Why does not drinking feel so wrong?

I responded to a blog today and thought I would share.

It’s really hard to quit drinking when you are drinking problematically. No one wants to end up drunk on a park bench…but some do. Those same people were probably once drinking Pinot Grigio out of a crystaL wine glass. That’s an important reality. Even the worst addict was once a 5 year old, with their whole life ahead of them.

Here’s what I wrote…

I wish I had an answer. I spent quite a bit of time where you are. I loved to drink. All my friends drank. My hubby and I drank together.
We have excellent jobs, a lovely house, nice kids. Savings. No one could say we needed to change anything.

I stopped because I hated how regretful I felt when I wasn’t drinking. I hated the feeling of doom and guilt and the little inner voice that said I drank too much and wasn’t as good a parent as I could be. I hated the hangovers and paranoia and anxiety.
But I liked to drink, and I could not fathom life differently. People who didn’t drink weren’t even on my radar.

Figuring out life sober was strange. I wavered between relief, anger, grief and moments of deep peace. I became severely depressed and rarely left the house. 

It took a few months before I realized I was no longer angry I had quit drinking. That the empty time wasn’t boring, just time.

The clarity of sobriety is something I never had before. My soul is truly at peace. I feel moments of pure contentment.

I also have shorty days and boring days and hard days.

But I know the bliss is there. And it will return if I nurture myself and don’t numb with alcohol or drugs.

I quit when I was 42. Im not sure I would have given up the fun boozing years before that…but I am grateful now that nothing really bad ever happened…

Take care of yourself. There’s no easy way. 

Stillness and peace 

Anne

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21 thoughts on “Why does not drinking feel so wrong?

  1. Terrific.

    Interesting – so many folks seem to give up in their early 40s – I did, My sponsor did, a lot of my sober friends did…. I know there are loads of examples younger, and older but for me I think I got to my 40s and the excesses of youth and young adulthood should have been behind me, they weren’t. I realised that I drank to cope, to fill in something that was missing and to calm me. But it was increasingly not working, I was failing to even have a semblance of normal, I was arguing more and more with others. I was massively failing as a Dad and my teenage son was getting very close to telling me the home truths of what a rubbish role model I was.

    I obsessed about drinking every day for at least 9 months. Some how I stuck through it. Now I don’t regret it at all – apart from I should have done it when I was 27 and I first really knew I had a problem!

  2. So grateful for this post. I am in the “depressed and angry” part right now….Isolating in sobriety, just as I did in drinking. I didn’t realize it that until reading this. Very glad to know that 1) that’s part of the process and 2) it is temporary.

  3. I love the way you don’t judge, you put into words what so many feel, and I appreciate it more than you know. I just turned 55, and I wish I had began this sober journey sooner, because I knew I had a problem 20 years ago, but it’s okay. Life is different for everyone, but being content and at peace is for everyone if they want it. I want it.

  4. Great post Anne. I feel so sad when I read about people going back to drinking because they feel boring or left out. I feel like almost everyone struggles immensely with those thoughts and feelings in the early months of sobriety (?) but that passes (for the most part, depending on the company you are around) and sobriety is anything but boring – there’s so many things to do and see and experience when you’re sober and don’t have to worry about blacking out or how to get home safely, or all of the other things that go along with drinking.
    I was 43 when I quit.

    1. That boring feeling is complicated. The antsyness of not knowing what to do with yourself.

      I tried to make myself so busy I couldn’t drink, but that never worked. Because you can only be soy before you are exhausted and drinking is easy.

      Learning too just be is a skill they should teach in school!

      1. I still feel that way sometimes – the antsy feeling. Thankfully I’ve been able to get out for drives or walks. Not sure what I will do when winter hits us hard in a few months. Maybe I should stock up on playdoh or something haha

  5. I love all of this and I read it at a perfect time in my mind! I’m 42, and ready for that clarity. In a way I wish I could have stopped sooner, but the wine did get me through some times that I’m not sure I was emotionally ready to handle. So, I’m going to embrace the past and leave it there! Staying present and sober with you today.

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