Ok, I’ve done it! 12 weeks sober… or should I say 3 months sober? Which sounds better? Which sounds like the longer time? Do I keep counting weeks or now go on to counting months? These are just some of the fun little dilemmas that consumer my thoughts now!
On a serious note though, I can honestly say that drinking or not drinking really doesn’t take up a lot of my thoughts anymore. I barely think about it. I am surprised by this. I expected it to be harder. Don’t get me wrong, I did have some hard days, but all in all it has been so much easier than I imagined.
Here are some of my thoughts on why it has been easier than expected
- I didn’t hide from socialising at the beginning.
- I think this helped because I learnt to deal with the difficulty of not drinking alcohol when everyone else was around me, right from the start, while the reasons I wanted to give it up were fresh in my mind.
- Meeting new people.
- As I have mentioned on my home page and about me page I am a sailor and a live aboard cruiser which, I believed, was going to make giving up alcohol very hard… and I still believe it made it very difficult for me to take the first step to give up and it constantly puts me in an environment in which drinking alcohol is almost obligatory! BUT, whereas I thought meeting new people and not drinking would be difficult, I have found that if they don’t know me as “a drinker” then it is actually easier not to drink.
- I’m not in Australia.
- I say this for two reasons. The first is that when we lived in Australia we entertained once or twice a week, went out once or twice a week and celebrated or enjoyed a quiet drink once or twice a week. Alcohol, food and friends were a big part of our life and habits had formed. My life now is very unstructured so I find that breaking the habits of the “afterwork drink”, the “pre-dinner drink” and the “lets kill time at the pub drink” easier than if life had more routine.
- The second reason is that I love red wine… I mean really love the stuff! And Australia has some of the best! I know that is bias but I really doubt I could have given it up if I was still in Australia and could go to the bottle shop and by a good red wine for a reasonable price. Here in Southeast Asia, where we are at the moment, the affordable wine is unpleasant and I have discovered my homemade ice tea tastes better!
- My blog.
- I believe my blog has helped me exactly as I was hoping it would. I don’t have a big following, but it was never about that. It was for me to keep a diary, jot down my thoughts and correlate information I thought would be useful. It was a lifeline when I needed it – the guiding light of a lighthouse when the night was dark and the seas were wild – it kept my head above water. I don’t need it quite as much as I did in the beginning…. grasping at it like a drowning sailor to a life ring. My blog/diary is here for me when I need reaffirmation of why I am now teetotal; I can read back through my thoughts. And of course this blog has given me the support and feedback from others that I found invaluable. Thank you to everyone that has read, liked or commented on my blog.
So there it is! The first 1/4 of a year done and dusted. I know it is not always going to be easy and that there are, and always will be, hard times ahead. I also know that in my new sober state I am stronger, healthier and more determined to succeed with my goals.