I’m so thankful for all of the encouraging words and support I’ve gotten recently about my “transformation” Instagram post. That was a really hard story to share because I’m still pretty embarrassed about that night…and it wasn’t even the final straw.
Some people have responded, “Wow! That’s a lot of progress to make in only 43 days!” To be completely clear, I did not make all of my progress in 43 days. Not even close! I just happen to be (50 days) sober now, which is the longest I’ve ever gone, but it’s taken sooo many steps forward and backward to get here. I can’t tell you how many times I told myself that I was going to quit drinking and then drank A LOT a week or two later.
There is no hope for me to have a normal, healthy, and happy life that involves alcohol. Finally accepting that fact is the sole reason why I’ve stayed sober for the past 50 days.
Over the years, every sign I’ve gotten from the universe has pointed me in the direction of → YOU NEED TO GET SOBER ← but I stubbornly kept taking the path down self-destruction anyways, hoping that something would magically be different the next time. But I always ended up back on my sorry butt, sitting at a crossroad.
I remember the first time I tried to quit drinking when I was in college, about three years ago. It was SO HARD to stay home and be sober when all of my friends were going out. I remember aggressively drinking coffee and trying to do homework and feeling so anxious (probably because of all of the coffee) and stir-crazy. I was not in a mentally stable place whatsoever to be surrounded by alcohol or in an environment where people were drinking, so I spent a lot of time isolating myself and avoiding the people I would normally hang out with and the places I would normally go. The FOMO ended up getting to me and I ended up drinking again, many times, but I took baby steps along the way. I would turn down nights out and spend nights in much more often.
I would track on a calendar the days I drank and the days I didn’t. I started to unapologetically excuse myself from wild nights on the town and would start to pride myself on the fact that I (somewhat) had self-control and had the ability to make sacrifices and focus on my priorities instead. Like I said, I still drank…but I slowly but surely learned how to cut off toxic people and habits until I finally went cold turkey. It’s definitely always been a process of trial-and-error, failures, and getting back up to try again. It was never easy.
I’ve had to cut off some friendships for good and completely move away and change my life in order to be in the place that I’m in now. My life is completely different than it used to be. I used to work at a restaurant/bar where drinking at work was not only acceptable but encouraged. I had friendships that were built on the mere fact that we liked to get fucked up together. I used to go on benders where I would wake up and just couldn’t stop drinking and I would be drunk for multiple days. I would get mad when people tried to moderate my drinking, so I got into the habit of secretly drinking so I could keep my buzz without anybody giving me shit for it. I was a mess.
All in all, it’s been a huge struggle to get where I am today, but I’d rather struggle to be better than struggle just to function properly. I don’t go to the same places or do the same things, but I replaced my old “hobbies” with more fulfilling ways to spend my time. I don’t have the same friends, but I focus more on the people who love me for who I really am. I don’t have a quick-fix remedy for every uncomfortable feeling I experience, but I’m actually going to therapy and healing my issues from within. Everything I’ve had to give up has been replaced with something better. And it’s all been worth it.