (coach of volleyball brazillians team).

The last 2 weeks was easier, totally agree with the topic 24, very well observed. Guess we are getting more selective. The worst part about it imo is that going out with people who drink is not fun anymore, at beginning maybe, but when they get drunk the conversation doesn’t flow and i can’t drink 4 glasses of juice without a hangover hahaha so usually i rather go home.

Well, thats it! congrats again and keep it up 😉
Bye bye

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gyco January 3, 2014 at 2:59 am

where are you today,and by the way no matter how you are,congratulayions

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gyco January 3, 2014 at 3:06 am

day 40 for me,i found a 30 day site that worked for me,but the 100 day thing is looking interesting, im on my way to Cuba in a few weeks that should prove interesting

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Ms. Becca January 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Thanks so much for the comment! So stoked for you to be around day 40! That’s super huge 🙂 Vacations can be fun without drinking…I know, i didn’t believe it either, but I’ve been on a few now (New Orleans, England, Santa Cruz) and they’ve been a good time. Best wishes to you!

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Trina January 9, 2014 at 12:46 am

Hi there…big congratulations to you. That really takes amazing will power. I just started 30 days and actually wrote this for anyone who is considering taking the 30 days off but worried they will have “no life”… maybe someone will find it helpful: http://www.fomovancouver.com/tips-stay-social-banish-boredom-30-days-drinking/

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Ms. Becca January 9, 2014 at 9:53 am

Thanks Trina! Best wishes on your 30 days…sleep and chocolate will help 🙂 Your list is great. Thanks for sharing!

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Lyndsey March 31, 2014 at 6:06 pm

I’ve never considered myself an alcoholic. I’ve always just felt like it was my JOB to drink. To be the funny one. The outgoing one. And hell, I’m really good at it.

But it’s making my runs crappier. It’s making my weight loss efforts harder, and I always am looking forward to my next DRINK not necessarily my next awesome life experience. This is a great post. So glad I found it on google. Going to follow the link to your 30 day challenge!

Lyndsey

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Rebecca A. Watson March 31, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Awesome! Glad I could inspire you. Easier running was a huge one for me when I stopped 🙂

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Fabrice F April 10, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Going on a month this Sunday. Glad to have found your blog and look forward to a successful sobriety. Thanks!

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Rebecca A. Watson April 11, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Heck yeah Fabrice! Nicely done 🙂 Enjoy life!

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Maliciah April 12, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Day 6 right now…I feel awesome!!! A person I work with will be on year two tomorrow. Nice blog.

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Rebecca A. Watson April 14, 2014 at 3:04 pm

That’s rad Maliciah 🙂 Nicely done!

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Tessa April 15, 2014 at 12:19 am

I’m on day 29 going for 30, your blog was very inspirational!!! I think I will shoot for 100 now 🙂 I totally agree with the sleep thing, the best sleep I have ever had! I am hooked:) Thanks for sharing

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Rebecca A. Watson April 15, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Way to go Tessa! Glad you’re going for 100. You’re gonna love it. Thanks for stopping by.

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Robert May 2, 2014 at 4:34 am

4th night free had a great 4 mile run on the beach. Thanks for all you do
Robert

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Rebecca A. Watson May 2, 2014 at 11:13 am

Well done Robert! And I love how you celebrated four days with a four mile run. What a great time to do that. The number four is a lot about wealth, which includes your health. You’re rockin’ it. Keep it up and keep in touch!

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Robert May 3, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Thanks for being an inspiration! I really get motivated reading your Blog.
Today I hit the beach for a run. Have a great weekend. OBTW check out my first movie I am Executive Producer http://www.atimeformiracles.org
Not far from you in, Medjugorje.
Robert

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Rebecca A. Watson May 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Hey Robert! I’m so happy you find inspiration and motivation through my blog. I enjoy writing it so it’s a win-win! Thank you for sharing your movie. It choked me up watching the trailer a bit. Congrats on being the Executive Producer! It looks like a beautiful story, and you’re right, close to me. We may drive through there on our way to Turkey! Good on you for getting in a run. Keep it up 🙂

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brian May 18, 2014 at 7:58 am

Coming up to 100 days without alcohol.After 26 years of drinking I feel a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and my mind is much clearer.I am sleeping great and waking refreshed and rested.It is hard at the start but does get gradually easier,stay focused on the reasons why you want to be alcohol free and all the benefits to your life and loved ones it brings.Good luck and keep strong.

