Do you really want to change?

change in neon lettering

You have to want to change in order to change.

I could type a million words about why I love being sober, but if you don’t want to stop drinking it will make no difference.

I could talk until I run out of puff about all the the tools and techniques I used to quit drinking, but if you want to keep on boozing there’s nothing I can do.

You could half-heartedly give sobriety a go, but if, deep down, you’re not ready to say goodbye to alcohol it’ll never stick. Because, well, deep down you’re not ready to say goodbye to alcohol.

That’s the bottom line. If there’s still a little part of you inside who wants to stay drinking then that part will always win. All it will take is one little thought in your head convincing you to pick up and you you will.

That’s the truth.

But if you want to change with every single fibre of your being, if there’s not one tiny sliver of yourself that believes that continuing to drink is a good idea, then absolutely change will come.

If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, if you done enough ‘research’ to know that you and alcohol will never have a functional relationship, if you’re completely, totally, 100% ready to give that stuff up for good. Well then, sit back and watch change come!

Or more like roll up your sleeves and watch change come. Because it’s going to take hard work. But that’s ok. Hard work never killed any of us. And many thousands of us have done the hard work and gotten sober.

I’d half-heartedly wanted to sort out my drinking for many months before I did. I knew alcohol was a big problem for me and wanted things to be different, but I still didn’t want to actually stop drinking. I couldn’t bear the thought of my life with no alcohol in it, and thought it way too monumental of an act to remove it completely.

So, of course, I kept on drinking. I read helpful books but still kept drinking. I tried moderation techniques but still kept drinking. I reached out for help but still kept drinking.

It wasn’t until I had my worst last night of drinking ever that I finally let go of that last little bit of me that wanted to keep alcohol in my life. In floods of tears, on my lowest day ever, I fully surrendered and committed. 100% of me was ready. I knew alcohol had to go, and I wanted it to. I was fully ready for change.

And so of course change came. I’m now over eight and a half years sober and never felt better.

If you’re trying and failing to stop drinking, please don’t beat yourself up. All that means is that there’s a little part of you deep down that’s not ready to quit. A tiny little voice in your head that maybe doesn’t believe you can do it, or still thinks alcohol is necessary for a fun, full life.

Trust that you’ll banish that little part eventually. Trust that the clever and strong part of your brain will convince the old way of thinking it’s past it’s use-by date. Trust that you’re going to win the fight.

And then change will come. You just watch.

  1. Anonymous 4 years ago

    So true and such a great read Mrs D. I stayed stuck in more research for over 9 years! My last drunk I wished I could have died the next day. I had so much shame, self hatred and disgust for myself. Change was the only thing left for me. Finally I have stopped the horrendous mouse wheel of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. I absolutely knew I was ready to change. I believe it was life or death for me. Today I am 64 days sober and feeling incredible. My depression and chronic pain have eased considerably and the ‘change’ I’ve made it nothing short of a miracle!
    P.S I’m hooked on the sober sessions, loved seeing you share your toolbox xo 🙂

  2. Elsa1202 4 years ago

    This makes perfect sense @mrs-d. For me the mindset and the phrase that sorted it for me was switching from saying “no thanks, I’m not drinking” to “no thanks, I don’t drink”. It has become a permanent state of mind that holds me fast to my new life, alcohol free.

  3. Tugboat 4 years ago

    Great blog post, Mrs D; always a good read.
    I agree with your truth that every fibre of you has to want to give up otherwise you will fail.
    Over the last couple of years of trying to give up, until last December, this certainly was me. There were still parts of me that wanted to keep drinking. Since last December I can say for sure that every fibre of me wants to be AF
    But I think there is an element of grief that creeps in. Grief for those times oh so many years ago when having a drink with friends was fun and made the after dinner board games bearable (?)
    For me the fails I have had since December have, I think, been down to this grieving process. Of course having a drink doesn’t help the grieving process at all. However, just as that tiny remnant of the drinking you that doesn’t want to give up booze will cause you to fail so will the grieving process
    Or is it just me ?

  4. RB2019 4 years ago

    Great article. You don’t get over that hill until you give up the fight – kind of ironic isn’t it?

  5. robynb 4 years ago

    Hmm. Not so sure about this. When I quit there was a bit of not too sure about giving it up completely, forever, but after doing The challenge for 60 plus days I liked it so much, and having a supportive environment (this) I made the switch. I Guess what Im trying to say is its worth giving sobriety a shot, and you just might decide living sober is much better then living with drink.

    • johatnn 4 years ago

      I agree with you Robyn, everyone’s journey is different but similar. I guess that’s why it’s so helpful to have each other to bounce our ideas off. I’ve never really gotten that rock bottom concept. Someone once said to me, “the road to recovery is very up and down”, that rings more true to me. Having a go at quitting and then relapsing is surely a learning process.

  6. kevin29 4 years ago

    I’m only on day 38. That was so well said Mrs. D and so true to any of us who have made the repeated stops and starts along the way. I posted several weeks ago saying that every failure in stopping years before was because there was that feeling knowing it really wasn’t for good and that any break from alcohol was good, even if it meant going back to the same old harmful pattern. I truly don’t have that feeling anymore. At age 56, I know I’ve already lived a large part of my life, and rather happily I might add, notwithstanding a very unhealthy habit of a bottle of wine a night. I truly realize that in order to see the beauty of the next years to come, I needed to make a choice and let god in and never take that first drink. For me now, each passing day is better and I’m excited for a future without alcohol. I know tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, but all I know is that for all the precious years I have left in my life, alcohol won’t be part of it and just saying that makes me feel so good.

  7. SillySassy 4 years ago

    So true….I had never really tried to give up alcohol before…My Life from late Teens to now ( almost 45 years later ) was so soaked in ” The Drink ” It was a part of me. I grew up with generations of Alcoholics. It was the norm. Every aspect of my life was connected to Booze ( and drugs ) for so long that I didn’t know any other way….what was beyond the that Haze. 161 days into sobriety seems like just a blip on the radar screen but I will take Sobriety any day over how I was living or should I say dying slowly day by day, For those of you just starting this Journey It is your choice as Mrs D’s has stated ” You have to want to Change in order to Change, You only get One Life to Live…I can’t go back and change my Life but I can and will continue with this Sober Life I have left. Stay Strong…Booze sucks!

  8. NetD 4 years ago

    ? After 12 years of morning after regrets, “quit days” and guilt, I have no fear saying I want to live without alcohol. Today is day one. I am really happy to have found this site now.

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