Finally Ready

Day One

30 years and 10 days old.  Sitting on the couch with Jen – I’ve made the decision to stop drinking alcohol. This has been something I’ve said I wanted to do, should do, and even have tried to do.  However, I put a limit on it.  I did it “until” something.  The last time being when I was waiting to find out if I was accepted to nursing school.  I was sober for approximately 10 weeks straight.  I remember feeling clear minded, more in control. If i was accepted though, I’d obviously celebrate with wine.  I was accepted, and I drank the wine…and then more.  I started school – which was a 1 year accelerated bachelors in nursing program, it was rough.  I am not sure how I created “free time”, but when I did, it was spent planning another outing. Most likely a party, or to a bar.  I’d study with wine or beer sometimes, even. I guess you could say I thought it was just “something you did”.  Being an adult = being able to choose when I can drink.

Rewind my life several years.  In high school, I think I got drunk one time.  I didn’t like it. My goal then was not to be a rebel and party.  I struggled elsewhere.  I battled with the feelings of not being accepted or fitting in.  I came out at a young age as “bisexual”.  I still did not quite understand the internal turmoil of what was right or wrong – or what was real, and what wasn’t.  From as early as I can remember, caring about what another person thought about me – who I was, how I behaved, what I was doing in every day life – completely drove my day-to-day actions for the most part.  I still to this day compete with the better part of my brain that their opinion DOES NOT MATTER. But how do you just stop caring, or more-so, worrying?

Some days, the thoughts of not being good enough, or people not liking me for me just completely consumes my brain.  My thoughts often lean toward craving validation from others.  That I am a good person, or nurse, or partner. Isn’t it human nature to need that support?  However, having just entered a new decade in my life, I am striving for something new.  I am surrounding myself with the awareness that I, in fact, am enough. I will not tolerate belittling who I am for the sake of others.  I am attempting to be more in tune with being present, listening to others – instead of selfishly bombarding my brain with what they are thinking about me.  I’m just going to be me. Period.

         Let me introduce Carol so then it is clear as to why she is retiring. She is a tired, insecure, verbally assaulting antagonist who comes creeping out when I have alcohol in my system.  She can squeak through with a mere “buzz” when provoked, or she can stay latent until I’ve reached a point of no return – AKA: blackout.  That’s right. She’s my alter ego.  The name Carol was started as kind of a joke between my sister and brother in-law…until it wasn’t very funny anymore.  With my underlying emotional/mental health quandary – Carol comes out with a vengeance – to defend only God knows what usually.  She’s unfair, unruly, and blatantly just mean.  Don’t be fooled, she does not always make an appearance.  Sometimes when I drink I am happy go lucky, excitable…and that is an issue in itself.  Because when that happens, it causes me to push the envelope.  It makes me feel like I’ve found my “good drunk” side.  However – I know I will truly never have a side such as that.  You never know when Carol will unfurl – and when she does, she isn’t ever sorry – I am.

So this is where I draw the line.  Who is better in control of our own actions that ourselves?  No one. Sure, I’ll probably always like the taste of a good beer or wine.  But is it worth the uncertainty?  If it may put my well-being and happiness on the line?  No. It isn’t.  I love my life. I have an amazing fiance, dog, friends and family.  In fact, some have said before that they prefer who I am while sober.  I am now at the point and the realization that I, myself, prefer me 100% sober.  I am confident in that. I want that.  It is going to be a road of learning how to maintain friendships with some of the people whom I normally spend time where alcohol is the main ingredient between us.  If it is “friends” like that who I’ll lose, then that’s OK.  Gratefully, the closest friends I already have and my family, I know will support my decision.  They will encourage me, and pick me up when I am down.  I will keep building those relationships. I have a positive feeling that this will also keep my [less than] year left of planning our wedding the most truly felt and real experience.  I cannot wait to marry Jen and create a forever life with her.  I am extremely lucky for her eyes that see my potential, and for her ears that hear even the quietest messages of what I really need in my life. Which is the here and now, It is becoming sober.

This is Day One.  Welcome to the adventure.  It is going to be full of discovery, clarity, and love.

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28 thoughts on “Finally Ready

  1. Carey, what a beautiful and brave post. You seem to have all the pieces in place to finally do this! I know you can, and you are so right — there’s a lot of support out here in the blogosphere.

    A little over a year ago, I did exactly what you just did — I started a blog, hoping for accountability and support. It freakin’ worked! Can you believe it? I am still amazed that of all the things I tried, blogging worked for me. I think it might work for you too.

    By the way, I had an alter ego as well. She was a lot like a drunk toddler. Hee hee. And I also had the support of a loving partner.

    You got this!

    💕 Shawna

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congrats on your decision and your day 1. 🙂 Cool.
    As with any person who quits drinking you will find there are quite some traps ahead but in essence it is simple: the only thing you have to do right now is to not drink. This goes best when you take babysteps.
    By the way “Kick the drink easily’ by Jason Vale is a good book which mentions all the traps our internal Carol can set up. It helped me a lot. 🙂
    xx, Feeling

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Welcome.
    I liked the Allen Carr book instead of jason vale, but they are the same.
    My personal bible is Brene Browns the gifts of imperfection. It sounds like you already see the approval seeking and fear we all have. That’s amazing.

    The feeling like I didn’t fit in and couldn’t quite find my spot in the world is familiar. It’s actually why I encourage people to go to aa. You will hear those similar feelings from the most unlikely characters. It helps m rlaoze we really are all the same.
    Welcome, you are choosing limitless possibility and clarity! Woo hoo!

    Anne

    Liked by 4 people

  4. A hearty hello and welcome, Carol! I hope you find the blogosphere full of helpful, kind, caring people.

    The decision to stop drinking (although I came to mine a little more reluctantly, and well, forcefully) is the single most important decision I’ve ever made. It is the decision that has built a brand new life all around me.

    It takes so much courage to make that decision. And I’m glad you did. And I’m glad you’re sharing it for others to see. Count me in as a follower!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. That really means a lot to me!! I’ll also be following along with you. A little correction, however – my name isn’t Carol, it’s Carey! Haha Carol is the name I was given for my angry alter ego when I was drinking….so she is no longer! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wendy Kay

    I have watched you grow into this amazingly strong women over the last 11 years. You inspire me, you Give me strength, you just make me so darn proud of your growth as a daughter, sister, friend, and now fiancé. Never doubt your abilities as they are endless. You’ve got this and you’ve got me today, tomorrow and always. Thank you for all you do. One day at a time. Much love and respect, Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carey, Welcome to the world of sobriety!! I have 23 yrs in this world, and its SO much better than my old world!!
    You can do it! I’ll be rooting for you!!
    Buh bye Carol!! Good riddance!!
    Thanks for following me! I hope you get encouragement from my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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