|Monday, 01 November 2004 00:00|
Today is my sixth anniversary of not drinking alcohol. Although, I was never officially declared an alcoholic, I definitely had a problem with it. My family doctor once told me; by definition, if I had a problem with alcohol, I was an alcoholic and he was absolutely right.
I didn't drink daily, nor did I crave it. I didn't hide my drinking from anyone, I didn't sneak around with it and most people didn't know that I had a problem because most people think of an alcoholic as someone who drinks daily or who gets the shakes without it. My problem was that I had a problem controlling my consumption of alcohol and it was just easier to quit drinking altogether than to regulate how much I drank. I had quit drinking once before when my children were younger but Jim wasn't terribly supportive and before long I was indulging again. Rick on the other hand was extremely encouraging and this time I was able to quit with no relapses at all and it is the best thing I ever did. (He too stopped drinking a year ago this past May.)
When I quit, it wasn't long before some of our drinking friends stopped inviting us out and would exclude us from social activities. I find that drinkers feel uncomfortable around non-drinkers, particularly reformed drinkers and I am not sure why. I wonder if they are concerned that the reformed drinker may feel enticed to start again or do they feel like perhaps they too have a problem and the reformed drinkers presence may make it obvious to them? Whatever the cause, at the beginning I was a little relieved to be excluded because at parties it was hard to watch my friends deteriorate before me and not be part of it. Now, when I am in a social setting, I am entertained by a drinker's reduction of composure and their declining manners. Besides I can always be a designated driver if needed.
I am just so happy to wake up every single day feeling great that I know I can say with absolute confidence that I will never drink again. I like the clarity of mind I have achieved and the sense of well-being and I will be a good role model for my future grandchild (ren). I regret losing all those days that I spent either sick on the couch or sleeping trying to recover from the hangover, not to mention the nights that I don't remember and let's not even talk about the popped brain cells! Yes, six years ago today, I made the best decision of my life...I think I'll have another cup of tea to celebrate!