One Year Alcohol Free. The Greatest Gift of Sobriety:
ONE! One Full entire year. I have no idea how those days turned into weeks, into months then boom - one year. Everyone is right - if you put in the work, You get the job done. Thank you to the biggest tools in my tool box in the early days - This Naked Mind, Tired of Thinking About Drinking, William Porter, Jean McCarthy and the Bubble Hour. The BFB’s, Countless memoirs, Instagram support, blogging, and giving myself all sorts of permission to make not drinking the only priority I had last year. This counter is based on one bottle of wine a day (a bare minimum).
The gift: Cognitive Resonance. That’s it. That’s the opposite of Cognitive Dissonance.
It’s the quiet. In my mind. The self acceptance, love, yes, even admiration (of myself) to step onto this path of my journey.
It’s not having to answer these questions over and over and over…..:
- The When’s as in When can I start drinking?
- The Why’s as in Why am I a victim that justifies drinking at things/people?
- The What’s as in What will I drink first? Can I wait for wine, or do I need a primer like a low carb cooler?
- The Who’s as in Who can I make plans with to go out for dinner so I can seemingly drink like a “normal” person and not alone on my couch like normal?
- The Where’s as in where will I be today when I plan when I can drink?
- The How’s as in how will I treat the people I love the most after a few glasses of wine tonight? Will I overshare? Will I be randomly mad? Will I have to write notes in my phone to remind myself of mean ad hurtful things I said to my husband
It’s looking in the mirror every night at bedtime and saying to myself, “boy you have nice skin for your age”, “good night beautiful”, “what a great day it was”, “It feels so good to feel tired”. It’s looking in the mirror in the morning and seeing the whites of my eyes, as opposed to red or yellow. It’s waking up at 3 am, and comforting myself myself back to sleep with love and self-compassion.
It’s not asking myself every single day - will this be the day I decide to stop drinking?
It’s not feeling pain somewhere in my body and wondering if I have finally given myself cancer from drinking.
It’s connection with people, looking right in their eyes, and knowing they SEE all of me. Not just what I want them to see and hide the rest. The dark, dirty underbelly of the drinking me.
It’s the utter silence in my mind. That is what cognitive resonance is about. It’s no more battles, internal debate, NO OPTIONS. No deciding, no negotiating.
It’s the now. The present. The deep reflection of inner peace that is visceral in my belly. It’s finally realizing there IS something bigger out there. It’s love. Love comes in all forms. In a smile, in a belly laugh, in true, deep authentic connection. It’s feeling all emotions deeply. Even the bad ones. It’s having memories. It’s acceptance of what is and knowing it doesn’t have to be fixed in the moment.
This is why moderation will never work for me. When I even consider inviting alcohol back in my mind, I lose the rest. I can’t have that. This depth of love for all things has become my life blood.
My name is Rhonda and I don’t drink