It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now and you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”Hugh Laurie
For those disappointed by the lack of song lyrics, fun fact – Hugh Laurie is an accomplished pianist in addition to being an extremely talented actor, so there is a musical connection to this quote! And he’s British, so that’s a plus!
There have been many times in my life where I have postponed making a change because I wasn’t “ready”. It was easier to stay than it was to leave because leaving meant venturing into the scary unknown. Even if the situation wasn’t healthy – a horrible relationship, an awful job, a dysfunctional bond with alcohol – if I wasn’t ready to end it, I wasn’t ready. But not being ready meant that I prolonged unnecessary suffering. Then as if being jolted awake from a long, drawn-out nightmare, I would be hit with a moment of clarity. My own mind would scream into a megaphone, “That’s it!! I’m done!!” And just like that, I would be done. After waiting and waiting, I would finally be ready. And it was always a decision that was long overdue.
After my four sober months in 2017, I knew that abstaining from alcohol was the right thing to do for myself for a number of reasons. But, I postponed quitting over and over and over again. Why? Partly because I wanted to prove to myself that I could drink “normally” and partly because the benefits to not drinking didn’t outweigh the comfort zone drinking allowed me to be in. The negative outcomes of drinking sure as hell didn’t matter to me at the time; since I was either partially or completely blacked out, it was almost like the night before never happened anyway! Doesn’t count if you can’t remember it! Right? I’m not ready to stop. So, my motto for a while became “I’ll stop drinking after…”
- I’ll stop drinking after my friends visit this weekend
- I’ll stop drinking after this party
- I’ll stop drinking after this vacation
- I’ll stop drinking after the holidays
- I’ll stop drinking after this concert
If I waited until I was “ready” to quit drinking, this blog wouldn’t exist today. I wasn’t actually “ready” to quit drinking when I did, despite everything and despite the fact that when it came down to it, I realized drinking wasn’t even fun for me!! I’ve heard a lot of people say “the party had to stop sometime” and “it was fun until it stopped being fun” but I never understood those phrases. I did fun things when I was drinking but drinking itself wasn’t fun, it never was. So, if it wasn’t even fun then what the hell was I was waiting for? I had no answer.
So, I wasn’t ready to quit but I was done. I had enough. I didn’t want alcohol to hold me back one second longer and so I said goodbye. It was scary, uncomfortable, frustrating, saddening, and everything in between but I stuck with it. I kept going. I didn’t give up and now in 5 days, I will have reached an entire year sober. I almost cried thinking about that fact today – one whole year, 365 days. I am so incredibly proud of myself and thankful for everyone who has supported me along the way. I love who I am, I love my life, and I love you for taking the time to read these words. Whether you are sober, trying to get sober, or if you have no problem with drinking whatsoever and are reading this for fun, I hope that I have inspired you in some way just as others have inspired me. Thank you for being with me and coming along for the ride; I hope you’ll continue on with me.
The next time you find yourself in a position where you feel as though you are not ready, when you are scared of the unknown, when you are unsure about following your dreams, or when fear is holding you back from changing your life for the better, just remember the wonderful words of my friend Hugh – “There is only now and you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any. ”