SoberMe

My Not So Secret Diary

Thinking About Not Drinking

Thinking About Not Drinking sobriety and recovery from alcohol dependency with Bee Sober Author and Ambassador Claire Hatwell writing blog My Not So Secret Diary AA Quitlit
I often think it’s funny how things change. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but I wasn’t one of those drinkers who could moderate. I had no off switch. I associated everything fun or relaxing with alcohol and forgot how to do those things without it. It wasn’t that I needed it, I just thought I did, until one day when I tried to slow down and I realised things had changed and I had actually come to need it.

Life was different back then, because I’d got to a point where I hated drinking, I made a promise to myself every morning to have a day off, but something always happened that made me feel able to make an exception. It made me angry with myself, and the more I tried to moderate, the angrier I felt, because I hated having a limit, I hated feeling constrained to something and I suppose without meaning to it made me more aware of how much I wanted to drink.

If someone had pointed out to me that I drank too much I would have flipped out, because you just can’t tell someone who is not ready to decide for themselves. I was self-conscious and worried about it, about how it looked and what I was doing to myself, but I also couldn’t face giving up, because by then it was so important to me. I kidded myself I was all right as it was my only vice, but as I struggled to eat and got skinnier, with more health issues arising, I knew I was going to have to do something about it.

Those early days were hard, I tried to cut down, because I thought one day I’d be able to be a ‘normal’ drinker again, and have one or two glasses without having to knock back several bottles. Maybe I was a little deluded… All that did was add to my frustration, and I ended up more than once smashing a wine glass in a temper because I wanted desperately to drink something I hated. I thought I was at a low point when I realised I needed to stop drinking, but then adding the confusion I was feeling with my attempts to moderate just seemed to compound it.

The best thing for me, although it was super hard at the time, was giving up. It took all the confusion and the wanting away. I can’t moderate, so I don’t. I learned to live without it, and in doing so, learned about myself. I took the worry and the overthinking out of the equation. I don’t wake up wondering if I’ll have a drink or not. I don’t have to plan how to make sure I get my quota without over-doing it. For me, not having to think about not drinking is a relief. It’s a weight off my shoulders.

To those of you in the early days, just stick with it, because it is so worthwhile. One day not so far off, you’ll look back and be so proud of what you’ve achieved. Just take it one day at a time.

Much love to you all,
Claire xx