I've got that familiar feeling of life ebbing and flowing and I'm really appreciating experiencing all of it all the time raw … living sober is soooooo utterly fantastic.
Shit happens, I get through it, an easy patch happens, I slide through it, some more shit happens, I get through it, sleep is bad, I deal with it, sleep gets good again, I love it, shit happens, I get through it, things go smoothly for a while, I love it….. this is sober life.
And I always know what's going on. I don't get confused. I'm alert to things because my brain is never blurred. It's still gob-smacking to me the impact my habitual boozing had on my overall experience of life. Because I was high-functioning you wouldn't necessarily think the regular brain-bending was impacting me so greatly. But it was!
Taking the booze away has had a profound impact on my overall experience of life.
It's so freaking amazing. It's TOTES AMAZEBALLS!!!!!!!!!! A newspaper in NZ had that saying on their 'Going Down' list on the weekend.. meaning it's not cool at all and shouldn't be used. Dumb judgmental too-cool-for-school newspaper journalists being snippy about sayings that aren't hurting anyone. Totes Amazeballs!!!!! I'm not too cool for school! If I want to say 'Totes Amazeballs' instead of 'Totally Amazing' then I will!!!!! In caps no less with far too many exclamation marks!!
SOBRIETY IS TOTES AMAZEBALLS!!!!!!!!
The biggest thing is the calming down. When I was boozing I was always reaching, reacting or moving somehow to do something to cope (usually in the direction of a wine or 3..). It was kind of frantic head-whipping way of living.
Quick I feel pain - do something!! (something that takes me away from the feeling i.e. drink)
Quick I feel sad - do something!! (something that takes me away from the feeling i.e. drink)
Quick I feel angry - do something!! (something that takes me away from the feeling i.e. drink)
And it worked the other way too...
Quick I feel happy - do something! (something that 'enhances' the feeling i.e. drink)
Quick I feel celebratory - do something! (something that 'enhances' the feeling i.e. drink)
Quick I feel proud - do something! (something that 'enhances' the feeling i.e. drink)
Alcohol doesn't 'take away' or 'enhance'. It numbs.
Now I don't drink I'm never numb to these feelings. I fully experience them. With the tough ones I get a sort of weary (calm) resignation that there is nothing that can be done, so I trudge through the pain/sadness/anger knowing that it will pass by. And it always does. And with the good ones - happiness/celebration/pride - I feel them so much more! My happiness is pure, my pride is real, my celebrations are amazing, it's cool!
Drinking away the bad also meant drinking away the good. And you can't do that. You can't selectively numb emotion.
Brene Brown is big on this.. she says "To fully experience positive emotions, we have to be open to our negative emotions. We have to resist the urge to numb ourselves and cultivate the ability to be vulnerable without feeling compelled to protect ourselves. We have to develop a sense of comfort with our discomfort."
I think that's what getting sober has done for me. It's led me to develop a sense of comfort with my discomfort.
Hallelujah. I'm telling you… it's totes amazeballs, and I am deeply profoundly grateful to be living this way now.
Love, Mrs D xxx