I just want to drink less. How many of us have said those words? Penny felt the same way. It took over five years but now she can finally say she has found freedom from alcohol.
I have not hit rock bottom, I am not powerless, l am not ill, I do not have a disease and I do not want to share publicly. I just want to drink less or maybe not at all. Thank you, Annie Grace, for coming up with an honest, scientific alternative to the stereotypical offerings out on the “market.”
Eight days ago, I completed “100 Days of Lasting Change” and started my own “The next 265.” About five years ago I had purchased the program and never could get through it. This time I was determined. I vowed to embrace and complete it. By embracing it, I mean I included the “guru” parts like meditation and writing (cannot bear to say journaling) and ultimately those made the difference and now are incorporated into my daily ritual.
Ready for Lasting Change?
If you’re ready to go from “I just want to drink less,” to “I want lasting change,” discover the 100 Days of Lasting Change from This Naked Mind.
Who I Am
I am a 66-year-old wife, mother, and retired professional. Blessed to have an awesomely successful career and my daughters have grown to be warm, ethical, talented, kind, and hard-working young women. Married for almost 40 years.
My drinking accelerated after my nest emptied and I had three large pour glasses of Chardonnay to relax after a super stressful day. “I will drink less when I retire” was my mantra. However, when I retired, the habit remained.
I had a pattern. Once every one or two years, I would get completely bombed. I would stop for a while disgusted with myself, so it never got truly out of control. After one of my drunken escapades, I went to a SMART meeting and felt ridiculous. The husband of the woman next to me had left her because she got so drunk at a wedding she had vomited on the bride and fallen off a dock and had to be saved. Each story was a rock bottom. Although I had nothing but sympathy for everyone around the table, it felt like I was in the wrong place. The other issue with SMART is that it was just too public for me. I had a career reputation that I knew I needed to protect.
I tried talking to a therapist and she confirmed I wasn’t an “alcoholic” and maybe I should try to not drink a couple of nights a week. She was super nice but not particularly helpful.
Why Do I Love Alcohol?
What is it about alcohol that I love? As you have noted, drinking induces positive feelings associated with happiness or excitement. For me, this is the characteristic I find so seductive. The anticipation of the first glass of wine and the warm feeling it brings on is a glimpse into a world passed. It is like when the boy called, or you were going out with your crush. A brief little flutter. A small perception that something thrilling is on the horizon. You have taught me that this is just a tool of alcohol’s addictiveness. Under the microscope, there is no excitement. Just chasing that exhilarating moment of the first sips which is only around for the first drink. Alcohol is the bad boyfriend. Looks hot, but in actuality is a total loser.
Everything Changes in an Instant
Just over two years ago one of those life-changing, horrible events happened. The kind that almost destroys you. When alcohol was used as a quick fix to relax after a super stressful day or as a simple treat to anticipate while adjusting to a retired life it was manageable. However, as a numbing agent for overwhelming pain, it truly became a monster. In those two years when I was a mere remnant of myself, it took advantage and it was insidious. Foreshadowing a future that was pitiful. A place I had no interest in going to. That is why this time around I committed to 100 days. When I started thinking – I just want to drink less.
Making Alcohol Small
As you discovered the key to making alcohol small and irrelevant in your life is to actually put your drinking under the microscope. All aspects need to be examined. The fallacies exposed, and the truths uncovered. Only after this process is complete and you are convinced that temperance is not a choice that is continuously made, but rather a state of being, will you have arrived.
Here are the top six reasons why I quit drinking:
I did not want Alcohol to be my dominatrix.
She is a demanding, bossy bitch who constantly wants to be more. She chatters from noon until she is fed at five, then always demands more. I want control; to be the dominatrix in my life and for the Chardonnay to be a submissive, not worthy of my whip.
A vision of myself as a doddering, slurring, fermented old bag terrifies me.
Eventually, my intake of ethanol would permanently impact my cognitive abilities. Of course, age and sickness may also do this, but why take steps that ensure the outcome?
My drinking causes my daughters anxiety and I do not want to be a source of their angst. Conversely, I want to be a role model and comfort for them.
When I drank, I would sleep intermittently and maybe five hours a night. Abstinent, I sleep the sleep of the dead and it is awesome.
Pouring the equivalent of gasoline into your body on a regular basis cannot possibly be good for it. It is fattening and leads to binge eating not to mention its link to cancer. Exercise, eating well, and being lean are important to me. They energize me and are very much a part of who I am. Drinking just thwarts it all.
I Just Want To Drink Less – or not at all
And finally, a word about age. In my view, it is never too late. I want to be truly healthful and clear-headed right now. I am no longer here for a long time, but I want to be fully here for the short time. Meditating, writing, and mindfulness are now a permanent part of my life. I am no longer wasting huge swaths of time sedated. Now, I am so excited for all the new things I’ll learn and experience.
Share Your Story
I want you to glow in the knowledge that you made a completely positive difference in my life. I am so appreciative. Are you ready to share your story and say thank you as well? Do it here to be featured on the blog.