The end of day 2 is when I decided to start to log this journey.
This is not my first time trying to quit drinking alcohol. I've tried different ways to cut back on drinking: every-other-day drink rule, 2-days-on 1-day-off rule, no drinking out, no drinking at home, 3 drinks max a day, apps to track my drinks, even popsicle sticks of how many drinks I can have a week, water between each drink. I have told friends that I'm taking time off from drinking and to support my efforts, I've done it privately so I wouldn't feel the shame when I folded, I've read books to help me "quit easily" and here I am again, 4 months until 39, 15 pounds overweight trying to not drink alcohol for a month....and then maybe never again.... or with prideful moderation.
So why am I trying this again when I keep failing?
Because I have to. I have to change my drinking habits because of all the reasons everyone else wants too. I'm scared that I will succeed and then I will be a non-drinker. I hate non-drinkers. Too intense. Too judgmental. What do you do with them all night? Then I'm also scared I'll fail and continue to ruin whole days after drinking, trying to remember if I've embarrassed myself the night before, eating shit all day and having to face the dog's long face when I don't take her out to jog all day. Repeat.
What is different about this time?
#1 This Blog. I have something to do everyday in the evening besides drink a 1/2 bottle of wine and a few scotches. I have accountability to the internet-maybe a stranger or two that fumble on this page. I need this private journey to be potentially public. I need some one rooting for me, and more so a place where I reflect and rant and document this journey that seems so stupidly hard.
My friends and husband drink just as much as me and don't get why I would want to cut back on drinking and I'm ruining their drinking fun by not drinking with them-I am pretty damn fun drinking buddy. Thus, they can't be my support group, even though they would understand the cravings, the social isolation and fear of winning and loosing this challenge.
My acquaintances (I don't have friends that aren't big drinkers) that really are those "social" or "moderate" drinkers that would agree that I need to cut back seem like they could be the support I need, and could help me figure out how to have fun without drinking. But I fear judgement of admitting how much I drink, how much I like to drink and how much of my identity is in it. And they will not understand the reasons for how hard it will be to not only stop drinking but to start reinventing myself. And, of course because they are not drinkers I don't connect with them as well as my drinking friends...so I don't like the idea of trying to make "a community" with them. A self-made lonely spot to be.
#2 I'm putting 1 month as my marker, from January 16 to February 16. No drinks. It's different than my other sober months because it is not starting on the 1st of any month. I already failed at "Sober October" many times, fuck, I often fail at Sober Sundays. This decision came into being as I sat on the coach hungover and looked up articles about my slow metabolism, which I have b. Drinking alcohol came up as a reason for weight gain and low metabolism. Then I read about 2-3 more hours of articles about healthy ways to boost metabolism and then hours of blogs and articles about the benefits of a 30-day sober month-thank you, hangover, for making it possible for me to put so much time into my research on the couch with the dog.
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Since I was hungover yesterday and often make the "never again promises" I decided to wait to see if I could make it through my last day of the week-end whisky-free before I claimed I was on a journey. Yesterday is the first day true day though, because I went to a party where I normally would have drunk over my hangover and then had another hangover today, but I refrained. I think everyone assumed I was drinking along with them. I was all armed with my new phrase, "I'll start with water..." instead of saying I wasn't drinking and starting the conversation of why...or what the hell...or "good luck with that." But no one asked, I poured my own drinks in the kitchen when no one was looking. Probably I'm projecting my feeling on them and maybe people don't really care if I drink or not, but I was ready for the peer pressure and only got it once after everyone was loaded. Not too bad. And I had fun enough. But I was a little socially awkward with people, not as outgoing. I did feel a little like my worst nightmare: the too-intense non-drinker at the party. I hate them. I have to become one of them, or maybe I won't, and I really will just be me without a drink.