Did I Quit Too Soon?

A post over at http://thewinebitch.blogspot.ca/2015/10/its-like-banging-your-head-against-wall.html?showComment=1445871883340#c4654979733475577053

Inspired me to write. She has a great blog. Check her out.

Did I quit too soon? Should I have waited to hit a rock bottom? When I did quit was still healthy, employed, married. My life looked and actually was pretty together.

So why did I quit?

Leading up to December 1, 2013 I knew I drank too much. I knew I felt inadequate and lost. I tried to fill my life in other ways. I exercised intensely. I was a fanatical low carb dieter and had extreme rules around food. I drank vodka and water to ensure my carbs stayed minimal. I believed in no pain no gain.

I was able to implement the control in all areas except the booze. I was forever swearing to cut back, usually as part of my diet and exercise plan. I always felt if I could just remove the booze I could be fitter, thinner, happier.

Events transpired that forced my husband to quit drinking. The lights were suddenly on, and I could read the writing on the wall. Here was my chance. I grabbed it, and declared I was going to have a year off drinking. To get healthier.

I still remember the first few weeks. How hard they were, but how I almost immediately felt relief. The constant self loathing and regret lessened. Every weekend that passed by I felt more and more empowered. I was no longer at the mercy of my own compulsive behaviour. I was no longer lying to myself and breaking my promises I made to me. I started to trust myself.

As that first year went on I saw more and more just how negatively alcohol had been impacting me. My severe anxiety lessened. I accepted help with some long denied depression. I stopped taking headache and stomach medications every day and my body started working better. I also stopped trying to grind myself into the ground with exercise and starvation. I no longer wished to disappear.

Suddenly life was pleasant. Moments of pure Joy appeared. More and more often. Even when things were hard, or sad. I was, and still am, deeply content and happy. I see the miracle of life. I see any and all opportunity is available if I just make he effort to take it.

At the end of that year There was no question that I was going to hold on to this life. My plan is that I never drink again, but I take it, and everything else one day at a time. That’s just how they are!

It makes me sad to think I might have waited longer. That my refusal to accept that an alcohol free life was even a possibility kept me drinking as long as I did. society plays a big role in that, encouraging us to deny our problems and compare ourselves to other who are worse off to avoid actually looking in the mirror. 

No. If you are questioning whether or not you have to give up drinking, try it for a year. Because if you are asking yourself that question you already know the answer in your heart. 

There is so much to gain. Don’t wait until you lose any more. 

Stillness and peace

Anne

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21 thoughts on “Did I Quit Too Soon?

  1. Thanks for writing this. This part really resonated: I also stopped trying to grind myself into the ground with exercise and starvation. I no longer wished to disappear.

    I’m so thankful that you’ve accomplished what you have – happy for you, happy for us.

  2. This is great. The idea of rock-bottom as some sort of signal or criterion has to go away. Too many of us are harming ourselves significantly even as we fly under various radar for “drinking problem.” Blogs like yours are helping create a new culture around when to stop or get help…..

  3. We quit when we are ready and really want it. Your time was great. Those who don’t question their drinking either don’t have a problem, don’t admit they have a problem or are no ready to face the problem.

    1. You know, I wonder if we have to be ready…or can be ready for something we have never done.

      Sometimes we just have to jump into things with both feet. Perhaps we could have continued on the old way for a long time, never having any negative consequences. You never know.

      I think of the Hugh Laurie quote
      ” it’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until your ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”

      Who know….

      1. I love this quote!!
        It’s so true, there is no ready.
        I know this about many things in my life.
        If I wait until I am ready, I would never do anything.
        xo
        Wendy

  4. I remember when I was drinking, I was always comparing myself to “perceived alcoholics” I’m not as bad at X, at least I haven’t had a drink driving incident, lost my job, my husband etc or whatever it was that I thought was the bottom and justified my own habit. One day I thought ” what am I doing? am I waiting for some of this to happen? because I could pretty much guarantee had I not stopped, I would have slid into the inevitable. So glad I stopped when I did before I doid any more damage to myself and those around me.

  5. Great post. I have waited along time to even entertain the idea of sobriety. I am a creature of peer pressure, always trying to fit in with what I thought was cool. Drinking was cool, but then after awhile it wasn’t and so hard to keep up with. I feel better sober. Even though I am on my 3rd try at this. A year seems like forever, but I keep hearing that word JOY in there…and I want that.

  6. “If you’re asking yourself that question, you already know the answer….” is a brilliant piece of perceptive writing. And it’s true. It’s oh so true. Great post.

  7. Love this post. I questioned myself a lot. I still had a job, a car, never ended up in jail, ect. Sometimes, I even think “Did I even have a drinking problem?” but the answer is yes, and I know that with certainty. We were just wise enough to quit while we were ahead, and luckily for us, we did. Who knows where we would have ended up….

  8. Your description of the new life you’re learning and living since you quit drinking invigorates me want to take a fresh look at my own wellness practices each day. Sometimes it feels like these things I enjoy so much and give my life such meaning start to become mundane. Thank you again for another great post! I’m grateful and joyful for your health, happiness, and sobriety!

  9. I am so glad i no longer drink. I only gain when i live like this. Sitting here now, a year before I am 40, i am now more content, peaceful and happy than i have ever been. It is the right choice for me. I love this post, I love all your blog posts. You would write an amazing book

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