I have really bad anxiety. The kind of anxiety that doesn't let your mind stop running, no matter how tired you are or how many times you've thought about something.
When I went through my first breakup, and another dose of friendship drama that happened at the same time, I couldn't sleep. I was going over everything that happened over, and over, and over, until I decided I needed something to stop all the overthinking.
I turned to alcohol to help me sleep, and it helped.
Alcohol became something I felt like I needed in order to be able to sleep. I was drinking several glasses of wine every night, just to be able to slow my mind down enough that I could sleep.
Alcohol started to cost me friendships, because what I didn't feel comfortable confronting people about sober became easy to confront them about when I was drunk.
I was constantly tired. I was spending so much money on alcohol. I was drinking more than I knew I should. I felt like it was the only way I could sleep or get my mind to stop racing.
Even though I didn't want to, I knew I had to stop, or at least cut back.
So, I did. I cut back. I had one glass of wine or two bottles of beer a night most nights for about two weeks. I thought I was doing fine.
Then, one glass of wine turned into two, and two into three, and I ended up drinking an entire bottle of wine.
I realized I didn't feel like I could survive without alcohol, no matter how many times I told myself I could. That was why I kept needing to have that glass or those bottles.
30 days ago, the day after I'd mistakenly downed a whole bottle of Oak Leaf Sweet Red, I decided I would not drink for a week.
I went the whole week, then I wanted to see if I could go to 10 days.
I got to 10 days, and thought I should try two weeks.
By day 14, I realized I could do the whole sobriety thing for a month.
I needed to prove to myself that I could be OK without drinking. So, here I am, 30 days sober, drinking some strawberry lemonade after my day of class and work.
I realized half of what I liked about wine and beer was just drinking something other than water when I got home, so I started to buy juices and sodas to fill that void.
30 days later and I have a bottle of wine in my fridge for tomorrow night, because I have shown that I can be OK without alcohol.
If I need to, I can go another 30 days without it. If I need to, I can stop drinking altogether.
This was about proving my ability to be sober, not my need to be.