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What Happened When I Went 60 Days Sober? - Pt. 1

Follow my 100 days sober challenge journey!

By Nessy WriterPublished 4 months ago Updated 2 months ago 7 min read
What Happened When I Went 60 Days Sober? - Pt. 1
Photo by John Alvin Merin on Unsplash

I did It, I made it through the first 30 days, and they were certainly the most difficult in terms of breaking thought patterns. However, as I went into my next 30, I realised the truth, that 30 days would NOT have been enough. How many of us have done a dry January and then slipped straight back into an old habit or even overcompensated? Research shows that when forming a habit it actually takes (close your eyes and take a guess):

By Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

66 days

Did you get it right? It takes 66 days to form a habit. That’s right, 21 days is a myth. A study carried out by Phillippa Lally found that it can actually take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form and cement that new habit. But 66 days was the average amount for most people.

I can certainly feel the truth of this now and it gives me greater confidence in the efficacy and necessity of completing those 100 days of this challenge.

Past the difficult 30 days I continued to record my insights. Changes were cemented and new ones discovered (such as faster reflexes and recovery). I faced a bunch of new challenges I could not have anticipated. I certainly didn’t expect to deal with heart break for example, but it proved to be one of my most important lessons. Read on to find out what happened.

Day 34 — Wait….So I CAN Stick To a Routine?

By Content Pixie on Unsplash

As the challenge goes on, it leaves room for more obscure observation. My energy and motivation to complete tasks overall has increased. My productivity has unsurprisingly increased. But one odd, specific type of productivity that has changed is this, it’s easier to make cleaning a priority.

Routines in general actually have a chance to be solidified. I guess that links in to the 66-day habit forming theory. Daily exercise is less of a chore. For the first time since my injury, I’m running again whilst doing resistant band and other exercises for the rehabilitation of my knee. I plan to return to BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) training soon.

Memory and Looks

By Vince Fleming on Unsplash

My memory has improved. I’m realising how even small but regular amounts of alcohol might have made my ADHD symptoms far worse and less manageable. This makes sense since it’s a dopamine deficit I struggle with. Alcohol gives the dopamine, why should the brain bother with anything else?

In addition to my improved brain function, improvements extend to the whole of my body. My hair is thicker and I’ve lost weight. I am finding new ways to treat myself and self-care is more of a priority than an afterthought. This reminds me of the 3 day fast challenge , where I found alternatives to food to reward myself. The same is happening with alcohol. I’m seeing real benefits from these shifts in thought and action.

Day 36 — Superpowers with No Radioactive Spider in Sight

By FORMAT arw on Unsplash

My willpower and motivation seem to have grown exponentially but another strange new strength has surfaced. It has happened too many times now for me not to take notice. Me catching things before they fall, preventing accidents, not being as clumsy in general. My reflexes are strangely fast, or faster than usual. Loving discovering these odd new little side effects.

The Bar Opening

By Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

So my mum and stepdad are starting a new business venture. Of all the business ventures……a bar. Two in fact. Now I wanted to be there to support them for the opening. It was a trek, on the opposite side of town. I was having a low day, a sense of helplessness at this turning point in my life. No, this sober journey was not going to be all highs and sunshine and roses.

Nevertheless, by this point I’d had experience with events where others were drinking, I was confident in handling it. I made my appearance knowing I didn’t have the energy to mingle as I would have and that was ok. I realised caring about what people thought of me was far less important than showing up for the ones that mattered. When I arrived, I came upon the realisation that my social battery is more limited than I thought, I am shyer than I thought. I was ok with that. Perhaps I was discovering the true me, learning how to be confident again without an artificial aid. I learned as well how my emotional dysregulation could affect me. On a day I was down, it was absolutely OK to conserve my energy..

Day 41 — Avoiding Emotions

By Domingo Alvarez E on Unsplash

Today I’m having another low moment. Processing emotions can be difficult. I’m realising now as I have realised before in this process that where I might have been stressed, overwhelmed or wanted to relax, I might normally have a drink. I realise that before it was an unconscious impulse whereas now, I view it more as a conscious decision. I am learning how to cope with and deal with emotions in a way I was avoiding before.

I go to see a friend for dinner that I haven’t seen in person for well over a year at least. The hours fly by and it’s a huge boost to my mood. She chooses not to drink in order to support me. Socialising like this is definitely something that helps in terms of processing my emotions and my overcrowded brain. Though I know I might enjoy a drink when socialising again, I view it now as a treat, much as a cake would be, as opposed to a social necessity. I could take it or leave it.

Day 42 — No More DOMS

By Danielle Cerullo on Unsplash

A few days ago I noticed two things that might not have been the case normally. Not just that I was excited to and jumped at the chance to go to the gym with my boyfriend in the very brief window of time we get to share each week, but that my feared DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) were almost non-existent. Something I am normally plagued with post workout. Huge win.

I look better. I feel better. My productivity and energy just seem to be increasing.

Day 43 — Culinary Queen

By Kevin McCutcheon on Unsplash

Anyone who can appreciate what a minefield cooking is for those who struggle with executive function, will appreciate what a huge win committing to cook actually is. Waves at ADHDers in the crowd. I actually used my run to gather the ingredients and cook a simple beef and aubergine try bake. Nonetheless, the satisfaction of knowing what I was putting into my body and would be for the next few days was brilliant.

Day 44 — The Routine Wins Continue

By THE 5TH on Unsplash

I have more of a settled routine now than I have in years, certainly since I went freelance full time. I have a morning and night time routine, practically unheard of in my life. I realise now how the structure of my life had slowly unravelled without me noticing, like a poorly knitted jumper with a loose thread.

I took spontaneity to the extreme and lost all sense of structured time and my approach to alcohol only exaggerated the problem. This has changed. I also feel like my time used to be managed very poorly and I was overwhelmed by the idea of organising anything, that much has or is changing.

Side note: memories have gained a new crystal clarity and everything seems more vivid.

Day 44 — On the Verge of a Break Up

By Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Well, if I thought I could go through this challenge with guaranteed stability in all areas of life, I was wrong. Makes for great growth and learning though I must say. I’ve had no massive upheaval until now. In full transparency, I really do wish I could drown my sorrows in a bottle of wine, but I now realise they would come back 10 times worse. Wishing is not the same as doing, no alcohol for me. Regardless of what’s going on in my personal life I am sticking to this challenge. It’s great having the realisation that even when this challenge is finished, I wouldn’t automatically reach for the wine to self soothe. It’s been long enough that a different habit is being ingrained. A far healthier and helpful one.



Follow and stay tuned for part 2, where the greatest difficulty reaches a climax! I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful. All hearts appreciated if you did. I look forward to your comments and questions. If there’s a topic you want to see written about, tell me! I welcome all suggestions.

To see more of my self improvement content or to checkout the rest of my series early you can visit my medium account:

Other Articles in this Series:

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About the Creator

Nessy Writer

A freelance writer of all sorts sharing it out with the world. Poetry, prose, advice, reviews and travel writing.

If you want to show your support and see more please follow me on Twitter: Nessywriter

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  • Test4 months ago

    You're doing amazing work Hats off to your work!

  • Kendall Defoe 4 months ago

    Well done!

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