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Rebecca A. Watson May 19, 2014 at 9:29 am

Hey Brian! Congrats on coming up on 100 days…that’s HUGE! It’s so great to hear that weight has been lifted from you. You deserve happiness and a clear mind. May you have many more refreshed mornings. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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brian May 19, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Thanks,I woke today with a headache not from drinking alcohol but from all the sunshine we have been gettng in the UK over the weekend.Wow 100 days with no alcohol feels great !!

Blue Ruby May 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Hello, I hope it’s on to join your chat room. I am an alcoholic with pancreatic is. I stopped drinking spirits but started drinking strong lager. About 4 cans a day. The trouble is that I feel dreadful in the mornings so I open my first can. I don’t even like it and always end up self inducing vomiting which lately causes a headache so bad that that I’ve been rolling on the bed in agony. I know what I’m doing is ridiculous but I don’t know how to stop. If any can help me I’d be so grateful.

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Rebecca A. Watson May 23, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Hey Blue Ruby, Thanks for stopping by. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with this. It SUCKS and I know exactly how you feel about knowing what you’re doing being bad/ridiculous but not being able to stop. There are a lot of different ways people quit drinking, so I can’t prescribe one way in particular. Depending on how much you’re drinking, stopping without medical attention isn’t a good idea. At all. And I can’t say for certain cause I’m not a doc, but 4 beers/day probably doesn’t put you in the category. You could try Belle’s 100 day challenge, which has worked for a lot of folks 🙂 Or you could see about AA, which has helped loads of people and really is a good organization all around the world. I know there is also the Booze Free Brigade as an online support group, among many others. You are in my thoughts and prayers. It is possible to live a lucid and happy life without alcohol, I promise!

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Blue Ruby May 23, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. I’m not someone who talks a load of rubbish or someone who annoys other people. You wouldn’t know I was a drinker. I’m a 55 year old respectable housewife from the UK with a hard working husband and a daughter in her 30. I so want to be normal. I kept the used cans in two big carrier bags in my built in wardrobe and one night, in desperation, I tipped the whole lot over the bedroom floor. There was about 200 of them. My husband was shocked as he’d had no idea what I’d been doing. Just knowing I have a group of people who’ve been through, or are going through the same thing as me has given me such a lift. Thank you again. X

david September 29, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Hey. this is a great article and I’ve shared it. I was a legendary boozer. for years I was known even by my kids as ‘party dave’. I am 59 days in. it was easy. the only thing I found was that every social event or celebration is based around drinking; and everyone i know all drink way too much. so it’s a spin off. i just prefer not to drink any more.

thanks for this article and look forward to reading the 200 day one. my favourite drink at moment is the Viva coconut water (lemonade flavour) over ice. delicious.

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Rebecca A. Watson September 29, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Glad it’s been easy for you. Congrats on 59 days! That’s great 🙂 the lemonade coconut water sounds delish.

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david October 27, 2014 at 10:59 pm

now 86 days. 🙂

Rebecca A. Watson October 27, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Yeah david! you rock!

