My recovery is working for one simple reason – I don’t want to drink anymore.
- It’s not willpower
- It’s not a spiritual awakening
- It’s not a sobriety program
This time something clicked and I finally was ready to quit drinking. In previous attempts I felt deprived, like someone was stealing my best friend. My mind was divided: On one hand, I wanted to avoid the trouble of addiction. On the other, I still loved the way alcohol made me feel.
Of course, I was wrong. Alcohol was never my friend and only brought me problems. Today, I’m overjoyed to be free of that prison – to leave behind my obsession with getting a buzz. There’s just one question. How do I know my mind won’t switch back to the old pattern of thinking? How can I be certain I won’t wake up next week with the desire to drink again?
Yesterday was the perfect storm for a relapse and my first real test.
I hadn’t been feeling well and was dealing with some bad news from home. That’s when I walked into a big mess of relationship stress. It’s a long story, but nothing unexpected. What surprised me was my intense emotional reaction. I couldn’t handle a simple argument without feeling like my life was falling apart. My brain still interprets every negative feeling as infallible proof that I need alcohol.
Then the opportunity appeared.
We had planned a dinner party for a friend’s birthday. It would include visiting one of my favorite nightclubs. The addiction demon had me hostage. In those moments of struggle all I could think about was erasing the flood of negative feelings. I didn’t crave the drink itself, just an escape from my emotional chaos. But this time was different, for all the temptations I didn’t really want to drink.
I’d rather die than fall back into the alcohol trap.
I am several weeks into recovery, but last night was my moment of truth. I started digging around the internet for coping strategies and any cognitive behavior hacks that could get me through the night. I refuse to become powerless again.
- I read a chapter in my current recovery book
- I had a snack and a cup of coffee
- I enjoyed the music and attempted a little dancing
- I found reasons to laugh and clown around
- I reached out to my support networks on Twitter on Facebook
That’s me enjoying a Coca-Cola at the nightclub. My cravings disappeared the minute I ordered this non-alcoholic beverage. Once the battle was decided, I felt the weight lift. I actually had a good time.
Today is day 28 of my sobriety. Last night was the first time my recovery was in danger. When the stress came, I discovered I was able to be rational, make the smart choice, and work through the emotional cravings.
It was just one more day, but today I feel stronger than ever before.
Winning feels good.
I’m really glad I stumbled my way to read this! I hit a lot of the same points! It’s different this time for me quitting , AND today I had my first close relapse . Today is day 14 for me . I got sick on day 8 , and I’m still not feeling well . That mixed with a few issues today just made me wonder why did I quit if I still don’t feel well. The saying ” your worst day sober is better than your best day drunk” is pretty powerful to me. I’ll definitely keep reading, and thanks for the motivation!!
Sober Tony says
Thanks so much for commenting. I love that quote. Those first two weeks are rough, keep working it and things will get better. Maybe not easy right away but better every day.