The first day was the hardest (it always is). That first day, making the decision to not drink, even though I wanted to, was the hardest. In the days following, it became easier to not drink. Even though I’d been through this start-stop cycle a hundred times over the past 10 years, I was excited to make the change different this time.
I started with a new therapist on Day 3. She is the reason this time is different. Although working with her has pushed me into some uncomfortable emotional directions, the urge to drink has been very low. The urge has been limited to mostly fleeting thoughts and only a few strong urges that reached near dangerous levels.
There are some upcoming events that will be hurdles along this path of sobriety. This week, I will be going to a concert with friends, attending an out-of-town conference for work, and spending a day with the in-laws. Seriously, all this in 1 week. Perhaps it’s my 90 day coin test??
Previously these would all be events that I would plan for. I would pace out my alcohol consumption for the days leading up to these events, ensuring that I wouldn’t be overly hungover and unable to drink, because I knew the urge would be strong and I would have to drink. I would also have to plan further if it was an out of town (especially overnight) event. I’d have to bring enough to get me through the entire trip (can’t always count on an opportunity to run out to a liquor store).
These hurdles will come up regularly through the rest of my life. I want to get through them without white knuckling it, but I also don’t want the opposite: feeling complacent. That’s when I allow myself to believe the inner monologue: “I can have a few drinks, it’s no big deal.” It is a big deal.
It’s a balancing act, for sure, one that I’m just starting to learn. For today, I’ll be proud of the past 90 days and mindful of the work I’ve done to get here.