I was writing about my new adventure for the new year and of course I took a trip down memory lane. That trip included the year I made my resolution to quit drinking. That’s when it occurred to me that some of you may be thinking about or have already made a resolution just like that. And maybe some of you are scared. Or pissed. Or sad.
Or all of the above.
I was all of the above.
My last drinking New Year’s Eve was spent at a friend’s house who always throws an epic NYE party. I never seemed to get really drunk at those things, I think because I was at the point where my hard-core drinking was done in private. I made sure there was wine in the fridge for after we returned home because…well that’s how I rolled.
But that year I was really subdued. I spent the evening quietly in my head thinking about how my life was going to be without alcohol in it. I looked around at all of my friends, most of whom were normies just having a fun new year’s eve. I was sad because I believed I would never be able to have fun again. How would I enjoy life without my beloved Chardonnay? What was the point of doing anything if I couldn’t do it with a glass of wine?
Boy was I wrong.
But I didn’t know that then. I spent the next seven days in that state of contemplation. No one knew about my decision because, unlike all of the other times I quit drinking and failed, I hadn’t mentioned this to anyone. You know…just in case I changed my mind.
Cause I was scared shitless.
I was afraid of life if I quit. I was afraid of who I’d be without the booze. I was afraid of leading a boring life devoid of all fun. To be honest, I was afraid I’d fail again and disappoint not only my family but myself as well. I wasn’t sure I could survive that yet again.
But this time I was more afraid of continuing to drink than I was of quitting. That was the key. Everyone says you’ll finally quit when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired. For me that was all based in fear. I was afraid that if I didn’t quit, I’d lose all hope of getting another job. I was afraid I’d lose the love and respect of the family I’d fought so hard to build. I was afraid of losing the love of my life who I still can’t believe fell in love (and has stayed in love) with me. I was afraid of getting cirrhosis and dying.
I was afraid of becoming my dad and worse…my sister.
That was my turning point. I realized that a life spent drinking was not a life. That I was losing everyone and everything that I held dear. That I was gaining weight and checking my eyes for signs of jaundice every morning and how fucked up was that? That’s when I knew that a girl had to do what a girl had to do.
So I did.
And so can you. And if you’re reading this then you are already ensconced in one of the most effective ways to get and stay sober. Sober blogs saved my sanity. If I had found them in the first two years of my sobriety it would have made my journey much easier. Read the blogs. Comment. Reach out to ANY of the authors. Every one of them (and I say that with a deep confidence) will be happy to offer advice and love if you send an email or connect via the blog. I promise. And I don’t promise very often…only when I KNOW I can keep the promise…because I don’t break promises.
So here’s another one. I promise that after the initial awfulness of the first few months (sorry – it’s a fact – early sobriety can be both wonderful and awful all at the same time), you’ll find something you never, likely in your entire life, have ever had.
You’ll find peace.
And we’ll all be here to love you to it.