how cool and powerful to quit drinking

Anonymous:

I came across your blog and I am excited about the 100 day challenge. I can’t do it right now, but I want to start Jan 1st, probably like a million other people.  I have tried meetings and I hate them.  I quit a couple of months ago for almost a month, the first month is the hardest, so I want to try again and reading all the blogs I think will be helpful. I will see you in January!”

me:

whenever you’d like to feel better, I’ll be here 🙂 imagine how cool and powerful it’d be to give up drinking on December 30th and then celebrate your first new years eve sober … or hey, start today …

OK I’m teasing. Whenever you’re ready is fine. I had to plan my quit date about a month in advance, just to psyche myself up! hugs, belle xo”

Belle

I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I’m tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

13 thoughts to “how cool and powerful to quit drinking”

  1. ‘Celebrate your first new year’s eve sober.’ You are such a naughty tease Belle, I love it! Welcome anonymous, you will love this blog. AA isn’t the only way. You don’t have to do anything that’s not working for you.

  2. Hi, I am enjoying reading along with you. I wish I could do the challenge as well but quit 35 days ago and this time it feels different, I feel stronger. Even with meetings and such in my previous attempts I have not gotten to 100 days. Any way I can still be involved?

  3. This will be my first christmas/vacation/new years eve Alcohol Free.
    Not looking forward to it but will be the designated driver for new years. WE are going to Indiana, snowy territory and know for its cold winters too. burr! It is cold in the south right now 38F and raining. yuck!

  4. @Anonymous: thanks for stopping by and thanks for the note. I know only too well that feeling of wanting to start to stop but not wanting to start at a “bad” time that might compromise one’s chances for success. Ultimately, I realized that there were really not any “good” times to stop–so much of my life and social life involved events that were intertwined with drinking, that I ultimately had to just pull the trigger. I only am 23 days in, but I had my first sober Thanksgiving (American holiday), and went to sober cocktail events for work for the first time too. I have even managed to go to 2x holiday ‘open houses’ at homes of friends who used to be drinking buddies. It isn’t always easy, but you’ll be amazed how few people really care at all if you are drinking. Most people don’t notice if you are (or are not drinking), or are completely indifferent as to what you do. Also, starting the 100 day challenge has been helpful in warding off aggressive solicitations to drink by simply telling badgering parties that I am doing a 100 day challenge and I am not drinking. To many, it sounds like some sort of fitness thing, which is fine–i don’t get into any details, I just say I am aspiring to better health and am choosing not to drink for 100 days. There is not much people can say in response to that. On the upside, it has been a completely marvelous 23 days–I feel better and happier than i have in a long time (and i wasn’t unhappy per se before, but now I just have moments during the day, everyday, where I consciously feel completely blissful and happy). Anyway, this is just a long way of saying hello and welcome, and encouraging you to join us in the 100 day journey (and beyond!) whenever you feel up for it…. And if you want to start before Jan 1, You have some 400+ ppl on here who will be with you every day of December, cheering your successes on.

    1. Josh, your comment is one of the best I’ve seen yet today. Most people are only seriously interested in what’s going on in their own lives and truly don’t care that you have made any decisions at all. Cruel as that sounds, most people have full lives and are so involved in their own stuff that we could likely implode in public before there is any serious attention being paid to us. And in some respects that is so wonderful, we can do our own things and improve our lives and make changes without having to hear what they think or how they would do it or whatever else they may have in mind. We are the best drivers of our own lives.

      Happy sober days to all of us who are hanging in there and best wishes to those who are still trying to make a decision about this issue.

      1. @Lynda- thanks for the reply! I agree completely with your assessment–for better or worse, many people simply are only concerned with themselves and their lives, and our actions and efforts often go completely unnoticed. For those of us who strive to change long-standing practices, like drinking, that no longer suit is, this is terrific because it allows us to change without the scrutiny of others.

        In fact, as has often been pointed out by Belle and others, the only people who really ever protest our decision to not drink are those whose drinking is often problematic too. The vast number of people who drink casually and without problem really don’t care one way or another what we do, and this realization is also liberating. I remember clearly the first time I went to a party not drinking, and the host, who has a very casual drinker, asked me what I wanted to drink, offering “beer, wine, liquor, soda, juice. etc.” I asked for a juice, and without a bat of the eye she obliged with a smile. I remember feeling surprised and amazed, thinking to myself how strange it felt both to be at a party and not drink, and more so that people like the host could honestly care less whether i did or not–she was just happy to have me there and share in my company. How to deal with people who continue to try and undermine our efforts for self-betterment is a long topic for another day, but suffice to say seeing the lengths some “friends” go to try and get us to have “just one drink” really makes you re-think these friendships.

        Wishing all those out there who are succeeding in their goals my best wishes, and hoping this community provides some food for thought for those who are considering taking a break from drinking (even if just 100 days).

      2. Josh and Lynda: Both of you left great posts. I am very new to the 100 Day Challenge, but chose to start it now primarily because my husband and I are hosting two large holiday Open Houses this week. Granted, I am totally motivated to stop, but I also knew that if I could not drink at my own parties (and especially after everyone is gone, which has been my former m.o.), then I would have a huge accomplishment under my belt.

        Joan B.

  5. Starting the 100 days before Christmas works for me. I get depressed. I get even more depressed at Christmas which only makes me want to drink more. It is a vicious cycle. Today was particularly hard…..day seven….the longest I have gone without wine in many years. When I get the craving – and I had it several times today – I kept busy with other things to get my mind off of it long enough for the craving to go away. I can’t wait to get a month over with!

  6. Good post! I also started with ‘one month at a time’ but found it was worse when I started back up again. Now I’m 15 months without alcohol and feel so much better. I do feel more powerful, and while some people consider me a square (the opposite of cool for some of the younger readers) I’m able to conduct myself a lot better at parties and have interesting conversations instead of getting wasted and arguing/hitting on women like I used to.

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