One … freakin … month!!
Technically I am on day thirty … four? I think? today.
Before I stopped drinking, I would sometimes look at “one month sober” blogs, or other online articles. “Ocsober,” “Dry July,” etc. Giving up drinking for one month was all I could contemplate or even admit was a good idea. I read in one of these that it’s good to give up drinking one month each year “just to prove you can.” This is where the bananas thought experiment comes in handy again. Who would say that it was good to give up bananas for a month each year just to prove you can?
One blog that I found was “Year of Living Sober.” The guy’s year has ended now, and I think somehow I expected him to keep it up after he started drinking again, as a way of proving that a year off could serve as a “reset” of his drinking habits, that he could drink more like a “normal person” (whatever that means). Maybe I thought so because that’s what I wanted. But he hasn’t kept it up. He said he wanted to do to prove he could (just like those bananas!). I’ll be curious if he ever posts an update.
Anyway, I would read these blogs and articles looking for … something to identify with, I guess. But if I read that giving up alcohol was really difficult, it confirmed that this was something I better not attempt to do. If I read that it was easy, I thought, “well, obviously this person is not like me.”
It’s funny. What was I looking for then, really?
So here I am, more than one month sober and I am finding it surprisingly easy. Yes, there have been moments—moments where I crave alcohol either as part of a ritual (our anniversary dinner!) or as a coping mechanism for some stressful situation. But those moments pass, they really do. The ritual is really not that different without alcohol, the stressed-out feeling passes whether you take a drink or not. If anyone is reading this because they are thinking about giving up alcohol and it seems like an insurmountable challenge, please know that I thought so too.
Take the leap—it’s worth it.