I have woken up with clarity this morning. I cannot add drinking back into my life. It takes away the things that make me feel better. Not right away, but eventually. It takes my confidence, inner peace and strength, motivation, closeness to my kids, my freedom, my health, my sleep.

I get to a certain point where I think I’m overreacting with this whole completely sober thing. I’m usually put in positions where others around me are drinking (family and friends) and I don’t want to miss out. Then I feel resentful that I’m doing this to myself and so eventually I start up again. Because I don’t get drunk per se, nobody says anything or appears concerned. And at first, I feel all of this burden dissolve away. Ahhhh…….

I can stop worrying about that all the time and making it an issue.

Until it enters my mind when no one else is looking………

Yesterday I thought about drinking starting in the morning. I couldn’t wait until I got some relief from the current stresses and feelings in my life. I was looking at the clock wondering when would be an acceptable time by my husband for me to day drink in the summer. I wanted him to take the kids on an errand so I could pound a couple of beers and relax, escape, forget, numb…feel that warm sensation where my brain turns off for a bit and everything seems a bit more hopeful.

I knew that was worrisome which made me want to drink even more because I felt overwhelmed.

I have started a one-year alcohol-free goal today. I am nervous that I will fail again. I am nervous that I will have these epiphanic convictions and then not stick with it. I’m worried about eventually becoming a hypocrite. But I do not want to be dealing with this inner struggle for the rest of my life. It’s really a shitty way to live.

I realize I’ve wondered about my drinking for at least 7 years.

7 years of going back and forth.

I add up AF stints here and there. My last one was a bit over 2 months, 8 months, 1 month, 15 days… I am hoping that each time I learn something new, something that moves the ball ahead.

I am asking for support as I try this again. I ended up drinking last night because I thought it would be my last time.

Drinking is this seemingly innocuous guy who sits down by my side on vacation or out to dinner and whispers in my ear

“See, look at them. They drink way more than you do and they get to drink. You’re so dramatic, such a buzzkill. You think you’re so important. You think you really have a problem. You don’t have a problem. Just relax already and have a drink.”

And I look around that restaurant and I start to believe him. Then a week later I tell myself I won’t drink that day and eventually I do.

He comes to me and then oh so gently holds my face one inch from the surface of the water. He doesn’t shove me way down into a rock bottom, but just enough for me to not get air. It’s time for that to stop.

Someone shared a thought with me that I will remember this time around

“I am not weak because I can’t drink like others. I am strong because I don’t.”

There is a Mary Oliver poem Starlings in Winter.

Here is how it ends:

I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

Flying bird, inspiration for not drinking

July 1, 2017.

I have a problem with alcohol.

I need help.

May I fiercely love and defend myself through this process like my own daughter.

Young child, inspiration for not drinking

If you’re drinking too much too often and want to stop or slow down, come talk to us.

Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don’t HAVE to drink. Don’t stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking too much.

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