Paul January 2, 2015 at 3:28 am

Hi, great write up. I relate to a lot of what you’ve said (although I don’t think I smell that weird…)
I about 50 days into not drinking after a decade or so of being very, very good at drinking every night. One of my favorite (a strange way of describing this) feelings is waking up and still wondering what stupid thing I did or said the night before. I love the way it feels when I remember that I can remember everything. I almost “miss” the worry and regret 🙂

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Rebecca A. Watson January 19, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Hey Paul, Congrats on making it 50 days (and more!) without drinking. What you describe about still worrying what you did the night before is something I went through too. Now it only happens if I stay up late at a party or something. It’s still great to realize that I remember it all and that there isn’t anything to worry about 🙂

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trickytales September 13, 2015 at 10:45 pm

Hi yall. Im on day four aged 29. I dont want to see a drink for at least 30 days. Plus when drink is consumed everything turns toxic. Losing respect with friends, family fed up and missed a few days at work over last year. I do crave alcohol but can easily say no. Im struggling with fact that i will binge when starting up again? what is life like without alcohol!!?? I gave up cigs so i know i can get past it. Peace

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Rebecca A. Watson September 15, 2015 at 8:37 pm

There are a lot of ways you can try easing back into the moderation thing, although I think taking 100 days instead of 30 is better. The first 30 days are really just about clearing the haze. You barely feel the energy levels rising sometimes. At day 100 you can make clearer decisions. Best of luck to you!

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Anthony September 21, 2015 at 6:16 am

Hey im on my 80th day im just dissapointed i didnt find this blog before

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Rebecca A. Watson September 22, 2015 at 9:37 am

Yay Anthony! Way to go 🙂 Welcome…I’m glad you found the blog now!

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Jay November 14, 2015 at 1:40 pm

I’m 37 years old. Today I reached 100th exactly without alchohol. It was hard at first, but it was the best decision I ever made. I feel healthier and more energetic. At times, I did think how much I miss being buzz, but I also thought about my future and to be able to live long enough to see my grandkids and that’s what’s important. Happy 100th day to me and the streak will continue!

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Rebecca A. Watson November 17, 2015 at 9:52 am

Hey Jay! Congrats on 100 days! That is super awesome 🙂 Keep it up! The energy you have will definitely help with those grandkids 😉

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Gerard January 12, 2016 at 9:41 am

very well written… however its my 7th day without any drink gotta tell you folks i feel like crap none of those you mentioned happened yet
the only thing i discovered about myself up until now is that i can resist temptation but at what cost
i feel feverish, unhappy, angry at times
hand tremors all the time i don’t have any focus
got tell you the truth i did not know its going to be as hard as it really is
i hope you all best of luck i hope things could get better
ciao

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Rebecca A. Watson January 31, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Hey Gerard–I hope things are going a little better for you now. The first 7 to 10 days are BRUTAL, no doubt about it. Honestly, I had a really tough time too, and I think if you talk to other people they would agree. Maybe my blog focused on the good things too much, but I am an optimist and 100 days is a MUCH different feeling than 10 days. I would suggest looking around at other sober blogs and reading how they dealt with the first few weeks. There are tons out there. You can take a look at my resources page if you need help on where to start.

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Amber January 15, 2016 at 10:01 pm

I’m so glad that I found this blog! I googled “day 3 without cigarettes or alcohol” and I stumbled across this site (it was the 3rd choice down!). I may not have to mention that this is my 3rd day without smokes or booze. I smoked for 20 years, quitting more times than I could count. Over the last year, I cut back and realized that actually I don’t like the smell of smoke. I was ashamed and embarrassed to be a smoker. I started drinking in college, and over time it just got worse and worse. Your #12 is spot on for how I have felt lately. I’m taking things one day at a time, but I’d like to go for 100 days. I have so much more willpower than I used to (in my late 30’s now), but I feel that to protect myself, I want to be a bit of a recluse for awhile. And enjoy the outdoors. I take big gulps of air sometimes to help me with feeling like I am getting a “hit” like a cigarette. The hardest part is when I get home from work – how did you manage dealing with your triggers, Ms. Becca? And are you still sober?

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Rebecca A. Watson January 31, 2016 at 1:10 pm

Hey Amber! YES i am still sober. I have written plenty about it, most recently about reaching 1000 days. Dealing with triggers for me is really about acknowledging that they are there. I say, “Wow, weird, I really want a cigarette right now.” And I can ask myself why and how and then ask, Do I need something else instead? Like some candy or a silly TV show or some other thing? Sometimes I want to answer the why questions but other times I’m not feeling like I can handle all that soul searching and just want a piece of chocolate. It’s good to know that we aren’t perfect and that we can’t be “healthy” or “disciplined” all the time, but that doesn’t mean we need to destroy ourselves either. How are you doing these days? I hope well. Thanks for stopping by!

