5 years ago today I made the decision to not drink for a week. It was like all the other days I had decided to not drink. The day was filled with dread, anger, and doubt. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself. If I managed to make it through a night without drinking, I rarely managed another night any time soon. But this time was different. I didn’t want to be a drinker anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to drink, I just didn’t want to be a drinker. I was tired of everything associated with drinking. I wanted it out of my life.
So I made it through that first night, and somehow made it through a few weeks. I was feeling pretty confident and had thoughts of taking a drink. I had posted on this site before so I posted my thoughts. I then received the advice that has changed my life. Ashley, a Health Educator on this site, suggested that addictions counselors normally recommend a 3 month break before attempting moderation. This was NOT what I wanted to hear and I didn’t think it was necessary.
As much as I wanted a drink, I didn’t take one. Instead, I took some time to reflect on my weeks without alcohol. 5 years later I am grateful for Ashley’s advice. I truly believe that I would be drinking today if I had not taken any time less than 3 months.
Ironically, today is also my first official day of retirement. I was a teacher and today is the first official day for teachers for the new school year. I am grateful that I am alcohol free as I enter this new chapter in my life.
No matter your goal, it begins with a Day 1. If someone had told me 5 years ago that I would be happily alcohol free today, I wouldn’t have believed them. Change is hard. For me though, the hardness of change was better than the normal that I was living.