So tonight I stopped in at a local grocery store to get a few things. It’s the freestanding kind that has a liquor store in it.
The thought of going in to buy alcohol didn’t cross my mind, any more than walking up to the smokes counter and buying a pack would (I have never smoked).
Made me feel a wee sense of pride. That I am back here. In the place where it is not a daily struggle through gritted teeth.
It’s the comfortable place where Alcohol Free finally feels like the norm and not the exception.
The place where the thoughts drift into and out of my mind in the same way thoughts do after you lose someone. You know those ones?
You think to yourself I must tell such-and-such this… and then it hits you. They are gone. The feeling is much the same.
I can’t drive this point home clearly enough to anyone who feels as though they are sick to death of Day 1s, and can’t do this or isn’t strong enough.
It does get easier.
Every time you stop, you learn a little more about what sober is. You begin to desire it more.
You can’t truly desire something you haven’t tasted. Each time you taste sober, you develop more of a hankering for it.
Every time you try again you have a little more resolve to chase after it, and each time, you see just a little more hope – believe in yourself a little more.
You will stumble, fail, fuck up, slip, fall off the wagon or whatever the fuck else you want to call it. But each time you do, you chip away a little more at the problem.
There is only one important thing you must not do… and interestingly enough I am not going to say ‘don’t have the first drink’.
Yeah it’s a great ideal and if you could achieve it you’d be done and dusted with your alcohol hangup.
But the truth is in fuckup-ville the first drink is kinda inevitable for a while. It is the nature of the twisting and floundering we do before we really truly commit.
And believe you me I know what a piss off hearing it can be, when you seriously can’t even see how you could achieve it. I get it.
Nope I am here to tell you the one thing you must not do. The one key to success.
You must never give up trying. Ever.
While ever you are trying you have a fighting chance. The minute you give up you are stuffed.
Talk to anyone who has fought an addiction to anything, and bested it. The secret is not in being perfect or some kind of freaking warrior. The secret is endurance.
Alcohol is an escape mechanism not a coping mechanism. And as the inevitable bumps in your road happen the struggle begins.
Coming back to the table every time you fuck up, accepting you did, being kind but honest with yourself, and trying again.
To all of you who are in a world of pain right now, if you can’t believe in yourself then believe in me.
Believe in me and every other person like me who has done a hundred Day 1s but kept fighting.
Alcohol is a mean sneaking bastard and he certainly has some pull. Much like fear he defeats you if you let him.
You can do this. You really truly can. If you just refuse to give up. If you can make yourself that one promise every day – you are on to something.
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