had this radical thought of “what if I just stopped this cycle instead of continuing to manage it.”
This thought felt obtuse, and vast and unfamiliar all at once. That night, I stayed up late, writing and researching, eventually stumbling upon an incredible blog, and then made this like major life changing decision-I quit drinking. I just knew on this deep innate level that alcohol wasn’t good enough for me, and that I wanted out of the relationship. At the time, I didn’t know how to, I didn’t know what it would be like, and I couldn’t imagine certain occasions or people, or places without alcohol. But I committed to it, and tried to not overthink the term FOREVER (echoing on repeat).
I told my wife the next day, and maybe a friend here and there. I went to work building a toolbox to get me through situations that I would usually be inclined to have a drink. I remember getting to around 17 days sober and not being super sure that I had ever gone that long without drinking since I started at 16; and then getting to 40 days sober and being totally sure that I had never gone that long before. It’s exciting to be at 2 years, and I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on it all.
At the moment there are two story tracks that I can tell about my journey with alcohol, and they’re both pretty different from each other. I definitely have a historical perspective in which drinking was a shit show from the start. I can talk about losing friends, TERRIBLE decisions, the heavy feeling of shame, feeling out of control, you know....all the things. I also have a narrative in which I was barely drinking at the point I stopped. By the time I walked away for good, I had curbed my drinking to a very minimal amount; not even daily, and rarely more than a few drinks per week...still, alcohol always felt looming and ominous.
Both of these ends of the continuum are true and while it feels like a paradox to try to allow them to exist at once, in the end I don’t know if it really matters all that much where we start or stop or begin or finish.
I was far from a rock bottom when I quit, which is often touted as the only off ramp for people to stop....and the results have been phenomenal. Choosing sobriety has been a surprisingly incredible shift. It’s changed things that I couldn’t imagine even needing change, and hasn’t even touched things that I thought being sober would for sure fix. It’s taught me a lot about making and sticking with change . The past two years have been an awesome ride and I’m stoked to get to celebrate this amazing adventure I’ve been on...so thanks for reading, and if you’ve made it this far they’re celebrating this event by throwing a parade for me on rice street. See ya there!