It requires patience. I am not a patient person, and I find I just want to get to a point where I don’t have to think about this stuff anymore. I’ve felt like that since the first month, and would not have made it this far if I hadn’t kept thinking about it, working at it, and making necessary adjustments. I understand that. But I’m still tired of having to think about it!
It feels artificial. This is an obvious one: I probably would not have abused alcohol so badly if moderation felt natural. The silver lining here is that sometimes there are elements of moderation that are starting to feel normal to me. Abstaining on an ordinary evening, for instance. Ordering a single beer with a spicy meal, and letting it be enough.
It makes me self-conscious. When I go out with certain friends, I feel like there is a huge spotlight shining on me and my single, slowly-sipped drink. The reality is that no one cares, except for me (and my partner, who has to go home with me at the end of the evening). But because I’m thinking about it, I feel like everyone else must be too. As the artificiality wears off, perhaps the self-consciousness will too.
Too much focus on self. It takes a lot of energy to make lasting changes to old habits. This means I’m spending far too much time thinking about what I do, what I feel, how I behave, what I think, what I need, what I want, I, I, I, I. Some of this just has to be accepted as necessary, but it also makes me crave more balance, more perspective, and more focus on outward things.
It’s tedious. Sorry everyone, but there are times when I just want to do whatever I feel like. Many times. All the time, actually. Which is basically why I need a different life plan, of course.
I don’t know if I will succeed. I know I wrote about this earlier, with regard to my crushing fear of failure. I have no idea if I will manage to affect long-term change in my drinking habits. The only way to discover that is to sincerely try. But that doesn’t mean I have to like the uncertainty.
It makes me whiny. Clearly.