I drank my last drink on 14 May 2004 it was just before 7pm that evening. For a long time in early sobriety I kept a daily gratitude list at the top of each day’s entry I wrote “Haven’t had a drink today”. I cannot say I hadn’t wanted a drink. Those first few months it was in my head constantly it was a silent inner battle I fought. One day, 9 Feb 2005, I wrote “Haven’t had a drink today” I continued to write my list. Then it hit me … I went back to the top and wrote “I haven’t WANTED a drink today”.
I hear many sober people say they put the last drink down and they never had a desire to drink again. Not so for myself. But for a long time I said that the compulsion to drink didn’t leave me. Not too long ago someone heard me share that then they spoke to me. They pointed out “compulsion” would mean I HAD to drink with no alternative. Given I didn’t drink in those 9 months I was obsessed but not compelled. A good observation.
Somehow even if through just stubborn pride and a decent dose of fear I stayed sober. I was a member of AA since I had a desire to stop drinking (the only requirement for membership). That desire was clearly greater than my obsession and therefore the compulsion I had endured for years was abated.
This complicated issue for me i.e. Not drinking has that simple equation at its root. Keep my desire not to drink greater than my obsession and I’ll not be compelled to pick up again. So it goes on the “trudge to happy destiny”.