Failed attempts at quitting are ok

Failed attempts are ok. In fact, they are all part of the process. I have had loads.

Look at me here. This is me at my friend’s 40th and it was 4 years ago. Bearing in mind, I am 3 and a half years alcohol free.

We had this big, lovely house rented for the weekend. It was a cracker. So this was me in the midst of my “trying” to give up alcohol. Starting and stopping, but learning every time.

On this occasion I had decided I was not going to drink and I did not. Well, for a while. But then I changed my mind. I am not even sure why or what happened to make me have such a change of heart.

I suppose it does not matter now, but halfway through the night I
changed my mind and I started drinking. And then I started playing catch up and ended up really drunk.
Well, the next morning I was hungover, tired and ashamed of myself. Plus I was angry for having got so close. This time I was so close to achieving the goal. Before, on other nights out I had decided before I even went out that I was drinking. But this time I did manage to not drink for some of the time.

I was furious with myself. Raging for starting something and
not seeing it through to the end. Arrrgghhhh!!! I felt like a failure.

But then I realised, I had not failed. Instead I was actually a step closer to the main goal. I had not failed, I had got closer. One step closer. At least I had not drank the whole night. I did manage to stay sober for a bit.

See, when you are training for a marathon or start anything new, you do not run the distance on the first attempt, do you? No, you take it in stages. You start smaller and build up. You do a 5km, 10 km, half marathon and so on.

And that’s what I had been doing. I was cutting out and cutting down, always learning. And OK maybe I wasn’t at my main goal yet, but every
time I tried I was gaining a wee bit more strength and a bit more distance.

I knew that next time I now had a bench mark to improve upon and that one day, one day soon I would get there. I would manage one of these big social events fully alcohol free.

And, well here I am. I am alcohol free. I have managed Christmas, my sister’s hen weekend, weddings, concerts, the lot and now I know that all those failed attempts and nearmmisses have contributed along the way.

Each one counts. Do not discard your near misses, they are just your building blocks

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