I Choose

When I stopped drinking alcohol I acknowledge that I spent a few weeks, if not months, in recovery. By this I mean that I invested a fair bit of energy in dealing with a newly discovered concept – emotions. Previously, I had poured vast amounts of Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay down my throat whenever I split up with a boyfriend, was not successful in a job interview/promotion, got rained on, received a large and unexpected bill, graduated, had a birthday, received some surprising and happy news, and so on…basically, I was not accustomed to listening to my feelings and subsequently I was not familiar with acting upon them in a positive and helpful way.

It wasn’t particularly pleasant at times, all that ‘getting to know myself’ stuff, and there were many occasions when I felt like throwing the towel in, marching up the road to my local and getting stuck into a nice bottle of their finest dry white and a packet of 20 Marlboro Lights. But I didn’t.

A little voice inside, quiet but impossible to ignore, told me that if I gave in now I would be undoing all of my good work and propelling myself back to square one, where I would have to begin the whole sorry business of ‘recovery’ once again. And so I persevered.

After several months I stopped experiencing any negative thoughts about living alcohol-free and instead, adopted a thoroughly different mind-set; one which made me see that I am, in fact, a chooser – and being someone who has the freedom to choose a lifestyle that is so positive and good for the soul is an empowering and wonderful thing. At that point, I ceased to regard myself as being ‘in recovery’ and realised that I was RECOVERED and could now get on with the business of living.

wine

I will always be a person who cannot simply have ‘one for the road’ or ‘a sneaky tea-time pint’ – for me alcohol was, and forever will be, an all-or-nothing substance. But I most certainly do not consider that this makes me an alcoholic forever, or in recovery forever – not at all. I made a choice to stop drinking, and I continue to practice that choice every day because I am A CHOOSER. This is what I choose;

I choose to wake up energised and with no regrets every morning.

I choose to be the best parent I can be without ever jeopardising my children’s safety or emotional security.

I choose to invest all my time and energy into worthwhile people, projects and activities.

I choose to maintain a good level of health and physical fitness, thus optimising my chances of not dying prematurely of cancer, liver failure or heart disease.

I choose to spend my money on things that I need and which add value to my life or to that of my family’s.

I choose to not poison my body with toxins that depress my central nervous system, making me anxious and prone to dark moods.

I choose to not spend hours of each week agonising over whether or not I can have a drink of alcohol or not.

I choose to get to know myself, free of any external and false influences – I give myself the chance to be me.

I choose not to ingest mind-altering substances that make me say or do things that I will regret and which will fill me with shame and self-hatred.

I choose to give myself the best possible chance at happiness.

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6 thoughts on “I Choose

  1. Dee says:

    I think this sums it up for me. At nearly a year sober I know it’s a choice now, pure and simple. And I choose sobriety today. If I could give anyone advice it would be to give yourself time and learn to live. The negative thoughts and resentments do go, I never thought they would but they do! And it feels so much better!

  2. Hi thanks for leaving this comment – wise words for others reading this! I totally agree; for a long while I did feel a lot of negativity but now I am just truly grateful that I saw the light. I’m so pleased that you did too, and all the best for the future xx

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