Day 28 – almost time to stop counting

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve done all this for 28 days.  Not just the not-drinking part but the daily reading, writing, and other important parts of not-drinking like vitamins, physical and behavioral substitutes in place of alcohol.  As I started to write this, I realized that I did not think about drinking today.  The only time it came up was to talk with a friend about a party on Friday and I texted her, “I’ll drive and you can drink.”  But it wasn’t pre-planned so that I had a good excuse on hand for not drinking, it just came out.  And I won’t drink on Friday the 31st.  I started negotiating this week, saying that as long as I had 30 days, that was the whole point of “Abstaining In August” but then I saw a post where I said that, “In August there is no 2 days off, 3-5 days on. There’s 31 days off and that is the non-negotiable goal.”  So I can’t use the 31st as a swing day where I can talk my way out of this depending on how I feel about things that day.

When I say that it’s almost time to stop counting, I think of a few things:

1. After the 31st I don’t want to count the days anymore.  I just want to write and read blogs and remain a part of the not-drinking or attempting to stop blogmunity.

2. After the 31st I could possibly drink.  I could try moderation.  I could see if it makes me crazy or if I’m able to do it – I’ve never really tried before.  Either way, I don’t want to keep counting the days.  I want to mark it on a calendar somewhere and have to manually go to check it to see my progress.

3. I’d like to explore what a relationship with alcohol means.  I think that work and progress can be done here on all of our blogs, actually I know that for a fact!  But I’d also like to see if its possible (through insurance) to meet with someone who has a specific alcohol counseling background.  Maybe my relationship with alcohol means that I should never touch it again.  I’m not sure right now, but I know I have to keep exploring it and be 100% committed to that decision if its the one I make.

4.  When I started this blog it was almost in a kind of panic.  I was drinking more heavily than ever this year and some things happened that really scared me.  I’ve been really stressed out for a year.  I didn’t think that rehab sounded right for my situation.  But, I knew I needed to stop drinking but didn’t quite have a purpose driving me to remain committed to it.  Some people talk about how every time they look at their children they are reminded of why they stopped drinking (and I think that’s so great for them).  But I don’t really have anything like that.  I can’t say, “Every time I look in the mirror at myself, I’m reminded of why I don’t drink.”  I just didn’t feel like there was anything tethering me to a not-drinking commitment.  So I created a tether.  I read blogs, I followed them, I started my own and I maintained it as well as daily visits to my blogroll and the search for other blogs out there that I identify with.  I now have a connection to something that has become very important to me and I think about it (and you all) every day.  I’m not in a panic anymore.

5. What I’d like to try is layering on another goal on top of not-drinking (or possibly exploring moderation).  If I layer on a goal every 30 days then I think I could really begin to make permanent changes that are important to me and for a healthy and happy future.  The next thing that I want to do is make an exercise commitment.  I exercise now, but it is one of the first things I let go or re-negotiate when other things come up.  I still have to figure out how to make it work, but I love Autumn and am outdoors alot.  Pair that with my gym that is nearby and I think I could create a solid plan.

So, 3 more days and the original goal will have been achieved.  I feel several things right now; I am happy with myself and proud of the work/reflection/learning that I’ve accomplished.  I’m a little sad because I don’t know what I’ll do after the 31st.  A part of me thinks that there are alot of people out there who will wish/pray that I never drink again (and I’m so grateful for you) but I also have to make this decision for me and from my own thoughts and feelings.   I feel really calm right now.  Being open and honest has been so healing.  I feel thankful for this experience and want to keep the blogmunity as a part of my life and identity.

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5 thoughts on “Day 28 – almost time to stop counting

  1. This is such a mature calm post. Well done you have have done so well. And you are right you have to find the relationship with alcohol that is right for you. But the last month has made you mindful and reflective of it all and thus any decision you make will be from a lot healthier place than it was before. Look forward to following the next stage of your journey.

  2. You’ve done really well, It is hard to believe it has been almost a month already. I certainly vouch for the feel good factor of exercise (and diet). That too is something you need to work at to make a habit. And a bit like being sober the benefits accrue over time.

    Don’t glibly do moderation. Make sure you’ve thought it through so you don’t have one drink on the spur of the moment, regret it and say what the hell lets go crazy. Okay, I’m channelling my own history here. I’ll shut up now.

    Take care, Paul.

  3. As a chick who walked right up to moderation and then turned away, I’m getting nervous for you (and like Paul, I’m probably just projecting/chanelling my own angst). You came to the idea of having a month sober for a reason, and probably for a very big and important reason. That reason is still there, even with a month’s distance. The clear-headed self-exploration should continue! (she shouts). The ideas of self-improvement should be layered on thinly, but continually! (she rejoices). Another month of sobriety might cement all of your future plans (she proposes timidly, knowing that at least for herself, this was the truth). Be well. Don’t forget to write 🙂

  4. This is a wonderful, truthful post and I completely understand how you are feeling, especially the parts about not having anything to tether you to sobriety and exploring moderation. My world is full of drinkers and my child has children and doesn’t live close to me so what point was there in sobriety for me? When I’m doing well, that voice in my head starts telling me, “See, you can do it, so why bother? You’re ok. Drink. Really, drink.” That’s how I keep having to start all over again. *headdesk* I need a muzzle for that voice. 😉 I think that if counseling sounds right to you, then go for it!

    I love your idea of 30 days at a time (I even just wrote about it!) and layering them on top of each other is brilliant!

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