I thought I would never be able to quit drinking but I did. I’m one of those who suffered greatly in the first 30 days alcohol-free. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had some great days, but I suffered from what I call sober hangovers Almost from the beginning. These sober hangovers feel just like regular hangovers but without the alcohol. Sometimes I think they are related to dehydration and/or too much sugar, sometimes I think these sober hangovers are my subconscious controlling me by making sure I don’t feel better enough to pick up a bottle again. But not this time.
Nothing could make me pick up that bottle.
Everyone is looking for the fix. The magical thing that will make life all better. I’ve done it my whole life. It starts like this —
I’ll be happy when…
I would be happy if….
It’s the same with any goal. Spending money to solve this problem is not likely to work unless you commit wholly to the objective. I was enticed by all the easy fixes of weight loss or sobriety but the bottom line is, you can enroll in classes and buy all the books, but if you really want results you must do the work. It became crystal clear to me over lunch one day.
Just put down the bottle, stop going to the wine store after work, listen, really listen to people who have done it.
It’s so simple but it’s super hard.
It’s also different for everyone how they deal with adjusting to sobriety in their daily lives. If you are adding more to your already busy lives, like diet, fitness, and lifestyle goals, how are you ever going to feel you can quit drinking as “downtime”? I wouldn’t be able to. When I made the decision to stop drinking, I learned quickly that I wasn’t going to be able do anything but go to work, do the bare minimum of housework, take care of my obligations, but literally nothing else.
It was very hard because I was used to “doing”. I didn’t know how to relax.
My relaxing came in a bottle and without it I had to figure it out. I didn’t go to the gym. I sat with my ever-changing self and truly allowed it to heal. I’m still healing. But the beauty of it is that I found a community of peers that helped me do it.
You can make all kinds of declarations about quitting drink but until you execute, you are just wishing and you likely aren’t ready. If you drank to relax but then you set all these unrealistic goals, you are setting yourself up for failure.
I hope I don’t sound preachy. I just know how hard it is. There hasn’t been alcohol in my house since the end of 2018. I feel very accomplished in that.
It wasn’t easy but it was simple.
I view sobriety as a small child that needs to be protected, nurtured, loved mightily.
Sobriety is such a gift, one that is hard won with all of our individual efforts. With all our might, we should treat it as the treasure it is. I’ve been where you are. We are in this together. I just want you all to know that sobriety is the greatest gift of all. In spite of everything, I am sober and I am happier than I have been in a very long time. You can have that as well, one day at a time. Stay strong!
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Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying
“I think I have a problem with drinking”
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