It has been three years since I stopped drinking.
I’ve said it several times, and I will say it again—the overall health benefits and enhanced ability to be a father keeps my hand from grasping any sort of bottle. I sometimes get frustrated with myself because I see a frosty cold beer on a hot day (or any day really), and I salivate like Pavlov’s dog after hearing a bell. It is only after I sit and reflect on how bad things got in early 2014, after many years of progressively drinking more and more on a daily basis, that I come to my senses and continue shunning the bottle.
I now understand more about my addictive personality, and how to avoid the aforementioned urges to drink. You see–addicts/alcoholics never become free from the thoughts, urges and impulses that drove their active addictions—we have to learn how to manage those impulses and internally rationalize. For me, it goes something like this:
Scene: sitting at a bar and restaurant with friends on a summer day:
“I want to drink that guys beer. It looks so good.”
“Is just one beer ok?”
“You know damn well that one beer will turn into two, then before you know it you’ll have consumed 18 beers and several shots.”
“If I drink, I not only take a huge step back, I may black-out or do something to get arrested. I can’t—it’s just not worth it. I never want to be who I was before.”
You, just like I did, have to find the reasons why alcohol doesn’t fit into your life plan—and remember all of the pain drinking caused you and your family. I destroyed relationships, gained a bunch of weight, developed anxiety and felt so uncomfortable in my own skin…to the point where it scares me to think about falling back into my alcoholic routine. I would lose it all—and I’m not willing to lose all that I’ve gained in the last three years.
Find your reason—and never forget it.