Filling the Empty Space in Early Sobriety

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The book Drinking a Love Story by Caroline Knapp addresses the feeling of “lost love” or emptiness that many of us feel when we stop drinking. 

“To a drinker the sensation is real and pure and akin to something spiritual: you seek; in the bottle, you find.”
― Caroline Knapp, Drinking: A Love Story

Sobriety does feel empty and raw for a while. It feels empty because we are no longer filling the hole in our soul with booze. The hole in my soul was actually  pretty big when I stopped drinking because I’d been E X P A N  D I N G it for years with large quantities of wine. 

The thing is that if you don’t fill that hole with something you’re going to feel empty and lonely and lost and feeling empty and lonely and lost can make you want to drink.


Those who don’t really get HOW INTENSE this addiction can be and HOW BIG that hole can be may warn you …. don’t get addicted to … chocolate, ice cream, sex, exercise, blogging, cyber chatting, net flix, reading, carbohydrates, AA meetings……. etc etc 


I think that in your early first six months / three months/ year of sobriety …. your FIRST priority is Don’t Drink and in order to do that you need to fill that hole with what works for you. 

Try to fill it with the  healthiest most soul-affirming things you can fill it with.

Try to fill it with things that engender self-respect, self-care, self-love and respect for others etc

But don’t feel like this big gaping hole will always be there 

It won’t 

It will get smaller as you grow 

Life is full of blessings if you let them in ( that’s my moment of Zen )

I filled my hole with TONS of books and blogs 

I filled it with music which I hadn’t actually listened to in years

I was lucky enough to be able to fill it with art in Paris

I filled it with HSM and some very unexpected cyber flirting that HELPED me GROW

I filled it with taking pictures of the world around me and sharing them 

I filled it with learning to express myself with words

I filled it with political action 

I filled it with cooking 

I filled it with eating

I filled it with making a cyber scrapbook that turned into this website

I filled it with sexuality

I filled it with sensuality 

I filled it with fantasy 

I filled it with Love 

Bit by bit day by day 

As long as I never fill that hole with alcohol again I’m good 

Even if I sometimes I get a little to ” fixated” or “Obsessive” or “on the edge” … I ALWAYS get back to center quickly because I’m sober xxxx

Stay sober 

The hole will fill with YOU

“I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.”  ― Anne Morrow LindberghGift from the Sea 

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

If you’re “sobriety curious” …

If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…

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Related posts from Inside the BOOM Community :

Why I Drank Last Night
Staying Sober Without AA
Filling the Hole

Vulnerability and Performing Buck Naked – or Surviving Early Sobriety

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