Some one recently told me that from reading my blogs, they also decided to take a break from drinking. This is such wonderful news! It is so great to hear that my experience is creating a positive ripple effect to people that I do not even know. I am so grateful for this excellent win win spin off, I decided to write a blog about it, and to let you know how things are going in my world of sobriety.
Recently I came across a very perplexing suggestion. I was out with friends for dinner, and we stumbled on the conversation of drinking and more importantly abstaining from drinking alcohol. A new lady I had not met, seemed most surprised that I was breaking from drinking, as most people are. Honestly, most people are very impressed by my efforts to eliminate alcohol from my life. Most people I talk to have never even entertained the idea of going with out alcohol for any long length of time, why would you? They say. Well the list of pro’s are long, as we all know by now. But that is for another blog post…
After some discussion, I went with the short version of why I was abstaining, she made a very strange suggestion to me. She said:
“Well once you get to one year without drinking you will have to go out and pop a big bottle of champagne and celebrate!”
Now does that seem crazy to you? To be fair most people celebrate with champagne, but celebrating with champagne after one year of life without drinking alcohol seems completely crazy to me!
As the one year mark bears closer, there is some anxiety around this time. Will I simply return to being a casual ‘only for special occasions’ drinker? Will I return to being over the top boozy like before? Will I drink every day again? Or will I decide not to drink at all? It is all very confusing.
I want to pose a question to my fellow non-drinkers, or others who have gone without drinking for long periods of time. What did you do once you reached your goal of abstinence? Did you celebrate with drinking?
I know every other time I reached my milestone previously I barely realised the date, and it was just another bright fresh hangover free day. And I wasn’t ready to start drinking again. I wasn’t ready to deal with the whole range of complex choices when it came to drinking booze. So I remained off it. And it made me happier.
After joining Hello Sunday Morning nearly a year ago now, I can thank this group for getting me started on my alcohol free journey. It certainly did make me change my relationship with alcohol, and perhaps created a whole other series of complexities in my mind. But overall it has been one of the best choices I have ever made. My life has changed irrevocably, and I have changed to become someone I am happier to be. I am certainly not completely happy with my overall life circumstances, sad but true, but living this past 10 months without drinking has certainly opened up my mind clarity and awareness on many other areas of my life. And having this clarity has enabled me to make more positive steps forward.
I realise that giving up drinking is one thing, and dealing with life without the comfort blanket that drinking can give, a whole other challenge. Daily I am faced with my reality, and I feel like I have been facing my problems and attempting to deal with them in healthier ways. Not just drinking to forget or pretending they don’t exist, but battling through them, writing them down, brainstorming, and dreaming up wild plans of how my life could be. I am learning to change my thoughts and create a positive mindset, which is tough sometimes for me I will admit.
We all have challenges in life, and we are all facing up hill battles internally or externally. It is the choices we make to deal with these challenges and the approach we take that can really make the difference in our levels of happiness. Or if we can fall asleep happy, and wake up happy, with out regret, with out dread, but with hope and clarity.
Revival is a new group we have formed on Facebook to replace the old Hello Sunday morning group, which sadly closed, for some mysterious reason. Giving up drinking can create a huge range of complexities in our lives, and I am pleased to meet new people who can relate, can share, can commiserate, and celebrate our achievements and milestones along our alcohol free journey. I wish everyone the best in their journey and I look forward to sharing more articles with you in the future.