I’ve stopped drinking a few times, for a few days at a time. I often have to take clients out to eat as part of my job, and i can go for dinner, be a good entertainer, and not drink at all. For a few days.
The longest i’ve ever stopped before was 9 days, a few months ago. I remember I thought I’d try 30-days alcohol free, and I made it 9 days. then i drank for several days, then i took another 6 days off. But that’s it.
I read yesterday that the more times you try to quit, the closer you may be to really giving it up. Maybe we need to practice quitting …
Other than these two recent and brief attempts at more than a week sober, i’ve been drinking daily for about 3 years. Before that, for the previous 15 years, it was 6 out of 7 nights per week (i used to take one night off a week; recently, not so much).
I never set out to get blotto. In fact I hate drunkenness. I always leave parties when the disorderly behavior starts. If someone throws up from drinking too much, I’m thoroughly disgusted. I’d never do that, I say to myself. I’d never let THAT happen to ME.
On the other hand, I am beyond tipsy most evenings, whether we’re home playing cards or out in restaurants with clients. My version of tipsy is enough to feel fuzzy, but not so much that i fall over.
And lots of nights at 4 am, when i wake for no reason, hot and irritated … and lots of mornings when i wake dehydrated and miserable, i say “ok, this is enough.”
What was the turning point this time? We were on vacation last month, and I was overdoing it. I was actually looking forward to coming home so that I could stop drinking so much. And so often.
As usual, I was cruising the ‘sober’ literature online. I read something about Dry July, and figured “I can do that. I can take a whole month off. How hard can it be? Harder than running a marathon?”
I’m 9 days into July, and now I realize it’s irritatingly hard. I started this blog on day 7 when I realized that I was about to bail on my 30-day plan (again). I wondered if asking the (online) universe for help would help.
So why is it so irritatingly hard to quit drinking? Why don’t my higher level goals just automatically overrule the noise in my head when faced with this challenge? I mean, I don’t speed on the highway, even if it’s fun and exhilarating and will get me there faster, because my higher level goals can say quite firmly “that’ll get you killed” – and i listen …