What Forty+ Days of Sobriety Feels Like

Finding strength in the absence of social lubrication

The start of the Journey

The approach to trying out the #sobernaut journey coincides with lent, actually. You might wonder what lent is so here’s some knowledge from the free encyclopedia.

“The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, simple living and self-denial.”

Lent is an inherently religious practice, however, your participation doesn’t have to be. Its forty day length is the perfect time to practice abstinence from anything you so wish in your life.

After all: Anything you can’t fast from, you are a slave to.

Why Alcohol

In a certain sense I have been feeling for a long time now that alcohol is a personal achilles heel. I do not abuse it, but it does always start with one, and how it ends is a different story.

Alcohol doesn’t get in the way of my other life goals, except for the occasional Saturday hangover (or so I thought).

In my circle alcohol if often used as a social crutch. Meeting with friends, and other parties = having a round or two. I found myself drinking socially three to four times a week.

What was I gaining from this? Absolutely Nothing. What was I losing? A lot more than I initially thought.

The benefits I reaped within the 40 day frame

It has now been 40+ days since the start of this sober journey. I continued attending social gatherings, where I simply abstain from alcohol. My favorite replacement so far is… *drumroll please*pineapple juice (I didn’t dabble into the mocktail part of sobriety at all)

Before this approach I never realized how much time exactly is lost to recuperating from a night of drinks. I have so much more time on my hands to dedicate to other endeavours, hobbies, interests, and goals.

A night out for drinks is not cheap any way you spin it. Especially after a few beverages where the next few whatever’s are not even considered an expense anymore. This money can be dedicated to experiences that offer more value; like travel, self-care, donations, up-keep, etc.

Though I’ve never been one to complain, not drinking has surely positively affected my stamina and overal approach to health, body and mind. I have lost a few pounds in weight, due to the definite caloric deficit left by the absence of beer in especially, as well as the absence of food cravings as the night progresses (and the food weighted to “recuperation” the next day).

My skin health has also benefited, feeling and looking more supple.

Though there are more benefits than the above mentioned, an important one is the change of pace. You get to see the world from another, fresher perspective, and most things in your life with thank you for it.

How I did it

“For the next forty days (at least) I will say NO to alcoholic beverages” —

This was the claim I made, and held myself to regardless of anything. During this time I was offered free beverages, looked at strangely when asking for water at a bar, and had a handful of moments where I thought “I might be enjoying this more if I did indeed have a few drinks”, but I pulled through, considering the end game.

Not only did this app keep count, it also motivated me to continue as I saw the number steadily increase, day by day. It’s a simple app that doesn’t do much other than count the days, minutes, and seconds. (I also added a few other counters like: “No junk food” that I definitely have reset since then, oops. Disclaimer: I am not perfect).

This app is called Days Since and it’s available for free in the app store.

I didn’t cut anything else out. I still said yes to dinners, and Friday meet ups, I just approached the beverage side of things differently.

What’s next?

So, it’s been forty days and lent is almost over. Am I going to go out for a few rounds? Am I going to indulge in a glass of wine? Perhaps. I am free to.

There is a world of beverages out there but, I’m not necessarily leaning towards this. Only time can tell, but currently my being convinced to break the streak will have to take more than just a whim.

Ultimately, not drinking is absolutely freeing.

Who knows If I’ll write a ninety day update, and then perhaps even a yearly update.

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