Tomorrow marks 7 months of no alcohol for me. This is unreal, I relive moments of my past in drinking as if they were yesterday. Waking up feeling depressed, worried, anxious, and confused were a slew of emotions I had far too often when I drank. Not to mention while drinking, my brain had the tendency to focus solely on that; when I finished my drink, would I get another? Am I buzzed yet…? And then totally missing that cue and subsequently drinking til black out by accident.
I do not miss those feelings. I catch myself sometimes still romanticizing the drink – feeling like if I did it, I would fit in more in certain social situations, or that people may like me more if I drank with them. I would think of the times that were not that bad, when I was able to handle myself, and actually had fun when having drinks. However, my reality kicks in. I was never good at drinking. It drove the people I cared about to most away, and challenged the relationships I tried to maintain. When I was able to control myself, it was just false hope, or spontaneity keeping me from my truth. I do not miss it.
I am on the second half of my first year. I am so proud of myself.
- I am proud that I can order a mean mocktail when out with friends and not blink an eye. Most people are actually curious of how it tastes, and lift me up with affirmations like “you’re lucky you wont have a hang over!” In my mind, I think, “hell yeah! Gonna wake up and have another day ahead of me to tackle”.
- I am proud that I realize now that it is okay that life has not gotten miraculously easier in some ways, it is part of the process. If you are reading this and are early in sobriety, or have not stopped drinking – just know, when you stop – you brain is going to give you a run for your money. You may feel [and act] crazy some days. That is O-K. We can work out, and reverse the damage that has been created by alcohol. We can and will unbury the insecurities and negativity within us – embrace it – care for it – and then let it go eventually. I know this takes time, because it is still in the palm of my hand. My process of digging in and discovery seems to have just begun. Some days I feel good, and others – I can only give myself the compassion to not know any of the answers.
- I am proud that I have gained tools to ensure this process is a practiced one. There is proof that if you “white-knuckle” your way through sobriety, it is almost a guarantee it wont last. I love keeping up with the Cafe RE group on Facebook. There is something very special and important about having a community of people who are sharing the same journey. They tend to understand the feelings and emotions that come with knowing you need to stop drinking, and the process of doing so.
I could go on and on about the last 7 months to be honest with you, but this post is already longer than I anticipated. My last blog was in December, and since then, a few blog drafts I wrote were never published because I didn’t finish – and then the idea or inspiration behind it was long gone! Wedding planning is in full force (!!!), my time with friends and family, and work has all kept me very busy. I continue to realize that self care is very important to my mental health and well-being.
Life has a very beautiful and interesting way of showing you the ropes sometimes; stay positive and focused ❤