Day: 17 A List to Remind Me Why I Don’t Want to Drink Anymore

Who else has done something stupid, said something stupid after drinking? Yeah, me too! More times than I can count and every time, I’d say to myself, “Never again!” But it didn’t last for long; by that evening or the next day, I’d be ready to dive in again. I lived for the moment I could get going on some drinks, usually as a way to run from my feelings/life circumstances, thinking how much better I would feel if I could just have a drink and a cig in hand, everything else would melt away and I’d have all this social confidence to boot.

While it’s been tough to try and re-train my brain to want to do something else besides drink and it’s been tough to feel so aware of myself in a sober way, I am really proud of being on day 17 alcohol and cigarette free. I’ve been trying to incorporate other little activities here and there to keep me distracted/busy with something else. Making a Christmas garland. Organizing and cleaning out rooms. Starting a button fairy. Reading sobriety books. I’ve tried sprinkling some exercise in here and there just to get my body used to the idea again after ages of doing anything physical. Taking lots of baths. Picking up some extra work. Eating a brownie or two when an intense sugar craving hits. Watching baking shows and crime shows.

Daily, I’ve been reading a devotional and trying to spend some time with getting in touch with my relationship with faith again after so long on the back burner. Daily, I’ve been jotting a few things I’m grateful for in a journal. Daily, I’ve been checking out resources online, finding others on a sobriety journey to follow. Daily, I’ve been trying to think of ways to organize my thoughts to blog something.

But I’ve had some very big internal wars with myself about giving in, to the point of tears a few times. I’ve had some moments of absolute enraged irritation at my sober situation and hating this journey I’m on. Most of all, I’m realizing how intense my anxiety issues are, particularly without a drink to drown them out for awhile – I believe this is one of my biggest triggers for having become the type of drinker I did to begin with.

I’ve also realized that, as the excitement and pride of getting a couple weeks of sobriety under your belt starts to lose its luster, it gets harder to convince yourself to keep going. After you get a little further from the awfulness of the first few days and a renewed sense of what you perceive as self-control, that voice starts in how you never really had a problem to begin with. Look you’ve made it this far – woohoo 17 days! I could definitely celebrate with a harmless glass of wine (or 5, 6, 7 and then dive into some beers) couldn’t I?

How about a list of some stupid habits that come with drinking that come to mind? I debated whether I really wanted to dredge up the past, think about things I did under the influence of alcohol that I feel badly about. But you know, I need something somber and sobering to look at for strength when that damn demon voice starts in to try and convince me I can be a normal drinker. I’ve decided I want to keep this list with me at all times to pull out and go over again if I need reminding of why I’m making this choice.

I need the ugly truth pulled up out of the dark where I’ve tried to bury it away, telling myself that behavior is normal and everyone has their stories of crazy with alcohol; I’m no different! The fact is, I might surround myself with people who have behaved like me, but it doesn’t mean it’s normal behavior. It doesn’t mean I should minimize how toxic its been to my life.

Stupidity from Drinking List

  • Driving under the influence more times than I can count
  • Blacking out and not remembering what was done or said
  • Going to bed in the wee morning hours and not getting real sleep
  • Not drinking enough water or eating meals properly
  • Not able to focus on intelligent conversation or be a good listener
  • Falling down or tripping over things and getting hurt/breaking things
  • Falling asleep in bath tub
  • Leaving stuff baking in oven all night
  • Getting into emotional irrational arguments with my husband
  • Getting angry and throwing and breaking things
  • Staying at bar until closing time, EVERY TIME, when just went for one drink
  • Ending up randomly going to people’s houses after bar closes to drink even more, sometimes where people are doing other things I don’t necessarily want to be around (because I used to do some of those things and don’t want that kind of temptation or to be around anymore!)
  • Smoking a whole pack and then some of cigarettes in one night to accompany the drinking
  • Not working next day because too hung over, or half-ass working and not able to be as productive – not getting any chores done that were planned
  • Listening to nostalgic music and crying uncontrollably and feeling extremely emotional about the past
  • Spending money I don’t have, even if it means putting it on a credit card that’s close to maxed out.
  • Canceling plans to do something fun/positive, because drinking was the most important thing to do
  • Counting down the time til my daughter takes a nap or goes to sleep at night so I can get my drink on
  • Feeling more intense anxiety, depression, guilt and being a victim of life in general, particularly after drinking

It feels super vulnerable to put out those things you are ashamed of about yourself for others to see. It feels super vulnerable to myself to even have to look at them on the page and I cringe as I type them out, that I ever let things like this hold any kind of significance in my life. The list could keep going on and on but this is a start for some things to remind myself of why I don’t want to be a drinker anymore when that damn voice starts trying to win over the voice of reason. This is what I can look forward to and most likely even worse, if I don’t get my act together.

What are some reasons you don’t want to drink anymore? Might not appeal to you to do and hey I’m not claiming this is for everyone to drag their bad memories out into the light. But maybe if you get some of it out on paper in front of you, even if it’s uncomfortable, it might help to keep the importance of your sobriety fresh in your mind. I’m hoping that this will be another tool for keeping me on my sober mama journey, because I know this is the not the person I want to be, someone who does this type of stuff!

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