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Daniel Corcoran February 28, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Hey Becky,

I found this article to be extremely encouraging. I have been alcohol free myself now for five years, and so many things in my life are finally coming together. I am encouraged to know that I am not alone in my struggles with substance abuse, and also to see another relative of mine who has risen above it. Thank you so much for sharing!!

Your cousin,
Dan

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Rebecca A. Watson February 29, 2016 at 6:54 am

Hey Dan! Wow, five years is amazing! Well done. It is unbelievable the amount of havoc alcohol can reek on your life. It’s an ugly drug in the wrong hands. I’m so happy you found my writing encouraging. I’m also happy to hear a relative of mine is five years sober 🙂 That is really encouraging to me. Big hugs to you from across the ocean!

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emilia April 10, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Hi there,

I am 56 days without alcohol and 5 days without cigarettes.

I drank intially, to feel good and then over the years it became a way of life and also a crutch . I shut everybody out of my life and alcohol became my friend. I’ve stopped before and enjoyed life so much better. So I’ve decided to stop again and I do not miss it. The thing is I’ve decided to also stop smoking.

I am now facing all the things I blocked since I was a child and it feels so much better to deal with them naturally than to hide behind substances that will cause evenue more problems.

Emilia

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Rebecca A. Watson April 10, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Congrats emilia. I know it can be hard when all that stuff comes out, but the work is worth it. Keep it up my dear and hang in there!

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Janelle June 1, 2016 at 7:34 pm

I am inspired by all of you. I am on day one. I’m 36 and have had red wine pretty much every night since I was 21. Praying for strength.

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Rebecca A. Watson June 13, 2016 at 7:26 am

Sending you strength Janelle! It can be really tough at the beginning. Hang in there! It’s so worth it.

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Joel June 10, 2016 at 9:05 pm

Hi there,

I’m 32 , had my first drink at 24 and ever since have been in an off and relationship with alcohol. Some weekends I would binge with friends and sometimes I would drink a couple of six packs or a bottle of wine by my self (every other day). The longest I’ve lasted without drinking was 6 months. Today I’m happy to say I’ve been 30 without alcohol. One day I would like to enjoy a drink or 2 without going into a downward spiral of abusing the stuff. Do you think it’s possible to do that? Do you know anyone who has accomplished this?

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Rebecca A. Watson June 13, 2016 at 7:24 am

Hey Joel, congrats on your good work. It’s not easy. Re drinking moderately without going down the spiral: Honestly? Folks I know that don’t drink have tried going back and some have been successful but the end up quitting again because it’s too hard to regulate themselves. And since they knew life without alcohol is better, they end up not drinking. But we’re all different. I still don’t say I’ve quit forever. I just re up every year.

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Barbara April 24, 2017 at 12:01 am

I know this sounds awful but how about a little weed and just skip the booze. My friend who has been through relapse and rehab over and over and he kept kidding himself and almost died, passed out on his floor for 2 weeks with no food or water, in a coma. I hate the idea of forever but right now it has no appeal. I guess that is where the one day at a time comes from.

Robert August 6, 2016 at 4:08 pm

First, I am glad I found this blog. Second, thank you all for giving me the opportunity to see that I am not alone in this. Day four without a drink. I came to the nauseating realization on Tuesday that I have lost so much due to MY addiction. I am NOT blaming any of this on anything or anyone but rather on my own shortcomings. I have lost family, friends, job opportunities, pride, self esteem and a myriad of other irreplaceable things to, again, MY addiction. One of the worst things is that I have been lying to everyone around me and pretending to not be drinking. I have broken promises to these people. I am not sure it will be received all too well by them, knowing that I have been lying. They have given their support in the past when I have tried to stop drinking. I am scared that they will not be as understanding this time around. I must keep telling myself that I am doing this for me. I am not doing this for anyone else’s approval or acceptance. I want my children back, I want my wife back, I want my life back. I respect, commend and admire all of you who have had the strength and courage to face the issue head on. May the powers that be grant me the same fortitude as you all. Only four days into abstinence from twenty plus years of drinking and I am already waxing poetic. Kind of pathetic I suppose. But if you all will allow me, I would really like to use this space as one to air my thoughts and feelings. 🙂

