Had some amazingly lovely comments to my last post - do go and look at them all. Yay for community! Wonderful to hear from a new local lady. Hello my kiwi friends xxxx
One comment in particular stood out, and I wanted to answer it directly here. It's from someone bravely reaching out through the all-important veil of anonymity. Anonymity is very useful in this environment which is why I always encourage anonymous comments. Lurking is very useful and powerful too. Hello lurkers!
Anyway, here is the anonymous comment from my last post...
"I was sober for 180 days. Now back on the booze; not happy with myself, but felt like I was missing out on life. What to do?"
The wonderful ByeByeBeer has already offered this reply; "Give it another go if you're not happy with going back. Many don't get it on their first try. It takes time to get used to sober life but the rewards are plenty when we stick with it :)"
Very wise words. Here's my entirely unscientific and massively over-simplified answer to what is a very important and complex question. Here's what I humbly suggest you do if you want to stop drinking.
1) Decide that you are going to stop drinking.
2) Stick to that decision no matter what.
3) Prepare yourself to lurch all over the show emotionally for a while. Like ALL OVER THE SHOW. Prepare yourself for annoying tears and pure rage and deeply uncomfortable sadness and crazy moods and just lurching, lurching, lurching like a crazy person. Know that it will even out eventually. It always does.
4) Remind yourself constantly why you have decided to stop drinking and why you are going to stick to that decision no matter what.
5) Make lists (write them down or just think them) about all the good things in your life and all the little things that make you feel happy. Cling to those things like beautiful life buoys. Nurture and foster and embrace all those good things. Seek out new good things.. grow your list of things that make you happy and make you feel good. Things that ARE NOT alcohol (which lies to you and is not your friend).
6) Keep reminding yourself why you have decided to stop drinking and why you are going to stick to that decision no matter what.
7) Find community. Find it in your neighborhood, in meeting rooms or online. Communicate with or listen to other people who have made the decision to stop drinking. Know that you are not alone.
8) Know that you are not missing out by not drinking. Know that not everyone drinks. Know that it is entirely possible to have a great life full of laughter and dancing and fun WITHOUT booze. Sounds crazy but it's true! I was petrified of that too - that I was going to live a miserable alcohol-free existence feeling like I was missing out on all the fun. But the longer I live sober the more I realise that it is people and music and camaraderie and relaxing and chatting and sharing time with people that makes things fun.. not booze. Do not give booze the power to make everything fun. It doesn't have that power. We do.
Any other thoughts for anonymous?
Love, Mrs D xxx