This is where I am at….
I receive daily emails (as perhaps some of you do too) from Belle Robertson who has the Tired of thinking of drinking blog…. This was her one minute message today.
You know, I don’t think you quit drinking forever
I think you quit drinking for now
And forever is a whole series of ‘nows’
You’re not drinking now
The only time you can NOT drink is right now
Forever takes care of itself
So does tomorrow
You can’t (now) not drink yesterday
You can not drink right now
Right this minute
THIS is the time when you’re making the decision
This is the AA saying, you know
One day at a time
And I say
If you love the word ‘forever’ then you should say it
And you should run around the block saying
I’ve quit drinking forever.
And if you don’t feel that way,
You should say
I’m not drinking for now
I will reassess at some future, imaginary point
But I’m doing 100 days, then I’m doing 180, then I’m doing 365
And for today
I’m not drinking today
I’m not drinking right now.
What is possibly the most surprising thing for me is that I have been hearing that it ”feels” different at different stages away from day one. You can hear these things. But you don’t believe them until you live them. It is absolutely true that your brain cannot handle the ”’forever” thought when you first try to ”give up” the booze. It cannot countenance this and so it is actually counterproductive for us to EVER say FOREVER unless (as she says above) we really like that word. I personally don’t like the word…. and I will possibly drink on some unknown date in the future. But not now, not today or tomorrow… and not for 180 days cos I have pledged it. But it feels within the realms of possibility now in a way it really did not on day 1 – or even day 51.
I really feel like I have tried drinking and it didn’t suit me. I gave it a really, really good try. Now I am trying NOT drinking and I am finding this:
I feel like the future is opening up with endless possibilities and hope in a way that I just could not see when I was drinking. And this is the me, the not-everyday-drinker, the not -on-my-own-drinker, the plenty-of-times-drinking-more-than-I-wanted-or-planned-to -drinker….So not lying in the gutter, not drinking in the morning, not going out late at night to buy alcohol… just a pretty standard over drinker. The future feels full of opportunity and hope and possibility. I really like this feeling. I do not want to trade it for feeling like a piece of poo on toast. For feeling… OMG what did I do? Did I annoy anyone?? Did they think x or y of me…? For feeling a faint sheen of guilt and shame varnishing my day. Or wake up feeling like I just don’t want to get up I am so hungover. Urrrgh. I never ever want to go there again. I like it here. I am staying here for now.
And it take some effort to keep on track. It takes some sober tools. Listening to podcasts, sober treats, keeping in touch with sober world DAILY for me…. and that is how I keep motivated. I am not even wanting to let myself drift. So down the line, day 157, it feels a darn sight easier to not drink than it ever did right at the beginning. And though there are days when it crosses my mind, I am never tempted to touch a glass. I would not sabotage my peace for anything now.
So. If you are afraid… if you think you could never do it… just think…. I have tried drinking and did it work for me? Does it suit me? Do I love it? And if the answer is yes, then carry on. If the answer is no, then give NOT drinking a go. But give it a proper go. Like 90/100 days try.
E you soon…