I have lurked here for several years, but thought I would share to thank those whose contributions to this community have helped me so much.
I was a wine drinker. There was nothing about the ritual of buying, chilling, opening, pouring, drinking that I didnít enjoy. Until I found myself conscious of how often I went to a particular store, scoping the parking lot for anyone who might catch me with my haul in the cart, then rushing home to forgo the chilling and just dumping ice in the glass. No worries about watering things down...that first glass (and a few more) would be gone long before anything has a chance to melt. Going out to eat was pointless. Why waste time on food? So I stayed in my house and drank myself to oblivion. No DUIs, no embarrassing office party stories, none of societyís badges of ďa drinking problemĒ. No one knew.
Iím in my mid-40ís now, and Iíve noticed for several years I wasnít handling it as before. Hangovers were worse, work productivity hit the skids, and my appearance morphed into a heavy, bloated mess with constant indigestion. At one point I thought there was something wrong with my makeup-imagine my surprise when I realized that sassy pink blush didnít show because it was the same shade as my entire flushed face. At the end I realized that even drinking my usual amount, I wasnít entirely sober when it was time to hit the bus stop or start work in the morning. And noon became the witching hour, because that's when the now-daily headache would hit. Things were changing.
So I quit. It wasnít an easy thing. The rituals surrounding my pattern of drinking were hard to break. But I remembered that years ago, in a completely different situation involving a relationship, I developed the understanding that I had to end it. I wasnít sure of all of the reasons why, but I knew with faith and time that the reasons for change would become clear. I suspected the same regarding my drinking, and four months later I can confirm that faith was well placed. When I quit, I was sick. Many days there were no flowery, elevated thoughts to motivate me to stay quit. But with time, self care, lots of sleep, and good food many of the reasons change was needed have shown themselves, and more will become clear with time. Those that say that you can only appreciate the many gifts of sobriety by experiencing it are right, and personal growth is incompatible with addiction.
I have a journal where I collect writings, posts, thoughts, a list of bad things that happened while drinking I knew would fade with time, basically a jumble of ideas and musings. The bargain is that if I am ever tempted to buy a bottle I have to read the entire thing first. I donít think Iíd make it through many entries before the urge would fade. This constant reflection keeps me focused.
In addition, I eat right, exercise, and make it a priority to take care of the body Iíve been given. With the time and effort spent, I have no wish to abuse it again.
Above all, I try to be a better person today than I was yesterday. I never understood the desire to ďdrink like othersĒ. One or two drinks just pissed me off. I want to drink to oblivion, to feel that false relaxation of your muscles like water, the dull hum as your racing mind quiets down, the easy companionship of the bottle that requires no effort on your part. But that time of comfort came at a high price. And now I know that the relaxation, the peace with life that comes with conscious effort has so much more value. And, you donít have to feel like crap in the morning.
Yesterday I saw an acquaintance I have known for years. Her repeated comment was,ĒYou look so different.Ē Not good, not bad, just ďdifferentĒ. What I know, but she doesnít, is that my skin fits better. Iíve given up the struggle of drinking, without even fully realizing that it was a miserable struggle. I am a better person today than I was yesterday, and that would have been impossible without change. And faith that things would become clear with time.
My sincerest thanks to those that make this place possible, moderators and contributors alike. I look forward to continuing on down the road with you all.
Glad you've joined us and shared your journey with us. :)
Welcome boreas - great to have you join us :)
Wine was big fun. Until it wasn't anymore. Then it was awful.
Like your idea of making yourself read your journal entries if you get the urge. I play the tape in my head of what happens if I take a sip, but I think the written entries would be far more powerful to many.
My brother and his wife saw me at just shy of six months. Their comment was that they'd never seen me with so much light.
Ain't sobriety grand!?
Welcome to the posting side of SR, boreas; very nice to meet you.
Congratulations on four months of sobriety. Well done.
Looking forward to seeing you around the threads.
Wonderful post. You have a gift for words.
You sound a lot like me. Woman in her 40s, wine drinker, likes to get blasted alone after work... even the headache hitting at midday..
I like your journal idea - I might just try that myself!
Thanks Bora and welcome.
Your story, omg it sounds so much like my own.
Happy to see you have made it to the other side. Come join us in the women only section. We have an awesome thread down there.
