I know it may not seem like it, but there really is nothing to be ashamed of. You just hacked 6months of not drinking…how long were you drinking prior to that?
I think you are being unfair and dishonest with yourself. The truth is that If you stop drinking now, in 6 months time you’ll have spent 12 of the last 13 months sober.
I say don’t stop counting …no one can take those 6 months away from you. NO one. You earned them fair and square so they are your for keeps.
I feel like we tell ourselves that we’re “starting over” or messed up in some unforgivable and major way. It simply Isn’t true. You can’t fix the past but you certainly can’t go back and make it worse either now can you
Here’s what I did and found a lot of success with…hopefully you or someone else will find some part of this long ass post helpful:
Personally I use an app called NOMO it allows you to set different counters. So I have one that is labeled conscious and one that is labeled consecutive.
In the beginning I’d slip up one a week. After spending years drinking 1-2 bottles of wine a night…5 days in a row was a huge success. Honestly, resetting my counter every week was a real bummer especially since it has me thinking that I hadn’t actually DONE anything…or that my 5 days of hard work ( harder than anything else I’ve ever done) wasn’t worth anything. It’s hard to convince yourself that an effort is worth much, when it “disappears” so easily…especially when your self esteem is already on the floor.
Since I wasn’t ready to give up on quitting and I knew my daily efforts had to count for SOMETHING, I decided I wasn’t going to reset my counter. instead, I added one! So I have one that counts from the day I committed to changing my relationship with drinking and keeps going as long as I still get back on that horse and keep trying. and another that I’dre-set whenever I’d break a consecutive streak of not drinking.
I switched my mindset to breaking my personal record ever week so 5 days became 6 and I’d reset…but once I hit 7 consecutive days, I immediately jumped to counting my sobriety in months. now I’m up to a year! I should add that my relapse binges also went from 2-3 days to 1 then zero. Prior to this shift in mindset I’d go on week month or year++ long benders before trying again.
It was way easier to get back on the horse when I was able to keep an accurate and realistic view of how far I’d come.
I’d ask myself how many days in a week or a month or (now) a year I’d spent sober since taking on this journey and honestly compare it to the week month or year before.
Suddenly a mistake was allowed to just be a mistake: Something that happens sometimes, something to learn from and grow from and improve upon. You know…what mistakes are intended for. Lol
Also the annoyance of hitting 1 year of consecutive days sober, then realizing that it could have been a few months more, adds a boost in keeping me from giving into temptation.
At lest it gives me something else to seriously consider while the urge to “test the waters” passes in its own. Lol
Other thing that helped me is (and this is going to sound weird) not telling myself I could never drink but instead focusing on putting it off. Giving myself an hour to think about IF it was a really good idea.
A day to think about it, a week to think about it, a month to think about it etc. Just putting off for a bit gave my ability to reason, a chance to make its arguments( like the risk of falling back into my old patters etc) and that ability to reason ultimately grew stronger.
Even today I acknowledge that I COULD drink…no one is stopping me, but it wouldn’t be wise. It’s would be risky and I now have too much to lose.
The other thing was the book “ sober for good” which I committed to reading while I was “thinking about” weather or not to drink for an hour. That or I’d do some worksheets from the “SMART recovery” workbook.
Sorry for the super long response but I’ve had a lot of personal success with this plan after decades of heavy drinking and zero long term success. I just hope someone finds something useful in one of these ideas.
If I had to give ONE pice of advice, aside from being honest about how far you’d come, it would be not to be afraid to go off the beaten bath until you find what works for you. Everyone and their mama will have an opinion on the way you “HAVE” to do it. I’d say take what works for you, leave what doesn’t and and try anything you find interesting. It’s such a personal journey.
Cheers and huge congrats on your 6 months. Figure out where you went wrong and what your going to do differently next time you’re faced with this situation… then go back to collecting you’re well earned sober time.