This is a third in a series of addictions I have been blogging about, the others are Nicotine and Caffeine. Strangely, you can be an ex-smoker and quit coffee/caffeine and nobody bats an eye but say you are an alcoholic and there seems to be a stigma associated with it.
Alcohol hits close home to me. My father was an alcoholic when I was a child. At the time, I just knew my father would occasionally get very angry. I didn’t know at the time it was caused by his drinking but I can tell you that I grew up wondering if my Dad was Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. I found out later in my childhood that the alcohol was causing him to alternate between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He got help as I was nearing my teens but I spent a long time wondering what it would have been like if I had a normal childhood.
And as a teen, I followed in my parents footsteps, drinking, smoking and being a product of my environment. I am only left to ask, why. Why didn’t my parents give me a positive wholesome environment? That question remained in my head most of my life until I realized that I can’t blame my parents. I no longer had them to blame. It was my life and it was time to focus on my own life and create my own positive wholesome environment.
In my 30’s, due to some health issues I mentioned in my previous blog, I quit smoking, drinking and caffeine. I quit smoking for good, I probably returned to coffee/caffeine about six months later and I quit drinking for two years. I had a new focus on life. In hindsight, I don’t think I had a drinking problem back then but can admit to a few Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde moments. Again, the reason I quit was for health.
I started drinking wine and thought it great that I could have a glass or two with dinner, I could try different wines, become a connoisseur! But I realized at some point, once I had a glass, it seemed so refreshing that I wanted a second glass! I don’t want to say there was no “off” switch, I was always able to detect that I was getting to a certain point and I would be able to stop… but at the same time, I felt like I was not in control. That’s when I quit for 3 Months.
It was easy to quit, I felt like I was in control. On the other hand, we had a special occasion at the three month point, I had a glass of wine, I enjoyed it, it was refreshing and so I had another. As easy as I hit the switch to “Off”, I hit the “On” switch….
I don’t like the feeling like I am not in control!
A lifelong friend of mine recently posted her 4 Year Sobriety. I admire her courage and I hope that it will encourage others to not be afraid to quit. Another friend of mine is struggling and wants to quit. We are going to join forces and quit as our New Year Resolutions. 2016 is going to be a virtual unknown to me. As I mentioned in previous blogs, I am going to follow the Buddhist Precept of not taking intoxicants (Poisons..etc) This is a new concept to me and a strange new world but what do I really have to lose?
Happy New Year!