I often drank to get to the bottom of things. Do you know what I mean? When you don’t feel right. When you’re feeling a bit stirred up or a bit down. When there are things going on and you don’t know what you feel or think about it but you don’t feel right.
I would often drink at these times because I felt I had to get to the bottom of things. To work through my feelings. To indulge in my feelings. To work things out. By drinking, I was somehow allowing myself time off from thinking about everything else and could therefore have some free time to think things through. Get to the root of my unrest. Find the cause and then try to solve it. Or console myself over it.
What a great idea that seemed to be.
But the truth is that when I was drinking to get to the bottom of things, most of the time I just got to the bottom of the bottle and opened another one. I’d actually feel worse sometimes. Often I was effectively just picking at a little scab for the evening until I’d turned it into an unpleasant messy wound.
Very often I find in sobriety that actually when I feel I need to get to the bottom of something, there really isn’t much there. That things are quite simple with simple solutions. And sometimes I don’t work things out, I just let the feeling be. It waxes and wanes over time and eventually I might get to the bottom of it. Sometimes things need to come to light in their own time.
That ‘drinking to get to the bottom of things’ had just become a habit. Things I’ve read lead me to believe that at points in my life I did ‘get to the bottom of things’ while drinking. And I’ve put that down to the booze. So I carried on using booze to do it. Even though it didn’t always work. And eventually became a problem in itself.
In sobriety, I see now that without booze I am much more successful at getting to the bottom of things. Not surprisingly, a clear head really helps when we’re trying to work through our thoughts. I can also cope Much better with my emotions when I don’t feel right and don’t quite know why. Because I’m not desperately trying to stuff those feelings down or run from them. I’m not afraid of negative feelings now. I can relax about them being there. I’m not broken and they will pass.
When I first admitted to myself I had a problem with alcohol and needed to stop. Not just keep trying to cut down, but stop. I felt so scared by the prospect. Alcohol was a part of me! The way I really got to know people. The way I had fun and met people. The way I coped with all the hard stuff.
The thought of coping with the hard stuff without alcohol made me feel very naked and afraid that nothing would ever comfort me the way alcohol did. Trying to imagine a social life without booze! I just couldn’t. I could not imagine it. Didn’t want to accept it. Dating! Without alcohol! How the fuck do you do that?! But having kept going through that often painful (tho not always) journey of recovery, I can tell you these things just aren’t an issue.
1. Dealing with hard things without booze-
-that shit is way easier with no booze in your life.
– you get to learn and enjoy discovering new Better ways to cope. Lovelier ones. More sustaining. Kinder. Fun.
2. Social life without booze-
I don’t have a big social life so I really didn’t have issues with that side of things for the first 6 months. Sad but true. However, I have been more social of late and am really making an effort to get dating. And have discovered that-
– I feel more confident without booze. Because I have more self-respect and am more at peace with myself.
– I am more fun in general.
– me not drinking in social situations had not been an issue with others so far.
– the prospect of developing new relationships with people sober is something I am enjoying in a curious and observant way.
– I feel like my old style of life is just 1 of millions of other possible lifestyles. I’ve done life with booze. It’s interesting to live life in a different way now. We only get one. Might as well get the most out of it we can.
So, the biggest things I feared about sobriety are actually pluses.
Whoop for sobriety 🙌
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