You’ve probably heard this story so many times before. Girl gets drunk.Girl gets drunk a lot. Girl realizes she has to stop. Girl doesn’t know how but she does know she wants to get better.
I realized I wanted to change while nursing a hangover from the night before last week. My head was killing me and I was exhausted from not being able to sleep. You know, because of the 3–4 shots of whiskey and 2 beers that gave me the worst sleep of my life. The thing is — it wasn’t even that bad of a hangover compared to weekend nights before but something about it triggered a desire for change in me. I didn’t like going to work with a hangover every day but I still went home that day and picked up the bottle of whiskey and I still took a few shots before I started feeling better physically and emotionally.
Like anyone who has been in or heard this story before, you’ll remember that the path to sobriety is one that is filled with many starts and stops(like SO many). Every time there was a stop, something always convinced me to come back. “Oh, you’re not that bad”, “Can’t you just cut back, do you really need to quit?”, “Was it really that bad?”(the most hurtful one for me), etc etc. When I would have those things said to me, I would feel like maybe I was overreacting, maybe they were right and I could just cut back on the drinking and moderate it a little better. If you’re also trying to quit, I can tell you at this very moment- those people are not you. If you feel like alcohol is an issue in your life and that you should or need to quit, that’s all you need. You do not need confirmation from others.
I have to admit, the times previously that I tried to quit I told the world! I wanted to make sure everyone knew that I wanted to quit drinking alcohol so that would hold me accountable. If you read online, you’ll see that if you tell someone your intentions, you’ll feel more obligated to follow through with it. Some people were supportive and some were skeptical but in the end, I did feel pretty isolated. It became something that would be called out at parties or at dinners. Oh, right we have to get something non-alcoholic for Kelly. While that was super thoughtful, the people that weren’t close to me would see me in some new light as if I was some savage that couldn’t be ten feet away from a drink without pouncing on it. Already dealing with a bunch of anxiety, a lot of it social, seeing those reactions would start to weigh on me after a while. I felt like there was something wrong with me for feeling this way. When I decided to quit this time, I only told my boyfriend and my therapist. I started to look up online resources of other people trying to live a life of sobriety because I didn’t want to feel isolated this time, I wanted to talk with like-minded people who were also trying to live their best lives without alcohol. The subreddit /r/stopdrinking has been the resource that I frequent the most because of all of the stories of why people are trying to quit. It was pretty motivating to see that I wasn’t the only one struggling with this and I feel more prepared to quit this go around. However, I know that this is an intense battle and one that I can’t do alone this time if I want to quit for good. I set up an appointment with my Doctor where I am going to discuss medication to help with the cravings, I signed up for meetups in my area for sober living, and I’m keeping up with my therapy sessions. Not to mention, I have the most supportive boyfriend that anyone could ever have going through this journey to sobriety.
This is meant to show people that they’re not alone with this and also to not feel alone myself going through this. I also want to find the best version of myself and will try new hobbies, new foods, mocktails, and events that broaden my horizons. I hope that some of the things I try might motivate others or at least remind them of why they’re doing the best thing for them.
So hold up your glass of club soda-Cheers!