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What Happened When I Went 60 Days Sober? — Pt.2 The Broken Heart

Follow my 100 days sober challenge journey!

By Nessy WriterPublished 4 months ago Updated 2 months ago 6 min read
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What Happened When I Went 60 Days Sober? — Pt.2 The Broken Heart
Photo by Marah Bashir on Unsplash

So if you haven’t caught up with part 1, then take a look. I was about to face the biggest difficulties in this challenge so far. It’s a lesson to learn, tomorrow is not given and life is unpredictable. It can either break you, or make you. It’s your choice.

Day 52 — The Break Up

By Dev Asangbam on Unsplash

I think this is the first time in my adult life that I’ve gone through a break up without drinking. I would usually use alcohol to “cheer me up” or numb my emotions. I am so glad that I haven’t repeated this pattern. I’ve been able to use healthy coping mechanisms instead. Speaking to friends and family, exercising, journalling, reading, creating. I am able to put the focus on myself. It has built my resilience incredibly. Just like I didn’t think I could fast for 3 days, 6 months ago I don’t think I could have gone through a break up without a drink. What has it done for me?

Well, I’ve been able to feel and process my emotions which has meant that I am able to process them much better. Though I’ve accepted that highs and lows are natural, I am feeling better far more often than I would have done in the past. Processing isn’t delayed. The break up has been amicable with no foul play but still, one of the most painful experiences of my life so far. It has made me realise that if I could go through that without a drink then clearly, I don’t need it as a coping mechanism for anything. I reflect on how during my first major encounter with grief over my grandmother’s death, I drank copiously, this pattern was one started long ago and I am incredibly grateful to have broken it.

By Everyday basics on Unsplash

I ‘ve looked after my health which is a priority when going through something like this. It’s like withdrawal from a drug, having your heart broken. Something MAJOR I realised it’s given me is the ability to have no regrets about what happened and how I’ve behaved towards that person since, who I still consider a friend. For the first time, I could hold my head high knowing I respected their request for space and controlled my emotions. I could see the situation rationally and clearly. There were no dramatic phone calls or texts. No reactive behaviour.

By Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

I knew that my ex had no reason to have anything but a high opinion of me and it was easier for me not to take things personally. I was full of self-love instead of self-loathing. I felt like a woman of class. Booze free break ups are something I would now fully encourage and endorse for everyone. Considering I am still only leading up to the 60-day point, it also means I have plenty of time to continue the process of healing in the right way. The highs and lows come in waves; at times you feel awful still. But these feelings don’t go away if you have a drink, they are just suppressed and likely to come back with a vengeance.

Day 53 — The Pub Catch Ups

By Elevate on Unsplash

Today and on the Friday just gone, I had catch ups with two different friends in two different pubs. On the Friday, my friend had a single glass of red wine upon doctor’s recommendation (to do with her absorption of iron) and then drank non alcoholic beers the remainder of the time. Today my friend had a few beers. Both friends were very supportive and respectful of my decision not to drink and neither situation triggered me. 6 months ago, I don’t think I could have imagined having one of those catch ups without at least one drink.

I reflect today on the lunches and dinners I’ve had with friends now where ordinarily, even if they weren’t drinking, I would have a drink. How unnecessary it now seems. How much cheaper my half of the bill is. I am lucky in the friends I have, some have begun to question their own beliefs about drinking. On the flipside I also find myself now totally unbothered or envious if they do drink to whatever degree whilst I’m not. It has really solidified my friendships in a deep and meaningful way. I feel safe and at ease with them in any situation or social setting. Though I knew I would be regardless, here I was faced with solid proof.

Day 55 — Invitations

By Manuel Cosentino on Unsplash

I have had two invitations. To leaving drinks and birthday drinks. Neither individual batted an eye at me explaining that though I’d attend I wouldn’t be drinking. It’s interesting how now the idea of attending ‘leaving drinks’ or ‘birthday drinks’ does not bring panic or uncomfortable anticipation. By now I have had my fair share of sober catch ups and meetings in an environment where people might be expected to drink.

I won’t be putting pressure on myself to stay. I’ve learned by now in terms of my social anxiety it takes about the first 20 minutes to ‘warm up’ so to speak and it helps to be there with the right mind set so that the social battery doesn’t die quickly without the dopamine hit of alcohol.

The Progress Reel

By Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash

Today I posted my first ever progress reel. 6 months progress to be exact. I finally had the confidence, and visually the change was dramatic. This journey of self-improvement you’ve joined me on has been astonishing. I’ve dropped 8 kg since before the fasting experiment , become fitter, healthier, objectively more attractive, more focused on my goals and far more emotionally resilient. This challenge I know has been a huge catalyst for that.

Day 57 — Training Perks

By Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Weird realisation, and I don’t want to jinx myself, but I no longer get massive migraines or constant cramps in training like I used to. I always put it down to dehydration and a lack of electrolytes. Whilst both these would have been relevant, I am now realising, though it should be obvious, how alcohol might have played a part in that.

Day 59 — Discomfort is Not What You Should be Afraid of….Regret Is

By Sage Friedman on Unsplash

The ride has been a difficult one but my healthy routines are so firmly in place. I honestly feel like a new person. Today I attended the leaving drinks for a friend that is leaving the country to start a new life in Malaysia and whom I have known for years. I met him through training, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that actually, the majority of the group didn’t drink. Two people had one or two drinks.

I was a bit emotionally rocky. Weekends have been a difficult time for me recently, but I was able to hold myself. I stayed as long as my social battery allowed, about 2 hours. I wasn’t used to the loud noise any more, that heavy bar environment. Sensory overload was high and it was ok to admit that to myself. I’ve realised that no one is sat there judging you for not drinking or for leaving when you need to.

When I did feel I needed to leave, I forgot to take a group photo. This plagued my mind as I walked away down that deserted alley through the closed market stalls. This might be the last time I saw my friend. I was too scared to go back. My social anxiety and anticipation of embarrassment was high. As I walked and mulled over these feelings, I found that the entrance through which I’d come in was closed and I took that for a sign. I turned and ran back the way I came, making the decision to face my fears. Past the saxophone player once more and back to the confused group, arranging them to huddle for a photo. My quest completed, I had a memento and I was glad for it. Discomfort is not what you should be afraid of….regret is.

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Follow and stay tuned for the finale and completion of my 100 days sober! 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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  • Alex H Mittelman 4 months ago

    Well written!

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