Today is Father’s Day and I want to start out by wishing all the fathers a fabulous day of love, joy, appreciation, and all kinds of good stuff. I was lucky to have a birth father I adored but lost during my teenage years, followed by a magnificent stepfather who was in my life for ten years before he died, and with whom I enjoyed a beautiful connection. The men in my life who are important dads to me are my first hubby (dad to my two boys), and my second hubby who was their stepdad. Happy Father’s Day to all men who took on that role and gave it their all. We wouldn’t be here without you!
The choice to become sober is simple, all you have to do is decide to STOP drinking alcohol. Easy. One decision to make, no question or ambiguity, solid, confirmed. Yet that decision is so damn hard it feels impossible until it is accomplished. Changing a lifestyle that has become known so well, when every part of life includes the bastard beast, or as I call it, The Booze Bitch, is tough. Our culture heralds alcohol as a magic elixir and we see it everywhere; advertised on billboards, plastered on the pages of magazines, in most every grocery store we enter, just everywhere. The marketing of booze is crazy powerful. Non drinkers are often considered a bit freakish or weak for choosing not to drink – it is no easy task to turn away from all this pollution our alcohol-loving society supports. But it can be done. Once we disassociate booze from good times, fun, social bravado, alleviation of stress, depression, anxiety – once we can reach the point of telling ourselves the truth, knowing the truth about alcohol, quitting it really does become simple.
I was beyond desperate to feel good again. I have so many dreams and visions for my life, and not one of them was going to happen if I kept drinking. I had become addicted, which created a wild roller-coaster cycle of dependency on the very substance that was taking me down. I was stuck on the hamster wheel, going nowhere but in circles of despair. Booze caused an excruciating experience of depression and anxiety (the devil’s bookends!) in me, and it was horrible. Alcohol was the gasoline I tossed on the fire that burned out all my hope. All the negative things I was trying to avoid in my life grew like monsters in the closet of my imagination, the way a young child fears the dark for all that is unknown and feared. One day I just decided I had to give myself the opportunity to know what not drinking could do for me. I needed to remember that I was worth that, my body deserved better. I had an inkling it would be really positive for me to let myself have time without booze, but I honestly did not know how miraculous the transformation would become.
I am now 68 days alcohol free, and feeling like I have been reborn. I have zero cravings or desire for alcohol. I associate wine (all booze) with gasoline, and there’s no way on earth I would drink gasoline. That really works for me. If you are struggling to stop drinking, learn all the science behind what alcohol is doing to your body and brain. Take my word for it, the first month (for me 40 days) can suck, but then the sun starts shining brighter than you have ever seen. The effect of years and years of drinking takes time to leave our body systems and brains, so be patient. The worst thing to do when feeling the frustrations of detoxing from booze is to drink again. Each time we being to drink again, we teach our bodies that they need this toxin in order to function, and our addiction deepens. Whatever it takes, whatever image you need to conjure up or story you need to tell yourself so that you will stop the booze, do that. Reach out to a sober community like This Naked Mind. Annie Grace has many YouTube videos that teach very clearly how devastating alcohol is to our brain and body systems. There are many wonderful authors of Quit Lit with amazing, true life stories of recovery. Those have helped me immensely. Digesting the clarity of what was actually happening when I drank my nightly wine drove the truth home for me. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. Are you?