Checking in Along the Way

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In just 18 days, I will hit the half-way point in my dry year. This is a good time to take stock in where life has taken me since December 1st–what has changed, what hasn’t changed and what are the questions still unanswered. I decided to interview myself for the purposes of this entry. When being interviewed, a person will often discover something about themselves that they may not have recognized previously. This format could be useful at this point in the process.

Question: What was the process in deciding to do this project?

The decision to give up drinking for a while was a cumulative process. I had been thinking about how much I’d like to cut back and the fact that I thought that I was drinking too frequently and too much. I was starting to notice that a glass of wine or a vodka martini no longer had the same intoxicating effect that it once held. I didn’t feel good about this, and I was starting to wonder if I “had a problem.” The process of deciding to stop completely for one year was very spontaneous. I was literally in the shower when I had the idea that I could do this if I had a creative outlet and a system that would hold me accountable.

Question: Had you tried to give up drinking before? 

Yes, I have given up drinking for shorter periods of time before because of physical ailments–mostly digestive in nature. Whenever I started drinking again, there was always a period of less drinking and then a slip back into habit of daily drinking. With this longer term goal, of giving up alcohol for 365 days, I hope to gain more insight into my habit and the advantages and pitfalls of drinking.

Question: What was your biggest fear about this experiment?

My biggest fear was that I would stop being asked to parties and that people would feel self-conscious being around me. I never want people to feel like I am judging them. I just want to be OK with myself and know that I have control of my actions. This has nothing to do with what other people are doing. It is deeply personal and I just don’t want my friends and family to ever feel bad about drinking in front of me.

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