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Finding the sweet spot

Updated: Apr 29

Looking for those signposts that represent lasting change in my relationship to alcohol.* 

During my 90 alcohol free experiment (I’m currently on day 81), I haven’t felt too much internal or external resistance. Family and friends have been supportive, and I’ve been able to recognize that if I feel otherwise, I’m the one usually making up a story based on my own conditioning and projections.

If anxious thoughts are coming up around consuming, or not consuming, I do my best to allow them and not make them wrong. I can sit with this momentary discomfort, this desire of wanting, it’s ok. 

~ I pause to refocus on what’s important and remind myself that over the last 2.5 months, everything, including but not limited to, sleep, sex drive, creativity, moods and athletic recovery, has been better. ~

I order or pour myself a non alcoholic drink and the anxious desire passes, typically within minutes. 

And the muscle strengthens. 

The longer I go, the better I feel, and the less desire I have to drink. I want this deeper resilience to continue! 

Is there a sticking point?

I did feel something concretize or solidify within my brain around the 2 month mark. For me, I think it was the embodied realization that having drinks doesn’t have to be my default setting in social situations. After passing through those series of firsts - first fancy dinner out, first vacation, listening to live music, family gathering, etc. - and not drinking, honoring my 90 Day commitment, it has been ok, great even.

Of course, there have been times where I’ve missed that first sip of wine or cold beer, the hour or two of looser and funnier me (maybe just in my own head) but as a fellow writer reminds me, “pick your side effects”. And, I’m in the long game now, as in not trading an hour or two of drinking for a compromised next day or losing the compounding interest of all the other benefits mentioned above. 

Coincidentally, right around my 2 month alcohol free mark, I came across this article that claims 66 days is the length of time it takes to see and feel the deeper/real benefits of a break from alcohol. Scientific studies have shown that practicing a behavior for 66 days is enough time to form new neural pathways, and the benefits reinforced, so that the habit or behavior may continue over time with significantly less effort or deliberation. 

Neuroplasticity in action and how we can, literally, change our minds. 

So, whether you are looking to quit, or just take a break, that 9 week mark seems to pose a big sticking point for continuing with an alcohol free habit or a reset, and if you choose to drink again, it can be easier to moderate as desired. 

As I’ve mentioned, I didn’t go into this 90 day experiment with the full intention of becoming a non drinker or maintaining total sobriety. Mostly, I wanted my own personal reset and to see if cutting it out completely would make a difference, and pony up to the challenge of not drinking at social events or nights out.

But what I’ve discovered with longer abstinence is pretty profound, namely I don’t “need” a drink as much as I thought I did, and mentally, it’s been a game changer. My nervous system isn’t pinging around and my immune system is definitely stronger. As I’m nearing the end of my 90 day experiment, I’m planning to extend and keep observing. Stay tuned. 

And, how fun to still partake, sip on that delicious AF concoction, many with health giving benefits and nootropics? Check out all Costal Clear is currently offering and enjoy feeling good! 

*from my personal and anecdotal perspective, not working with addiction or AUD. 

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