monkey off my back

One guy's experiences as he quits drinking

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Out with the old, in with the new.

I feel like I’m back to normal (sober normal not drunk normal).

It took a few false starts but I eventually got back on the wagon and it’s been nearly 6 weeks now. In some ways it was easier than my first non-drinking period and in others it was harder.

From my first experience I had the confidence that I could stop drinking and I emotionally knew it could be done. I also knew what to expect, the benefits, strategies, people were used to me not drinking etc… And in other ways it was harder – I ‘knew’ I could do it so why not start tomorrow, next week or next month – just one more time! It was hard to stick to my guns when I had a little voice saying “mañana, mañana, mañana!”. Apparently it’s a Spanish alter-ego?

My emotions were different this time. My first sober period was triggered by feeling really miserable and without hope – but this time it was a feeling of deep exhaustion. I was so tired and fed-up with the drinking yoyo. Not sad or hopeless – just really ‘over it’, bored and frustrated.

The final straw which broke the thirsty camel’s back was the misery of having to do my first 2.5 hour marathon training run with a hang-over. I am committed to doing my first marathon in July and with my training distances really ramping up I had to make a choice – keep drinking or do the marathon?

So I made a choice and the past 5 1/2 weeks have been great.

I’ve been reminded about something which I found helpful in my first sober period – it’s embrace something new than it is to quit something old. In my case – I’ve thrown myself into marathon training rather than ‘quitting drinking’.

That’s probably just replacing one thing with another but meh! Care factor? Wanting to achieve a marathon is more inspiring than monotonous daily drinking cycle: hangover, exhaustion, vague recovery, overwhelming compulsion, sneaky planning, copious drinking, sleeping and repeat