day 7

I used to be genuinely proud of myself if I went two or three days in a row without drinking, so not drinking for a week feels like somewhat of a small accomplishment for me. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Feeling hurt and hopeless and lost is a really good starting point if you want to make some big changes in your life.
  2. Some people really do care about your happiness and well-being, whereas some people only care about whether or not you’re going along with their agenda.
  3. It actually feels great to stay home and turn down plans to study for hours and get an A on your first exam.
  4. You perform a lot better at work and enjoy it significantly more when you’re not hungover.
  5. The amount of “Sorry about last night…” texts decrease at an alarming rate when you don’t drink.
  6. Your mind feels quicker, your mood feels better, and your energy feels higher when you’re not poisoning your body with alcohol day after day.
  7. When you start feeling proud of yourself rather than feeling guilty and ashamed all the time, your self-esteem increases.
  8. When you feel confident about cutting one toxic thing out of your life, suddenly you have the confidence to cut out another thing, and another, and another.
  9. Things that no longer serve a beneficial purpose in your life don’t seem as attractive as they used to when you focus solely on having a positive future.
  10. A lot of people have shit going on in their lives. Life isn’t perfect for anybody and we all experience ups and downs and good phases and bad ones.
  11. Most importantly, as cliche as it sounds, you wouldn’t appreciate happiness if you never experienced sadness. There has to be balance in life or you wouldn’t appreciate anything that goes right.

Today, I thought about if I ever really will drink again. I’m not somebody who depends on alcohol to survive, and believe it or not, I enjoy myself sober and can be happy without it. But I’m 100% sure that I’ve been using alcohol to self-medicate my underlying problems. The second my problems got worse, my drinking got worse. What if I learned how to process my emotions in a healthier way? Better yet, cut out those emotional triggers that have worsened my urges to drink for good? What if I got through this month or the next few months practicing self-control, would I be more confident about being able to handle just having one or two drinks in moderation one day? What if I limited myself to drinking when I actually had a reason to relax and celebrate, not just drinking every night for no reason at all? There are underlying problems behind my drinking that need to be solved and progress that needs to be made within myself before I ever decide to pick up a drink again. I don’t know when that will be or if it ever will happen, but I do know that this is the right choice for me at the moment. I’m not just doing this to quit drinking. I’m doing this to find and better myself in general. To let go of all the things that I’ve been clinging on to for dear life that aren’t meant for me, whether it’s a person or a coping mechanism or a mindset that no longer serves me. This is a journey of self-discovery and bringing back the joy that I’ve been wanting but doing nothing to find. Maybe one day, I will have a drink AFTER I have good grades, am off probation and am done with all of this DUI nonsense, and am on the right track financially, emotionally, mentally, etc. I’ve realized that I’ll never know what obstacles are around the corner, so only time will tell.

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