I was born in Scotland but immigrated to Canada with my family when I was four. I had my first drink at thirteen. I have always struggled with my drinking, moving from boasting about how much I could drink to hiding how much I was drinking!In my early twenties I spoke to an older coworker who was in recovery about my drinking and he told me not to go looking for trouble. I took that to heart and continued my drinking until I was forty. By this time I was what I would consider a functioning alcoholic. I was successful at work but it was a slippery slope and my drinking was picking up speed even though I wasn’t drinking every day I was binge drinking once a week and on weekends. When it cost me my second marriage I stopped for exactly one year and then was back drinking like before. That year of sobriety was awful but I white knuckled my way through it, proving to myself I didn’t have a problem and could quit if I wanted too. That year of white knuckling put off my sobriety another 15 years. I could not imagine living the rest of my life like that.I met my current wife when I was forty and moved to Southern Manitoba to start my life over. My wife had just started her career in nursing and was working shift work. I didn’t have any friends in town and that’s when I started drinking on my own and that turned into daily drinking. I started seriously thinking about quitting when I was in my late forties but that year of white knuckling kept me trying to find a way to moderate. It took a note from my wife on April 24, 2018, that said I had to choose between her and drinking. I was passed out on the couch for the hundredth time and she was dreading coming home to me. This was finally enough for me I was exhausted trying to moderate and looking for my next drink. I couldn’t imagine my life without my wife, who is the kindest most supportive person I have ever met. That evening I went for a walk and my wife phoned to apologise for the note, I told her I that I had made up my mind and I was going to stop drinking but I needed her support.That was a year ago, my one year soberversary is April 25, 2019. The difference between this time and last time, I just decided drinking was not an option. Last time was for one year and that made it like a prison sentence always knowing that I was going to get to drink again. This time I had to come up with a strategy, that included sober podcasts. On the Recovery Elevator podcast a guest mentioned this site and this site has changed my life. I now know I am not alone, that other people have the same struggles that I have. The support, advice and love shown on this site has shown me that I can live a happy and full sober life!If you are lurking here that is enough proof that alcohol is disrupting your life. Stop poisoning yourself and start dealing with your problems, stop drowning them in booze. You can live your own great, authentic life! A lifetime of sobriety starts with one AF day!
Day 391 6:38am Today’s thought from my big comfy chair: “ Yes, it’s possible” I never thought it was possible, how boring would life be without drinking! Drinking made life fun, it made me more outgoing, funnier, more interesting! Those thoughts are all lies, I have seen a video of me at a friends wedding and I was almost incoherent, that is not attractive, funny or interesting! Thank goodness I can’t unseen that video, it is stuck in my head. That was 20 years ago and it seems like yesterday! Still it took me another 20 years to quit! Quitting for ever is a tough task, that is a hard concept for your mind to wrap itself around! Like other hard decisions sometimes you need to play little games with yourself! If you don’t feel like going for a run, just decide you will only do half the distance and once you are out the door and start running your like well I feel ok I will do the whole thing! I do this with chores all the time I will just was the dishes and dry tomorrow, I will cut the grass and do the trimming tomorrow! The thing is once you build some momentum your like ahh may as well finish and free up tomorrow to be a lazy day! Quitting drinking can be like that, get through the witching hour and you can get through the day, Get through the weekend and your on to another sober week.Get through a month and set your sites on 60 days! “Yes, it is possible”, it doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it! I still tell myself this is just until I retire and then I will reassess and that might be true but I can’t see myself choosing to go back to drinking after 10 or so years of sobriety! Yes, it’s possible to be happy and have a fulfilling life while sober! I never would’ve believed it was possible but I am happier, healthier, more productive, more easygoing and alive than any other time in my life! It’s not easy but yes it’s possible!
Loving your post!!!! oxox And so so close to 400…..Holy shit, we better start looking for a good sober treat for that soberversary. 🙂 Your post also reminded me of something Russel Brand talked about not long ago that I took to heart….and how we may not always want what we need, or need what we want. I liked the way you trick yourself into a run. For me it was about finding something I enjoyed for the most part (swimming and walking) but still…I often do NOT wanna do it….so I focus on how I will feel after I do it. It never occured to me until recently that most people who I admire and at times envy (successful, fit, healthy people, for example) also don’t necessarily WANT to always do the things that make them healthy and successful (whatever success means to an individual here). But..they go out and do it ….anyways.
I don’t wanna go out into the cold today…..but I will do it anyways because it will improve my mental health by at least 3%. And that alone is worth it.
Some days it seems a bit like a Mario Brothers game, lol…collecting coins along the way….getting stronger and growing….at times flying….then comes a mean mushroom (I do like to eat mushrooms, not the drug kinda ones though, lol) and wooosh….you feel small again and start all over. But if you don’t keep walking and collecting coins….you won’t grow again. God, I loved that game as a kid.
Thanks Mari, still have that convertible I got last summer as a sober treat and I think that will carry me through this entire year! It was a little over the top that early in my sobriety but I have earned it now and loving it!
The three biggest barriers for me were: I didn’t think it was necessary (I’m not that bad!), I didn’t think it was worthwhile (people that don’t drink are boring) and I didn’t think it was possible (I’ve tried and tried, but can’t). All three were untrue.