Today I have been alcohol free for 366 days!
As I write this, I am sitting up on a deck by a beautiful lake in northern Minnesota, with my good friends, and of course my cute hubs.
The weather is absolutely perfect.
And I am good.
So what I have learned about not drinking?
1. Alcohol is not romantic. I had to really work on this. If anything, it made me too tired to have a nice night with my Loved One. Romantic is sharing conversation, holding hands, candles, smiles, and love.
2. It took awhile. I had horrible urges when I first tried to quit, and I was not able to cope with them. I was very close to going on antabuse if the urges hadn't gotten better. But then, they did!
3. No one cares if I drink or not. It's just my own perceptions that need changing.
4. I can choose to make myself miserable or happy about not drinking.
5. It is a change, and I need time to adapt to living a different way, learning to live life one day at a time.
6. I couldn't do this alone. I needed and still need people to help me. Only people with an alcohol addiction really know what it's like. I love my on-line community, my AA community, my doctors, my yoga teachers and buddies, and family and friends.
7. I am learning to deal with depression and anxiety, again. I had them before my drinking got heavy. Then I started to try to drink all those feelings away. It surprised me that they didn't go away, and if anything are coming to forefront again. However, I no longer have the terrible alcohol induced depression and anxiety. I am so thankful for that!
8. I love my yoga practice!
9. Giving up drinking does not solve all my problems. There are no easy fixes, except for these:
I no longer have the problems of drunk driving, falling down, sloppy speech, blacking out, hangovers, waking up in cold sweats, spending money, and hanging out in bars for hours.
I am very happy not to make any more problems for myself, as I have enough normal ones!
10. Being scared is normal. I was very scared. I was scared of losing friends, coping without drinking, and going to meetings. But that went away with time.
In the future it is my hope and dream that I can keep letting go of the anxiety around not drinking. I have made great strides, but this is an area I still need to work on. The same goes for the "poor me, I can't drink" thoughts that can pop up at dinner parties, which are connected to some social anxiety.
I am working to grow spiritually as well as emotionally, because I know some of my problems are from lack of growth in these areas.
If you are still struggling, I want to encourage you to never give up. I know it takes work. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Keep searching for the best ways to help yourself. If one way isn't working try something else. I knew I need everything, so I did everything.
The best gift from being sober is peace of mind.
To all of you dear readers, I not only thank you for your help and support, I wish you a wonderful, glorious day!
With Love on Day 366,