So you may have started your Sober Journey, or might be trying out Sober October, but what can you expect after 60 days alcohol free?
My guess is that if you are reading this you have probably already tried one of the 'challenges' and made it to day 30. Well done you, let's not underestimate the significance of this milestone. Even if you continued to drink in moderation or went back to your previous consumption, you have done something that only 20% of the people who regularly consume alcohol have done.
Before we start, let me be clear. If you are clinically addicted to alcohol, then quitting without medical advice and support is not a good idea and you should seek advice from your GP. If you are in the UK then you might want to use the NHS service finder Alcohol addiction support services - NHS (www.nhs.uk) to find a service near you.
So what is the significance of reaching 60 days sober?
60 days in and you are going to feel better than you did when you were drinking alcohol. Yes, it's going to be a mixture of feelings, emotional, physical and mindset, but you are going to feel, and be better than you were 60 days previously when you were pouring poison into your body every day.
Here are some of the things I experienced around my 60 day ‘soberversary’.
Emotional and Psychological Growth: The initial days of sobriety can be a roller-coaster of emotions. By the 60-day mark, I started to process some of the emotions and experiences I had been avoiding through drinking alcohol every day. This was the beginning of deep emotional and psychological healing that is still a 'work in progress' over 3 years later
Symbolic Importance: For me, reaching milestones like 30, 60, or 90 days offered opportunities for reflection and recognition. These moments were important rituals in my sobriety journey, serving as reminders of progress and motivation for the future.
Re-evaluation of Life's Purpose: Sobriety often allows us to rediscover or redefine our life's purpose. After 60 days, I started to discover my authentic self and who I was really meant to be, all unclouded by the consumption of an addictive poison. Remembering and reimagining the things I loved to do as a child and young man has brought me back to my love of photography, and continues to redefine the next phase of my life.
Physical Recovery: The body and brain has begun to heal themselves, and some might notice improved sleep, better digestion, clearer skin, and increased energy. This varies so much by individual, but for me I didn’t sleep soundly for 8 hours, and never have since, BUT my sleep is far more restful and I wake feeling more relaxed and revived without the hangover head.
I also rediscovered the gym, something that I had let slip for a year or so. Covid didn’t help as the gyms started to close, but I continued walking and cycling. 3 years later I am 1 stone lighter and probably in the best shape I have been for at least 10 years
Financial benefits: And finally, money. Even if you have purchased some additional supplements, books, audiobooks or hypnosis recordings you will still be financially better off by not drinking alcohol. If you have never taken the time to work out what you spend on alcohol, the 60 day anniversary is a good time to take an objective look, and remind yourself how much you have been spending on addictive poison.
I calculated that (and this was at 2020 prices) I was drinking a bottle of wine a night (£5 - I was never a wine connoisseur) and one or two cans of beer or a good measure of Gin in my Tonic (£2) - £49 per week and that didn't include those 'big nights' like eating out with friends or parties. Even at this conservative estimate that’s £2,500 a year.
At 60 days I set my intention to save that £49 per week, and I still do. OK Covid saw the money jar disappear with the lack of using cash, but I still transfer that amount each week into a separate account to reinforce the ritual and accumulate a sizeable 'pot' in 3 years, something which allowed me to indulge my hobby of collecting old Minis.
OK, I hear you say, that’s all the good stuff, now what about the challenges?
There can be a whole host of challenges in the first 60 days, but I am going to focus on the one that hit me. Socialising with friends, and what you say to them.
The key to this is preparation. Don’t agree to meet up with someone you usually drink with without preparation. Firstly, call the place you are going to meet and find out what AF drinks are available. You can then confidently order an AF drink by name rather than mumble something like 'what alcohol free drinks do you have?'
And secondly, agree with yourself what words you are going to use. It could be a lie, you know, the one about taking antibiotics, or it could be something like 'I've tried alcohol free weeks or months and I quite like the way I feel, so I am giving it a longer trial'
Whatever words you chose to use, when I had got this fixed in my head, it was so easy to say that no sooner had the words left my lips, then the conversation immediately moved to something else. Anxiety over.
There are of course many other challenges, and maybe I will explore these next month, but for now I think this post is long enough!
So celebrate the first 60 days knowing that you have got through the toughest bit, and in the knowledge that you have made the best decision in your life.
What are you waiting for?
Take control of your relationship with alcohol and work with me on your journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.
The first step is just a click away. Don't hesitate any longer; book your free discovery call today .