In one of my recent posts I mentioned going through an entire weekend without thinking of alcohol. And, in an even earlier post, around 90 days sober, I spoke about the craving for alcohol most likely not ever going away. I lied. I lied to myself thinking that I would always have a strong craving for alcohol and would have to accept that haunting fact. However, almost 90 days after that post–I can tell you, at least in my case, that the cravings have substantially sub-sided. Yes, I still see a pint being served at a restaurant and think to myself “that would taste good.” But, the thought that immediately follows is “it may taste good, but it wouldn’t feel good.”
As opposed to my active alcoholic days, where I would justify drinking at any time of the day–I now have a rational component of my mind that didn’t exist before. The rational part of my mind continuously reiterates why drinking alcohol isn’t a good idea for my life and health. I think about drinking so much less than I did ninety days ago and here is why:
Personal Progress: since giving up the bottle–I am happy with who I see in the mirror. When I was an active alcoholic, the booze gradually destroyed my self esteem, self motivation and overall happiness. I was drinking every-day because I was dissatisfied with myself–and alcohol was the one thing that made me forget about my personal issues. Once I stopped drinking, though painful emotionally/physically, I had to confront myself and start to understand why things ended up so bad. I began to learn how to deal with personal problems on my own–without immediately going to the liquor store when life got hard. I’ll tell you what–I doubted my own ability to manage life, and now I am managing everything more efficiently than ever. I’ll also tell you, as you may know, life isn’t always easy–but it’s easier than I thought to create a plan once I stopped drinking due to the clarity and confidence that has arisen without being drunk. It is amazing.
Professional/Financial Progress: this directly aligns with personal progress–as without the renewed confidence and understanding that I am better than I gave myself credit for all of those years–I know, repeat KNOW that I can make anything happen. I just have to try my hardest, with 100 percent effort accompanied by not drinking, the sky is the limit. In the last almost six months–my credit score has boosted 85 points, I accepted a new job which starts on October 14 (40 percent higher pay) and my savings are growing. I felt hopeless professionally, and though I have a good job, I knew I could elevate professionally. When drinking I was complacent–and becoming complacent became depressing. I was sick of having a terrible boss and receiving insulting annual raises after working my ass off for ten years and graduating college. I knew I wanted more–and the motivation that alcohol smothered had increased tremendously. I think we blanket so many things, contain them, while actively drinking–and when we remove that blanket/trap, we start to realize just how much we were holding ourselves back. If you are on the path to sobriety–trust me, you will be happily surprised at just how much you can achieve and how positive your perspective can become once you stop. Don’t give up.
Health Progress: man, this is one of the best aspects of not drinking. If you have anxiety and are an active alcoholic–booze is the reason. You may think it is helping you–but in fact it is making your anxiety worse. If you have migraines, like I did, alcohol is the reason. If your blood pressure is high and you’re over-weight–alcohol is a big part of that. Six months after giving up booze–my Generalized Anxiety Disorder (diagnosed) is gone. Yes, gone. My migraines have gone from one a day to one a month. It is freaking awesome! My blood pressure which was once “high normal” now averages 118/75. I lost, in total, about 22 pounds and it feels good carrying around so much less weight. I sleep better, I eat better and don’t avoid meals so I can drink more.
Six months ago, I feel like I was a completely different person. But now, I feel like life is coming together as it should because I removed the barrier that is alcohol.
Lila and I have big things ahead of us–and nothing will get in my way–especially alcohol, which I now realize was just poison in a bottle or can.
Don’t give up on your journey–you will not regret it.