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  • Dana Bowman

5 More Reasons Why I Kept Drinking

Personal Perspective: And three reasons why I quit.

5 More Reasons Why I Kept Drinking

  • Drinking blocks any ability to healthfully analyze destructive behaviors.

  • I didn't know how to stop drinking, and I was good at the status quo.

  • "I just don't want to think about it" became my mantra.

Somewhere in my early thirties, my drinking became self-abuse. From there, it slowly worsened, mainly because I was not willing to stop and think about it much. This is not typical of me, as I am a gifted naval gazer who mulls over nearly every aspect of my existence given the chance. But alcohol does a pretty good job of bungling up introspection. Often, drinking ended up putting me in a haze of self-hatred, so I circumnavigated that by simply drinking more. You can’t think too much about your life if you are blitzed. It’s science.

As I got sober and have been blessed to keep doing so, I have had a lot of time to think about why I allowed all this to happen. And how I finally found the courage to quit. So, here are some additional reasons why I slowly succumbed to addictive behaviors. And also, here are three discoveries I made about quitting drinking.

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I kept drinking because...

1. I’d been doing it for over 20 years and almost on a daily basis for the last 10. That’s a lot of synapses grooved into a pretty solid bad habit. It was what I did when I was happy and needed to celebrate. It’s what I did before, during, and after social events. It’s what I did on holidays, or before holidays to get ready for them, or after holidays because sad. It’s what I did after work to “take a load off.” It’s just what I did.

2. No one was really able to tell me that I had a problem. OK, my husband had tried, but he didn’t count. The others—the friends, the coworkers, the ones that “mattered” in this equation—none of them had a clue. I was highly functioning and highly good at it. My husband didn’t have a voice in this because I loved him, and so I didn’t accept his opinion because that’s how we treat people we love sometimes. He was too close to the problem and to me to matter. It’s a hugely dysfunctional paradox, but I wasn’t up for analysis of that. It hurt too much.

3. Postpartum depression had me reeling, so I drank at it. Or, because I drank, postpartum depression had me reeling. Who knows? It was the totally drunk chicken and egg thing. Was I willing to really analyze any of this, either? No.

4. I just loved wine. I loved it so much. It was a boyfriend who always told me I was pretty, listened, and just gave me all the good feelings. OK, this boyfriend did become pretty abusive at the end, but I wasn’t going to analyze that either.

5. I was scared to death that life without wine would be awful. I constantly analyzed that stark reality. A “dry life” came up wanting every time. There was a lot of mulling about the greyness, the despair, and the boredom of sobriety. A lot of brain energy (what was left of my brain, anyhow.) was spent on this idea.

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So, why did I quit?

1. I don’t really know, actually. In the early days of sobriety, I actually didn’t have a rock-solid reason or plan for why I was doing this. I just had to. I knew my soul was sick.

2. When I talked about sobriety for the first time in a group meeting, I felt like something inside of me unclenched, loosened, and lifted. And I felt peaceful, which is a really strange and wonderful feeling that I don’t think I had experienced since sometime in my childhood.

3. I was utterly exhausted.

One of the main reasons I write and talk about my sobriety is because these stories gave me so much hope in my early days of recovery. I needed to hear from other women about how they had crawled out of their pits of despair. Really, how did they survive? Did they laugh again? Will there ever be life after wine? Their stories heartened me. So, my hope is that this will help someone today to know that if your soul is sick, quitting is tough, yes. But it’s so much better.

Dana Bowman, - Website -


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