One year ago I found myself literally on my knees I was hungover once again. My self-loathing in full swing I was desperate for it to end. I was so despondent that I begged my higher powers for the strength to become sober and to stop the self-loathing. I should clarify that communicating with my higher powers or praying was highly unusual for me. It was not something that I normally engaged in. However, I was so very desperate and had run out of ideas on how to make the madness stop.
I explained to my higher powers that I wanted to stop hating myself and that I wanted to stop killing myself slowly with alcohol. I wanted to be there for my family. They need me I explained. When I stopped praying (really begging more accurately describes what I was doing). I heard it. It was a voice in my head. It was crystal clear.
“You have to do your part”
It shook me to my core. I repeat it to myself every day now. It is my mantra. If I want something to change…. I have to do my part.
Later that day I found a ring that I had lost a year earlier. The year the ring was missing I repeatedly beat myself up about drinking too much because I lost the ring while drunk. When I found that ring I thought of it as a sign from my higher powers. I was not a lost cause. If I could find that ring I could find myself again too.
This past year has been challenging but rewarding.
However, I guess finding something as essential as yourself should be challenging and rewarding.
All it takes is one drink for my nightmare to start again. After only one drink it starts. The anxiety and tightness in the chest feels almost like a heart attack.
The demon screams
“you need another drink! Only more alcohol can ease your pain”.
This of course is a lie. One of many lies that alcohol tells me.
This blog post is to remind myself of what it is like to drink the poison known as alcohol. I am starting to forget the horrid things about drinking and FALSELY remember fun and relaxing times. At the end of my drinking there were NO fun or relaxing times. Only regret, self loathing, horrid hangovers.
After reading Alcohol Explained I now understand that I am going through FAB (fading affect bias). William Porter writes about in his wonderful book (Alcohol Explained). Humans tend to forget painful experiences faster than pleasant ones. So I am going to refresh my memory…..I remember the crushing headaches, throwing up for hours, the self-loathing, missing out on important events because I was too hungover, looking like crap, not having the energy to take care of myself or the house.
It was not fun or relaxing at all. It was pure hell.
William Porter also explains why we get that awful anxiety when we have a drink or two and feel the overwhelming need for more alcohol. Our brain is releasing chemicals to counteract the sedating effect of alcohol. When someone has been drinking too much for too long (like me) the brain releases the stimulating chemicals quickly because it is used to the onslaught of alcohol that follows that first drink. At this point in my life, I cannot drink enough alcohol to numb the anxiety that the first drink triggers. I was drinking until I was sick and the anxiety was still there. A vicious cycle.
I do not want to go through that again.
I am at 401 days and plan to stay sober for the rest of my life.
Why would I go back to that nightmare?
If alcohol made you happy
If it cured boredom
If it solved your relationship issues
If it gave more then it takes
Would you be reading this?
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You can Find more information about William Porter’s book Alcohol Explained, and the first five chapters offered for free, on his website About Alcohol Explained