I was listening to an episode of Happier and Gretchen Rubin quoted 18th century essayist Samuel Johnson, “When someone asked Johnson to have a little wine, Dr. Johnson said “No, abstinence is as easy for me as temperance would be difficult.””
From there the discussion shifted to determining if you’re an abstainer or a moderator and I began thinking about which one I am. Abstinence is difficult for me because I already struggle mentally with all or nothing thinking. If I fear I’ll never have something again I’m pretty quick to overly consume.
I’d like to be a moderator, but then there are times when I feel like I cannot moderate. For example instead of eating a few cookies I eat the whole container or instead of having a few drinks with friends I get overly intoxicated and end up sick.
In all honesty I drafted this post over a month ago, but I wasn’t ready to face the inevitable ending. I need to quit drinking alcohol. Period.
Aside from my inability to properly moderate, I’ve found in the mental health community that quitting drinking gives medications and therapy a chance to truly work.
I want to put my health first. I want to be better. Today is the day that I quit drinking, because there’s never going to be a right time for it.
I’m cleaning out any alcohol in my home. I’m conjuring all of the awful memories I have about embarrassing moments or sickness following overindulgence to turn to in moments of weakness. I’m asking my friends to support my decision and understand if I stay away from social settings involving drinking until I feel more confident in my sobriety. I don’t plan to attend Alcoholics Anonymous at this time, but I am aware and appreciative of how beneficial it can be.
For now, I’m holding onto my father’s 30 year sobriety chip and reminding myself to take it one day at a time.