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,