Six months ago, I woke up with that very familiar sinking feeling, and I decided I never wanted to feel that way again. So I quit drinking. Here are a few things I’ve learned.

1. My first thought is still, “I should celebrate 6 months of sobriety with a bottle of prosecco!”

Which brings us to #2…

2. My best thinking has gotten me in a lot of trouble. And it still wants to.

3. When I was drinking, I was playing defense. Always trying to combat the inevitable emotional and physical fallouts that happened. Working out to sweat out a hangover. Taking xanax to help with my anxiety. Apologizing. Distracting myself. Buffering with more alcohol. 

It was exhausting, and I’m so grateful I don’t need to do that anymore. Now, I play offense instead of defense. Choosing to abstain is a simple (but not easy) strategy that puts me in the drivers seat of my life.

4. Fear takes on many forms. Loneliness is a state of mind. If I’m feeling scared or lonely I need to help someone else. 

5. Sticking and staying is my plan. But everyone has a great plan until they get punched in the mouth. I’m antsy. I like distractions that take me off plan. I’ll even punch myself in the mouth if I have to. Drinking a bottle of prosecco today would be an example of punching myself in the mouth. Today, I’m not going to harm myself. I’m going to stick and stay. That’s the plan. 

6. The longer I’m sober, the less I know. I’m in the midst of an intense unraveling. My old ideas are falling away and they haven’t been fully replaced with new ones yet. I feel emotionally naked. But I’m safe and the worst that can happen is a feeling. If I want to make progress I need to be patient and stay in it. I have faith it will be worth it.

“Everyone has a great plan until they get punched in the mouth.” -Anonymous, by way of Tori