Limbo

I’m coming up on my 120 day mark in a few days…4 months. I feel like I fought really hard for this last month. Looking back, the first 6-8 weeks of my sobriety were all about fighting the cravings and developing tools to fight them. During that time, I was on a “pink cloud.” I felt so much better. I once read something on another blog about how alcoholics who stop drinking react like a ballon held underwater. As soon as you stop, you pop to the surface emotionally, just like the balloon. I felt better than I had in many years. I won’t say the first two months were easy, because they weren’t, but the new-found energy and elevated mood made it easy to keep going.

During the 3rd month, I had gotten into a groove and the cravings weren’t so much an issue, but it seemed like my emotions went into overdrive, and I had to figure out how to deal with that. I’m not an outwardly emotional person because I’m just not comfortable showing them to other people. I was still feeling much better, but the novelty of that feeling had worn off.

This last month has been a real challenge. The memory of how bad I felt during my drinking days faded, and the holidays approached with all their expectations and stress. I had thoughts of moderation creeping back in. When I originally decided to quit, I decided I would give it up for 8 weeks. A few weeks in, I decided to stretch it out to Jan 1. That was before I decided to make this a permanent change.

Well, Jan. 1 has come and gone, and I’m still sober. I feel like I’m in a state of limbo right now. The initial milestones of 1 week, one month, 90 days all flew by quickly. But this period between 90 and 120 days seems to have stretched on interminably. I have been on vacation for almost 3 weeks, so I’m sure when I go back to work, this weird time-warp slow feeling will go away.

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6 Responses to Limbo

  1. thirstystill says:

    Congrats on your almost 4 months, and for making the decision to stay with being sober past the big Jan 1! I did something similar to you, except I did it twice. When I quit a year and a half ago, I listened to that siren song of moderation after four months, but that didn’t work out for me and I quit again a couple of months later, this time for good. I think you’re right, you forget how awful things had been after 3 or 4 months, and then the seduction of booze can be hard to resist. Good for you for getting through that, and especially during the holidays. Happy new year to you!

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    • Sober Geek says:

      Thanks! The sober blogosphere has been such a tremendous help to me. So many people have shared their stories, including their struggles with moderation attempts. I thought about it in the beginning… that I might be able to go back to “normal” drinking after some period of time, but it was reading blogs and comments like this one that helped me work through what this all means for me. I have read enough stories of failed moderation attempts that I feel fairly confident that I would not do any better at it.

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  2. Pamela says:

    Is this the longest stretch of sobriety you have had? You and you alone know whether you can moderate or not. I know i would not be able to do that as I’ve tried before and it always turns into a bottle of chardonnay every night! Do you really want to go through all the pain again even though you had a pink cloud for a bit? Think about that..having to start all over again. This is what helps me stay on track! I’m sure getting back to work will help you focus again…wishing you the best!

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    • Sober Geek says:

      Oh, hell no, I’m not planning to attempt moderation. I have attempted to “cut back” before. I did the whole “bargaining” thing where I would not drink on weekdays, but somehow my drinking days always ended up expanding into the rest of the week. I know I can never be a moderate drinker. I don’t know when I crossed that line, but here I am. Exactly as you describe it, I know one glass would eventually lead me back to where I was. I am committed to not drinking again, ever, but that doesn’t mean the thoughts don’t weasel their way in. Thanks for your comment, and be well. 🙂

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  3. ainsobriety says:

    My year has bern similar. Ups and downs. Questions. Getting through things and coming to personal realizations.
    My life doesn’t seem to be missing anything without alcohol.
    So that is how i stay.

    I never drank daily, but, like you, when i did drink i always drank too much and regretted it.

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    • Sober Geek says:

      No one gets to the end of their life and says “I wish I had checked out of more of my life by drinking more.” Of course there are times when I sort of miss that instant soothing of uncomfortable emotions, but I know it doesn’t really help anything in the long run.

      Liked by 1 person

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