Six months alcoholfree: before and after.

This weekend marks six months since I said goodbye to booze. It’s been a wild ride. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to share the contrasts observed between then and now. 

How I used to think

Looking back, I’m so embarrassed about how deluded I was about alcohol! What an idiot. But then again, the people I hung out with, coupled with our heaving drinking society and the intensive alcohol marketing industry all condoned drinking. How I perceived alcohol and how I behaved was ‘normal’. No-one batted an eyelid.

Here’s my little list about how I USED to perceive alcohol.

  1. I needed alcohol to relax / decompress / unwind / chill out 
  2. I deserved a wine when I’d accomplished a milestone in both my professional and personal life
  3. Celebrations and commiserations need alcohol
  4. I could not socialise without wine
  5. I was more fun / wittier with a wine
  6. Alcohol helped with coping in life
  7. Alcohol is what everyone does therefore my consumption was normal.

How I think today

The last six months have not been easy. But the last six months have taught me a lot about myself, where I want to go, how deluded my conscious and unconscious minds were towards alcohol and who my real friends are. The following is a work in progress. 

So here goes.

  1. Drinking is expensive. I saved my drinking money and used it for an overseas trip in May – we had an absolute blast! I called it My Sober Vegas Vacation and shared what I learned here. Bring on the next alcohol-funded vacation.
  2. Alcohol marketing is a wrought. The alcohol marketing industry has a lot to answer for. Those Corona bill boards depicting young kids, scantily clad on a beach at sunset. With you guessed it, Corona. Corona will bring you youth, sex and tropical sunsets. Yeah right! But just like the cigarette advertising / billboards in the 1950s and 1960s, the majority of society fall for the alcohol marketing today.
  3. Drinkers get uncomfortable around non drinkers. The majority of hard drinkers got uncomfortable when I stopped drinking. They wanted me to stay as I was. I felt like they wanted me to break and go back to being a pisshead again. Hard drinkers got uncomfortable around me as a non drinker… perhaps it shone a light (unintentionally) on their own drinking and their inability to cut back and control. These people are at arms length in my life now. I didn’t find being around them constructive or helpful to me staying alcoholfree.
  4. Moderation or cutting back is a myth. It’s either all or nothing. I think if moderation worked, none of us would be here reading or writing these blogs.
  5. Having ‘a break’ from drinking will not mean that I will become a ‘normal’ drinker if I start again. Whether I stop for one month, one year or ten years, my drinking will be right back where it was – or worse – the day I quit. There are lots of reports and empirical evidence supporting this. So I’d rather not take the chance.
  6. Drinking is a spectrum, it’s not black and white. People say things like ‘he’s an alcoholic’. But I don’t believe we can be an alcoholic or not an alcoholic. Rather, I consider drinking behaviours like a rev counter in a car from 0 to 8. As children, we were all at 0 because we didn’t drink. As we age and due to traumatic life events, the dial gradually winds up without our control. When I quit, I was 6/8. Evidence shows that the dial ever only moves up… some peoples’ dials wind up quickly, some peoples’ dials creep up on them insidiously. It’s just a matter of time. So if I hadn’t staged an intervention on 01/01/17 and decided I to quit, I believe I would be a 6.5/8 today. Then a 7/8 in 12 months. Either way, continued drinking was a runaway train, gaining momentum downhill with no brakes.
  7. Friendships change. I lost friends but I am strengthening the existing ones and making new ones. I call it reformulating my tribe and I wrote about how I’m finding my new tribe here.
  8. Parties and pubs suck. I no longer frequent drinking establishments, but I won’t be going to any of these sober parties either (none of my friends won’t be there). Friends, family and us will continue having weddings, 50th birthdays and other celebrations. I will continue attending – just because I’m not drinking, it’s not my place to boycott or judge others’ drinking habits. Nor is it my place to take the moral high ground or not attend. But I still find these events awkward… I wrote about the dread of going to parties and how I prepare for success here.
  9. Meditation and yoga is helping me understand happiness comes from within. Regular practice is helping me become less material, monkey-mind and more calm. I’ve written a bit about how solo retreats have helped and meditation, too. 

