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Things I was Scared About/ One Year Today

Old 01-05-2015, 01:49 PM
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Things I was Scared About/ One Year Today

I do not post frequently, but I do visit the site nearly every day. I have not had a drink in one year as of today! I was thinking back on the things that scared me when I began the process of getting sober and figured I'd write about them with my perspective being what it is. I'm a 30 year-old male who drank alcohol (12-20 drinks) daily, for 9 years. I used this site and AA as tools to improve my life.

I never knew how normal it was to NOT drink alcohol every single day. I was so scared of how my life would be if I gave it up (even with all of the problems it caused me). In all honesty I used to think that if I stopped drinking I wouldn't be as good at my job. I work in sales and most of the time the pressure is really high, I used to think booze made the stress go away. I felt the same way with my wife and family- will I still be able to handle the intense pressure and responsibility of family and work life?

I was scared at the thought of waking up without a hangover (not a debilitating, crushing anxiety hangover, just a "definitely know I drank last night" type of feeling). I was comfortable in my routine and I was scared to see how my routine was going to be different. This may sound nuts, but I liked the hangover feeling since it was comfortable to me.

I was scared about going places with booze and people drinking, I was scared about how I was going to turn drinks down if I was offered one. As it turns out- I was offered a total of maybe 4 drinks throughout the year, all from people who were just being good hosts. I was never pressured by anyone to take a drink and saying "no thanks, I'll take a diet Coke" worked every single time. Turns out that it's my brain that makes it a big deal to say no.

I wasn't sure people were going to like me if I stopped drinking. For most of my adult life I had a drink in my hand and never tried socializing sober. I wasn't sure who the "new me" was going to be or if people would still want to be around me.

I was scared of being bored. I had no hobbies besides getting drunk. I was also fat.

I wasn't sure if I could handle all of the thoughts and urges about drinking after stopping. At times, I felt that I was going to go crazy because I thought about alcohol so much.


The bottom line is that this past year has been the best year of my life. Everything that I was scared about turned out just fine. Did I have some uncomfortable times? Of course. Did I think about alcohol a lot? Yes I did, but I didn't drink it or entertain thoughts of drinking it. My real friends still like me, my wife and I haven't had one of "those" fights all year, and my job performance is better than ever.

I can say that after a year not drinking is becoming much more of a habit. I don't automatically want to stop at the store on the way home nor do I want a drink as soon as I wake up. My weekend plans do not involve me trying to figure out how to get my wife and friends to the bar so I can get loaded and I don't have to make excuses to run to the store all of the time. I can talk to my boss at 7am with confidence, I can take any morning appointment without hesitation. I am not constantly planning my next drink (I wish I could put into words how much effort that actually takes, conscious or unconscious. Not having to think about that is extremely freeing). I have not been in handcuffs all year, I have not driven drunk, I have not blacked out and said mean things, I have not embarrassed my wife in public. The list could go on.

I realize I've rambled, this decision and all of the hard work has been worth it. As an alcoholic I understand that I will need to stay vigilant. I also understand that nobody can force me to take a drink and bottles don't fly off of the shelf and pour into my mouth. I control my body and what I drink. I have been taking this one day at a time and staying away from the first drink. It really is that simple if you break it down and want to get better.

Thank you all for your support and posts!
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:53 PM
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congrats and well done on a year
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:54 PM
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Woo hoo! One Year! Congrats
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:54 PM
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Exellent Exellent post Persys

Well done on a year bud this is awesome

Congrats
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:57 PM
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Awesome post. Congrats on a year!
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:57 PM
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Brilliant and so true! Thank you for sharing your story. I'm very early in sobriety but feeling healthier and happier everyday - with my fears melting away too. Thanks again!
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:00 PM
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Fabulous post, and excellent progress.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:06 PM
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:33 PM
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Brilliant post.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:43 PM
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Lots of great and useful insight there!

Congratulations
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:43 PM
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congratulations and THANK YOU for taking the time to share this.

I'm recently past my 1 year mark also, and I agree with and relate to absolutely all of it.

But the one thing that really really resonates with me is this;

"I never knew how normal it was to NOT drink alcohol every single day."

So many of those fears of mine were rooted in a warped view of "normal". What had become "normal" for me in 26+ years of drinking and drugging and obliteration of the self was anything but. When I look back on what I considered "normal" I am often baffled that I could have seen it that way. When I look at friends who are still living in that construct of "normal" - I am no longer jealous or saddened or feel I"m missing out.... instead I look with curiosity at how they can not see it... at how I could have fooled myself into that life for so long.

SO many of those fears. The fact is, ALL of them were unfounded and exaggerated and came exactly from the core fact that "I never knew how normal it was to NOT drink alcohol every single day."

I'm with you..... this life - the one where I'm actually LIVING my life - is so much better.

Well done!
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:03 PM
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This is such a wonderful post...very inspiring! Thank you, and congratulations on one year.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:07 PM
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A fantastic post. Thank you for the inspiration.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:09 PM
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Inspiration!
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:12 PM
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Fantastic post, Persys; thanks. Congratulations on one year!!!!
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:21 PM
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Thank you for your thoughts in your post and congratulations on your sober anniversary!!
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by FreeOwl View Post
congratulations and THANK YOU for taking the time to share this.

I'm recently past my 1 year mark also, and I agree with and relate to absolutely all of it.

But the one thing that really really resonates with me is this;

"I never knew how normal it was to NOT drink alcohol every single day."

So many of those fears of mine were rooted in a warped view of "normal". What had become "normal" for me in 26+ years of drinking and drugging and obliteration of the self was anything but. When I look back on what I considered "normal" I am often baffled that I could have seen it that way. When I look at friends who are still living in that construct of "normal" - I am no longer jealous or saddened or feel I"m missing out.... instead I look with curiosity at how they can not see it... at how I could have fooled myself into that life for so long.

SO many of those fears. The fact is, ALL of them were unfounded and exaggerated and came exactly from the core fact that "I never knew how normal it was to NOT drink alcohol every single day."

I'm with you..... this life - the one where I'm actually LIVING my life - is so much better.

Well done!

Thanks for sharing too! So helpful and motivating. What you said truly resonates with me.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:39 PM
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Such a good post
..made me feel more confident!! Congratulations!!
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:06 PM
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1 Year is fantastic!!
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:11 PM
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Congratulations! Great post. Sobriety sure is an eye opener, and so worth the effort it requires especially in the beginning. I hope your year is the first of many.
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