A few days ago marked my first month anniversary of being alcohol free. Honestly, I had forgotten about it until I was reminded during therapy. I suppose you might think that it's not all that important to me, but that's far from the truth. It's been a really challenging month abstaining from alcohol.
Sometimes I feel like the world fails to prepare people for the occasions when they're unable to do their best or fit in with the rest of society. In my own special way, I've become a professional at this but every now and then I get a curve ball. What I didn't know about drinking alcohol, or I should say not drinking, is that alcohol is prolific in our society and it's only really a problem when you no longer want to drink it. Failure means failing yourself.
Even in my own little world, I didn't come to realize how often me and my friends drink and how regular a thing it is for us to do until I sobered up. There's all these complicated feelings of peer pressure associated with it. Come on, it's one drink it won't hurt you, I've caught myself saying, What will you do for New Year's Eve? How will you bring in the New Year? Whatever I choose to do for New Year's Eve, I know I won't be drinking with my friends. It's a difficult thought to consider even without a major addiction pushing me towards drink.
While I say that I'm not addicted, it's hard to be sure. I don't feel addicted, but I've gone this long in life without questioning my relationship with alcohol. Only once that relationship changed did I start questioning whether or not drinking was right for me. Mostly, I worry about slipping up. I worry that any progress I make now could disappear in the blink of an eye, and that I'd have only myself to blame for the mistake. I worry that I'm going to hurt myself again.
Fortunately, as common as alcoholism seems to be, there are plenty of sober individuals I can learn from. There's a bunch of useful information on the Internet too. I found this really great article about your telling friends you're sober. It was really helpful in identifying some of the emotions behind my thoughts. To that end, this Thanksgiving I will thank those individuals who came before me. Who were and still are able to keep the promises they've made to themselves. I hope I can do the same.