Welcome to the posting side.......I was also a wine drinker. Drank just like you. Very grateful to be sober today.
I cant agree more with this post. Evwrything you said hits the nail on the head and drives the nail with one swift hit.
I looked at our yearly holiday picture from last yr and this yr and the change isnt remarkable but I look better... healthier and happier. I lost a few pounds but I wasnt that overweight to begin with... my overal look is better and from two yrs ago when i was drunk during the picture my eyes have a focus about them that says there is determination and happiness in my life that was masked by the alcohol previously.
Thank you for sharing.
Boreas what an absolutely wonderful post thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope to see you around here a little more :tyou
Thanks for sharing your story! :)
Beautiful story! Thank you.
Fantastic post, Boreas. Thank you for sharing, welcome to SR, and nice job on 4 months!
Well, the year anniversary of my sobriety came and went with a whimper. Got up, got the boy off to work, exercised, worked, dinner, wash, rinse, repeat. In hindsight, it is actually a fitting way to celebrate the calm, predictable, secure days that mark my new life. I have come to find that contentment, rather than happiness, is my holy grail. While I feel that the fleeting feeling of true happiness is sometimes beyond my control, pure contentment is something that I can create for myself through the daily rituals and the home environment that is my own.
Though I donít post often, I come daily and read. I continue to be so grateful to all who participate, and I continue to build my ďsobriety journalĒ which is full of wisdom from you all. Some other things Iíve learned...
Many questions I thought I needed the answer to prior to quitting, including the ever-present, ďAm I an alcoholic?Ē, actually had nothing to do with my needing to quit. I donít know if I can drink like normal people, but it doesnít matter because I have no desire to do so. I donít want a glass of wine, I want a bottle. It doesnít matter if that makes me an alcoholic or not, because it does mean that any quality life is incompatible with my pattern of drinking. One does not have to explore the deep depths of addiction to admit a problem and make a change.
I see my sobriety as a continuum I move along, closer to and farther away from a drink on any given day and at any given moment. If the pendulum swings the wrong way, I get to work to set my mind right. Itís a bit like mowing my yard. I can keep it cut regularly, and it is minimal work to maintain it in good shape. But if I leave it too long, and let it get out of hand, it requires more of an adjustment to bring it right. So I come here and read, ponder the issues I am still dealing with, work on those character flaws that are still hanging around so the weeds donít get too high.
Each story here could be my story. Comparing my drinking patterns, consequences, lifestyle to others to justify continuing down the road I was on was pointless and dangerous. Sobriety can be difficult at times, but the lying, justifying, and wallowing was excrutiating.
I have so many regrets, but in sobriety I know that I am doing my best to be a better person today than I was yesterday. I am more the parent that I want to be, more the employee I want to be, more the person I want to be. I canít change the past, but I can sit peacefully with where I am today, work on tomorrow, and enjoy the contentment I have found.
There are many pathways to the peace of sobriety. My hope for those still suffering is that they will find theirs. This journey is full of rewards too numerous to describe.
Thank you, thank you for your beautiful words.
I feel serenity when I read of your journey.
In so many ways, I can relate.
Thank you for your post it is very encouraging. I too loved wine and ended up letting it get ahold of me. I am only a few weeks sober after many failed attempts but reading posts like yours helps give me the strength to continue working towards my sobriety. Well done !!!
Thank you for sharing your story. Like you, I was a wine lover, and I loved it not wisely and too well. I especially appreciated your thoughts that you don't need to answer the "Am I an alcoholic" question to understand that whatever amount you are drinking is not working for you and that there's more misery than joy in a committed relationship with Chardonnay. Your post was very moving, and you're a wordsmith. Hope I get to read more of your posts in the future.
Wonderful read! Contentment is a worthy goal to achieve
Thank you so much! Your words are beautiful. I am on day 7 and your story made me cry. So much of your story is familiar with mine. Congratulations on a year!! That is amazing! Being sober is painful at first. It is not easy looking in the mirror with clear eyes, the guilt can be overwhelming. But you are right when you say I am a better person today than I was yesterday. I have binged drank for over 25 years.
All I can do is keep praying and seeking out support from others that understand my struggle. I am so thankful I found this forum.
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