In the past, I associated all the good things in life with alcohol; all the fun times, all of the relaxing moments, even intimacy. It was hard to imagine life without it, even though I knew it was a problem.
I “tried” to get sober for a long time, but it didn’t work because I was trying to abstain from something that I wanted to do. I liked to drink.
After several years of trying, I decided to try something new, I changed my relationship with alcohol.
Changing my relationship with alcohol was key to my sobriety.
This was a process that took me a couple of months to go through, definitely didn’t happen over night.
Here’s the steps I took:
Step One: The Pros/Cons list
What I failed to do was associate all of the bad times with alcohol; the hangovers, the fights, the arrests, the DUI’s, the embarrassing texts, social media posts, the lying, the stealing, the cheating. etc.
I put pen to paper and made an honest list of the benefits if drinking. After a few days, that list remained empty. I couldn’t come up with one benefit.
I moved on to the consequences of drinking. The list was long, very long.
Step Two: Education
I didn’t really know that much about alcohol, I knew that yeast or bacteria would convert sugars into alcohol, but that was the extent of my knowledge. So I learned more about it, the origins, how it’s made, how used etc. Fun fact: did you know that when the alcohol content reaches around 13% by volume, it actually kills the bacteria that makes it?
What was really sobering was learning the effects of alcohol on the human body; the organs, brain, cardiovascular system etc.
I spent hours googling these topics and reading everything I could find. I also took to YouTube and found good content there.
Two documentaries I’d recommend are:
(I’d be remiss if I didn’t warn about the content, it is about drinking…)
Step Three: Finding Inspiration
I headed back to YouTube and watched every “1 year sober” video I could find. I remember being in awe, “One year sober!” I thought, “That it would be amazing if I could do that”. After watching people tell their stories, I knew that wanted that too, I wanted what they had.
Here’s a few that I watched:
- Sober for 1 Year - Why I Quit Drinking
- ONE YEAR SOBER: What Have I Learned?
- 1 YEAR SOBER!!! | The Year That Broke & Rebuilt Me
I also spent a lot of time reading and engaging on Talking Sober. I found my pack here and leaned on them when I needed, this helped me stay motivated and helped gain perspective that I would not have gotten otherwise.
Step Four: The Come to Jebus Moment
After some contemplation and reflection, I started to change the way I saw alcohol. It was no longer something that was desirable, it is a poison that WILL kill you, sometimes fast, sometime slow, but if you let it get it’s grip on you, it will kill.
I realized that all the fun times that I thought I was having, almost all had turned to shit, eventually.
I realized that not a single thing of value was ever provided by alcohol but almost every bad thing that has happened in my life was caused by it.
I realized that alcohol has retarded my growth; mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
I realized that I was not happy with the current version of me, and the best version of me could only exist without alcohol.
I came to the conclusion that alcohol added negative value in my life, it offered nothing, but would take everything.
Since then, I have had no desire to drink. As I write this, I am 3 years, 4 months and 30 days sober. I am not saying it was easy, it wasn’t, but it was a simple conclusion to come to.