I finally managed to give up alcohol for the last time almost a whole year ago. It was not easy and I gained a lot of support from reading other people's blogs on the same topic (although stayed well under the radar!).
Only now do I feel confident in my own ability to remain free from alcohol that I can openly say 'I don't drink' and committing myself to a black and white blog is a big step for me: it means I have to stick with it! My mindset has changed over the months since I stopped and although I still sometimes wistfully sigh and think how nice a chilled glass of white wine would be, I can remember well enough where one glass will inevitably lead me. After one glass the booze takes control and runs its own agenda and my own good intentions fall to the way side. I know how the movie ends and right now I want so much to never go there again, that I can reason with myself that there can be no 'just one' or 'just once' for me.
To mark my upcoming year of sobriety I gathered together all the ramblings and scribblings I wrote during the emotional roller coaster of those early days of abstinence. I continued a journal in a 'Then and Now' format as I tackled all the usual events in my daily life, alcohol free for the first time. They have recently been published as a book:
and I plan to post excerpts from each section here on this blog. As well as sharing my experiences, I want a good reminder for myself of how bad it actually was, and which will not fade as time passes as memories are inclined to do.
Now I'm at a cross-roads. I am wondering whether I need to consider doing AA and the 12 step thing. I've been to a few meetings but never committed to any single one. The advocates of it seem positive there is a new level of calmness, serenity and self acceptance to be gained by this process. If this were the case, of course I would want it too, but I'm not sure I believe in it enough at the moment.
If you have any thoughts or experience of AA or the 12 steps I'd love to hear them, while I continue to consider what to do next to keep on living alcohol-free.