(Sorry, but I couldn’t pass this one up.)
Today, my 173rd day of sobriety, is the day I started drinking again the last time I quit. At that time, I thought I should give moderation another try. I thought after a six month break I could create a new and more healthy relationship with alcohol.
I do not think that now.
You might guess that in the year that I went back to drinking, maybe I hit a new low in my drinking career, my so called “rock bottom.”
Nope. Not really.
The whole concept of a rock bottom experience is so subjective anyway. I hear Mrs. D decided to quit the first time she caught herself being sneaky with alcohol. And at the other end of the spectrum there are folks who lose everything and still keep on drinking.
So how do you know when it’s time to quit?
It should be simple really. When alcohol gives you physical and/or mental troubles, it’s time to let it go. Because it’s only bound to get worse. And the value alcohol is bringing to your life is mostly an illusion anyway.
But in reality, it’s much more complicated than that.
I think you need to have some bad stuff (negative consequences of drinking) pushing you away from alcohol, but I also think you need some good stuff too, pulling you towards sobriety.
For me, I knew I was ready to quit when I came to the realization that…
I could quit quietly without a lot of fanfare or drama and without going to AA.
no one in my immediate circle was going to tell me to quit anytime soon, so it was up to me to make the decision for myself.
I didn’t need my husband’s permission to quit, and my marriage would be ok without alcohol.
it’s possible to quit even when part of you doesn’t want to, and that it’s normal for The Voice to fight against the part of you that wants to quit.
lots of people just like me quit alcohol and go on to live happy lives. And aren’t walking around pissed off that they “can’t” have wine.
Some of these realizations came just before I quit in 2016. Some came during that first stretch of sobriety. Some came after I went back to drinking. And some I’m just fully realizing now.
All of this is to say that everyone’s path is unique and it’s not necessary for your path or my path to look the same as anyone else’s path. And you don’t need to have a rock bottom moment to decide you are “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Happy Sober Sunday,
(and happy Father’s Day to the fatherly types out there)