Before I tell you how I managed to quit drinking, I need to give you a little background on why I started in the first place.
I was 9 years old when I discovered that alcohol and cigarettes weren’t as bad as I had been told they were. A friend of mine and I grabbed a bottle of MD 20/20 out of her mother’s cupboard and went behind the house to drink it. I was too young to know then that my capacity to drink large quantities of alcohol without any ill effects was not a good thing.
We drank the whole bottle. My friend was sick as I dog; I was just mellow and seeing double.
I quickly found that the relaxed feelings I got when drinking helped me escape the mental hell I was going through from what was years of abuse by then. So, drinking whatever I could find after school became my sole purpose in life….at least until I was 13 or so and found out that smoking pot (along with drinking) made the effects that much better.
I began to drink and get high every chance I could, but somehow still managed to look “normal” when I was at home and never let my grades slip from the A’s and B’s I had always gotten.
By the time I was a freshman in high school, I was a mess. I started ditching school to go party with friends and wound up getting expelled from school. I was sent to another state to live with my grandmother, where I had to go through 9th grade again. I passed with flying colors and even managed to not drink or get high more than a dozen times during the whole school year.
By the next school year I was pregnant and had to quit school to be a full time mom. I didn’t drink or use for the next few years, that is until I found myself in the middle of a divorce 6 years later. I drank hard core over the next decade or so.
The last time I got drunk was in 2010. I had gone to a bar with my boyfriend and wound up doing my normal – drinking a lot more than he saw me drink. I got so drunk that I was hitting on the bartender and a couple of the patrons of the bar. The next morning I had the worst hangover that I had ever had in my life and it lasted for 2 days.
When I’m craving a drink, I try to keep in mind all the horrible things I’ve done when I’ve been drunk; it helps me to see how far I’ve come and where I never want to go again.
I finally decided that feeling good on a regular basis was better than feeling like that once in awhile. I had been in and out of AA meetings for 10 years or so and decided it was time to read my books and actually do what it said to.
I made the decision to not go to meetings because I had noticed that the more people talked about wanting to drink, the worse I felt and the more I craved alcohol. I told myself that craving was normal and not hiding the fact that I was craving was okay…as long as I didn’t act on the cravings.
When I’m craving a drink, I try to keep in mind all the horrible things I’ve done when I’ve been drunk; it helps me to see how far I’ve come and where I never want to go again. I have also found that helping others through their recovery really helps me to see where I am in my own recovery and it’s good for both of us.
For me, the main thing is to remember where I was and where I am now because I never want to lose what I have for what I was. I make sure that I have someone understanding to talk to when times get rough and I want to escape but not use to do so. I read and reread any helpful books I have, that way all the ideas are fresh in my mind when I need them and, above all, I never go around anyone I used with who isn’t in recovery themselves so that I don’t go back down that path.