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Unread 05-03-2016, 10:05 PM   #1
Junior Member
Posts: 17
Default I've valued this forum for months now and am finally introducing myself

I really like this forum, because people here are kind and funny and realistic/level-headed. I am here because I am looking for support for my decision to stop using alcohol. I made that decision almost eight months ago now, and have stuck to it. I thought I could do it once I decided to, and it's been a change with a fair amount of ease. I'll share a quote from the best "stop drinking" book (Sober for Good) I've read--that's not saying much, because I've only read a few, but I do really like it because it describes so many ways to "recovery," many of which make a lot of sense to me. It says "I've made a million vows to control my drinking. I've only made one vow to quit." That's been true for me, because it was darn challenging to manage my intake but it's been much easier just to say "Okay, I'm done with that noise." I'm pretty determined in general, but it was a relief to decide that I am just bad at drinking. Like, not a C- or D+ but a solid F, despite many years of trying. Once I realized that, I accepted my "failure" and moved on. So, I'm not really struggling. Mostly I am just very happy with my decision to quit and all the benefits that decision has had on my life. I even chose a user name that has aspirational value to me, as I hope to just keep "rocking steady" on the alcohol-free path, and my confidence that I can do so is high.

So why am I bothering to post here or read people's posts, if I'm doing well on this journey? Mainly, because I want to remember why I've chosen to stop drinking. I want the reality checks (although my drinking nightmares provide some already). It could be pretty easy to forget how much damage alcohol did to me when I drank it. Of course, there are lots of people in my life who could remind me of my own experiences along these lines. I took my first drink at 12 or 13 and never was really without it until I quit, except for a four-month period when I was 19 and decided to "take a break" after my DUI and a two-month period a few years ago when I'd recently learned of my mother's terminal cancer diagnosis AND had a romantic break-up and figured I really better not deal with the added handicap of alcohol. Then, over 20 years later, I quit on my 39th birthday, after about a week and a half of giving it serious consideration and talking to some friends whose opinions I valued. The catalyst for thinking about it was one final really bad night. Many of you are unfortunately familiar with nights like those, and mine included doing embarrassing and unsafe stuff, losing some of my possessions, breaking a promise or two, and of course waking up miserable, ashamed, and furious at myself the next day. I decided I refused to do some of those things in those ways ever again, and the only way I could guarantee that was to not use alcohol ever again. I thought about some labels for my problem and never really concluded anything (I did not seek professional assessment). But I asked myself whether my life would be better if I never drank again, and clearly answered yes.

Alcohol was the main source of shame in my life and a major source of anxiety and grief. Things are just so much easier now, without the interference of drinking. I didn't realize how much I was thinking about alcohol! Now I have a bunch more processing space in my brain that's free for other topics and plans. It's been like scraping the barnacles off the bottom of a boat.

So, I hope to hear reminders of the reasons I quit. I hope to hear others' stories and benefit from their wisdom, as well as just hear how others are doing their recovery and living their lives in recovery or recovery-in-process. I also hope I may be able to inspire or encourage others sometimes too. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this fine forum!
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