1000 days sober …
I didn’t know that the 15 November 2020 would be my last drink. In fact, I can’t even remember that last glass. It was unremarkable. Another Saturday night watching TV with a glass of wine. I say one, maybe it was two. Unlikely any more than that, as I said, forgettable, unremarkable. Certainly, it wasn’t what I thought the final drink would look like. I thought the final drink might be so bad I would know I had to stop. I thought the final drink might come a bit too late and I would find it hard to stop. Or sometimes I thought the final drink might be intentional, a savouring, a knowing, that this is it; my long time friendship with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was coming to an end. But, as I said, my last drink, I’ve no story to tell – it was unremarkable.
My time drinking was also unremarkable. I do not have a list of horror stories to share. I do not have endless skeletons in the closet – a few, yes, just enough to keep me normal and humble, but, for the most part, my 28 years of drinking was unremarkable. Boring, even. A glass of wine to reward ___________ (I could fill this blank with anything) (a work achievement / a birthday / a holiday / a long week / a long day). The reasons to reward lessened and the frequency increased. But still it remained unremarkable.
I suppose I was always waiting for something remarkable – for that rock bottom, that feeling that alcohol was controlling me, the shame of mistake upon mistake, or, worse, hurting my family and those around me. If something remarkable like that had happened, I would have known to stop. But it didn’t, so I continued drinking, unremarkably.
And that is what I wish I had known. I did not need remarkable to stop. I just needed to decide that alcohol was no longer living up to its promise – and instead it was just getting in the way. Getting in the way of all the things I really wanted more of – great conversations that I remember fully, hugs that are heartfelt and heartful, belly laughs that are real and leave an ache, early morning hikes with a clear head, creating simple beautiful memories with my family, having the same energy on waking every day whether it be a Sunday or a Wednesday. Alcohol was, I now knew, getting in the way of the life I wanted so badly.
I did not need remarkable to stop. I needed to stop for my life to be what it now is; free, and for me, for what I never thought it could be, that is remarkable 😊
*If this resonates with you and ‘sober’ keeps going round in your head, my 28-Day Sober Reset starts on 4th September. Email me email@example.com to sign up.
Further details on the 28-Day Sober Reset can be found here: https://www.christinedoyle.ie/self-paced/