One year ago today ( 2015) I signed up to spend twelve months Alcohol-Free by blogging on the community website Hello Sunday Morning.
Hello Sunday Morning offered a choice of a three month or twelve-month AF challenge but I knew that it needed to be a lifetime commitment for me.
When I was young I drank for all the normal reasons. Drinking was part of life in my “tribe”. It was a rite of passage into adulthood to be able to have a glass of wine with dinner or meet friends for drinks. Unwinding with a few beers after a long day was the accepted reward for a job well done. With my family, my friends, and my partner sharing a drink was part of most celebrations and evening conversations. But eventually, I started to need to drink to enjoy those occasions. Rather than drinking being something that brought me closer to my friends and family, it became something that was pushing them away.
My first blog post on Hello Sunday Morning was upbeat and hopeful but I was at a pretty desperate point in my life.I knew that I could go nine months without drinking as I had during both of my pregnancies. I knew that I could take a week off here and there without feeling too much anxiety or deprivation. I knew that I could drink without getting drunk on occasion. One glass didn’t always lead to oblivion for me . And I knew that I wasn’t physically addicted to alcohol. I never craved a drink in the morning and I never suffered physical withdrawal if I stopped for a few days.
But somewhere around the age of 45 I had lost control of my drinking and by the time I turned 50, I was drinking to blackout a couple of times a week. It seemed that no matter how innocently I poured my first glass of wine in the evening a sort of mindless hunger kicked in by the middle of the second and I would drink to oblivion. I woke many mornings not remembering having gone to sleep which filled me with frustration that once again I had drunk much more than I intended the night before.
I expected that the only way for me to stop drinking would be to identify myself as an alcoholic and join AA but getting sober for me has been an unexpected journey of self-discovery and I am doing it in a very millennial way. For the past 11 months, I have logged in every day to Hello Sunday Morning where I blog in a community of people from around the world. We talk about strategy, feelings, fears, and success and sometimes we just goof around. In the tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous, we share our stories, inspire, and support each other . And I have learned that maturity for me is not the right to indulge in oblivion but the challenge and opportunity to be fully aware, to live in my own skin and realize my dreams. It turns out that sobriety is a reward not a penance and at 51 I finally feel I’m truly growing up.
We are a Private, Anonymous, Community Forum, open and free of charge to anyone hoping to take a break from drinking. If you’re drinking too much too often….
Hear from some of our members HERE
Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using.
“When you quit drinking you stop waiting.”
― Caroline Knapp, Drinking: A Love Story
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