Fear and worry kept me drinking long after I had the first inkling that I needed to quit. I worried about what I was doing to my health, long-term. I worried about how it would change my life if I quit. I worried about socializing without alcohol. I worried about how it would change my relationship with my husband if I didn’t drink any more. And when I drank, I could blot out those fears for a while. But back to the health issue, I was terrified that someday I’d end up with cirrhosis or pancreatitis or liver or throat or stomach cancer from alcohol use and that my husband would be so, SO upset with me. We’ve worked so hard for so many years and are anticipating a long, happy, healthy retirement together. How could I so carelessly flirt with disaster? I used to wish that some external force would intervene and make the decision to stop for me, but finally realized that I didn’t want to wait around for that to happen.
Ultimately, fear did play a role in my decision to quit – but it was the fear of regret. Regret for fuzzing the edges of my wonderful life and opting out of fully experiencing and enjoying the fruits of 55 years of hard, hard work. Who knows how much time any of us has left? I refused to spend one more day – one more minute! – waking up in the morning with regret and self-recrimination.
After 89 days, I have to say that my overall anxiety/fear/worry has decreased by about 95%. Now it’s limited to normal day-to-day stressors, most of which I have little to no control over. Getting rid of the biggest stressor in my life – booze – has made a huge, HUGE difference for the better.
If I’d known how good I could feel, I would have done this years ago.