I’ve avoided all booze since 2014. That’s 5 years alcohol-free. But the first thing to say is there is no -5 years- That number is just an abstract idea. There is only yesterday (when I didn’t drink, hooray) and today (when I’m not going to drink whatever happens.)
This way of thinking has worked out well for a long time, which is good. Guess you may be thinking
‘you jammy bugger, I can’t do 5 weeks/days/minutes’.
And maybe I’ve had some luck.
But there was a time when I couldn’t quit drinking. I was forever making new vows and schemes to cut down or stop, and they never worked.
So what has been different this time?
The day came when I realised I was done drinking, and decided without any drama that I would simply never drink whatever happened.
No ‘if I’m out on a long walk’
No ‘just when I visit my favourite pub’
No ‘one shot a week for health reasons’
No ‘try interesting booze on holida’
No ‘just check in with what the craft beer guys have been up to’
No ‘if a major upset happens and I need a fallback for mental health’
All of that was just an attempt to keep ‘good alcohol’ while avoiding ‘bad alcohol’. This time the whole lot went.
Five years ago I moved away from the alcohol country, even though there were parts of it I liked.
This was painful. A sacrifice. Losing a whole person: the drinking me I had grown up with for 30 years. There has been grief, exactly like bereavement. But I’ve stuck with it.
And it has been worth it.
Alcohol Free – Clarity, equanimity, spare cash – all good.
Facing life raw isn’t all fun and games of course. There’s anger, boredom, and sadness. But having made an absolute decision not to drink whatever occurs, when these states go eventually (as everything does) at least I’m not left with a ‘sore head and a pocket full of sticky pennies’.
So I’m here to say you can make an absolute choice with no loopholes. It can work and it’s good when it does.
For me, if it wasn’t simple I couldn’t do it. If there are any fallback positions, any get-out clauses or loopholes, I don’t get past the first hungry/angry/tired/ecstatic moment – the old alcohol country pathways are too well established.
But a simple, always-on ‘no’ answer to any urge or question about drinking I can manage – so far anyway.
5 years alcohol free and counting .
If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us.
We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using
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