When I decided to stop drinking, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to count my days, or just go with the flow.
I went with the flow, and at first, I was counting weeks not days. I joined Twitter and IG for support.
I have learned a great deal about the sober community and for folks like me who were sober curious.
SOBER COUNTING IS NOT FOR EVERYONE
When I did explore the sober community, I noticed a few things right away.
- A lot of people are suffering and there are more women out there dealing with addiction than you think.
- Most women I saw used an app or counted their sober days on their own.
- Most of the time if you decided to give up drinking the label of an alcoholic was given without much thought (blog on this coming soon)
- The online support, from bloggers, IG, Twitter etc. is full of LOVE from both men and women. The manner they cheer each other on is the most beautiful thing I have seen. I have been in the Yoga Community for some time, and I have yet to see this sort of compassion towards other humans.
In the beginning, I did count my weeks and not days. I am starting to think I have a problem with counting stuff because if you asked me to count my calories, I might just tell you to “Piss off”. Oh, but I don’t mind counting money …cha-ching !!!!!
I thought about using an app, and I tied it at first, but when I had a slip-up in week 2, I didn’t like the feeling of “having to start over”. In my mind, I had already started, and my slip-up was a part of my starting process.
I am also a perfectionist when it comes to myself, and I felt like I failed. I didn’t like the failure feeling. I felt discouraged and bad about myself when I had to enter in my booze-free days and the counter will go back to day one after I had a great two weeks, then a slip-up.
I decided then and there that it works for a lot of people, but this is not one method that is serving me.
I also lost track of how many weeks I was sober when I went on vacation visiting my son, got covid while on vacation, got stuck in Florida, and tried to get entry information on me returning to Toronto.
I had no F****ing time to think about how many weeks I was sober, much less count days.
CELEBRATE YOUR SOBER DAYS/WEEKS
What advice would I give you if you are sober curious?
It’s to celebrate you always. Yeah, I know sounds kind of self-absorbed right?
If you want to change your life you have to become a little obsessed with yourself.
When I found out I had COVID and was scheduled to leave Florida to head to Toronto, I was sad, I was upset. My son was with me leading up to the hours I got the results and the first thing I thought was “Oh fuck, what if I gave it to him”. I cried in my hotel room and couldn’t make sense of getting covid, being fully vaxed and of course “why me”.
I thought about how I might have been in this situation a year ago. How I might have wanted to stress eat, stress drink and oh smoke cigarettes. I moved the thoughts from my mind and after the tears were done. I made up my mind that this was something I will overcome.
A few days had passed, my sister called, and I had told her I haven’t smoked a cigarette this whole time, that I didn’t tell myself “I need some wine”. Her response to me was “what, are you serious Melissa, you deserve an award, you are so strong”.
Krissy (my sister) is right, I am a strong woman. Resilient if I must say so myself. (Yup tooting my own horn).
I am unapologetic about my power and strength.
I will be my biggest support person. You should always be your biggest support person. You might not be like me and have sisters that would tell you how strong of a woman you are. I am blessed in that aspect to have sisters to remind me of my power. What that moment and so many others like it made me realize even more is that we all must show up and be cheerleaders for ourselves. We have to celebrate even the smallest of wins we have in our life; we have to celebrate our strength alone and as a community.
It’s okay if you don’t want to count your sober days, you have to do what works for you. For me counting my sober days was not for me at all.
Alcohol Use is Common Among Women and Girl
- Nearly half of adult women report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days.3
- Approximately 13% of adult women report binge drinking and on average do so 4 times a month, consuming 5 drinks per binge.4
- About 18% of women of child-bearing age (i.e., ages 18–44 years) binge drink.4
- In 2019, about 32% of female high school students consumed alcohol compared with 26% of male high school students. Binge drinking was also more common among female (15%) than male (13%) high school students.5
- In 2019, 4% of women overall and 8% of women aged 18 to 25 years had an alcohol use disorder.6