Where was I in relation to alcohol a year ago? When drinking, I was stuck in the pattern of over-drinking most if not every day of the week. More and more frequently I would binge drink to the point of blackouts and epic hangovers. I would try to cut back, but the promises I made myself were just lies. Lies led to broken promises, and the lies and broken promises just led me back to drinking. Kept me mired in the cycle. Getting too drunk more often than not. Saying things I shouldn’t. Forgetting what I said. Going back over it during the night (when I could not sleep) and again in the morning. I could not see a way out. I could not really imagine living sober but I would wake up wondering …
What did I say? Was I mean? Stupid? Too loud?
I had no idea what to do about my drinking. I just knew I needed to change. This way of living was not ok. I was starting to despise myself. I was so broken down and tired.
So so tired.
My stomach was burning. My head was cloudy and I had constant headaches. I was getting up all night or not sleeping at all. Drinking vats of water to compensate for all the wine. And taking painkillers and sleep aids.
Anything to get through.
Digestive problems constantly.
I wasn’t enjoying my drinking any longer.
I was tired.
And crabby all the time.
I would sit there every evening knocking back the glasses. On a mission. But where was I going?
Just dulling out.
Life was losing its luster. When did this happen to me? I never used to drink like this. Why was I doing it now? I don’t even know how this habit crept up and took over. One of the dangers of high functioning drinking. You don’t even realize when you have tipped into a serious amount of drinking. Daily. With even more on weekends.
Should I go sober or could I learn to cut down?
In the online community I found to help me figure this out, I have read countless posts with stories like mine. Where we would be sitting with friends or family to have a nice time, but would immediately be opening and offering the wine, or anxiously waiting for a drink to be offered and checking to see if there was enough for everyone and enough for us. Thinking about drinking. Fixated on drinking. At every opportunity.
I had a bad night before the Fourth of July 2020. Yep. Hungover for the holiday. I couldn’t even wait for the actual day. I spent the 4th hungover and more than a little miserable. In the heat. Looking so virtuous drinking my seltzer. Except that they all figured out that I was not drinking because of my hangover.
You know mom can’t handle her wine.
Always with a glass in hand.
Ready for more.
That is not what I want to be remembered for. Even the grandkids knew grandma always had her wine. So I got online and found support. I came to Boom. And I didn’t drink. And I felt awful. And I read. And read. And reread the articles that really reached me. And I was on other blogs reading too.
Then came August. And I got covid. And was stuck at home. So clearly I needed to drink. Throughout the day. Outside away from others with my beer or hard seltzer or white wine with ice. Yeah!!
It didn’t bring me joy
So I started stopping drinking again. And I read everything again. And posted. And commented. And read sober lit. And related and identified myself within other’s stories. And I have continued mostly alcohol-free since that time. Some little slips. Some bigger slips. But always returning to alcohol-free. Because it’s better.
It truly is.
What is the reality of living sober? It’s so much better than living hungover!!
Now we are in July 2021. And now people I hang out with know that I will be having alcohol-free beer and seltzers. And they make sure they have some ready for me!! Or I bring my own. And it’s good.
And I’m so much steadier and able to handle a full and stressful at times life. And I’m healthier. My stomach is not constantly burning. And I’m not frequently dealing with diarrhea and gas and bloating.
I sleep better. Not perfect. But better. I never was a good sleeper and of course, told myself that wine helped. Which it did not. At all. The sleep I get now is deeper and I get at least a few solid hours a night.
And I’m starting to not need the copious amounts of sugar to get through wine o’clock without the wine. Improving my diet and exercise. Slowly.
The reality of living sober is that I am not rushing through any more of my life.
So this article is to say if you are someone like me, you can do this. It’s not easy. And I am not at all perfect. I’ve had failures as I go along. I am not sure even today that I am 100%. But I’m here. And I do not spend my days thinking about getting home to have some drinks. And I don’t need them any longer. And that means everything to me. Because I had reached the point where I did not believe I could get through a week without drinking. But I can. And it’s fine. And it’s even great sometimes.
My story is not a remarkable tale. I am an ordinary woman living an ordinary life. I do not have epic stories to tell. I’m not super motivated to change the world or climb Mount Everest. I don’t glow. I live. And I’m overall happy.
I still have a stressful job and busy home life. But it’s not as hard to be me when I am not soaked in wine or recovering. I don’t know if I will ever have that sober high or pink cloud I hear so much about. But I do know that this place where I am not completely miserable and lost is good.
What I do want and what I am now able to have is a good comfortable life. Not ruled and ruined by daily heavy drinking. And it’s absolutely a joy.
Joy is not always mountains of rainbows and glitter. It is for me not waking up with a tremendous headache and rotten stomach trying to get through the day like a human and wanting to go back to bed and hide under the covers. A lack of shame over my drinking and feeling unable to do anything about it.
I’ve often read that living sober is about feeling amazing and sparkly and ready to conquer the world and I really would like to have that feeling. But what I have in living sober is somehow more than that. Being sober is a better life on every level. Even when I am having a blah day and just going through the motions, I am good. Because I am fully me. Not altered by drinking. Stable. Free. And learning to be happier. Little by little. Let’s face it, I never jump into anything! I need time. Lots of time. And that’s ok.
What is the reality of living sober?
SOBRIETY IS NOT ALWAYS GLITTERING BUT IT IS ALWAYS WONDERFUL
More Reading :
If you’re “sober curious”… If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober!
To everyone finding things
really difficult at the moment
who think no-one notices
who might be drinking
more that they would like
to cope with it all…
Hey I see you
Don’t worry though
It doesn’t show
You’re trying so hard
Why doesn’t anyone realise?
You’re juggling everything
And doing it so well
I can tell
But is that bottle of rose
Your reward for getting through your day
Going to help?
Will it take your cares away?
Or could it make things worse?
Could you maybe try and take a break from booze?
For a few days, weeks or whatever you choose?
Come here and talk to us in BOOM
It’s free, anonymous and
You’ve nothing to lose
There’s no commitment needed
Just people you could chat to
Who might just feel similar to you
You’re not alone
even if it seems that way
Why not click and join today?
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Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying
“I think I have a problem with drinking”