I have been sober for six months, but I have been on the path to sobriety for two years. Before I stopped drinking for good, I was moderating my intake to once a week and only when I was out to dinner. But, I found myself wanting to go out to dinner more often and choosing restaurants with a heavy pour. I knew alcohol would continue its hold on me until I broke free for good. I had to find a way to be held accountable.
Inspired by One Year No Beer, I challenged myself to quit alcohol for one year and donate the projected money I would save to a local hospice. Before I posted my intentions on Facebook, I was terrified. I knew this was it, I was about to give up alcohol for good. There would be not turning back.
I said, fuck it! and hit post.
The challenge has held me accountable long enough that I have changed my mindset about alcohol and sobriety. I no longer romanticize it. Occasionally, I still get a little blip of longing. When that happens, I follow the story through to the end. That “nice” glass of wine that becomes two or three. How I am already thinking about the second glass before I’ve finished the first. The feeling of trying to control my speech and wondering if I am starting to sound like an idiot. The imbalance, the sleepiness and eventual incapacity. The guilt.
What I’ve come to understand over these past six months is that life without alcohol is full. It’s full of second chances, full of benefits, full of opportunities. Waking up feeling energized and healthy is wonderful. No longer feeling shame is life changing. I feel like I’ve been sprung from a trap and I want to scream from the rooftops, “I’m sober and it’s amazing! ”