I just felt like posting about how great it is to still be alcohol free after 305 days. When I first stopped drinking, it was really difficult. It was that difficulty that actually convinced me that I needed to make this a permanent change. I needed to get to the place where instead of saying “I’m giving up alcohol for a while,” I could say “I don’t drink anymore.” There is a huge difference between those two statements. In the first, there’s an implication that it’s just something you’re trying out. If you fail, there was not as much expectation. To get to the place where you tell others that you are no longer a drinker is a risk. And yet, that’s where I knew I had to go. After about 60 days or so, I knew I felt much better without it, so I decided to make the jump from casual quitter to complete abstainer.
A big part of how I made that jump is by picturing my future. Any time I get a passing inkling that a drink would be nice (to de-stress, or just tune out for a while), I think about what drinking me looks like in 10-15 years. Drinking me in 10 years is 75 lbs overweight, no longer able to play tennis or walk more than 500 feet without resting. Drinking me stays home and watches a lot of TV, and waits for the day she can retire from her job so she can drink with complete abandon, as the job was the only thing keeping her somewhat under control. She’s depressed and unhappy and if her wife hasn’t left by now, she is also unhappy and longs for the days when they used to go do things together and have fun. Now she just watches drinking me become a shell of herself, no longer doing the things she loved, and no longer living the life she imagined when they first met.
Non-drinking me kicks ass. She is running 5k’s regularly, and is training for a half-marathon. She is not only still playing tennis, but beating the 20-somethings in singles. She and her wife went to Europe last year and did a 50 mile hiking tour that people half her age couldn’t do. They went to Wimbledon and plan to go to Australia to catch the Australian Open in a couple of years. While there, they will find all kind of fun activities and tours to do.
Non-drinking me is active and looks for fun things to do, while drinking me just waits all day until it’s time to drink because that’s all there really is.
Every day, I choose non-drinking me, because that looks pretty cool. I don’t want to work my ass off to retire and then not have energy to do all the fun stuff I haven’t done yet. If that isn’t a valid reason to not drink, I don’t know what is!