When I drank I didn’t know why. I didn’t like who I became when I drank. I didn’t like how I felt after I drank. I didn’t like how I drank once I started.
I could go for a month sober maybe and then when I drank I drank daily. So I could go for a while then drink for no particular reason apart from I wanted it. But I didn’t truly know what it gave me. Why I needed it.
Ok yes it gave me buzz, a calmness, a relief feeling, a giddiness, euphoria, as I drank the first drink or two. I liked what it gave me. I liked going into another World. Maybe a sort of fcuk it this is great feeling.
Why stop? I hold down a good job. I was respected by my colleagues and I was functioning ok. My family (kids) were worried about me sometimes but what did they know about the pressures in my life. Everybody drinks in my profession it’s seen as the norm. I liked drinking. So I kept drinking.
I finally stopped because I wanted and desperately needed to. This site helped me focus but ultimately I wanted to stop -because deep down I knew it was affecting my health mentally and physically.
I’d drunk since I was 16 and knew no other way. Deep down, although my life from the outside was to be envied, I was lost. What I hadn’t realised is that I didn’t actually know who I was. I’d stopped addressing that issue at 16. I hadn’t really grown emotionally from being 16.
During my time in not drinking I’ve found out WHY I drank.
I’ve had to find out who I am – who I REALLY am- and that has been a roller-coaster. The feelings and emotions I feel naturally when coping with life are random and scary at times. They were always there. Even as a child I can now remember them. Stopping drinking made me face them. I’ve had to learn to accept ME in all my ‘glory’ and live with me. You see starting to drink at 16 gave me something. I had a family loss at 16 but ultimately I needed a cop out long before that.
Alcohol masked emotions and my personality. It took away the bits of me I struggled with.
I like feeling euphoric, I like fun. But sometimes I like to be on my own. I suffer from anxiety though you’d never guess. I’m quite a mix. And drinking gave me all that easily in the first glass. I liked that place. Still would like that place sometimes even now but the payment up front — it’s just not worth the gift I gave to myself.
In the nearly 3 years of not drinking I’ve had to face ‘me’ head on. Not numb bits of me and how I react to life – with a drug. I’ve had to learn to live without a drug that gave me so much but was ultimately robbing me of my life in the now and would probably kill me slowly in the future. It had already killed my light, my soul.
You have to make a choice. You have to want to not drink more than you want to drink in the first place.
That’s the easy bit. As you’re triggered and you force yourself to live through these triggers that’s when the hard part starts. That’s when you need the drug.
You look to why you need the drug and what it would give you. Maybe for you like me it’s a ‘cop out from life’. A way to stop feeling, to relieve sadness, give excitement, a rush of ecstasy. I don’t know but when you drink it gives you something.
The reason(s) why you drink? — No one can work that out but you.
And you can only work it out if you don’t drink for a very long period of time. It’s a chicken and egg situation.
For example, today I feel ’empty’ I have no idea why it is a part of my personality that is me. I’ve had to learn that it’s just a fleeting part of me that pops up, it was always there from the day I was born. But I didn’t know that and didn’t learn how to live with it until I stopped drinking.
A sort of fear of life feeling.
How the 16 year old me must have been sooo excited when I found that alcohol masked this feeling….
Today I live with it and tomorrow or maybe even later today it will be gone. In the past alcohol would have already masked it and taken control of it instead of me ‘waiting it out.’
Maybe because I have this feeling today is why I’m writing. This community is my comfort place where I can spill out my emotions and be understood and even after so long it’s my place of calm and safety.
It’s important you all know that this gets easier with time this Alcohol-Free business but that we long timers still have life crisis and issues we need to deal with. We aren’t ‘cured’ and we still need to focus on what we want and why we’re doing this.
Sometimes it’s hard to admit that in the community because somehow it may be interpreted that this is not a better way to live when it is.
But this is for the long haul this AF business and life is a mixed bag. Earlier this year I discussed this with someone who helped me through a meltdown which came out of nowhere. I’ve still no idea what happened, it lasted a good few weeks. My life still gives me challenges.
I think maybe those of us with years AF need to open up more about the long haul.
Because I don’t know why you drink and deep down I think maybe you realise that you don’t either. It can vary dependant on your mood and what life throws at you.
If it’s the normal ‘you warts and all’ you’re burying maybe you’ve buried it in alcohol like I did. Maybe you’ll continue to because this way is not easy if it’s who you are that you’re burying.
And yet faced head on now it’s not as scary as I thought. I don’t get anxious about who I am anymore. For most of the time I am happy, peaceful and I’ve learnt to get my euphoria feelings from elsewhere. Euphoria and ‘cop out of life’ is not on tap like it was with alcohol and that’s a hard thing to let go. But this way is better.
Like I say you have to really want to not drink more than you want to drink and face yourself and life head on.
Take the bits you want and discard the rest 😉
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Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying
“I think I have a problem with drinking”
How do you go Sober? ( more reading in blue titles)
B Be accountable Talk to Us We Understand
A Avoid alcohol like the plague Ideas Here
L Let yourself enjoy regular sober treats Ideas Here
A Allow yourself to cry when needed Ideas Here
N Nourish your body with good food Ideas Here
C Create happy & fun memories Ideas Here
E Enjoy the precious moments in your day Ideas Here
W Work hard to get what you want Ideas Here
O Organise things for less stress Ideas Here
R Realise you can’t control it all Ideas Here
K Keep going & prepare for success Ideas Here
S Sleep enough for body & mind rest Sleep