9.29.2013

Musings on my Month of Sobriety

We are coming up on the last few days of September; the final moments of Sober September.  And I survived!  I'm still here, alive and well and somewhat impressed that I made it through the entire month without so much as a sip of alcohol. I thought it would be fitting to share some of the realities and reflections on this last Sunday of September.

Let's start with the realities.  So this last month has been trying to say the least.  To start, my baby girl turned one! And on the  very same day, one of my best friends died.  My oldest daughter started school and is growing up faster than I'd like.  She also seems to have caught some terrible disease where she can only communicate via incessant whining.  My husband quit his job and started working for a new start-up company.  My mat leave finished and I did not return to work; opting instead to stay at home with the baby.  We celebrated our wedding anniversary and I also learned that I'm allergic to all dairy and eggs.  Now, I know this may seem like a random assortment of inconsequential events, but I can tell you that everyone of of them caused a certain amount of stress. Be it good or bad, these things would be the standard reasons for me to pour a glass of wine or have a gluten-free beer. But, alas, I stayed strong and resisted temptation.

So what did I learn? Now for my reflections on this very challenging and dry month.  Firstly, and probably the most obvious, but often forgotten; it's ridiculously hard to quit a long standing habit.  I am certainly not an alcoholic, but definitely a social drinker and it was very difficult to not have a drink in those standard drinking situations. So kudos to anyone else who's quit, it's not as easy as it sounds.  Secondly, I realized I'm stronger than I think.  Having to deal with the loss of a dear friend while trying to celebrate my daughters birthday was heartbreaking to say the least.  I would have loved to have a sip of something to relax or take the edge off, but instead I dug deep and looked to myself, my husband and my friends for strength and support. There's something beneficial to experience that pain and sorrow and take it head on instead of trying to numb it with a bottle. Thirdly, I discovered I can fall asleep quite easily without a nightcap.  I found some good old fashioned exercise or simple reading can really increase the drowsiness factor. Mental and physical exhaustion will get you sleeping every time.

As Stella would say "only 2 more sleeps" until October.  And the burning question...will I have a drink?  Likely.  Will I return to my old ways?  I don't think so.  I have changed and grown over the past month and I'm ready to face October without hiding behind a bottle.

Dry & determined,

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