Dry July

It’s been a rollercoaster few weeks and I drank most days since Father’s Day. Bleh.

But, hubby has joined me for Dry July (well, at least for the two first weeks), and I feel massively encouraged by that.

He and I had chatted a few weeks back about my drinking. He’s not terribly observant and I’m pretty sneaky (as I think all heavy drinkers are!), so he doesn’t know how bad my dirty little problem was getting. He actually said at the time that he doesn’t see a problem with me cutting back but thinks that maybe giving it up completely is too much. Again – if he knew how much I actually consumed, I have no doubt he’d be singing a different tune.

In any case, he’s dry with me for a couple weeks which is fun! I plan to do the whole month. I feel like if I can get a month under my belt then I’ll have gathered momentum to hopefully push me onward. Up until now the longest I’d gone in a long time was ten days but usually it’s 2-3 days at a time before I throw in the towel and bring all momentum to a crashing halt.

I was listening to a sober podcast today where the guest (Ronnie Stevenson) told a story about a person who wants to get sober and asks a sober guru for help. They agree to meet at a beach the next day, at which point they walk into the water. The guru then pushes the person under the water and holds them there, struggling, until they almost drown.

Finally, the person is released and comes up choking and sputtering, and obviously furious. The person demands to know why the guru did that, and the guru responds something like, “as soon as you want sobriety as much as you wanted breath when you were underwater, then it will be yours.”

My question to myself: do I want sobriety as much as I want to breathe?

Honestly, I waffle so much. I want to want sobriety. But I also really enjoy the blissful sedation in those first heady hours when the buzz settles in. I really do not enjoy the ensuing hangover, impatience, thirst, poor sleep, shame, irritability, anxiety, etc.

I wonder when I will pass over the secret, hidden line where I value the joys of sobriety more than the sedation of a good buzz, enough to take seriously the side effects of drinking. Everyone you hear from who’s long-term sober (we’re talking 6 months plus) says it’s amazing, incredible, joyful, and I have no reason to doubt that. And yet – for some reason I doubt them otherwise, why would I keep drinking?

As usual, I have no tidy conclusions for this line of thinking.

All I know is that today, I have pledged for the health and happiness of myself and my family, not to drink. It’s going to be a good evening. I love clocking sober days!

11 thoughts on “Dry July

  1. Our thinking patterns are very much alike. Jim above said it exactly – I have been trying to moderate for years because I want to have my cake and eat it too. I want to drink without the unpleasant side effects. But I have realized that at this point the negative effects are far outweighing the positive. And I too have read all the accounts of how great it feels after 6+ months. I hate how much I think about it, how much time I spend waffling over whether or not to drink, how much time I spend hungover and beating myself up. Hubs and I tried doing a month sober twice and failed twice – it is too short a time period, we realized, you white knuckle through, you don’t actually achieve a behavior change. That’s why we are committed to 9 months and after that we will see….


  2. Interesting post and the bottom line is that this sobriety thing is such an individual thing. Once you really know it’s right for you, you’ll commit. For me I was trying to moderate for a couple of years because I LOVED MY DRINK, the heady feeling you talked about, the rituals etc, but I knew even when moderating (and I was never your down and out drunken loser) I was thinking about booze all the time. Planning trips around it, dreading times when maybe I was driving and wouldn’t be able to drink. It was dominating my life, the hangovers lasted days and I decided; enough is enough. I wanted my cake and eat it, but that is the mark of a child. It was time for me to make an adult decision. Do I still miss drink now and then? Sure. But the benefits far outweigh the occasional pang. I always likened booze to a relationship that had become toxic; that crazy lover you had, mad days together but it was now bringing you down with the excess and wasted emotions. Do your weighing up and see what conclusions emerge.
    Jim x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting that you refer to an “adult decision”. I heard recently that for addicts, we stop emotionally maturing at the age when our addiction sets in. I suppose that means that although I’m 37, I have the emotional maturity of a woman in her late 20’s. That’s not how I want to live! Thanks for sharing your experience, it’s so good to hear what pushes people headlong into sobriety after being on the fence for a while!


  3. “I wonder when I will pass over the secret, hidden line where I value the joys of sobriety more than the sedation of a good buzz, enough to take seriously the side effects of drinking.”

    For me, there just came a time the effect of alcohol was not working. I was done wallowing in my pain and misery. I was willing to do anything for a sober life. But, as you know, I still drank ten years later. Why? I will always be an alcoholic – that is just who I am. Today I have a choice to drink or not to drink. I choose not to drink because once I do, I can’t stop and from my own experience, things will be worse really quickly as if I never stopped drinking. We talk about fear in sobriety a lot – that is what made me drink most of the time. Fear is what keeps me sober. The fear if I take just one drink today, my life will plummet out of control or worse I would be dead. Do I want that today? No. What am I willing to do today to make that happen? Talk to people like you who are struggling. Doing this thing alone, for me, didn’t work. But when I get sober friends in my life (some say, ‘you have to cut the fat from your life’) and work together to stay sober, there is just something powerful working together among real friends.

    Relax – today your not drinking. Wake up tomorrow and make that same commitment. Suddenly you wake up one day and it’s 7, 14, 30, 60, 90 days, 6 months, 9 months and BOOM – a year sober. How did that happen? Me? Sober for 365 days? Anything is possible. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mikey – you’re always so encouraging! I’m not willing to go to AA in my small town but I gotta admit I would love some real life sober friends too. This community is so wonderful though! Everyone just wants to see everyone else get another day under their belt!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Physical meetings are not for everyone. However, there is only so much you can get online. Talking to someone face to face is something entirely different. They help you to be accountable and responsible. We have a saying, “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.” Trust me, people have tried and it just doesn’t work when you’re face to face. But I’m not here to push you either 🙂 There is a strong online recovery community. I have both physical and online recovery friends; both worlds work for me.

        Liked by 1 person

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