Sobriety is a journey, not a destination

Day 11...and that is the motivational message on my Sober Tracker app. “Sobriety is a journey, not a destination”. It’s also such a personal journey. Everyone’s relationship with alcohol is different. One person’s ‘not much’ is another person’s ‘too much’.

I’ve been toying back and forth with the ‘why am I doing this?’…and ‘is 90 days really necessary?’…over the past couple days. I vacillate between that and ‘why do I ever need to drink again, really?’….and ‘do I really want to break the momentum by having that wine at my birthday?

I think the answer…to all of it, is: “I don’t know”. I really don’t know. What I do know is that when I’m having wine on a weekly basis, I think too much about it….and although I rarely get drunk to the point of ‘omg why did I do that?!’, it does happen and it’s never something I’ve planned. What’s that saying about you have a drink, then the drink has a drink, and then you’ve lost control? I used to have an internal ‘tell’. If my upper lip started to feel numb, I would stop. Well, as I got older…and as I drank more…that little ‘tell’ first got ignored, then went away. I wonder if it would come back after I’ve taken a long break? But would I listen to it? Not sure. I’d like to think so though….I hate that feeling of having drunk too much and wondering what you said/did and if you were really as funny as you thought you were. Likely NOT.

I’m under quite a bit of work stress at the moment…but I’m working through it. Sort of. Mostly I’m pretending it’s not there and I’m allowing myself some yummy treats I normally wouldn’t. Fresh peaches and proper Italian gelato…and a Friday morning walk to the bakery for a croissant and cappuccino. I’ve been focused on Friday since Monday….their croissants are amazing!

Yesterday, I was chatting to one of my cousins. He told me once that he suffers from the family ‘curse’. In other words, alcoholism. My response was that it wasn’t a curse…and was something he could have control over but it would require making choices – each and every day. It seems like he’s making those choices now…which brings a huge smile to my face. He told me that it’s good to just “keep busy and keep moving”. When people invite him out for a drink, he tells them he ‘doesn’t have an off-valve’ and suggests a coffee instead. I’m proud of him and glad he’s got the beast under control for the moment…and hope that he’s able to keep it that way. I know it’s not easy and I know it’s been a really difficult road for him.

Yesterday, there were two people that I mentioned my decision to not drink for 90 days to. One of them said ‘well, that’s no fun! Why would you do that?!” And the other one, when I said that it was day 10, responded with “It only counts if they’re consecutive, sweetheart….and a little wine is good for you!”. It find it amusing, and scary, how accepted alcohol is. It’s the drug that most people in the world are using and you’re almost the weird one out if you’re not for whatever reason.

Everyone’s journey is different…and issues with alcohol fall across a wide, wide, spectrum. I’m still trying to figure out where I am on that spectrum, but that’s what this journey…this 90 day experiment….is all about.

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