Sorry I haven’t posted in a bit. I haven’t had the desire and was having a bit of writer’s block, I guess. And I want my posts to be genuine and not forced.
So, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my perception around my drinking. How do I perceive that the amount of alcohol I was drinking affected my life and what is my perception in relation to me quitting for good, or if I decide to modify my drinking? I had a profound impact on my perception not that long ago when I picked up Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind (TNM) to read it for a second time.
As I’ve shared, my journey to become alcohol free, didn’t start out with the intention of quitting forever. The thought of that frankly scared the crap out of me! I’d been worried about my drinking for many years and really started questioning it more so over the past decade. I had heard somewhere that 45 days was the amount of time for your liver to recover, and even to this day, I’m not sure that is true. Nevertheless, I woke up that one morning in February and decided I was going to stop drinking for 45 days. Once I made up my mind, I knew I could stick with it for the entire 45 days, no matter what. Heck, 45 days is nothing! It’s a month and a half!!
A week later, a friend of mine introduced me to Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind and I started following her. I read the book that very week. As the days and weeks went on, I participated in a number of events on her website and sober communities. As I also mentioned, I deluged myself in anything and everything I could get my hands on to educate myself on alcohol and addiction. I journaled. I did all (or most) of the exercises the coaches recommended.
Again, at the start of my journey, I still had the thought “I’m only taking a break”. I was still very fearful of cutting out alcohol completely. Much of Annie’s philosophy around drinking is that you don’t have to say “forever”. You CAN moderate, if you so choose. So when I picked up her book to read it the first time (7 days of me not drinking), I read it with the PERCEPTION that when my 45 days is up, I could go back to drinking, if I chose. Taking in all of her detailed research and science based information, I was still thinking “wow, that is so interesting…BUT after this I can still probably be able to moderate my drinking”!
Fast forward to about a month ago, I decided to reread TNM. Mind you, now I was around 5 months AF, and, by then, had made the decision that I wasn’t going to be able to moderate and my goal was/is to remain AF. I cannot tell you how much my perception changed rereading this book!! It was almost like I was reading a brand new book!! From the very first chapter, This Naked Mind: How and Why it Works, I began to really absorb all of the information about addiction and alcohol. For 5 months, my brain (now a brain that wasn’t fogged over by alcohol) had been taking in all of the information around alcohol and it’s addictive nature. I had heard countless stories of people addicted to alcohol, so many of which were so similar to mine. By journaling and starting this blog, I learned what my reasons were for turning to the drink. Now, rereading this book, I was able to let my guard down, take it all in, and truly understand what alcohol is and how much it has taken away from me.
As a reward for me reaching my 6 months of AF, I have paid and signed up for a 90 program with TNM. I feel it is the perfect time for me to do this. My head is clear, my perception about all of this is evolving, but most importantly, I still feel like there’s still so much I can learn about why I drank.
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