Day 2

OMG! I did it!!!!!! Day 1 in the bag!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! OMG! Brilliant! I have traction. My wheels are moving.

My journey has started.

Very occasionally in the past, I have managed to take a break from drinking. When ‘the planets were all aligned’, I managed a few days. Three years ago, I achieved a mighty 2 months and have been struggling to find that momentum again ever since.

For me, Day 1 is the hardest. Before day 1 all I recall are the daily failed attempts and the infinite broken promises I have made to myself.

HOWEVER, by day 2, I am operating out of a place of victory! A small but VERY IMPORTANT victory! My internal dialogue has something positive to work with.

Side Note:

I am stepping away from 2-3 beers per night (big bottles so probably fairer to say 5-6), maybe a glass of wine (or two) while I cook dinner and another (or two) with our meal.

At weekends drinking started around 11 am. Christmas and birthdays allowed beer with breakfast around 8 am. Days, when Carina went to work, meant the beers started as soon as I got back from the gym (11 am). Then there were the various social occasions with friends or family which officially promoted a high intake ‘session’ mentality and would grant me the carte blanche visa to open the doors to a non-stop, get completely wasted course of action.

This is way, way, way, too much, too often. But I am grateful that it is still beneath the level that necessitates my being hospitalised or needing medical support to quit. Sure I will feel shit for a few days and I will be molested by headaches and the like, but it also means that this battle is one that is fought mostly in my head.

If you’re going to fight someone or something it is essential to know who or what that is.

For me in this fight, my enemy is my own thoughts. A tangle of fake news, false beliefs, fears and brainwashing built up over a lifetime. From learning behaviour patterns as a child, from those I trusted around me, to society’s insane stance towards this dangerous drug which bombards us and encourages us, at every turn, to engage with this thing and promises us a happier life if we do.

What a lie!!!

When my kids started big school, I remember hoping that they would fall in with the ‘right crowd’. I wanted them to befriend the ones who were polite, loved education, worked hard, and did their homework. I didn’t want them hooking up with the troublemakers (which, in my time, was probably me!)

I hoped this because peers have a lot of influence.

With that thought in mind, I resolve to find a peer group to positively influence me and thereby this initiative of mine.

Today I seek out resources online. Talking books. Reading books. Blogs. Youtube. Anything. I want to read and hear people advocating the delights and benefits of a sober life. I want to hear how possible and worthwhile it is. I find much. There are loads of incredible people out there.

I decide to adopt these newfound people into my ‘virtual’ friendship circle. Much like I used to with the cast of my favourite Netflix shows. (The characters would be people I checked in with when I turned on the latest episode. Does that sound sad? Don’t care.)

I resolve to start each day by spending 30 minutes or so with these brilliant people.

My day starts early. I am an early riser. 5 am.  I LOVE my coffee at the kitchen table. Alone before anyone else is awake. I consider and plan my day. I order my thoughts. This is a time to take on new information. I have a stack of books on my table (philosophy, poetry, creative thinking, the bible) which I use to prompt thought and from which to build a better version of myself. Adding my virtual sober friends (my hero pioneers) to my morning quiet time is a perfect fit. I want to be influenced by them.

My goal for today remains a 24-hour thing. Survive this space in time only. Occupy the present. Breathe. Don’t rush.

Tips For Today:

Continue to: Drink loads of water. Be kind to yourself. Remain vigilant against overwhelm.

Add: Be thankful. ‘Gratitude’ is a powerful friend and ally. It helps shift our mindsets (The battleground). Stack as many resources on that battlefield as you can. I am grateful to God, but if you don’t believe in God be grateful to the universe, or the day or your neighbour, or the sky for being blue or …. Adopt a grateful stance to everything and everyone. Do as much thanking as your imagination can muster. Thank you for this day, this pavement, this breakfast, these shoes, that thought etc.