I was just talking with a friend of mine who recently had an “ah-ha!” to try sobriety on for size.
She told me in the message she sent that she NEVER had thought about or wanted to give up alcohol.
My response to her was “neither did I.”
In fact, even if you asked me today “do you want to give up alcohol forever?” I’m not sure I’d say “yes!”
Don’t get me wrong…
I love sobriety and all the peace, security, self love, self exploration, self care, joy, growth, etc., etc., etc. it has given me…
But at the end of the day, I am still a flawed human that would love to say “eff it” to her problems and down a bottle of wine on a random Tuesday night.
That person who drank her problems away (aka me)?
She has better coping skills now, and she knows that the wine won’t really fix anything.
But it doesn’t mean she still wouldn’t LOVE to just drown in a bottle of chardonnay.
Ok, back to talking in 1st person, lol.
So here’s the thing:
My finally deciding to become sober came from a myriad of things all compiling on top of one another until it was all too heavy and I decided to put the drink down.
For years of my drinking days, I wondered if my drinking was “too much.” If I was a “normal” drinker. I constantly questioned my drinking. Questioning something every single time you do it, especially when you do it everyday, is no fun, just FYI.
On top of that, alcoholism runs HEAVILY in my family. I got it coming from all angles in my gene pool, and of course the thought would come to my mind if I would be the next to succumb to alcohol addiction.
Then, there was the general not being very happy, being anxious and feeling like poo.
Drinking made me feel bad.
The first few sips would make me feel GREEEAAAATTTTTTT.
Then 2 drinks in and it’s only 5:30pm on Thursday and I just felt slow, out of touch, and disconnected.
I did the thing that I think lots of people pretend to do:
Have a drink and work.
Ha, yea right.
I would immediately lose focus and not ever make it very far.
I was lying to myself.
Also, I drank to unwind and relax, but I very rarely actually felt at peace.
I had constant worry in my mind, racing thoughts, obsessive thoughts, and then went back to the very culprit to ease my pain.
I had been questioning my drinking for a very long time until finally my very own “ah-ha” moment came.
You can read all about why I stopped drinking here, but long story short, I woke up yet again with a hangover from hell after a night of drinking with some of Ronnies family, and when I was so sick that I had to miss the family BBQ the next day, I knew it was time to stop.
In fact, that morning when I was so hungover, we were driving back from his cousins house and I blurted out, I dont think I can do this anymore. I think I need to be sober or something.
And that night as Ronnie BBQd with his family, I laid on the couch, miserable, but knowing deep down that I needed something different.
So I googled and pinterested sobriety all I could.
Was it REALLY that bad? Can I do this? Will I still have fun? Will I still enjoy life? How do I go to dinner without drinking? Or hang out with friends? Or do work at a restaurant? Or fly on a plane? Or go on vacation? Or?
See, when drinking becomes such a large part of your life, thinking about life without it just seems miserable (and impossible.)
I mean, its the constant at almost any gathering, outing, or exciting moment in your life.
Its also there when youre sad.
So yeaits basically always there for any emotion, so thinking of going without it is terrifying.
I had this idea that alcohol made life worth living (yikes, that was hard to admit.)
And I now know that is because I really didn’t know who the hell I was or what made me happy in life, so all I really had wasalcohol.
Now, if you would have told me this while I was still drinking, I wouldnt have agreed with you.
Instead, I would have responded with, of course I know what makes me happy! I love wine! I love wine nights with girlfriends! I love doing a winery date with Ronnie!
But wine aint a hobby, friends. Sorry, its just not. Its a beverage.
Hobbies and passions are actions that you take that bring you pure joy. The act itself brings you joy.
With alcohol, the substance is bringing you a fake idea of joy. Its an empty promise with a joy mask on and you play along with it for the night, and then you do it again and again.
So when I stopped drinking and didnt have my little fake friend of joy hanging around anymore, I realized that I REALLY didnt know what made me happy in my lifeand that was a hard truth.
So back to the idea that I didnt want to stop, and I still really dont.but why I did anyways:
I quit because I knew I had to.
I quit because my higher selfthe best version of memy voice of reason, she knew. She knew it was time to be done. And I have to listen to her, not the voice in my head that told me wine would solve all my problems.
Choosing to quit drinking, or really quitting doing anything that is bad for you, your happiness, and your mental health, is not always a clear and easy decision.
Its about finally deciding to listen to the voice that knows whats best for you. Its about finally doing the hard thing, even though your very human mind wants to take a cop out and keep on doing business as usual.
Its about the evolution of you. Its about taking a higher road.
Its not easy. Nothing good isat first.
Its the best thing youve ever done and you couldnt imagine your life not being this way.
Even though that little nasty voice will come back and make you wonder if you made the right choice.