I’d just like to close by extending a heart filled thank you to you, the wonderful sober blogging community, for all your advice, wisdom and encouragement. You have been instrumental in keeping me aligned with my truth over the last six months.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. xoxo

P.S. I took this photo on my walk to work last week. We are witnessing some beautiful sunrises lately. πŸ™‚

27 thoughts on “Six months alcoholfree: before and after.

  1. Pingback: New Year’s Day: Celebrating One year Alcoholfree πŸŽ‰πŸŒΏβ€οΈ | No Wine I'm Fine

  2. Pingback: Day 15 and Counting… | Tripping on Sober

  3. Hi!
    I’ve just come across your blog after doing some soul searching of my own. The term alcoholic is hard to convey and I didn’t think I was one…. but then again I think I was in denial until I read your posts.
    I can’t just have one drink. That drink ends up several or a bottle. On any given night. I don’t even seem to get a hangover anymore because I start as soon as I get home from work and am in bed normal time so get enough sleep. My work doesn’t suffer but my health does.
    Thank you for sharing your journey! It’s certainly given me a lot of thinking to do! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joanne, thank you so much for your message. Your story sounds identical to mine. I would love to stay in touch – but when I clicked on your link it wouldn’t let me access it. Are you on twitter?
      All the best for your journey, you sound very in tune with things xoxo

      Like

      • Hi! Oops I’ve just upgraded my domain and forgot to change it in my profile section. It’s http://www.constantlycaffeinated.com (wordpress) now and Twitter is @caffeinated_jo
        My focus can vary. Sometimes I’m aware and totally scared then other times I think I’m being silly. My friends and family know I drink a lot. But sometimes I hide it. It feels like your posts have been written by me! It’s uncanny! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done for getting to six months. Long may it remain so. Your observation on moderation (It’s all or nothing) is correct. Sadly my husband could not see that – he believed the occasional drink was OK and he could control it. Wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just found you today (via Foxy Writer Chick) and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been sober since 9/29/14, and am currently in the process of writing a memoir about it. Just this morning I was writing about how angry I am at society for how they treat drinking. But it also struck me that society as a whole doesn’t like things where people withhold or abstain from something. Ha ha, we’re minimalists, who aren’t planning on having kids, don’t watch anything with nudity, oh, and I’m sober….so we aren’t exactly fitting into many molds. All that to say, I’m SO glad I found your blog this morning. Knowing I’m not alone, that there are others walking through this, who understand, well, it’s everything. Stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh how your message made me smile! I’m delighted that you made contact. Thank you for your kind words, i believe we are stronger together.
      You may have picked up on my frustration (πŸ˜†) about society’s unwillingness to go against the ‘norm’ or be open minded. Not everyone is like this of course, but the undercurrent is there amongst many.
      I love how you know who you are, what you stand for and where you’re going. Keep up the amazing focus – and a big thank you to Foxy Writer Chick for connecting us and nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award https://foxywriterchick.com/2017/06/27/sunshine-blogger-award/

      Like

  6. I’m so happy for you . Isn’t it great to get rid of the junk & emotions that go with drinking .. Learning more about your true self . Amen sister . Keep it up .. β€οΈπŸ˜ŠπŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on SPO_OKY and commented:
    NOWINEIMFINE is a wonderful writer and an amazing soul. I now follow a few bloggers on the subject of sobriety and am in awe of all of them. They are the bravest, most tenacious people I’ve never met.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If I hadn’t just spent a long time typing out a monumental blog, I’d feel fitter to comment more here, so briefly, I just want to say how in awe I am of you. I think you know this by now, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again. I wish everyone who is struggling with addiction could read this. Would you mind if I re-blogged it? I’ll understand if you don’t want me too. I’m proud of you though. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • A monumental blog, I must jump over and check it out!
      You are so kind, I am truely thankful for your message.
      It would be an honour if you re-blogged; the more we can help each other tackle this thing, the better. Thank you so much my lovely friend, πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’™πŸ¦‹

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s