I thought this would be a wonderful success from the beginning story. Like I’ve read in books and on other people’s websites. They just make the decision to stop, and that’s it. It’s final. Sure there’s temptation, but there’s no real wavering. If there’s a slip, it comes after some major upheaval and it’s a big and dramatic slip that signals the final goodbye to alcohol.

My story is much more mundane. It’s a story of everyday weakness and stress and exhaustion.

Hold on a minute! Let’s not try and dress this up in any kind of sympathetic language. I had drinks yesterday evening because at some point during the day I had told myself I could.

I’ve noticed that if I really remember that I don’t want to drink, then I won’t. When I do have a drink, it’s not a spur of the moment, pressure of life thing. I mean, the initial thought might have come from some feeling that life was feeling too much, or some event that I found overwhelming. But take yesterday for example; I made the decision on the drive down to my parents’ house that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I had a drink or two when I got down – I mean, I’d have the whole rest of the holiday to spend sober and alcohol-free, right?

What was absolutely NOT in my thought processes was did I really want the drink? Did I really want to be putting poisonous, expensive empty calories into my body.

Now, I didn’t have that “much” to drink by old standards. By old standards I would have called it two drinks, when it was really four. Two small glasses of wine (the equivalent of my old one) and two small bottles of beer – the equivalent of one pint. I was never drunkly-drunk, but I still have that mild hangover fuzziness this morning.

I certainly considered not coming onto this blog, not admitting it. Killing my first two posts, drinking more for a few more days and then coming back in a while to start all over again with a clean slate.

I need some way of keeping myself accountable. Jason Vale recommends not counting days, because when you’ve really stopped you just stop, right? When I stopped smoking, I did just stop, and though I did have a few slips, I didn’t count those as going back to smoking. So – this is not me going back to drinking. I am an ex-drinker now. There might be slips in my future, but I’m certainly not going to live my life expecting them or planning for them.

100% no to a drug that I don’t want in my life any more.

I’ve added a new tag for any posts that I write when I’ve come back from having had a slip – I don’t want to hide my head in the sand and if I find that I’m having a lot of “slips” then I’ll need to face the fact that I’ve not actually stopped drinking, but for the moment I plan to treat this much as I would when I stopped smoking.

I remember those mornings after I had had one or two cigarettes – or sometimes more at a “night out” or a wedding. And I would really feel it – I would really feel the horrible poisonous attack that had taken place in my body. The morning after drinking doesn’t have as strong and visceral a reminder as smoking did, but I still feel it. If I can keep my awareness present and centred here with myself, if I can fight my way through the fog of drug craving and habit and hangover, then I will stay reminded of what I actually, truly really want to do and achieve.

100% no to a drug that I don’t want in my life any more.