Looking for Relief? – Not Today

I wrote last year that I no longer make resolutions. That still sticks.  I no longer need to wait for January 1st to make a positive change in my life.  I did that on June 9, 2013 when I had my last drink.  EVERYTHING became positive after that.

I know, however (because I did it every year myself) that there are people out there reaching out to Google for help/answers to the drinking problem they were reminded of this morning when they awoke with a splitting headache (or worse).  They are taking those tests…”if you answered yes to three or more of these questions, then you might be an alcoholic.”  Seek help immediately! (or purchase the book listed below).

Then perhaps you will see a listing of blogs referring to people who have become sober.  The list may seem overwhelming and you might not know where to start.  With a pounding headache, you might not feel like reading much today.  So, you close your laptop, have another cup of coffee and sit down to watch some of the bowl games with your significant other or your pet.  After a few hours your headache might subside, friends might drop by for more bowl games, and a beer or two will tempt you.  Anything sound familiar?  I don’t suggest you have the beer. but this is not the day to make the resolution to quit drinking forever.  It would be a resolution bound for failure. A resolution made as a reaction to your shitty headache.  I do suggest you “favorite” a few of those blogs to go back to next week Monday or Tuesday.

My successful end to alcohol consumption came after making a detailed plan, much like a business plan.  I had spent years trying to quit in reaction to an evening of over-consumption of wine.  What I learned was to be proactive – not reactive.  I began with research.  I read a blog, then looked at the blogs that she/he read, then read those blogs,   I downloaded the audio book that one blogger recommended (“Alcohol Lied To Me”) and listened to it several times.  I set a date weeks ahead, that fell on a Monday so I could finish up any wine left in the house on Sunday evening (it was a lot and I had to force it down).  That Monday morning, I awoke with a huge pink cloud over my head, feeling like I had conquered the greatest evil in my life.  The timing was right for me.  The support was all around me with daily blogs and emails from kind bloggers directly to me.  My plan included activities to keep me busy from 5 to 7 pm.  I drove my car after dark and called my kids (I never talked on the phone once the alcohol started to flow).  I read books and remembered the plot.

I had a list of several AA meetings I would attend.  No need to feel afraid, since they have all been where I am coming from.  I just needed to know their stories.  I needed to be able to speak face to face to other newly sobers.   I told my husband and I told one friend.  I developed a taste for ginger ale with lime.  Sometimes I put it in a wineglass, but I no longer need to do that.

I used to smoke two packs a day, but quit doing that 30 years ago, because I had to.  I used to drink a bottle of wine per night, but quit doing that 571 days ago, because I had to.  I feel great because I quit smoking.  I feel even better now that I’ve quit drinking.  If I see other bad habits I need to change, then I will change them – no matter what date the calendar shows.

Many bloggers will say that they don’t commit to quitting alcohol forever.  They feel it is too ominous to think that way.  They will suggest that you attempt to quit for today…just today, and go from there.  That works well for some.

I like the feeling of quitting forever.  I quit smoking forever because I knew I never wanted to feel that urge again or to dirty up my clean pink lungs.  I quit drinking forever because I never again want to ingest that poison into my bloodstream or to cloud my head, or get a DUI or worse.

I wish you all well for 2015.  If you are reading this you are either newly sober or hope to be sober.  In either case, I wish for you all the success in achieving your goals for this year.