Is This Forever?
I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. I class it as research because I've been studying to become a sober coach, but not only that, I find them interesting too. I'm a little late to the podcast party, mainly I never really understood the point before, but now I get it and I’m hooked. I've found lots of new favourites!
What has seemed to come up a few times is how many people seemed to stop drinking due to a challenge. I can’t remember how many people I heard say that they joined Dry January or Go Sober for October or even just set a target of a certain amount of days. It seems I was not the only person who thought a challenge or time off drinking would solve all my problems with alcohol. I never got on with challenges. I tried, they seemed a good idea but although I signed up, I never managed to get anywhere. I never even got past the first day.
It's strange though that for a lot of us who choose to stop drinking, we seem to hold out hope of being 'normal' again one day. Looking back I think it's so sad that I ever felt that way, but I know I wasn't the only one. I chose, like millions of others do, to stop drinking before it took any more from me or before it killed me. I could have kept drinking but I made the choice to fight my way out kicking and screaming into an alcohol free world. I didn't know what I was letting myself in for, or how I'd cope without wine. I think I kept myself going in the early days by telling myself one day it would be okay, that I'd be able to have one or two, and by that I meant glasses, not bottles. Deep down I must have known it wouldn't be like that. Deep down, I must have realised that for me the chance of moderation was non-existent, I'd already proved that to myself on several occasions. I'd done well a couple of times but after abstaining, decided one glass would be okay, only to find out that it really wouldn't. I know now that if I had one that wouldn't be it. I know I’d need more. So I keep that door firmly closed. I won't let wine back into my life, not now, not ever.
I'm not sure when it clicked with me that I’d never drink again. I've seen some people realise that the benefits out weigh what went before and so its a no brainer. For me in honesty, my sobriety just unleashed my anxious mind. For a while there it would have been easier to drink and just shut it up, but that wouldn't have done me any good in the long run. Subconsciously I must have known that, because even when I wanted to, I didn't give in.
Gradually I got there and now, without a shadow of a doubt, I can say that I am free without wine. I feel lighter in my mind and calmer. I wasn't a bad person before but now I know I'm a better person.
I don't think it matters if you choose sobriety for a challenge or for a lifestyle, what matters is that if it works for you stick with it.