The problem with alcohol is that whilst you’re under its power, things are fake. Alcohol suppresses your real feelings and emotions, and whilst under its influence, you believe that fake feelings and numbness are highly preferable to the real thing.
Alcohol is a liar.
The inevitability with suppressing anything, is that it’s temporary. The real thing will eventually pop back up. As I write, I’m envisioning of one of those plastic bath toys that you submerge under water. You hold it .. push it down .. hold it … and boom, eventually, it flies to the top with a vengeance.
18 months on, I feel everything for real & you know what? It’s not so bad. Feelings are like waves .. yes, on a stormy day, they can be overwhelming, but thankfully, those days are rare. In the new world where I’ve chosen to reside, my sea is mostly calm; delicate waves gently crash to the shore, the water is clear and inviting.
If I enjoy something, I really enjoy it. I don’t need a substance to fake the actual way I feel. I enjoy feeling proper, genuine joy that doesn’t plummet after a short time like a sugar crash. I also don’t mind feeling proper, genuine pain because I now know, as with anything, it is temporary. It will pass.
Life is not perfect at 18 months sober. I still have work to do. My gut instinct is on high alert most of the time & continues to shock me with its severity if something threatens my equilibrium. I sometimes feel a bit stuck as don’t want anything to rock my very stable world, yet yearn for the spontaneous fun that sober living doesn’t provide.
I still need to completely understand that I am enough. It’s a hard one when you’ve spent your whole time on the planet believing you’re not. But I’m further than I was and that’s just fine.
What I absolutely do know is that the trade I make to continue my sobriety is more than worth it. The thought of a hangover or the shame after a session is enough to convince me I’m still doing the right thing. The thought of being drunk or out of control, of saying something I can’t remember or doing something I regret, is a concept in which I never wish to participate again.
Sobriety allows me to be me. I got my life back. I stopped living a life that made me unhappy and replaced the fake me with a genuine, happy individual, proud to be alive.
Living an alcohol free life removes many aspects that contribute to ill health; lack of sleep, bad food choices, dehydration, headaches, stomach problems, skin problems .. the list goes on. Instead, I am fit, healthy, emotionally stable & free.
People ask whether I miss alcohol? The answer is categorically no. Why would I miss something that fucked up my life to such an extent I didn’t know myself? No thank you.
Soberdom can sometimes feel like a secret club. From the outside, you can’t quite see in. You hear all about it but because the rumours say it’s dull & boring, you have no desire to go inside & check it out.
But not all rumours are true.
In my opinion, Soberdom really does glitter with gold. It sparkles in the sunlight. It gives you hope & freedom that you might never have felt before in your adult life. It brings happiness & tranquility & ultimately brings you back to you. For me, there really is no alternative. There is no reason to return to my previous life. Alcohol free really is the only way to be.