People often ask me, how did I do it? How did I quit and stay quit? Here's my answer.
First of all I spent about two years having a brutally honest dialogue with myself about my alcohol habit. I didn't hide from the truth or deny how bad things were. In those two years I told myself over and over and over that my drinking wasn't healthy, that it wasn't functional, that it was out of control and getting worse, and that something needed to change.
While I was having this brutally honest internal dialogue with myself, my eyes were full open to notice that my drinking was progressively getting heavier, sloppier, more disfunctional and out of control. Again - not denying or hiding from the truth.
Then, in the early hours of September 6, 2011, I reached a crisis point (after displaying a new disfunctional behaviour of hiding an empty bottle and lying about how much I'd had) and accepted, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that despite all my best efforts I just could not handle alcohol at all. And in that moment I made a firm decision, that I was removing alcohol from my life forever. And when I say firm, I mean FIRM. No going back. No thinking things could ever be different. Full acceptance.
Once that firm decision had been made I attacked learning how to live sober with 100% of my being. I adopted an open, curious, determined, willing attitude... clinging to the knowledge that it was possible to live happily without alcohol (because I saw others who were doing that), and maintaining a belief that it would get easy eventually (again, because I saw others who felt that way).
I soaked up all the information I could find, through numerous different outlets, to educate myself about sobriety and recovery. I saw it as a great challenge and intriguing test, imagining myself as a human guinea pig as I explored my own transformation.
And finally I embraced connecting with others who knew exactly what I was going through, because they were going (or had already gone) through it too. I listened to all of the advice and support that came my way, while constantly sharing the truth about all I was struggling with, experiencing, feeling and seeing.
There are many, many different routes to recovery, many many different interventions, programmes and schemes that might help. There is no right or wrong. Whatever gets and keeps you sober and happy is A-OK.
But, however you choose to go about transforming your life, I do recommend you keep these steps in mind;
- Be honest with yourself
- Accept the truth
- Make a firm decision
- Throw everything at it
- Connect open-heartedly with others in the same boat
And above all, stay curious. It is the most fascinating ride you will ever go on. You'll learn things you never knew about yourself, and most likely end up in a place you never imagined.
Love, Mrs D xxx