I’ve gone back and forth on whether to write about this.
I didn’t want to embarrass myself, or my family.
But this was me, days ago, announcing to the world that I no longer drink alcohol.
Affiliate links below.
I quit alcohol. I no longer drink. I am sober. Since January 23rd 2019.
And that timeframe, 14 days ago, means different things to different people.
For me – well, I literally cannot remember the last time I went this long without drinking. I expect it was when I was breastfeeding – some time in 2015. Also when I went through chemo in 2016, I don’t think I drank much in the first few months. So maybe then.
But shit. That’s three years ago. And since then, I’ve worked my way up to drinking way more frequently and in way larger quantities than I currently care to admit to. To you. Because I know, of course.
But let’s get back to the 14 day’s sober thing.
Because 14 days to many of you might seem to be a bit of a ridiculous thing to highlight. And some people I’ve spoken to wouldn’t break a sweat at the thought of not drinking for such a short period of time.
For many others though, friends and readers, you’ve told me you can’t imagine not drinking for such a long period of time.
And for me, that makes me feel a crazy combination of relief and surprise.
Because, I thought I was the only one.
The two biggest questions I’ve been asked, since announcing to my real-life and internet world that I’d stopped drinking are why I did it and then how.
Is it my latest fad? I’m quite the fad-lover, you may have noticed.
But you don’t have a problem! Is another common response. Because my friends probably assume that we all drink about the same amount, at the same frequency, for the same reasons.
And I don’t know why they drink but I do now know why I did.
And what started as a way to ‘blend in’ as a teen, be ‘adult’ in my twenties or ‘relax’ as a stressed out mum has kind of spiralled into the uncontrollable.
I could not stop. I couldn’t even cut down. I was addicted to drinking. But discovering that was a relief.
I learned that it wasn’t a ‘willpower’ thing. I was simply addicted to drinking and I couldn’t stop.
The Oxford Dictionary defines Alcoholism as:
“Addiction to the consumption of alcoholic drink; alcohol dependency.”
The first part of that I can relate to. I was certainly addicted to consuming alcohol. Most nights, wine.
It became something I would look forward to daily – sitting down and having a drink because my day had been hard. Or amazing. Or sad. Or the best day ever. Or boring. Wine was the answer to all of life’s unanswered questions.
The second part of that definition though, being dependent on alcohol. I struggle with that a little. Was I dependent on alcohol?
I don’t think I was but I’m still learning.
More than anything, it was the habit of drinking.
7.00pm would roll around and after the kids were tucked up in bed, the routine of Netflix/snacks/wine would begin. Most nights. Some weeks, every night.
Which probably sounds familiar to many of you – and for the majority of people, that might not an issue – but for me it was.
Because when it came to the thought of cutting back, I just couldn’t.
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