July 5th: Ground Zero

Updated: Jun 29

Let's start at the beginning. Or, the end depending on the way that you look at it. Whichever perspective you choose, I want to talk about the day that I decided to give up alcohol. My diary entry on July 5th reads:

"Today is the day I stop drinking. I don't like who I've become. It's time to go back to bettering myself. Alcohol brings out the worst side of me and I hate it. I'm done. For good."

So, how did I get to this point? Obviously it had to be a multitude of things - like getting kicked out of bars for being too belligerent, high school friends joking I was always the drunkest in the room, and times where I showed up to a college class buzzed - but what was the turning point? I'm sure that there were plenty of times in my life that I had decided to moderate my drinking or take a break after benders or bad hangovers. But what was different this time?

I had hit a rock bottom. I had ultimately realized that alcohol was no longer serving me, and life would be better without it. After seven years of binge drinking, I was done. It had taken me a long time to come to this decision because I wasn't ready to make that change, until finally I took off the blindfold and saw reality for what it was. Alcohol was killing me, slowly. Physically, of course, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I'm sure you're wondering... what happened? What was your rock bottom? Not too fast... that part will come later. I'll eventually get around to talking about my "rock bottom moment" when I discuss how I made amends for my wrongdoings under the influence... but for now, I want to talk about the decision to quit.

Not everybody has to hit a rock bottom to quit drinking alcohol. Plenty of people quit before they even get to that point. On the same note, rock bottom looks different for everyone. For some, it might be a DUI and for others, it might be an outburst of anger directed towards a loved one. Nonetheless, if you decide to shout "NO MORE" to booze, something in your life has changed... and it's about to get a whole lot better.

In order to really give up alcohol, you have to truly believe that your life would be better without it. In my perspective, there has to be something pushing you not to drink. The costs of alcohol have to outweigh the benefits that it brings to your life. Because unfortunately, alcohol is everywhere, and you have to want to say no every time it's offered.

It takes bravery, courage and determination to quit drinking alcohol. In a society where people are uncomfortable if you're not drinking (which is more of a reflection of them not you, believe me), you have to stand tall. But don't let the peer pressure of society change your mind - you are strong enough to deny the poison that is offered. Making the decision to quit alcohol is the first step to a lifelong journey towards happiness, and there is so much beauty around the corner!

In my next post, I'll be talking more about the challenges I encountered during the first few weeks of quitting booze and how I overcame them. See you next time!

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