Second to “why did you quit” is always “how did you quit“. Why, when I chose to quit drinking over a year ago, did it stick? Why was this time different than the last time or the time before or ALL the times before??!!
Well, I have a couple ideas on that. I think before it could finally click a few things had to happen first.
I needed to fail. I had to crash and burn a few times on the moderation train. I had to try moderation in several ways (only drink on weekends, only drink when we go out, only drink 2 drinks, etc.) and FAIL at all of them so I would not be able to have a few months under my belt and think all is good, because I did that once. I had two sober months and convinced myself one afternoon that if I was truly alcoholic I wouldn’t be able to stop at all, never mind two months!! That evening I drank a bottle of wine. I needed that experience, it wasn’t fun, but I needed it.
I needed a plan. By this point I had read several books, followed many blogs and started listening to a podcast that helped me beyond measure, The Bubble Hour (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bubblehour). The Bubble Hour concept is all about having a plan, more like a comfort plan, for the early days/weeks of sobriety. Picture in your mind a big virtual bubble that you go into with all of your favorite things to hide from the boozy world! My bubble included my favorite warm blanket, ice cream, sobriety books, mindless TV, sappy movies, peanut M&Ms, diet gingerale, fuzzy pajamas, etc. Even now, a year later, I find myself coming home from a stressful day and gathering all my bubble items! It is a little bit about learning how to be comfortable and content again without the numbing of wine. I am still so shocked at how happy I am with the simplest things now!
I needed support. My husband has been beyond supportive. He is my biggest fan and celebrates every sober milestone I achieve. I also have great support from my family and a few trusted friends. The support also serves as accountability. I don’t want to let myself down and I for sure don’t want to let them down. Telling a few people who I know love me, want the best for me and are committed to pray for me is life changing.
These are the three biggest impacts that helped me get sober and stay sober. I still need the memories of failure, the support of loved ones and the peace of structure and comfort to get me through every day. Looking back I can see that my God devised a way to bring me back to him. Every time I failed and got back up he gave me a new tool to use until it finally worked!
But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.
2 Samuel 14:14b