The Days Will Pass Whether I Drink Or Not. I Choose Not To Drink.

I haven’t made a blog entry in while.  While I love to read, writing is a process for me that can be draining and overwhelming.  So many times in the past months, I have told myself I need to make time to update my blog. Thanks for your patience.

I am still choosing not to drink and still counting days with the help of a counting app.  I don’t check it very often, but when I feel the need to know what day I am on, it is a click away.  I check more often when I am approaching a milestone. Today is Day 596. I am 4 days away from Day 600.

It is amazing to me that my numbers are in this higher range.  I love seeing Belle’s round-ups, and I always get excited when my time is close, and when I get to see Via51214 in her list!  Counting days has been a tool that has worked for me.  Also, simply taking one day at a time, has been an amazing tool.  In more detail, sitting with the reality that I do not know what necessarily will come with each day, but knowing I can still choose not to drink, has been a successful strategy for me.

I really liked Healthy Jen’s post of today thanking the internet blogging community.   I feel the same way.  The blogs are accessible at any hour of the day and night, and reading blogs has been my main tool, at my most difficult moments.  It really helps to know others are out there, who have made the decision to stop drinking, even if we had a high bottom or did not hit any kind of bottom, but we just decided drinking was not working for us any more (did it ever?).

I feel like I am in a great secret that so many others have not put together.  We don’t have to drink.  We don’t have to drink at a party to have fun.  We don’t have to raise a glass of alcohol to celebrate. If we want to join in to raise a glass, it can be a glass of sparkling water or coffee or cranberry juice with a lime.  We don’t have to drink to drown our sorrows.  Instead, we can let ourselves feel the grief.  Instead of trying to escape the gripping sadness over the loss of a beloved family member, we can let ourselves feel it and cry.

One day at a time, we can choose not to drink.  We might have a thought, for example, for me, an occasional temptation to take a sip of my husband’s wine when he leaves the room.  I think, “Nobody will know.  He won’t know.”  But I will know.  And I have realized that just because I had the thought, I don’t have to act on it.

I can choose to do something else.  I can choose to take a drink of my sparkling water or ginger beer.  I can choose to leave the room.  I can choose to just sit with the temptation, and then follow through with the thoughts about how I would feel afterward, if after all these days, I decided on a whim to sneak a drink of my husband’s wine.  I can simply go to bed if it gets too hard.

I have never woken up in the past 596 days thinking that I really wish I had a drink the day before!  It’s never happened 🙂  While there have been may times I have been tempted, I have pushed through the temptation and chosen not to drink.  The next day, I have never regretted making this choice.

Simply put, I feel at this stage in my life, altering my state of consciousness with alcohol is not a good idea.  Some days have been easier than others in the last 596 to make this choice.  Indeed, especially since Day 365, there have been many days when I did not even have to think about not drinking.  But the holidays (since mid-November until now) have again been tougher with alcohol so present. Many times in the last 40 days or so especially, I have had to make the conscious choice that I will not drink.  And with Thanksgiving and Christmas now past, I am happy I made the choice not to drink.  With my Day 600 approaching on January 2, this will motivate me through New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

So I am at a good place right now. I have some regrets from 2015 for sure, but none are related to embarrassing myself by drinking.  That is a great accomplishment for me!

This entry I will close with this realization.  The world will keep turning, the days on calendars will keep passing, the good news and the bad news will still show up on my Facebook newsfeed, whether I decide to drink alcohol or not.  Life will continue to deal its cards – some good, some bad, some incredibly wonderful, some tragically sad. Whatever happens, I can choose not to drink.  And whether or not I drink, the happenings will still happen.

I know I have handled so many happenings better in 2015 than I would have had I been drinking.  It has been a good choice so far.  I won’t let myself worry about forever – that is too overwhelming.  I will continue to worry about today.  Today, Day 596, I will choose not to drink.