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11 months

I didn’t have a low bottom end to my drinking. For a long time I was kind of waiting for something awful to happen, a sign or maybe someone to tell me I needed to stop.

I wasn’t someone who could binge drink only every month, or at weekends only or once in a while. Nor was I someone who would drink every day. I didn’t drink to excess every time I drank. I was somewhere in the middle, usually depending on other factors in my life. In times of stress or crisis, I could drink every day for weeks. In the holidays, or during a spell of good weather, I would up my consumption too. I had periods of being ‘healthy’, keeping myself in check, when I could manage to drink only at the weekends, without actually getting drunk for weeks, months even.

 No matter where I was at, the feelings in my head were always the same. Abstaining was hard but always felt like I was being ‘good’ and getting it right for once. A normal whole person.  Drinking was associated with failure and shame. That I couldn’t keep a promise to myself really upset me, disappointment at my flawed character was a common emotion. Gradually but increasingly, I felt an almost constant pull to drink and every single time I gave in ,I felt like I’d failed and it would be anything but pleasurable.  I thought that I was a person of weak character who had no willpower and was just a greedy cow. I longed for the time when I could simply desire a drink, have one and enjoy it. Eventually, I came to realise that no matter how much I chased that dream, it was never going to return. Once you flip the switch, you just can’t go back. I could cut down for a while but over time it would gradually creep back up and gain momentum.

Ever since I realised that I had a drinking problem it became impossible to drink pleasurably. Denial was a constant companion, but deep, deep down, I knew it just didn’t feel right anymore…

Accepting that whether I wanted to call myself an alcoholic/problem drinker or not… I no longer derived anything good from drinking alcohol. Throw into the mix the financial cost, the time wasted, the hangovers, the embarrassing situations, the regrets, it’s mind blowing that I didn’t quit sooner. How low was I prepared to sink? Who knows when you cross the line?  I’d crossed mine, it’s a personal journey.

But quitting is not easy. It’s a really hard habit to break. And it’s tough to know when the right time is going to be for you. Personally, I was sick and tired of chasing the buzz and the feeling that had long gone. Finally deciding to give sobriety a proper go, I took a chance that there might be a different way to live.

It takes courage to embark on a life changing challenge. To swap the chaos and excitement of reckless drinking for a calmer, real, raw way of life is scary. To trade the sophisticated, sociable wine drinking for the sensible, boring observer that is the tee total label is gutsy. It’s not a challenge I felt I had any choice about, I had been doing the same old something and getting miserable results for years, it was time for a change. To continue drinking would have just been dumb.

Do I feel better? Yes, without a doubt this is the best I have felt in years, I spent too long feeling crap.

Do I think it’s forever? I still can’t go there but I know that I wouldn’t trade how much better I feel, for a drink today. I gave some of the best years of my life to drinking, I am prepared to give sobriety a fair go.

11 months and counting (sometimes!)

 

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47 thoughts on “11 months

  1. This is me down to a tee. It’s so heartening to hear others describing exactly what I’ve been feeling for ages, but its easy to feel alone, like no-one has the same problems. Your blog is an inspiration, thank you. I’m on day 76 and feel better than I have for years…

  2. Lovely, I really relate to the “type” of drinking and at a similar point where I am choosing sobriety. I’m on day 37 of belles challenge. Thank you for posting, it is one more tool for my sobriety.
    Gracie faith

  3. Congrats on 11 months!

    And yes…we do this when the pain is too much..when the pain of drinking outweighs the pain of not drinking. We are the lucky ones who get to see that. Many don’t make it.

    Like you said, we don’t have to think “forever”. Today’s a pretty good go…why not stick with that? lol

    Great to see this…what a wonderful gift 🙂

    Blessings,
    Paul

  4. “Ever since I realised that I had a drinking problem it became impossible to drink pleasurably. Denial was a constant companion, but deep, deep down, I knew it just didn’t feel right anymore…”

    I can relate to so much of what you’ve written. Congratulations on your journey.

  5. 11 months … awesome! I don’t know if I’ll be sober forever either, but I do know I can be sober today.

    I really love my sober friends. You continue to inspire me with words of hope and courage. All my love, Lisa

  6. Love this! So very proud of you. And this post really struck me with some home truths I needed to be reminded of too. Can’t wait to celebrate a year with you! xo

  7. So much of this I want to copy and quote, especially “I wouldn’t trade how I feel today for a drink.” I feel the same way. You are an inspiration, so smart and wise at such a young age. You have so many years ahead to continue to be brilliant . I’m so proud of you. Congratulations Carrie. I hope you’re planning a really big Ta Da for next month.

    • Oh yes indeed. I have embraced the treats thing. I am so nice to me, making up for all that self harm before.
      I will post pics of treats. There will be many. I could stop
      Counting days/weeks/months but what about the treats??!! Love ’em.
      Go us x

  8. Congratulations Carrie on your 11 months!

    “I gave some of the best years of my life to drinking, I am prepared to give sobriety a fair go.”
    Me too. Thanks for such an inspirational piece!

  9. Yay and congrats to you 🙂 Much of what you wrote resonated with me, especially when you said you were waiting for something/someone to tell you not to drink. So excited for you and for what comes next on your journey. Thanks for posting!

  10. Every word of this post could have been written by me – except the 11 month bit 😉 What an amazing achievement and knowing that this is what is in store for me when I reach 11 months keeps me on the path. Thank you for leading the way and sharing your journey 🙂 xx

  11. Wow, 11 months. I am so thrilled for you, Carrie. You know, one of the coolest things about blogging for a while (I guess anything over a year is a while in Blogworld), is seeing so many friends move from thinking about it, to working on it, to rocking it. I feel like a proud grandma pinching your cheeks and saying, “aw my wittle girl has grown so big!” 🙂

    So happy for you, you’ve come a long way baby! xo, c

  12. I could have written this posting almost word-for-word. You absolutely write how I feel. When I slip, I just can’t enjoy drinking anymore, yet I still do it!?
    I drank more than you did, so my point of seriously affecting my health was closer but, otherwise, you really said what I feel. Joan B.

  13. Hi, your post really hit a cord with me. I to had enough of drinking, the dark moods, the anxiety attacks and everything else that goes with it. I am on day 75 today, and i cannot remember a time in the last 20 years that I have been so relaxed and contented. Life is good

  14. 11 months is a fantastic accomplishment, hurrah for you! I can completely relate to the “flip the switch”. It has taken me a long time to realize that I am either ON or OFF. There is nothing in between.
    Day 78, and still counting.
    Great post.

  15. Pingback: Rebooting – 6 week (at home) health retreat | One Too Many

  16. This is brilliant. I agree; I have shot myself in the foot. I want to drink, but cannot enjoy it now. Damned if I do……damned if I don’t.

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