Day 135: feeling solid

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Drinking creates a kind of constant feeling of vulnerability. I think it has to do with the hangovers, muddy thinking, and worries over whether or not there’s a boozy smell seeping out of one’s pores. Yeah that. Oh, and it might also be related to the frequent feelings of guilt and shame over the deceit, the covering, and the compensating. You know, the things we do to convince others and ourselves that there isn’t actually a problem.

Fortunately, the reverse is also true. Sobriety lessens the feelings of vulnerability. You know you have nothing to hide. And after a while, the lack of shame provides strength. You feel not invincible, but definitely solid. You start to realize that you’re not just proud of what you’re doing, but also simply proud of being you.  It’s easier to see your good qualities when your vision isn’t clouded by alcohol.

For me, this strength is manifesting in a lessening of concern about what others are thinking. Worries over what people think or how I’m being perceived has been a source of stress for me my entire life. I’m sure you can imagine how that problem was compounded by the effects of excessive drinking.

Now I’ve put some space between the me of today and the me who suffered all that angst. And I’m starting to wake up to the reality that I’m a grown adult with plenty of accomplishments and a full life. I have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide, and nothing to prove. I am what I am.

Except my blog is still anonymous (and a secret) and I’ve told hardly anyone that I’ve quit drinking…

Well the progress might be slow (little turtle), but progress is still progress.

Happy Sober Thursday,

jen

9 thoughts on “Day 135: feeling solid

  1. I hated the fear that people could smell the alcohol seeping out of my pores.
    Life is so much better when you have confidence in yourself and in knowing that what you are doing in your life is right for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can relate to this. Day 188 for me (I had to look it up on Mrs. D’s website!). I have told people only on an “as needed” basis, and I am not going around making major “confessionals.” Nobody seems to be noticing, or at least no one is saying anything to me. I mention it in passing and it doesn’t seem to trigger a strong response from anyone. (I guess because I did most of my excessive drinking at home alone and only my husband noticed; he is so happy for me now). Frankly, it seems quite normal for a woman of my age to decide to leave alcohol behind, so most don’t think it is a big deal at all. My life is going so well on so many fronts now that I have to remind myself that I quit drinking, and that I should blog and reach out to other non-drinkers. And that I should remind myself that I had developed an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, that I was using it to self-medicate, and that it would be very bad for me to start again. I don’t want to take things for granted or lose my vigilance. I quit for two years, five years ago, without acknowledging that I had been self-soothing with alcohol, and without consciously working on recovery. Lo and behold, I attended a wedding and boom: starting drinking again. Five years of drinking later, and I am going sober again. But it is different this time, this time I feel my whole future is at stake: what sort of life do I want to have? Discipline is a value I am working on cultivating in this realm. I have no desire to drink, but I do have a desire to pretend that I don’t have a drinking problem. I am working on the discipline to stay connected with all of you, and to nurture the value — not just the reality, but also the value — of my sobriety. Jen: does honesty count, when it is anonymous on the internet? I think so! Thank you for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was sober for six months in 2016 and started drinking again because I didn’t like being “that girl,” the one who can’t drink. Now I’m trying to see myself as someone who chooses not to drink. Because it’s a better way to live. Thanks for writing!

      Like

      1. Honestly, when I realized that all the effort I used to put into pretending I was ok because I was scared there’s would t like the real me was killing me.
        And I realized I, a smart and educated person, was an addict. And was depressed. And had changed my life so those things no longer ruled.

        I like to share my story now. I am probably too honest sometimes. But I feel sometimes people need someone else to show themselves and then they feel it’s ok if they show their pain. And it helps.

        Like

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