My Sober Diary : Day 44 : Day 22

Schalk Neethling
3 min readNov 13, 2021


Photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash

22 Days.

Three weeks.

Well, kinda.

The image above accurately depicts how I felt for a number of days this week.

The reason I said “kinda” above is because last Saturday and Monday anxiety ate me up and spat me out. I ended up having a couple of beers on Saturday and two glasses of wine on Monday to get a reprieve from the hell that I was going through.

Even though I have not been completely, 100% sober for the past 22 days, I am going to give myself a break and let all 22 days count. Neither on Saturday, nor on Monday did I overindulge and so, I take that as a win. Looking at the bigger picture, it means that out of the last 22 days, I did not use any alcohol for 20 of those. That is something to be proud off.

I have also learned that beating yourself up, feeling guilty, etc. will only feed the hungry ghosts and almost ensure a relapse. So, I am celebrating three weeks of sobriety, proudly. 🎉

As I sit here now, I am doing much, much better. My psychiatrist has adjusted my medication over the week in response to my feedback and it is starting to feel like we have hit the sweet spot.

I definitely had a small victory yesterday. During the early afternoon the anxiety started to build and by mid-afternoon I was ready to get in the car and buy some relieve from the liquor store. Thankfully my amazing wife was there to support me. I breathed. I talked myself down. I breathed some more.

My wife eventually convinced me to help her lay an extension to our irrigation line. In the process of digging in the dirt, sweating, getting my hands dirty and making something, the anxiety subsided. I broke through. I ended the cycle in a new, different and healthy way. My parasympathetic nervous system kicked in and eased my suffering. It felt wonderful! I am truly grateful and I have hope that this has helped me turn the corner. That this has started the process of rewiring my brain, of paving new, healthier neural pathways.

I have also come across a couple of beautiful pieces of writing that I wish to share with all of you. It helped keep hope alive during this tough week.

Gratitude opens the heart and spills over into love. We can be grateful only for what we love. Thus the capacity for love will grow and flourish in our hearts so that one day it will no longer be limited to people. Everything that exists is worthy of love. Hence we can love the sunrise and the sunset, a tiny beetle, a wildflower, a gnarled oak. We can always be humble and grateful for everything good in our lives, instead of focusing on what we supposedly lack.

I believe I got this one from The Greater Good Magazine.

I would say to have no fear. I mean, you’ve got one chance here to do amazing things, and being afraid of being wrong or making a mistake or fumbling is just not how you do something of impact. You just have to be fearless.

~ Dr Adam Gazzaley

You are more than this addiction … trust your caring heart.

~ Tara Brach

External ambitions are never satisfied because there’s always something more to achieve. … There’s an aesthetic joy we feel when we see morally good action, when we run across someone who is quiet and humble and good, when we see that however old we are, there’s lots to do ahead. The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be.

The Moral Bucket List

Until we next converse, stay strong, your are stronger than you think, keep the hope alive. You got this! ️✌️



Schalk Neethling

I write about mental health, addiction, sober living, living your best life through an active lifestyle and a whole food plant-based diet. Psychedelic curios :)