Inspired by a post at one of my regular readers – Un-Tipsy Teacher. Thank you…
At times I’m asked my advice for people who are new to sobriety. My only pearl of wisdom is “Don’t give up giving up”. I nearly did. I spent just over a year in a mess stopping, starting, controlling, changing, binging, drinking, etc. I moved from a daily top-up drinker to a binge drinker. As that year or so progressed the binges got longer the pretence of controlling got less and the periods between them got shorter. Also the symptoms were getting worse. I was losing a lot of weight, I was becoming massively unreliable and in the recovery periods withdrawals were becoming a worry. So a few short weeks before my last drink I remember consciously deciding that I had to stop trying to give up. The effects of these repeated attempts seemed worse than the drinking every day to excess which I was trying to avoid.
Luckily there was one last attempt, one last roll of the dice. So despite my decision I actually didn’t give up giving up and the fact I’m here today sober writing this is testament to that. So if you are in a cycle of give up, control, stop, start etc. “Don’t give up giving up” the next time you stop may be the time that sticks.
Also though this has continued into and throughout my recovery. I’m not someone who simply chose not to drink because of some trivial matter. This was major for me, drink and how it acted on my control so much of my life that stopping drinking was massive. So I can’t then just casually look over my shoulder and say “Oh yes I used to… “. I have to remember why I stopped, how bad it was, how bad it luckily hadn’t yet got and stay steadfast to the point that I have lost the privilege of drinking alcohol. I simply can’t drink it any more. So again I “Don’t give up giving up” – I continue to give up every day and hopefully today I’ll succeed again and tomorrow and the next day with any luck… as long as I remember to “Don’t give up giving up”.