As I mentioned before, one of the things I believe has helped me the most to stay away from alcohol, is all the things I’ve read and keep reading about alcohol. Involving myself in sober communities, anything and everything I can read on it; finding that I am not alone in this struggle.
The common thread I’m finding, for the most part, is that all of these people who have written books, started websites, etc., they all have done what I’ve done. It started with worrying they were drinking too much, something happened to make them take a break or decide to quit, and then just submerged themselves in the sober communities and learning about alcohol.
The latest book I started by Simon Chapple How to Quit Alcohol in 50 Days…Stop Drinking and Find Freedom, is another person who struggled with drinking and went through the steps I mentioned above. He went on to become one of Annie Grace’s (of This Naked Mind) coaches and I watched him on a question and answer video the other day on The Alcohol Experiment. I really liked him and related to a lot he had to say.
The topic of discussion that day was about how to handle situations with friends and family when you’ve quit drinking but they continue to drink. Simon stated that in his experience he found that often his family and friends started to see the benefits of him not drinking, and how much joy he had and how much fun he was having without the drink, that people often started following suit. That more times than not, no discussion was necessary, he didn’t have to be the “alcohol fun police” and things would just fall into place.
The other thing he brought up was suggesting that we don’t focus too much on counting the days. That, yes, in the beginning, it can be very important, and that as the days, months, years go on, to celebrate and recognize milestones. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard someone mention this. But, as I have mentioned, counting the days for me has been instrumental in keeping me focused on sobriety. I was even getting a tattoo: zero equals courage______my line in the sand, in honor of #FUCKTHEZERO slogan keeping people from having to start over at day zero if they fall off the wagon. There was just something about what Simon said, that got me thinking about this and I decided then I wasn’t going to get that tattoo. I know that is my line in the sand, but I don’t think I need it printed on my arm forever.
My point is this: I think that we all need to figure out what works best for us if we feel we want to either moderate or become alcohol free. I have found the most inspirational people are the ones that encourage me to do what I have to do, but be gentle with myself. If counting the days is what you need to do, then do it. If while you’re having sugar cravings during the journey, then have some sugar. If you have a slip up, show up again next time. Whatever you have to do to stay away from the drink it what you should do. I’ve shared what has worked for me and will continue to do so in hopes that someone out there benefits from my experiences. Sober communities are popping up all over the world and maybe some day being alcohol free will be more of the norm and people who choose to be alcohol free won’t have to be justifying their cause.
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