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Rebecca A. Watson August 14, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Congrats on stopping drinking Robert! You are more than welcome to air your thoughts in the comments. Have you taken a look at other sober blogs? They can be very helpful.

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Mike! August 15, 2016 at 9:34 pm

Hi Rebecca-
So nice to have found your posts and blog-I guess it helps to know (of course!) there are others. I am on day 10 of no alcohol-pretty much drank at least a bottle of wine every day (more on weekends) and functioned -so I thought- quite well. Oddly enough I have begun feeling this, pretty good vibe, and Im happy to keep it going sans booze. It also seems there is more time in each day..hmmm… Additionally gave up smoking 10 days ago also-but alcohol seems to be a much bigger demon in my corner- Thank you a million times over for a place to feel good, and for sharing your journey. Im headed for 30 and then I will see what is next 🙂

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Vanessa September 5, 2016 at 4:45 am

N/A

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Paul October 3, 2016 at 12:44 am

Ok so day 6 or 7 not really sure, but it’s hard as f….
If you think of it in a scientific way it’s really quite amazing what you can teach your body and mind what to do.
What if we all tought our bodies and minds to learn a new habit?
Say like: exercise, reading, yoga
Just to name a few.
Think about that and apply it.
This is not easy at all. Teach your mind teach your body, New Habits!!!
Let’s do this..
Sober Team, U.S.A. and anywhere else?
Laters

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Barbara April 23, 2017 at 11:51 pm

I appreciate this blog so much. Although I swore off booze during my 3 pregnancies and when feeding infants that now is 20 years ago. I am a mid budget wine oenophile. If I could not have a good glass or 2 of wine in a restaurant, I wouldn’t eat there. Also I loved my couple of ” big girl” vodka drinks before bed. I was able to drink most people my age under the table. It never interfered with business, or anything like that. Well several weeks ago I got the worst sinus ear infection ever. I have an 11,300 Deductible and a 1600 a month Obamacare premium. Needless to say I don’t visit t.he Doctor unless I think I am dying. So finally I found a Doc in the Box and went as I was becoming extremely short of breath and weaker by the day. I had been taking 5000 mg of Ibupropan, Benadryl and screwdrivers so I could sleep. No appetite no energy, nothing. Doc took BP & it was 175/125 and god knows for how long that was the case. Doc wants to admit me but I refused as I had a paid off non refundable vacation in 3 days. He gave BP med which worked immediately. Also that high BP can burn out kidneys gall bladder, liver and pancreas. Knowing what I have done to myself I figured liver. So I quit drinking cold turkey and went on a low sodium diet. Thank god no cravings shakes or that kind of stuff. I am having a little problem falling asleep and constipation. I get my blood work done tomorrow and am dreading it. Everyone on vacation drank like fishes but I still did not crave. On advice of a friend who has 10 years clean he recommended melatonin and that has helped. I work from home so my weird hours are OK. I have another friend who is on his third attempt and been through rehab and he thinks I should join him at NA but my ten year sober friend said no it is a lifestyle habit and can be changed. Not sure what to think. My last drink was April 1. It is about as appealing as a dog do milk shake at this point. Hey, thanks for listening and yes I will listen to what you have to share!

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Rebecca A. Watson April 10, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Well done Lily!!!

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Rebecca A. Watson May 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

Hey lady. So often our families can live in denial of what’s going on, but of course they love us and want to help. And seeking out sober blogs and other support can really help too. I hope you’re finding what you need. HUGS!

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