100 days alcohol free & the best advice I have to give

100 days alcohol free advice

I’m no expert on this sobriety thing.

Plenty of you reading this may have far more days alcohol free than me and I salute you. I cannot wait to look back at my life & have a long stretch that I remember. A life that I have been fully present and conscious in.

I can sometimes be embarrassed of these early days – yet talking to my lovely friend Sasha last week reminded me that this perspective I have is a blessing, and that documenting these early days could be helpful for me & maybe to some of you too …

Perhaps you’ve not decided to try it yet, you are still drinking and waiting for a sign, or a rock bottom to force you into life alcohol free, maybe let this be your sign.

Let the decision to try an alcohol free life become an empowering adventure rather than a fear based imprisonment.

I reread 100 days of diary entries to gather together this post so bear with me, it’s a long one. If you want the why behind my reflections, then you can read my story: why I decided to stop drinking here.

The biggest lesson I have recieved from my first 100 days of not drinking is that removing the booze is not a quick fix. I thought giving up alcohol would magic away all of my problems – it hasn’t (no shit) – but the perspective I have now is filled with potential rather than gloom & I wouldn’t swap that for the world.

Lessons Learnt from 100 Days Alcohol Free …

1.I don’t need to be drunk to lose things or to get lost.

I always put that down to drinking but turns out that side of my personality is just that, my personality – I left my passport in the back of a taxi last week, stone cold sober.

2. Community is everything.

Whilst a few years ago I went to a meeting, that has not been my path this time. However the alcohol free movement (including Club Soda & One Year No Beer) & friends both online & in real life have been so key to lean on for support and me feeling like this has been the right decision to me

3. Sometimes I will get sick of talking about not drinking – and that’s ok.

Some days it feels all consuming, and then some days I want to be as far away from talking and writing about sobriety as physically possible. Removing alcohol from my life has given me so much more space to be the person I wanted to be, and always was deep down, my life now is full of all the dreams & activities I always wished I had time for – so I don’t need to talk about booze all the time. It is only a tiny part of me.

4.Not having an off switch is hard work

Booze was my favourite off switch. Two glasses of wine and I’d feel relaxed and slightly numb. It quieted my mind. Removing the substance that helped me relax and chill out has been tough, but finding other ways to relax and new healthier coping mechanisms (some here, 5 ways to deal with a bad mood) has helped a lot.

5. I’m not perfect, with or without alcohol

Shocker right? I mean this one hurt. Unfortunately, removing the booze hasn’t magically healed my life and turned me into my perfect self. I think I can often get wrapped up in becoming the ‘finished’ version straight away. It’s a journey for a reason, trust the process and keep doing the work.

What has worked for me so far, and the advice I have to give:

1.Know your reasons.

Want to lose weight, be a better parent to your kids, finally get your shit together? Keep your reasons close to you but try – as best you can – to reframe this as an opportunity to find out more about yourself and to live a better life. Life in High Definition, the guys at One Year No Beer are great at this.

2.Find your people.

People are so important, and people that get it even more so, just one person you can call on when you’re feeling shit or when you’re feeling great can make a massive difference. I wrote about some groups and resources to help you here, and there’s also a massive instagram community if that’s your jam (it’s mine), who will lift you up when you need lifting up & provide massive amounts of inspiration and support.

3.Find inspiration and fast.

Look around you, who’s living their life the way you want too? Who’s doing cool stuff you like the look of? Seek them out, read their stuff and get inspired with everything you want to do. I read every book on giving up drinking when I first started thinking about stopping (Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind I highly recommend, as well as Sarah Hepola’s Blackout) but I also got massively inspired by yoga teachers and adventurers. There’s so much I want to do, and it is so much easier to do without a hangover.

4.Get a (new) routine.

Morning routines can be super helpful to get you off to a good start and set you up for the day, post here if you want to dive a bit deeper into that … It also helps to identify when you used to drink and put new routines in place to change your mindset. For me now, unless I’m out and about I always have a bath when I go to bed with a cup of herbal tea (no more wine and netflix) and I often go to a late night yoga class in place of Thursday night drinks.

5.Some people won’t get it, and that’s ok.

They are not your people right now. Don’t fight it or them. Be comfortable in making the right decisions for you right now.

6.Embrace affirmations/mantras

Sorry if I lose you here to the woo woo but honestly, I think these have got me through some of the tough days. Save them on your phone, or write them down wherever you are. Take the ones that resonate with you, and discard the rest. Come back to these throughout the day. These are some of the ones I’ve picked up in my first 100 days:

        1. Life is easy for me (thanks Gail Love Schock for this)
        2. I accept myself as I am
        3. I am willing to see this situation differently. I can choose peace instead of this (from A Course in Miracles)
        4. I love and appreciate myself
        5. I am enough
        6. I am present. I am grounded. There is nowhere else I need to be
        7. I deserve the best and accept it now

7.Give yourself a break.

You are not going to be perfect at this, your whole life will not change overnight but you are putting in place the things you need and your future self will thank you for it. Day by day. And my life has changed quite a lot in 100 of those days …

8. Learn to say “No Thank You”.

That doesn’t work for me any more. Another piece of magic from Gail that I have held on to. You don’t need a reason, you don’t need to consistently explain yourself. It is ok to say no thank you and walk away from a situation. So often we can get wrapped up in what other people think of us, and pressured to do things we don’t want to (go on, just one drink – sound familiar?) People will learn and adapt. Add no thank you to your vocabulary and be safe in the knowledge that you are allowed to change.

So that’s my lot, here’s to the next 100 days and to the rest of my life.

I’d love to hear your reflections, I love to chat! Send me an email or find me on instagram.

