Why Make it a New Year’s Resolution? Quit Drinking Now
It’s December and with the last month of the year comes heightened anxiety about the impending new year. Expectations are high and everyone will be making resolutions and goals for 2018. The pressure can be daunting. What will you change? How will you improve? What’s that nagging thing you’ve been wanting to do differently for several years now? A popular move is to quit drinking on January 1 when your hangover is so nasty you can’t think straight. And while I approve of whatever it takes to get you to sobriety, why wait until the New Year?
I believe it’s in our human nature to put things off, to procrastinate, or to wait for the “perfect time.” But the truth is there is no perfect time, especially for something like sobriety. Getting sober isn’t something people normally want to do, or are excited about. It’s a difficult decision to make and it can be a hard road. Chances are if you’re already considering sobriety in December it’s something that you’ve been thinking about for a while. You might have even done some research about it – ways to get sober, treatment centers, different types of programs, dry January, or being sober forever. I challenge you to stop waiting and try it now, it could be the best decision you ever make.
How does waiting until the new year serve you better? Will you get one last drinking session in before you attempt to quit? Will your holiday parties feel more satisfactory? Will you hit one more happy hour or experience one more blackout session with your friends? I know it can be tempting to “go out with a bang,” but if you’re a seasoned drinker, chances are you’ve had tons of times like this. In fact, they might even seem repetitive now. We also trick ourselves a lot when we’re used to drinking. We play games with ourselves. When I was drinking I constantly tried to moderate my alcohol intake. I would tell myself I was only drinking clear liquor, or just beer, or no shots, or limited myself to 3 drinks instead of 10. Whatever I did, it never worked and I was miserable doing it. The restraint it put on my lifestyle was always too much. I wasn’t happy trying to moderate and most of the time I was unsuccessful.
When the time came for me and I got sober, I didn’t plan for it to be a new start. I didn’t plan for it begin on the first day of a new year. I didn’t plan it at all. The pain was too great, I felt like I was out of options and I was desperate enough to try something I never tried before. But there was never a timeline. There was never a perfect day or time. I never planned my last drink or my last hoorah. I wasn’t even sure that sobriety would stick, but I made one small decision to try.
Why get sober now instead of on January 1, 2018? Because your life begins now. Because you don’t want to lose one more day or one more second to drugs and alcohol. Because changing your life doesn’t need a timeline, it needs action and it needs it now. Another excuse I used for not changing my life sooner was that I felt like I wasn’t worth it. I felt like I didn’t deserve help, or sobriety, or a different life. I’m here to tell you that you are worth it. I was worth and I’m still worth it every day. You don’t have to suffer in silence and you don’t have to just deal with your alcohol and drug issues. Help is available, support is out there, and you are alone. So many of your brothers and sisters have been through exactly what you’ve been through. They’ve felt what you’re feeling now. They know your pain and they made it through to the other side.
Changing your life isn’t something you put on the calendar. Sobriety isn’t something you pencil in and say, “ok, on January 1, I will get sober.” Getting sober can be messy. If you have any fleeting thoughts in your brain about sobriety, I urge you to try answer their calls now. There’s no need to wait. Waiting is another game we play with ourselves. Make December your month. Make it the month you got sober. Make December your game changer, the day you put on the calendar each year and remember. The benefits for waiting until January just don’t make sense.
Use your 2018 resolutions for organization, for healing, for home renovation or purchasing, or planning a vacation. Do you know how wonderful it is to do these things sober? I’m not saying changing your life will be a piece of cake. It might take you a few tries. It might take you a little while to figure out which pathway is yours. That’s exactly what you need to start now. Begin today. Change your life, change your way, begin your resolution of sobriety now.
About the Author
Kelly Fitzgerald is a sober writer based in Southwest Florida who is best known for her personal blog The Adventures of a Sober Señorita. Her work has been published across the web including sites like The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Ravishly, SheKnows, Elite Daily, The Fix, Brit + Co, Addiction Unscripted and AfterPartyMagazine. She is currently writing a memoir.