Here’s a quick email exchange between Marie (day 24) and me.
Marie: Do you still struggle A LOT with the possibility of going back to drinking, yet just in moderation? Or did you come to that profound realization that drinking in moderation just doesn’t work for you? I love, love, love your blog and I think I know the answer to this but what I’m wondering is whether that torment gets easier in time. Maybe it’s just me that feels a terrible amount of frustration and shame even with the fact that I cannot control myself as I’d like to around alcohol. I feel like I should be able to control myself and that it’s ridiculous that I’m so in love with my red wine.
Me: About moderation, I haven’t ever settled on anything. I think thinking too hard is part of the problem. Sometimes I think I’ll try moderation LATER, but for now I’m happy with this. Later is later. It’s over there. It’s not today. Today I’m doing this 🙂 I originally thought I was quitting for 30 days, or 60, or 90. Now I’m on day 319. I haven’t made any big statements of anything. I’m trying very hard to NOT be black and white about anything because that tends to make me feel nervous. Instead, I am just stating the truth: I feel better now than I did when drinking. The rest I’ll figure out later … Later is later. It’s over there. It’s not today. Today I’m doing this.
Marie: Your thoughts on moderation and quitting really hit home with me. I have committed to 100 days and whether or not I stay alcohol-free forever or not, I know, without a doubt at this point, that my relationship with alcohol will be different. When I quit smoking over 4 years ago, it was only for a year because I couldn’t imagine my life without a smoke every now and then. I realized after a year that my relationship with cigarettes was really fucked up and that I didn’t want to go back to that place of longing and addiction. At this point, even when my asshole friend makes me smell the sweet tobacco smell of a freshly unwrapped cigar (knowing full well I won’t even cheat on a small puff of a cigar because of my poor relationship with tobacco) I can still confidently say no and move on. I may very well one day have the same relationship with a glass of Merlot. For now, one day at a time, right? 🙂
… although I must say, i used to think that i’d try moderation (really? would i really?) at one year sober, the closer i get to it, the less likely it seems. I’d miss out on message like this one from Lily UK this morning: “… Anyway Belle, even if I have to stay in [on Friday night] (also fabulous) and knit … I ain’t going to a pub, I ain’t going to drink. I’m never, ever, ever, going back there again. Wolf can scream, cry, kick, cajole, whisper sweet nothings in my ear, tell me all day long how boring life will be without alcohol how amazing life will be with it. Fuck off wolf Im not listening, I’m never going back. Sobriety rocks, it’s totally cool & trendy to be sober x love me, empowered lilyuk x.”
Team 100 update: 83 members. Welcome to new members: Em (7), Megan (4), Mary (4), Erika (10), Workerbeesc (4), Nancy (3), Helene (3), Elle (3), Jenna (4), Mae (3), Jackie (33), Diane (39).
Celebrations for: Amy (160), Emily (14), J (180), Sober Journalist (40), Mr. Belle (28), Katie (40), Roxanne (22), Chelsie (10).