All my love, as always, L xx

You can find this post linked to some of these amazing link ups

Bloggers Link Up / #BloggerClubUK / #TriumphantTales / #AnythingGoes / #DreamTeam / #ABloggingGoodTime

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26 Comments

  1. Annelise
    March 24, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    This is lovely to read and some brilliant tips, thank you! 🙂 x

  2. Littleladysparkle
    March 24, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    I am so pleased for you. I have tried for 4 years now and still haven’t got that far! Love your posts and instagram and hope one day to get to where you have!

  3. March 24, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    I love this and one day I’d like to give it a try. I’ve cut back to one/two drinks only on the weekend for lent and I feel so much better. I look forward to reading more of your suggestions and following your journey.

  4. March 25, 2017 / 2:20 am

    What a great change in life for you. There aren’t really any positive things I can think of when it comes to alcohol, but everyone has their reasons for drinking or not. Yours sound like really good reasons not to. I have never really liked the taste of alcohol. Thank goodness. I mostly have problems with sodas and sugar. They may be comparing apples to oranges, but I have always though I am so glad I don’t like the way it taste, or I would have a super hard time quitting. Alcohol is not always fun. Glad you found out what works for you! #anbloggerslinkup

  5. March 25, 2017 / 5:18 am

    I love this. I also get tired of talking about sobriety sometimes, and not having an off-switch is probably the hardest part about sobriety for me. It really does take work, and sometimes I get mad about that. But the benefits outweigh those issues, for sure.
    Everything else was great, too. 100% agreed. Good stuff!

  6. March 27, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    Thank you for writing this post. I am not drinking currently myself after a very embarrassing incident. It’s nice to know I am not the only one going through this too! It’s great not drinking. It’s an honest way to look at yourself but it is challenging. And there is no way around that! I commend you for doing what you are doing!!!

  7. March 27, 2017 / 9:41 pm

    What great insight into your journey. Go you! Congratulations.

  8. Joline
    March 28, 2017 / 12:48 am

    Good on you for making this decision! I know it can’t be easy. I enjoy a glass of wine now and then but I’ve cut down a LOT – for me it’s because the hangover is just not worth it anymore. I wish you the best of luck on your journey!

  9. March 28, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    Thank you! This was inspirational and encouraging. And congratulations on your 100 days! Looking forward to seeing your journey at the 200 mark;)

  10. March 28, 2017 / 1:18 pm

    Well done. I commend you on your efforts. Thank you for your honesty!

  11. March 28, 2017 / 1:55 pm

    Beautifully written! Congratulations on your 100 days! And good luck with the rest of your life. I watch an addict in my life struggle every single day, so it’s encouraging to see a story like yours. Prayers for your continued sobriety. And you’ve created a follower out of me.

  12. March 28, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    Laurie, what a wonderful post! And I congratulate you on this milestone of your journey. Keep up the good work. My brother has been sober many years now and though, as you wisely point out in your post, it didn’t “magic away all of his problems,” it made him capable of dealing with his problems in ways he could never have done while drinking. He would tell you that quitting drinking was the best decision he ever made. Oh, yes, about those people who urge you to “have just one” — you’re right. No explanations necessary, just No Thank You. And for those who push, a second (and final) No Thank You with a voice and facial expression that makes clear that that’s the end of the matter! Wishing you all the best.

  13. March 28, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    Congrats on your 100 days! Thanks for sharing this post! Loved it!

  14. March 28, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    Well done and well said! I’m alcohol free and it’s absolutely amazing. I get sick of telling people why I don’t drink, it’s quite annoying, but you have to find strength and believe in yourself. This is the only way to get through and stick to your word TO YOURSELF. That’s all that matters 🙂

  15. March 28, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    Congratulations! From personal experience, I know this can be super hard. But it looks like you have established some great coping skills! Keep up the great work! I hope you are super proud of yourself #TriumphantTales

  16. March 29, 2017 / 9:06 am

    I rarely drink and it seems as if everyone I know is judging me for not doing it. Right now, no 5 – Some people won’t get it, and that’s ok. I have them feels. #AnythingGoes

  17. March 29, 2017 / 2:10 pm

    Great advice. I cut down dramatically 12 yrs ago mostly to lose weight and it changed me. I don’t hang with alcoholics now who are bad influences on me and spend my time more constructively.

  18. March 29, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    congratulations on 100 days and best of luck going forward. It something that I probably am going to have to seriously consider at some point myself #triumphanttales

  19. March 30, 2017 / 12:10 am

    Congratulations on 100 days with no alcohol, that’s amazing! I used to drink a lot in my teens buy now I’m a mum is hardly ever drink. I love the wisdom you’ve shared here and I’m sure anyone thinking about giving you alcohol will find this post very helpful. Thanks for linking up to #BlogCrush xx

  20. March 30, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    I think learning to say no thank you is great advice that can be used in many situations. Great post and I’m looking forward to reading more! 🌟 Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

  21. March 31, 2017 / 6:30 pm

    Congratulations on your 100 days. My husband and I gave up drinking nearly 3 years ago for a few reasons, our son being the main one, and we’ve never looked back. The old associations and habits have been replaced with new ones and our lives are much happier without it. We’ve lost some friends along the way which surprised and hurt us but we know it’s their loss and not ours, all because we no longer drink. That said we have gained new ones. Raising a cup of tea to your next 100 days xx #BloggerClubUK

  22. March 31, 2017 / 7:55 pm

    I have also not been drinking and I haven’t really missed it to be honest. Well done to you!

    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

  23. April 3, 2017 / 4:08 pm

    Well done. It’s a great achievement and really great that you are so positive about it. Thanks for linking up to #TriumphantTales and please do come back again tomorrow 🙂

  24. April 3, 2017 / 7:55 pm

    These are some really good tips and I am so glad you are doing so well and so happy in the choices you have made.
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us at #TriumphantTales

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