Yesterday was my three-month Soberversary. Honestly, it’s both hard to believe that I am three months sober and that I ever drank at all. It’s a very strange duality. I’ve been thinking a lot these last couple of days about something that I’ve read frequently in Quit Lit books, that I’ve heard frequently from people who are either thinking about or trying to get sober, and that I also thought myself many times:
“Who am I without alcohol?”
When I asked this question, it was because alcohol had become the center of my identity. Drinking was what I did. All the time. It was my hobby, my fallback, my safety net…my everything, really. My whole life revolved around it. I was afraid that without alcohol, I wouldn’t know who I was anymore. So now, after three months sober, here are some things I know about myself:
With or without alcohol, I leave clothes in the dryer for far too long. But now I do laundry twice a week instead of waiting until both my son and I have completely run out of clean clothes.
With or without alcohol, I dislike getting up when it is dark outside. But now I don’t have to drag my sickly, hung-over body out of bed inch by painstaking inch, and I usually end up enjoying the morning despite the darkness.
With or without alcohol, I dislike interruptions to my routine. But now my routine makes me feel good.
With or without alcohol, I enjoy cooking. But now I cook every day, and don’t purposefully select recipes that contain wine so I have an excuse to drink it.
With or without alcohol, I get frustrated with life’s inconveniences. But now they don’t completely derail me.
With or without alcohol, there are days I don’t really want to go to work. But now I go anyway.
With or without alcohol, I like spending time with my son. But now I spend MUCH more time with him, and I’m fully present when I do.
With or without alcohol, I check out way too many books from the library at once. But now I read them and (mostly) return them on time.
What I’m getting at here is that quitting drinking didn’t do anything to change me fundamentally. I didn’t lose one single thing by putting the bottle down. I have most of the same likes and dislikes that I had before I quit drinking. I have most of the same bad habits, too.
What getting sober did do is change the quality of my life by opening it back up again. My world had become so very, very small. It was me and my bottle in a tiny little bubble of drunkenness. It was me, all alone, trying to sneak in one or five or ten more drinks.
I am in many ways the exact same person I was before I quit drinking. It’s just that now, that person is actually living. She’s not drinking away her disappointment that she didn’t cook dinner, because she’s cooking dinner. She’s not staring at a stack of books and thinking she should really get around to reading them, because she’s reading. She’s not digging through the clothes in the dryer to find the last clean pair of underwear that she knows is in there somewhere, because she’s starting a new load of laundry.
Ultimately, the voice asking the question, “Who am I without alcohol?” is the same voice that tells you that you can have just one, that it’ll be fine this time around. It’s your Wine Witch trying to scare you so you don’t kick her to the curb. It’s Snidely, assuring you that you like being tied to the railroad tracks.
So don’t be afraid. You – the you that you know – is in there, and that person is still going to be there after you walk away from the bottle. You’ll just be walking quite a bit taller. Who am I without alcohol? ME!
We asked our BOOM Community to answer the question Who Am I Without Alcohol? and these are their responses :
A nicer version of me. And I put my self first a lot more ❤️
With or without alcohol I spend a huge amount of time inside my own head, planning and scheming grand ideas of what I might do. Without alcohol, a whole lot more of these ideas are coming to fruition. And, the ideas are easier to remember the next day.
With or without alcohol I have very strong feelings and emotions but now I don’t rage when I am really upset. Without alcohol, I can remember to calm down first and just breathe for a moment to gather my thoughts and understand my feelings before I express them. This is huge for me because I would get so angry then I used alcohol to calm down and numb out.
Actually, if I am honest the alcohol also let me have my own pity party for whatever upset me. The problem is it also would turn into resentment and depression so I would drink for that reason too!
Without alcohol, I no longer rage. I own my emotions and feelings without having to apologize for how I express them. I get to express my feelings in a adult assertive way so I don’t keep them bottled up.
Without alcohol, I am a sleeper that is slowly awaking. I am returning to me! I am an intelligent, creative, and active soul!
Without alcohol I am zen 95% of the time with total trust that I can deal with whatever emergencies come my way. And I’m working to change the situations which create those emergencies!
I am me, totally in charge and free!
I’m a whole lot better me from the inside out. To me drinking alcohol as a part of my life was a sickness. A constant battle and struggle to deal with. The dis-ease of alcohol is so warped and envelops a negativity like being in a thick forest trying to find our way out to the light and fresh air. The healing begins mind, body, and soul once we stop and have no intention to go back. Without alcohol, I’m developing into my true self and with a much-improved outlook. I’m the same person but without alcohol’s negative effects disturbing me like it did, the anxiety, and so on. Freedom from the restrictions and hold alcohol had over me, gives me contentment, wellbeing, and happiness.
Same persons here but new improved versions!💜💙
Without alcohol I’m me. And I’m dealing with being me without hiding from the rough and uncomfortable parts of who I am and my life with alcohol. I’m so many things and I think I used wine o’clock to cope with my discomfort instead of actually coping. I think that’s going to be hard. Just being me. But I’m up for it.
There will be challenges, disappointments, frustrations, and heart aches. There will be when drinking too and will increase. Rock or a hard place.I am a person who cares now. Without alcohol, I care about myself and others. I care about life’s beauty and lessons. I look for spiritual and practical growth. Sobriety ain’t for sissies. A lot of unconscious thoughts have become conscious like shame, anxiety, and fear, which I’m wrestling. Really preferred drinking them away. Then drinking stopped working.
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Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying
“I think I have a problem with drinking”