There are two main reasons why I blog about my sobriety journey. One is for my own personal benefit and the other is for those considering, or are already on, a similar path. I want to be clear that I do not blog to guilt or shame anyone into quitting alcohol. I drank far too much, and for too long, to judge anyone on his or her drinking habits.
Reason #1: My personal benefit
One of the main reasons I started blogging was to make myself accountable to other people. Deep down, I knew that sticking to my sober vow for a year would be uber challenging to sustain if I was only accountable to myself. If I snuck a sip of wine here or there, or gave in one bender night, nobody would know but me.
I've already had some seriously tempting moments, including this week when I arrived for a one night stay at a luxury hotel. The bellhop delivered a flute of champagne on a silver tray to my door shortly after I settled in. I graciously accepted it. Stared at it. Smelled it. Imagined it sweetly filling my mouth and tingling down my throat, accompanied by a soft gentle buzz. Then promptly emptied it down the sink. Not gonna lie - that was hard. And, if I wasn't blogging about the struggles and rewards of giving up alcohol, I don't know if I would have had the strength to resist the bubbly.
You may be thinking what's the big deal, anyways? So you have a small glass of champagne. You're not an alcoholic and it's not going to kill you. All true, good points. However, as I've written in previous posts, I have a strong suspicion (read: fear) that the taste of wine will be enough to send me back to my old habits of nightly wine and periodic occasions of binge drinking. It's a risk I'm not willing to take, especially now that I'm almost six months booze-free. Which is why I've made myself accountable to my blog and its readers... it would be too easy to give myself those very excuses to cheat here and there.
Reason #2: Inform and (maybe) inspire
I hate to say I want to inspire others to adopt a booze-free lifestyle because it's too presumptuous to assume that my personal story will have impact on anyone's life. And, I've not made it part of my mission to build an army of alcohol-free advocates (although in the age of Ontario's buck-a-beer, extended LCBO hours and casino in Toronto talk, that's a tempting thought). What I want to share is my honest struggle alongside the abundant rewards of this sober journey.
Here's why... I know you. You love your drink. You're probably not an alcoholic. You are a great social drinker but don't shy away from drinking alone, either. Life is hard as hell and you deserve a few drinks, dammit. Deep down, though, you know you should cut back but your efforts to sustain less drinking always dissipate and you go back to your old habits. The thought of not drinking forever sort of terrifies you. Alcohol is too big a part of your social life. And, you like to drink. You just need to drink less. Except... you can't. So you're fucked.
Except you're not fucked. Because I am you. I was you, but at the same time I am you. I had every one of those concerns. I still do. The only difference is that I'm tackling them. I'm dismantling those belief patterns every day I don't give in to my temptation to drink. I'm proof that it is possible to quit drinking and that life is much better without alcohol.
I write about not drinking because I want to inform you, whomever you are, that life gets better when you eliminate the booze. And, if I can do it. You sure as hell can too. If my posts inform you in a way that inspires you to tackle those booze-soaked demons you carry, then that's awesome. Not for me. For you. And even if you can't take that huge courageous leap to quit drinking, I still think you're awesome. And, I believe one day, when you're ready, you will leap.