I wrote this on Jan 26th, 2018 on Facebook:
Today I’m celebrating 180 days of sobriety. I’m getting myself a celebratory cake with 6 candles – one for each month. 🎂
1) The act of quitting drinking was REALLY hard. I was afraid of that big change and what it would mean in my life.
I was afraid that I would look at alcohol dreaming of drinking all the time. That happens sometimes, but I am more often happy I am not facing the guilty feelings I had. Now I start to think about what’s going on that makes me want to take a drink.
I was afraid that I might get excluded or feel awkward in certain social situations. Maybe I haven’t been invited to some things?! If so, I don’t know. You can call me blissfully clueless. 🙂 As for the social situations, I have found that it’s easy enough to keep things in the present. “I’m not drinking tonight,” is a pretty satisfactory answer and sometimes I have a diet coke (!) or some other drink that
feels special or extraordinary.
I was afraid that whatever I was numbing (let’s be honest here…we all have reasons and ways we do that) would be unbearable. Being sober has given me the space and clarity to face some of the things I was putting off: kids behavior, marriage details, personal habits, and more.
2. I quit drinking for up to 3 months four times since I turned 40 (that’s 2.5 years ago now). Each time I started drinking again, I knew I wasn’t living the life I really wanted. Six months is a major milestone!
3) I committed to abstaining and have experienced so much freedom in that. Gretchen Rubin tells this story in her book Better Than Before about Samuel Jackson: “When a friend urged him ‘to take a little wine,’ Dr. Johnson explained, ‘I can’t drink a little, child; therefore I never touch it. Abstinence is as easy to me, as temperance would be difficult.’”
4. I am living closer to my personal vision of myself and what I profess. I think of myself as someone who is committed to living a healthy life in which I learn to love myself and share what I learn along the way. I am courageous and do things that make me uncomfortable. My use of alcohol was tearing me away from that daily. Living in my integrity is what drove me to commit to quit in the first place. It will be what drives me to maintain my sobriety.
The reality is that being sober hasn’t been nearly as hard as I thought it would be. All of the things I was afraid of may or may not have come true (more in a sec about that), but maintaining my sobriety, once I made a commitment to it, has been easier and much more fruitful than I thought.
Time to light the candles!!