Day 215: it’s not really about the thing

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Huh?

The thing. The thing is usually not actually about the thing.

What?

Well, this is a Belle-ism (shit Belle says), but I’ll try to explain.

Once you get past the initial stage of giving up the booze and those early cravings for alcohol that are mostly just your brain searching for its dopamine fix, you enjoy long stretches of craving-free days, weeks, even months. Then, sometimes out of the blue, something happens to trigger a craving. And you’re like – oh wine, I want you so badly!

But do you? Really?

Or is it some other thing you really want?

Like maybe to fit in. Or feel normal. Or maybe you want to feel sophisticated. Or sexy. 💋 😉 These are the things I really want when I’m in a fancy restaurant and I think I need wine. The wine isn’t exactly the thing. I’m not wanting a buzz or a sleepy feeling or to disconnect from my environment. Those are the real things that come with wine. So it isn’t about the thing your brain thinks it’s about. Nope, it’s about something else. You are looking for something, but it isn’t booze.

Ok, so now what? Well, if I find myself craving alcohol (like I did a little on Thursday at the fancy steak place), I ask myself – is it really to drink wine that you want, or is it some other thing? Maybe you just want to look a certain way. Maybe you want to drink from a wineglass but do you really actually want to drink wine? No, I don’t think I do. And I know for sure that I don’t want any of the crappy side-effects.

But sometimes it’s hard to see what’s underneath the craving-for-wine-that-isn’t-actually-a-craving-for-wine.

Next weekend will be the start of our annual week at the lake. Every summer we spend about ten days up there as a family. It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year. And this year I won’t be drinking. And I’m already starting to feel edgy about it. So I’m asking myself the questions. Why? What are you looking for? To make a relaxing time even more relaxing? That sounds sort of silly. Or maybe it’s just ingrained in me that cabin time equals wine time? Well that’s not even a reason. Or maybe the edgy feelings aren’t even leading to a craving at all. 🙄

So I’m going with another strategy for now- ignore the feelings and they will probably go away. And in the meantime maybe I’ll figure out what the real thing is that I might be looking for. For sure it’s not hangovers, memory-loss, or a bucket full of self-loathing.

Happy Sober Sunday,

jen

4 thoughts on “Day 215: it’s not really about the thing

  1. I know I kind of keep saying this, but the first year, I think, is a year of lots of firsts. For me, this summer has been a lot about the first time for a lot of things/events without wine. So many things are easier, but some things are still strange. I think next summer there will be less drama (even just the small-moments-in my-head dramas).
    Also, for me, the “learning about myself without wine” stuff comes up fairly frequently. So, for sure, sometimes it’s not the thing (wine) at all. Sometimes it’s just me looking at some parts of myself and my life in new ways.
    It takes some getting used to. 🙂
    Happy Sober Sunday, Jen.
    I am so very grateful it’s wine-free!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is awesome. Good thoughts and words for my sober toolbox in my brain. Just remembering these little gems is a good reminder of why I don’t want to go back there. Sub-conscious thoughts are powerful and come from out of nowhere! Who decided dopamine was a good idea huh! 😊🌸 i did a little research on it when I read your post and now I know why I’m enjoying dark chocolate so much at the moment! Happy day 💫🍫

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi There. Just found your blog. I’m ten days in and quite grumpy today. Looking for my dopamine fix just might be what i’m looking for today. Headed out to exercise later. hope that helps! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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