Five years ago today I chose to finally stop drinking alcohol. I’d had enough.
It was a very challenging decision to make, and to continue making for the first year. There were physical challenges for the first couple of weeks, but the ongoing emotional dependency was the most difficult aspect to overcome. I no longer had the coping mechanism that I had relied on for most of my adult life. On top of that, I felt out of place in most social situations. I didn’t fit in.
What got me through was my motivation to make my physical health a priority, which I still do today. There have been wonderful offshoots from my decision: being at my best in my relationships and with my grandchildren, but the most important one being clarity of mind.
With that clarity, I am more confident in my decisions: the everyday ones, and the big ones. No more hiding, escaping, or delaying the uncomfortable. I have a clearer understanding of who I am and what’s important to me. I have made many decisions since that would not be considered typical in today’s modern society. I don’t regret any of them.
I no longer have a desire to use alcohol to celebrate, or to dampen my sadness. I no longer “deserve a drink” or “need a drink”. I believe I deserve health and to experience my full range of emotions.
Life continues to be complicated, uncertain, and full of challenges. Life is not easy and never will be. Yet life is also filled with beautiful experiences and countless moments that make me feel so alive and blessed. Now, I get to feel all of it, fully.