I have spent a few weeks trolling the web for sober stories and reading memoirs of people who have succeeded in becoming sober. I think that this is what finally gave me the motivation that I needed to take the plunge into sobriety. It is absolutely amazing how different everyone’s stories are… yet they have that sameness that brings us drinkers (recovering or not) together. I want to thank everyone who has shared their stories in a public realm. Reading these stories has made me realize that I am definitely an alcoholic.
I have never, ever been a normal drinker. I think this is kind of unusual (maybe not so unusual, though?). Some people seem to gradually slip into alcoholism over many years of hard drinking, but I am pretty sure that I drank alcoholically and blacked out the very first time that alcohol touched my lips. When I tried to control my drinking, as I did many times in the past, I could only do so a small percentage of the time. And it was a total crap shoot whether I would be able to control it or not on any given occasion.
There are many drinking behaviors that I didn’t exhibit in my lifetime. I focused on these in the past when thinking about whether or not I was an alcoholic, and rationalizing the reasons why it was okay to keep on drinking. I wasn’t a morning drinker. I didn’t hide my consumption from others. I was able to keep a steady job most of the time. It was other people’s problems, not mine, that were getting in the way of my chosen lifestyle.
In reality, however, I HAVE drank in the mornings, just not all the time. I’ve called in sick to work, or didn’t always do my best, because of being hungover. My relationships with friends, family, and romantic interests suffered. I have had legal and financial ramifications from drinking. I was lying to myself so that I could keep my addiction to alcohol alive. What a realization. I’m sure it was obvious to other people at times, but I chose not to see that.
Reading different sobriety blogs, forums, and memoirs have shown me that alcoholism has many faces. Denial and rationalization are tools that help you avoid dealing with your drinking. If you think you might have a problem, you probably do. And this has helped me so much. I am honestly looking at myself for the first time in years.
This is Day 5 for me. So far every day has been a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions. One minute I believe that I can do it and I’m all fired up to quit forever. The next minute I feel like there is no way in hell, and what exactly was the problem with my drinking anyway? Ugh. I am trying to stay positive and focus on the benefits of quitting. I am telling myself that it is no longer an option, and that I can never have the life that I want if I continue down that road. Most of the time I feel pretty good, but it definitely feels like work! Writing about it helps. Talking helps too. I feel lucky to have a few people in my life that I trust enough to share with. The sober blogosphere seems pretty cool and supportive, and I’m so glad that I found it. Thanks for stopping by.