I really don’t like to define myself by my sobriety and I don’t really talk about it much. I don’t drink, for any other reason than I don’t want to. No other agenda, I just prefer my life without alcohol. In some ways you could equate the decision to not drinking again to like having a tattoo. You have to make the decision for you, you cannot expect or demand that other people will agree, like or respect your decision, its also a decision that people will try and change, but it’s one that will give you personal pleasure for ever. (hopefully with the tattoo, but definitely with the alcohol)
I have given up many times in my adult life in January, SoberOctober, Lent, Pregnancies, Yoga Teachers Training, not drinking Mon-Fri etc etc… but it wasn’t until I committed to giving up for ever, that the magic happened. The funny thing about commitment is that it brings freedom.
It really is the gift that keeps giving, the further you get into it, the lighter, healthier, clearer, happier you become. I don’t mean lighter in a weight way, because if you are giving up drinking to lose weight then you are missing the point, and you will almost certainly be disappointed. On the many occasions I gave up for a month or so, I didn’t lose any weight and I’m guessing that is because alcohol is an appetite repressant and so I actually ate more when I wasn’t drinking.
When you give up drinking alcohol for Brain Health that is when you really are getting nearer to the crux of the problem. Alcohol has such an effect on the brain that basically it is shrinking & killing it with every glass you drink. You only have to see the heat-therms of a persons brain who drinks and then the same brain after giving up, to find the that the significant difference is really quite frightening. How it got to be that drinking everyday is not only acceptable but absolutely part of our culture is crazy and until you give up, you can’t actually see the problem.
Have you ever tried to tell someone how much you love your children or explain that the love you have for your dog is the the same as a child to you… the person either gets it or doesn’t and quite honestly there is no point in trying to sell that point to anyone, because it’s a secret you can’t share. That is exactly the way I feel about not drinking, I could bang on about the difference it has made to my everyday life, my mood, energy, brain, judgement, arguments, marriage, vocabulary, self worth, memory recall, shall I go on? but if the student isn’t ready to learn then you are wasting your breath.
I don’t really like to talk about my not drinking, as whatever I could say on the subject would just sound pious. But as a rule of thumb, people don’t like you not to drink, because it effects the way they feel about themselves. The reason I gave up drinking was because I no longer wanted to damage my brain. This is a very uncomfortable conversation, that I won’t be having with anyone. But my knowledge is my power.
Giving up drinking is like peeling back an onion and I wish I’d stopped before. Sadly it takes 3-6 months for all the benefits to start showing up so I guess that also puts people off. Being sober is the best gift you could give yourself and your life. It is an act of self-love that just keeps giving…