Today you might be searching the web, googling things like “Am I an alcoholic”, “How to moderate my drinking”, “Health benefits of drinking”, “Health benefits of quitting drinking”, etc. etc. You might have taken a few of the tests to determine if you are an alcoholic. Did you answer honestly? Doesn’t matter…if you’re reading my blog today, you most likely have some concerns. Don’t worry about the labels. This is a safe place to be and we all love you and are here to help you.
This title is one that I wrote to myself in 2013. Actually, I wrote it every year, but I actually kept my resolution in 2013. Nearly five years now and I am having the best life ever. So I thought I’d write this post to let you know step by step how I finally was able to keep this resolution.
I was going to turn 60 in August of 2013. My husband and I were planning a dream trip to Italy and I was terrified. I was terrified of going to the land of wine and drinking every day and suffering every morning and missing out on the Art and History of this beautiful country. I just had to quit. I had promised myself year after year and barely got through a week without my daily wine(s). So I made a plan. A sort of ‘business plan.’ Here is how it went:
First, I purchased the audio book “Alcohol Lied to Me” by Craig Beck. I wanted the audio book because I wanted him to speak to me. He has a wonderfully calming voice and I felt he was speaking directly to me on a personal level. It really opened my eyes to the physical effects of alcohol so I could understand the biology. I think this was a really important step to my success.
Second, I began trolling the net and came across hundreds of blogs written by this cyber sober community of women (and men) who amazingly had the same story as I did. I binge read the “UnPickled” blog, https://unpickledblog.com/ and immediately felt I had a soul sister who would help me through this. I went on to follow Belle at http://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/. She was just starting her blog and it has become a huge community with lots of “helps”. But when I was following her it was quite small and personal. Each of these blogs had lists of blogs that they followed. The Soberistas is another recommendation of mine.
I immersed myself reading the stories of others who had the very same mindset that I had about drinking. An addiction mindset. I absolutely knew at that point that “I am an alcoholic.” But I knew I did not have to drink any longer if I hung out with these women (and a few men).
Next, I set a date on the calendar when I would have my last drink. It would be Monday, June 9, 2013. I chose that date because it was a week after my youngest daughter was to be married and I wanted that to be my last “party.” I also chose a Monday because I wanted the weekend to finish drinking any wine that I had left. Clean slate. I was a box wine drinker by this point and I had a lot to finish. By the end of the day on Sunday, I didn’t want another drop! But I was pumped about my decision.
Finally, on Monday, June 9th, at 6:30 in the evening, I attended a women’s only AA meeting at a church that was not in my neighborhood. I wanted to arm myself with all of the tools I would need and my business plan included this very uncomfortable meeting. As I walked into the meeting a nice women helped me find my way and introduced herself to me. Turns out she is sober 23 years. What??? I need to attend meetings for 23 years?? That freaked me out a bit – but by the end of the meetings, after sharing my story and getting lots of nods, she became my sponsor. I attended for a year and collected some cool little chips, and then stopped attending.
That did it for me. I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in 4.5 years. I don’t crave the alcohol, but I do miss holding the wine glass. So occasionally I’ll pour something nice into a pretty wine glass on a weekend. That’s all I need. I went to Italy with my husband and six others who shared many bottles of wine each day and felt like crap each morning. I enjoyed the Art and the History of Italy. My life has totally changed and I will never again put that poison into my body.
Good luck to you my friend. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you with this resolution!