Nearly 6 months not drinking!!
I never thought I’d say that.
Ive got to be honest, it’s slowing down now. Time, I mean. I feel like at the start of the year my determination for not drinking was so high, and I was blogging about it every day, it was exciting, I was making new discoveries, I was losing weight, I was feeling better and better.
I was tracking EVERYTHING. But slowly it started to become normal. Which is what I want, absolutely. I want none drinking, or at the very least minimal drinking to become the norm. But as it’s become normal I feel like I’ve forgotten the challenge and taken it for granted.
I’m not ‘on guard’ as I was before. I’m not apprehensive about upcoming events. And I think that’s where a bit of danger lurks.
Recently I’ve had big, strong urges to drink. And at times it has felt a bit like deprivation. In the early months, I worked myself up into a powerful mental space, where I had the perspective of freedom from drinking, rather than deprivation.
But the danger is that I still haven’t completed a full year not drinking. I still haven’t taken on every challenge and my old neurological associations with annual life events have not been overcome.
For example summer! I didnt realise how strong my pull for alcohol was in the sun. Of course it’s strong, that’s when most people come together, relax and get thirsty! But I have not been prepared. And so the urges have caught me by surprise.
We had a garden party last wknd. Had friends round and a BBQ etc. And to be fair to most people, they didn’t drink. Not that I expect that at all. But I was thinking about drinking more than ever. I wanted people to drink. Just so I could feel normal. I wanted to get drunk through proximity!
This goes against everything I’m trying to do. And it had me thinking.
Am I missing alcohol? Am I missing being around it?
I need to be careful not to forget all the benefits of not drinking. But to be brutally honest, one of the reasons I’m enjoying not drinking is because it gives me a sort of significance. And maybe when other people are not drinking that significance is diminished.
Maybe that’s also why I drank the way I did, to be extraordinary.
This is quite an insightful discovery for me and I think with that, I can start to think about reasons why I crave that significance. And also what other healthy ways I can meet that need.
Maybe I never got it in my childhood and I’m still trying to meet that childhood need. Maybe. But I think there are healthier ways to meet that need, that don’t involve excessive drinking or none drinking.
Maybe starting a business? Maybe random acts of kindness? Volunteer work?
I don’t know for now. But I do know that this new awareness will help me going forward. I feel a bit clearer about who I am and what my motivations are. And also I’m not afraid of my needs. It could be seen as selfish or arrogant to want significance, but I beleive it’s a need that we all have to varying degrees.
Its just that some people have theirs met in healthy ways, I’ve just allowed myself to discover that alcohol was one of my ways. And that is not healthy.
So yeah, key lessons here are to stay on guard, there are still many upcoming things in the year that I normally do with alcohol and now will be doing without. The World Cup, weddings, bonfire night, Xmas etc. So I need to stay vigilant, and not take this ‘none drinking’ for granted. It is still a challenge.
Another key learning is the realisation of my need for significance. And to be aware of it and meet it in healthier ways.
Speaking of the World Cup. That would normally be a huge drinking event! Every game, nailed on with a couple of beers. Not this time.
Maybe I’ll be able to remember this World Cup!? Maybe this year England will beat Germany on penalties? Who knows…
Onwards and upwards…