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 429 6:27am Thoughts from my big comfy chair: “could I have just one“
Months, years before I actually quit drinking, I would wake up hungover and disappointed in myself. I would think of new ways to moderate. #1 Don’t drink during the week, next thought, well except Tuesday golf #2 No drinking on Sundays, that would help start the work week off on the right foot, next though, except if our spiritual group got together, then wine would be ok #3 Don’t start drinking until after 8:00pm, next thought, except if your making supper, because that is sophisticated #4 No hard liquor because they give me terrible hangovers, next thought except scotch because I love scotch #5 No more than 3 drinks in an evening, except once I had 3 drinks I felt fine and sober and was having fun and well just fuck it!
Moderating was a myth to me, like a unicorn, I have seen a picture but didn’t believe it existed! Even when I could moderate it was only for one or two evenings and it was exhausting. All the fun was taken out of the evening, while I checked my watch to see if I could have one more, how could it only be 10:00pm and I already had my 3 drinks, people offering you more drinks and constantly looking for the courage to say no thanks. Even now after 429 days, I know I can’t have an icy cold beer after cutting the grass, or one glass of wine with supper with my wife and then there it is, how about a scotch after supper, hmmm maybe I could do that?
Take a moment play it forward, that would lead to a 2nd scotch. A few days later, this thought, you have this figured out you could have a beer after golf, then of course a nice glass of Chardonnay with a lovely dinner! At the end back to hiding my drinking from my wife, worrying about smelling like booze at work, 14 months of progress down the shitter for one wee dram of scotch! Not on my watch, these thoughts are fleeting, get up do something else and they will go away! Keep on the path and gain your life and self respect back!
Always ends up more that’s for sure! Love the wisdom from the big comfy chair! I know better for myself personally that I will never be able to have just one. It’s so great feeling self respect and to be grounded.
Thanks @sober4real, I took a little break from my morning routine but I am feeling a little more rejuvenated lately, so hopefully I will have more I feel like sharing. Self respect and grounding were 2 things I was hoping for when I quit drinking and for the most part I have found them.
I bloody love this @Hammer123 it’s exactly how my mind works.. it’s this time of an evening 5pm that the wine witch screams at me to drink.. because that’s how I started my evenings, but didn’t stop until blackout … I struggle through till and by 7pm i’m ok.. thanks for posting you’ve helped me today xx
Moderation is a myth……my thoughts and reflections mirror this perfectly. The old saying one is not enough and one is too many because it would be the end of this lovely clear headed journey. I love posts like this. Thank you and bon voyage.
Great post. I used to try and keep to the rules I imposed on myself but it never worked. * No drinking during the week, except Thursday because it’s Thirsty Thursday. *Only drink beer as you’ll drink less. *No drinking until 5pm unless it’s the weekend. Etc etc. How tiring it was trying to moderate. The good thing about all though was that it led me to realise that it doesn’t work and from there I made the decision just to stop drinking completely. What a relief! 🙂 I really enjoy your thoughts from the big comfy chair. 🙂
The rules game didn’t work for me either. It’s so much less exhausting to not drink rather than try to moderate. What gets me is all the time it takes up in a day just for that 1-3 hours of buzz. Glad we have our days free now!