Why Did I Quit? One Year, Part Two

Earlier I talked about the two primary keys for me to reaching a year without alcohol: 1) taking one day at a time; and 2) having someone to report to every day that I was not drinking.  Here I want to talk more about why I am doing this.

Looking back on my earliest blog entries, deciding to remove alcohol from my life was part of a larger plan to live a healthier life.  Why?  I want to live as long as possible.  I want to watch my children get older and hopefully meet my grandchildren.  If I die young, before this happens, I do not want it to be because of alcohol – simply put.  I don’t want to die an accidental death because I was intoxicated.  Nor do I want to die a death caused by organs damaged by years of alcohol use.  And while I could certainly eat better and exercise more, two areas I am also striving to improve in, taking alcohol out of the equation finally made so much sense to me.  And it still makes a ton of sense to me.

In my March entry here, I talked about how I was getting really scared.  Alcoholism is a problem in my family.  Was this really happening to me?  How did I reach the point where I was drinking wine on a daily basis?

For probably 4 years prior to last May (it’s hard to pinpoint when it became a daily habit), I was drinking wine pretty much every night.   Why?  I have been asking myself this a lot the last few months.  How did it it come to that?  I think I was drinking wine nightly for various reasons at various times:  1) as a reward for all that I may have accomplished that day; 2) because it had become part of my routine, a habit seemingly harmless at first to have a glass of wine with dinner, and then a few to follow; 3) to attempt to relieve worry and stress; 4) to avoid thinking about all that I had to do the next day; 5) to drown an underlying sadness in me which had grown in recent years because I and people I love had suffered some tragic losses.  I am a very empathetic person, and losing my Dad at a young age, led me to really feel for others when they suffered great losses in their families.  And in late 2012, I lost someone too – someone I was very close with – and it shook me to the core.  I still find it hard to accept his death.  I am working on this but it is very hard.  If I ever started AA, he would be my Higher Power.

In the past year before I quit drinking though, the hangovers were really getting worse.  My headaches and upset stomach were really affecting my productivity the following day.  My sleep was not sound.  I was losing patience with my kids in the mornings and they could not understand why.  For the first time in my life, I was starting to really dislike myself.  And I started to feel like I was not being honest with family and friends.  Nobody knew I drank every day except my husband.  I had a growing feeling of doom in my gut.  I felt alone, until I discovered the sober blogs I mentioned.  And then, last April and May, despite the faltering in April and early May, which also taught that this was going to be hard,  I also started to feel optimistic.  Maybe I could do this, like Unpickled, Mrs. D, and Belle.  I related so much to them.  And I honestly felt like my Dad, and my other loved ones in heaven were talking to me, telling me it was time.

Something had to be changed.  I needed to stop this pattern or it was going to end badly.   I can’t recall where I read it, perhaps at the Soberistas blog, but somewhere I read about “deal-breaker moments” and never wanting to repeat certain episodes that one most regretted.  I started thinking about deal-breaker moments.  I have several of those.  But I narrowed them down to 3 for myself.  When times are toughest for me, and I really want to have a glass of wine, I think about 1, 2 or all 3 “deal-breaker episodes.” I have not been able to bring myself to write about them here; but they are engrained in my heart and mind.  Really, they are typical drinking/blackout stories, but I know they could have ended very badly with me dying.  And I cannot imagine leaving my husband and kids that way, dying because I drank too much wine.  So in times of my greatest temptations in the past year, thinking about the deal-breaker moments has kept me from picking up a drink again.

I know this entry is pretty glum but I felt the desire to write it.  I was scared and that motivated me.  I decided to address this problem, and I am grateful that I would be probably be categorized as having a high bottom.  I am grateful I stopped when I did one year ago.



6 thoughts on “Why Did I Quit? One Year, Part Two

  1. I don’t think it’s glum. I think it’s an honest look at the sneakiness of alcohol abuse.
    I think we all look around at some point and wonder how we got there. Almost like it happened overnight. But it clearly didn’t.
    And those deal breakers. Me too.
    I will also be forever grateful that none of them were so horrible that I can’t repair the damage with sobriety. Living amends truly work.

    Look how far you’ve come! And all you gave up was poison!

    • This was definitely the hardest of my Year 1 entries to write but it needed to be done – especially so I can come back and re-visit like today. Thanks always for your support Anne!

    • Absolutely! This was the hardest of my 4 Year 1 entries to write but I knew it needed to be done. I have come back to visit this one entry many times in the past few months. Thanks for your supportive comments!

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