1000 Days Without Alcohol: Reflections and Gratitude List
March 14, 2023
At midnight, my sober tracking app will change from 999 days without alcohol to 1000 days without alcohol.
Years ago, I didn't know if it was possible to go a day without alcohol, a week without alcohol, 10 days without alcohol, a month without alcohol...let alone a year (or two) and soon-to-be three.
Read my 2-year alcohol-free milestone post here: 7 Lessons Learned After 730 Days Without Alcohol.
In the past, I have celebrated milestone dates by writing blog posts reflecting on new things learned. There are some really raw, insightful, and helpful posts you can find under the "Quitting Drinking" category. These blog posts can help you come to know what to expect in the early days of quitting drinking, along with some tips on recovering from daily drinking or binge drinking.
This time, I thought about doing a list of 1000 reasons why I won't start drinking again; 1000 ways to get to 1000 days without alcohol; and 1000 things learned from not drinking for 1000 days.
One thousand is a BIG number- and it speaks to the magnitude of work involved in staying sober from alcohol for this long. And while I do believe if I sat down over several sessions, I could absolutely come up with 1000 reasons and 1000 ways and 1000 lessons...it's less important to give you reasons why and more important to let you know this is truly possible for you, too.
My key takeaway is that through all the ups and downs of the past few years, I have learned to believe in my ability to cope without alcohol. It has opened my eyes, heart, ambition, motivation, and ability to connect to others in entirely new ways. None of this is simple, easy, or overnight work. It's also not exclusive to any one person, place, or thing. Living sober from alcohol can be your future, if you so choose.
And so, without further ado, here are *some* other key takeaways from my journey. I'm sharing these because I've found a lot of help and support from reading about other people's sobriety journeys and their words on their own recovery process.
Writing anything with 1000 points seems like a massive task, and it's quite beautiful how reflective that is of the whole quitting drinking journey. If you had asked me in the very beginning to do 1000 days without alcohol, it would have seemed unfathomable.
Not My First Time: How I Got to 1000 Days Without Alcohol
This is not the first time I have removed alcohol from my life. The last time lasted 8 months or some 243 days.
Now, we are looking ahead to June 2023, which will be three years alcohol-free. This means that even though I have experienced returning to drinking after quitting in the past, this last time I quit has been by far the most successful (if we define success by time spent sober from a substance).
I got to 1000 days without alcohol by trying again and again and again.
I'm telling you this so you know that if you had a sober streak before, and it's breaking your heart thinking about starting over after a relapse, just start.
Yes, just start.
Time spent sober is never wasted. I promise you did learn a lot from the last foray into the world of not drinking: Apply it again and get started where you're currently at.
Also, don't delay by waiting for a certain date unless you can guarantee that date means more to you than your drinking...
Start stopping again the minute you get that internal call to do so. The call is the sign it's time to make some changes.
Following the call even once can lead you into a world free from a substance that is mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially draining and damaging.
Read Next: New Experiences in Early Sobriety
Things I'm Grateful For After 1000 Days Without Alcohol
I wrote this list to provide perspective into what really matters. It's not so much about the days as it is about the moments that bring lessons and learnings and laughter and love without the filter of alcohol.
This list is in no particular order because, well, gratitude in my humble opinion doesn't work like that anyway.
I'm grateful I decided to stop drinking (again).
I'm grateful I did not give into the many cravings that have occurred throughout the last 1000 days. It has not been easy but it has been SO worth it.
I'm grateful for sober tracking and community-building apps where you can use free resources to keep track of your time saved and money saved and how many days you have been free from alcohol.
I'm grateful for friends who are also sober from alcohol.
I'm grateful for friends who support me being free from alcohol.
I'm grateful for family who is open to learning about how best to support me in not drinking.
I'm grateful for SMART recovery programs that focus on goal setting, skill building, and developing a deeper level of self-awareness.
I'm grateful for online forums and community chats where you can connect with others on a similar journey.
I'm grateful for crying- It's really actually quite essential to experiencing the full range of human emotions.
I'm grateful for creative outlets like painting, metal stamping, and writing blog posts about the journey.
I'm grateful for walking trails where things just always seem to feel a little better.
I'm grateful for outdoor and indoor plant shops where things just always seem a little better.
I'm grateful for sunshine feeling good on my skin again.
I'm grateful for kombucha, soda water, and coffee.
I'm grateful for fun and fancy alcohol-free choices at restaurants.
I'm grateful for open coffee bars during public events.
I'm grateful for my gut health.
I'm grateful for my skin health.
I'm grateful for my sleep health.
I'm grateful for my mental health. Even when I experience challenges, I know I can cope and am safer because alcohol is no longer part of my anxiety, depression, self-harm cycle.
I'm grateful I can only barely remember the feeling of waking up in panic from hangxiety.
I'm grateful the last hangover was the last hangover.
I'm grateful I took time to learn the damaging effects alcohol was having on my body, mind, and spirit.
I'm grateful quitting alcohol gave me the time and money to do 7 months of yoga pretty consistently.
I'm grateful quitting alcohol freed up space in therapy sessions to talk about more than changing unhealthy coping mechanisms and to finally start digging underneath as to the "WHY" behind my drinking.
I'm grateful quitting drinking gave me the courage to self-publish and expand my business.
I'm grateful I remember the hugs.
I'm grateful I remember the holidays.
I'm grateful I remember the conversations.
I'm grateful I remember the moments (yes, even the hard ones).
I'm grateful I've reclaimed my nights and my mornings and my afternoons from alcohol.
I'm grateful I've learned to stop pressing on things that should be paused.
I'm grateful I have learned to say no to the lure of alcohol.
I'm grateful I can now take these learnings and apply them to other areas of my life and my personal development.
One day or one thousand days: I believe in your ability to quit drinking. This is honestly all I want to share about this topic for now. Until next time. -M