100(ish) days

I think it’s been about 100 days, but since I don’t count days very assiduously, I should go check (I checked: it turned out I was congratulating myself a few days early, so I’ll just schedule this to magically post in the future).

Since I’m thinking about numbers, here are mine so far. For the first 45 days, I abstained from alcohol completely, in what I call my “30+.” There were ups and downs, but it was a great chance to clear my head and take a large step away from alcohol. Since then, I have been experimenting with moderate drinking. I had about 40 drinks in March (~35 of them on a vacation which I went into with no firm plan for drinking or practice with moderation, so that seems like a pretty easy one to avoid repeating). I had 22.5 drinks in April (eight in a single night, which again, is a great way to boost one’s total). And for this first week in May, I’ve had 2.5 drinks.

So that adds up to 65 drinks in 100 days. For some perspective, that is less than I drank in pretty much any given week for many, many years. Whether or not it fits your particular definition of healthy habits, it represents a substantial, quantifiable improvement over any 100 day period for the past decade of my life. Yay!

Of those 100 days, 81 have been completely free of alcohol. That is great, except that it also tells me that my 65 drinks were consumed in just 19 separate days, which is less great. Of those 19 days, nine involved drinking above MM limits, and ten involved moderation (1-3 drinks).

One way to describe the overall numbers: on 91 out of 100 days, I behaved like a moderate drinker; on the remaining 9 days, I exceeded my limits. Given that I used to exceed my limits almost every single day out of every 100 day stretch, this represents a huge improvement!

There are non-numerical things to celebrate as well, of course. For instance, although I drank a lot while I was on that vacation, I resumed practicing moderation as soon as I returned home. That is a very big deal for me, as vacations (or other breaks in routine) have derailed nearly every other attempt I’ve made to change my drinking habits.

The past 100 days have been very good for me. I am healthier, happier, and more able to do things I enjoy. I have learned how to make yogurt, cooked several new recipes, written thousands of words, and hiked a few dozen miles. I think I have been a better friend & partner. I have stopped ignoring my phone when it rings in the evenings.

I’ve saved a lot of money too. Over the past few years, I drank a lot of alcohol, but like many women, my staple was 3-liter boxes of wine. I bought one of those every 2-3 days, spreading my purchases out across as many liquor stores a possible in an attempt to hide my drinking. Plus some beer, and drinks if we were eating out, and the occasional splurge on something different. 100 days would have meant around 40 boxes of wine; at around $20/box, that’s $800 saved in wine alone.

Even better: Peace of mind. Self-control. Sleep. Self-kindness.

Hope.

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