I started my sobriety journey on this forum in January 2017.
I took my last drink New Years Eve, December 31 2016 at 11:59p.m. and I didn’t drink another drop … until New Years January 1 2018, at 12:01p.m.
I considered the year 2017 an experiment (Do I really need alcohol in my life to have fun?). The answer was a definitive No.
Then, very foolishly, I played with fire and tried another experiment in 2018. (Even though I don’t need alcohol to have fun, AM I missing something by giving it up? ) The answer is also a definitive No. But I’ve had to learn it the hard way.
The book that helped me become sober was Alan Carr’s “How To Control Your Drinking.” The premise of the book (spoiler alert) is that there’s actually 0 benefits to alcohol, and all the perceived benefits are just an illusion.
The year 2017 proved to me that he was right. But the nagging (alcoholic) idea go lodged into my brain in late 2017 that WHAT IF Alan Carr is right, but that he purposely left off one SMALL thing that actually is a benefit that he couldn’t disprove. So in fact I might be saving myself from all the 99 illusions of alchol, but WHAT IF I was depriving myself of just 1 BENEFIT of alcohol.
Well, long story short, I learned the hard way (the only way?) that an alcoholic is an alcoholic. It was absolutely amazing to me how fast I slid back down the slide.
The biggest thing I learned, and now know with complete certainty, is that alcoholism is permanent. There’s no rehabilitation (aka you can drink without the urge to drink more).
I think most people (including me) intuitively think that abstaining from alcohol is like a RESET button on a video game. Like, if you abstain for a long time (a year, like me, for example) then when you hit the play button again, you’re starting back over (aka it’ll take you less to get drunk, you have less cravings, and your unquenchable thirst will go away).
Actually, abstaining from alcohol is a lot more like hitting the PAUSE button. You go away (again, for a year like me for example), and when you come back and hit play again, YOU START RIGHT BACK WHERE YOU LEFT OFF.
To me, a year might as well be two years might as well be five years.
If my system didn’t reset in that time, then it’s not going to reset ever.
When I started drinking again in 2018, I instantly had the same amount of cravings and drank the same amount of beer and whiskey (a lot) that I did before 2017.
That super simple fact really blows my mind.
After months and months and months of starting and stopping and struggling, I’ve decided to get back on the wagon again.
My son turned 1 year old on September 15, 2018.
I took my last drink on September 14th, 11:59p.m, 2018.
Here’s hoping it’s my last drink for the rest of my life.
And hello everyone (again). Looks like I’m back.