If it was as easy as just not drinking anymore, then we would only ever need one attempt at it.
I had a number of failed attempts.
Not loads. I thought about “giving up” drinking, constantly.
I had notebooks full of drunken crap I would write myself, about how I would like to stop drinking.
But I never invested heavily in any action, because my self-belief was so poor, I thought I would fail at anything I tried to do.
Nearly 12 years on. This is what I now understand.
To become a non-drinker. We have to believe we deserve a non-drinker’s life.
We have to believe we are worthy of all the nice things other girls have.
To know we are capable of living the lives they live.
There’s no difference between us and those other girls.
And you know the one’s I’m talking about.
The women who let a glass of wine go untouched on the bar table in front of them.
Who look happy. And perfectly turned-out.
Who have relationships with men who adore them.
Who laugh all the time.
Who have hobbies and interests that mean they barely have time to sit in a bar.
The women who make having a night in look more glamorous and fun, than anything else we’ve done all year.
The girls whose lives just seem to work. Effortlessly. Constantly.
Who are showered with love and adoration.
These creatures were so mysterious to me, in my drinking days, that I may as well have been an alien from a different planet to them.
I would never have dared compare myself to one of them.
I didn’t deserve to share the same air as them.
There’s no way I could have tried to be like them.
I wouldn’t have known where to start.
They had no struggle like mine. They didn’t need to learn how to be a sober girl.
Alcohol played such a tiny role in their picture-perfect lives.
How sad that I didn’t realise there was barely any difference between their own lives, and mine.
What a waste, to discover, years down the line, that if I had believed in myself.
Concentrated on myself.
I would have morphed into one of those girls. Effortlessly.
Because those girls. Those ones with lovely lives. Totally indifferent to alcohol. Filled with fun and excitement and positivity.
They are the only women I surround myself with, these days.
Because that’s what I deserve.
They are what life is supposed to be about. I get that now.
When I was drunk and hated myself and my existence.
I thought people would like me more, if I put myself down.
Or had less nice things than them.
If I wore my self-hatred like a badge of honour.
What a weird thing to think.
That’s not how to be liked.
But, more more importantly:
No one can get sober from that frame of mind.
So, how do we become a sober girl?
First and foremost: we fill our lives and thoughts with nice things.
We go to the nice places.
We say and think the nice words.
About ourselves, and about others.
We leave the crap, bargain-basement mentality, in the seedy bar, and we walk into The light with our heads held high.
We force ourselves to experience beautiful things.
We say nice things to ourselves.
Until we are so saturated in love and beauty.
That our actions reflect this love.
Because when we become love. It’s very hard to sabotage ourselves.
It’s almost impossible to put up with shoddy experiences, like drinking abusively.
And it’s far, far easier, to become a sober girl.