Maximising my chances of success at abstaining
Oh God it’s really going to happen. At the risk of demonstrating a huge amount of hubris, I have stated my intention on this blog that I will stop drinking alcohol in 4 days time. The thought has crossed my mind that maybe all I am doing via this blog is setting myself up for the most almighty fall. If that happens some may say,”well what did he expect, going on about giving up before he had even bloody started.” Others may think, “shit, that poor bloke, he’s building this thing up and he’s going to be emotionally and intellectually scarred when he inevitably fails.”
Those who are fans of Shadenfreude (the best German word ever and something I experience every time Manchester United lose a game) will say,”ha, ha, that’s so funny, prattling on about abstaining, sounding all high and mighty and he’s blown it after just 6 days, I must post that on Twitter, just brilliant.”
So, yeh I’m aware of the potential pitfalls but I am also someone who plans ahead and I have some good reasons to feel optimistic:
Reasons to be cheerful part 3:
- My rough and ready research tells me that when dependent drinkers try to give up, approximately 20% succeed. Another 18% manage to reduce their drinking to safe levels. I’ll take a one in 5 chance anyday.
- I have managed 3 months earlier this year plus I have managed 2 dry Januarys. I know this is completely different to fully giving up but it is still an indicator that it can be done.
- I want this! I know that change is difficult but I really want this. For change to truly come about you have to have maximum motivation and I have that. Four main drivers of my motivation: for my health, to avoid the grim logic of where dependence usually leads, my desire to do more with my life and to hopefully set a good example to my sons.
- Planning, planning, planning. Real change usually needs careful planning; thinking ahead, goal setting, preparing for most eventualities. I have done lots of that and will share some of my ideas in the next post.
- Evidence. Ah this is where this wonderful blogging community comes in. So many people have shared their stories of moving towards or achieving sobriety. I guess sobriety is never fully achieved as there’s always a danger of relapse but many people who blog have been sober for 3,4,10,20+ years. Evidence that people can overcome the inevitable difficulties and find a more satisfying way of being. In other words it can be done and the results are worth the struggle and commitment.
- Support. Support is vital. I have chosen not to share this with family or friends (bar 1) but I know there is a lot of support in this blogging community. I started this blog before giving up alcohol because I wanted to see if that support was there. It is. Generous, open, honest and constructive support. Invaluable.
- In a nutshell: I want this sobriety, I have the desire and motivation to make it happen, it is realistic and feasible and I have plans and strategies to help me succeed. In addition I now have a network of bloggers from whom I can gain inspiration and support.
Sunday 1st is nearly upon me. I feel strangely like an inmate on death row. The orders have been taken. Saturday will be my last alcohol based meal. I will eat my favourite dishes and I will choose a fantastically expensive bottle of wine. I will savour that wine and drink it with gratitude and nostalgia, no bitterness or acrimony. Then I will bid my farewell. One life will have come to an end. My life with alcohol will have had a fitting finale, a funeral of sorts. There may even be tears. But this is not death row. It has been a different kind of prison that I have been in and on Sunday I will head from my cell not to face death but to confront life. I hope the sun will be shining.
Oh I do like a dramatic end to a blog post.