On giving up drinking I have noticed that I have been getting these ‘sober boosts’. Every 6-8 weeks or so I get an increase in the feeling of physical and emotional well-being from the increased length of time without a drink. It reminded me of the development of babies and developmental leaps that they have.
So using this analogy (bear with me) when a baby is born it is expelled from a comfortable known warm place into an uncomfortable cold unknown world which is how it felt to me when I stopped drinking.
For the first 4-6 weeks of life a baby spends most of it’s time crying, sleeping and eating (oh and pooing and weeing). Everything is very basic. Well again that is how I felt in the early days. Emotional, wanting to hide under the duvet and sleep, and eating everything in sight to replace the sugar that I was no longer getting from booze.
At 6-8 weeks babies have a developmental growth spurt and start to interact with their surroundings and you see their first smile. They become able to briefly calm themselves. This is when I experienced my first sober boost and I began to become more settled and happy with where I was and what I was doing. My first pink cloud moment came after this 🙂
At 4 months again they have another developmental growth spurt and are able to smile spontaneously and to cry in different ways to show hunger, pain or being tired. When I had my second sober boost I noticed another period of developing my ability to differentiate my emotions and an increase in calmness about who I am and where I am going.
At 6 months (which will be me tomorrow!) they have another developmental boost where they start to roll. At this stage of the game I feel like I’m rocking and rolling 😉 the sobriety thing. They also recognise their name and will turn to look at you. Me too, I now recognise myself as a sober person and if you offered to buy me a beer I would turn and look at you oddly! They also like playing peekaboo with partially hidden objects and I’m enjoying getting to know parts of myself that has been partially hidden by booze.
I am curious to see if this matching will continue and will let you know how I’m getting on at 9 months when babies have their next big developmental leaps. Sober bloggers further on in their journey’s have shared that it gets better at these times so it looks like it might be so.
Comparing sobriety to being a baby may seem a little far-fetched but if you have drank for a long period of time then chances are you are learning everything anew. You are learning how to be in the world without the crutch of alcohol which I found both terrifying in the beginning and exhilarating now. I have absolutely no desire to go back to my old way of being and the groundhog day of hungover, thinking about drinking, drinking, drunk, another hangover. Not drinking is a very small price to pay for the huge benefits I have experienced so far 🙂