This past week, I celebrated 100 days sober. And by celebrated I mean, I didn’t drink…I know, shocking right?
I used to see people post inspiring, long-winded before and after pictures on Facebook and roll my eyes thinking, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. We get it, guy. Good for you…”
Now I understand why they did so.
It was ridiculously hard. And no, not because I laid in my bed with the shakes from withdrawals or anything weird like how the movies portray it to be.
It was hard because the anxiety of not being in the scene anymore ate at me every day. I spent years trying to fit in and be Mr. Cool Guy. I did everything I could to ensure people liked me. I said ‘Yes’ to everyone and everything, even when I knew saying yes was a bad idea.
So when I decided to do 100 days without a drop, it forced me to finally say ‘No’ to people. Saying no to people who held me back is one of the toughest lessons I ever learned. But I had to do it.
I surrounded myself with people I knew would encourage me to grow. The list was small, but they were more than enough to help get me through. And I will take this time to thank those people who stayed in my life and helped me grow (you know who you are because you had to listen to my sob story every time you called…you’re welcome).
I made a commitment to myself to change for the good, which meant it was time to cut the dead weight. I still had people and things in my life holding me back from being who I wanted to be. That ended right there.
I believe the old saying goes, “You spend too much time worrying what other people think of you…A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinion of a sheep.”
Though I absolutely DO NOT believe we should ever view the world as if we’re better than anyone else – what I took from this is that I could no longer allow the opinions of the wrong people alter the pursuit of my dreams.
It was Jim Rohn (motivational speaker) who said, “you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So, I needed to ensure they were the right people.
Here’s What I Learned From Doing 100 Days Sober.
1. I learned the Power of “NO.”
I made it my mission not to be better than others, but just to try and be better than I used to be. I started preoccupying myself with things to do so I could prepare a, “No, sorry I can’t tonight, bro…” when people would call to hang out.
I was certainly not rude to these people, nor did I inform them that they were ‘no longer my friend’ (because that would be tacky, and weird). I just learned the word “No” so I could finally do what makes me happy.
If I’m being completely honest, I had never felt that alone before. I didn’t have the slightest clue what I was going to do or how this was all going to work out – but I did know being in that world of partying would not lead me any closer to happiness.
So, all I could do was try to be better every single day, and learn to say no to the people holding me back. I would do it alone if I had to. Whatever it took to find my happiness and be successful, I would do. I would not quit. I would not give in. I would not let a girl, boss, bad friend or anyone else, win.
And once I separated myself, my entire life opened up.
2. You really do feel pretty damn good
I know, I’m that guy… but I lost 54 pounds. And got a tan.
Obviously, it wasn’t all from boos, but not drinking definitely helped. Plus, I stopped eating California burritos at 2 am (kinda miss those though).
I feel great. And not just physically, mentally too.
3. You’re clear-headed
I was amazed at how great I felt mentally. My emotions were all over the place for a long time, but when I finally hit 100 days the vision was clear and I was finally happy with myself.
It was a strange feeling, but one I’m definitely not complaining about.
4. 30 Days is enough to give you the clarity you need
If you decide sobriety just isn’t realistic for your lifestyle (which is 100% okay), I do recommend trying to do thirty days without a drop once or twice throughout the year just to keep a level head. I believe these periods give you the clarity you need to continue on living a happy life.
Regardless, whatever you decide is for you to decide. This is an area of your life that neither I, nor anyone else, can decide for you.
But, if you need some help with it…I may know a guy
5. You find out who your friends are
It’s amazing that some friendships only revolve around going out and drinking. Contrary to popular belief, there are other things humans can do.
Saying no to people who only wanted to rage is one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. But I had to do it. I surrounded myself with people I knew would encourage me to grow.
Soon enough, the rest stopped calling.
6. You get tons of stuff done
My productivity level skyrocketed. I mean, how could it not? I was no longer wasting 3+ days out of the week partying and recovering.
I finally had time to do things for me.
7. You finally sleep
I no longer had to worry about battling the hangovers anymore. My anxiety levels dropped substantially and I finally got a good night’s rest.
That’s a win all on its own.
8. Your bank account loves you
9. You realize that most people need alcohol to have a good time
I know, I know…I’m that guy (again). But seriously. Alcohol is absolutely everywhere. You go out to dinner, it’s a glass of wine. You watch the Super Bowl, it’s a thirty rack…then some. You get home from a long day of work, it’s a whiskey.
You don’t realize how much Alcohol is ingrained in our culture until you take 100 days off.
I’m certainly not that guy who is Anti Everything Alcohol now, but I do think it is important to be aware of how much it runs our lives.
Anyway, if you’re anything like me and you’re worried about what people will think if you stop drinking, pick up the phone and call me. We’ll go tanning and celebrate together.
That’s all I got for now, stay tuned…friends.