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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