“I decided to stop, just like that.” Dr. Denise Chranowski
One day I said to my mentor and coach, “I want to be a better example to my sons and I know I’m setting a bad example with drinking.” My coach said that I should stop if I want to stop for me, not for my sons and then he said, “I know one day I’ll stop drinking. I’m just not sure when that day will be.”
It hit me square between the eyes. It seemed so crystal clear. The day for me had arrived, August 7, 2017. I stopped drinking all alcohol, my beloved chardonnay and sweet cosmos became a thing of the past. I knew in my heart that this was a permanent decision. I also wanted to cement the decision. I found two books on Amazon and downloaded them to my Kindle. I didn’t want this to be painful. I just wanted it to be permanent. I didn’t want to have to attend meetings. I didn’t want to make this a big deal. I just wanted to stop and stop that day. I read these books and then I reread them. Those books were The Easy Way for Women to Stop Drinking and This Naked Mind.
A little more background:
Since I began journaling over a decade ago, I’ve kept a list of goals. I’d write quarterly and annual goals. Always within the top 3 personal goals, there would appear, “drink less.” In addition to writing my goals, I write letters to myself in my journal. I write about things I want to remember, what’s going on in my life at that moment, great memories and achievements and then some moments where I question my behavior as well. I reread my journals and those letters to myself frequently. The theme was clearly there. Curb the habit, but the pleasure of drinking always won out.
Or so I thought. That fateful day in August of 2017, I finally decided that the cost/benefit of drinking alcohol was a losing game.
In no particular order, here are my top ten reasons for letting go of alcohol.
So no, I wasn’t at a point where alcohol was interfering with my life in serious negative ways. But was I supposed to wait for this? Simply look at all the societal messages about alcohol. They are everywhere! Social media, TV ads, pressure from friends to drink…. Take a look and you’ll be surprised. I was the happy partaker and poster child of these messages. How many more pictures did I need to post with a Cosmo in my hands or sipping a glass of wine?
Another interesting thing happened in my life that led to this final decision. During the spring and summer of 2017, before I gave up drinking, I had three female patients, all in their early 20’s, that were all in alcoholic anonymous. I wasn’t really familiar with AA, the meetings, the sponsor, the life-long commitments. It really blew me away. What I realized was that rather than be addicted to alcohol, these young woman were now addicted to their meetings. They were 100% convinced that they did not have the power on their own to stay free from alcohol (or drugs) and it was only the meetings that would keep them free. They were alcoholics even if they no longer drank. I loved these young women. And yet, I just couldn’t buy it. I believe, no I know, that I AM a child of the most high God. God did not design me, as his child, to need a meeting three times per week, to stay clear of something that was not good for me. God designed me to know. God gave me this amazing brain that could in fact choose differently. God gave me my spirit and soul to know alcohol was not going to let me fully experience life. If I could create a living, breathing human being inside my womb, than surely, surely I could create a life free from addiction. And that’s exactly what I plan on doing.
So that’s it, on to better things. Alcohol is gone. Thank you God. God no doubt brought me to this decision. He had only been trying to tell me for a decade. I finally listened.
About the author - Dr. Denise Chranowski releases a weekly video entitled, A Dose from Dr. Denise, where she shares a nugget of wisdom on her Facebook page also entitled A Dose from Dr. Denise.