Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pondering, pondering....

I'm still in a slightly flat low key mode and am thinking this is a flat slightly low key mode that has nothing to do with being off alcohol, it's just a low key state that is lingering for a while.  But because the 'sober' facet of my life is the big new feature I attribute every mood and emotional state to the fact I don't drink.  I mean sometimes you just get a bit flat and low key don't you?

On another wondering-about-it note, I'm wondering when does drinking emotionally turn into problem drinking?  Like I can say now that I was drinking heavily to deal with emotions and that I'm having to relearn how to live without that crutch.

But then drinkers like Mr D have alcohol at emotional times yet he's not a dysfunctional drinker by any stretch, not like I was.  He can stop after 1 or 2 if he wants.  Can go without.  Can take it or leave it.  These things I couldn't do.

Yet he still associates all those emotional 'moments' in life with booze.  Celebration, Bubbles!  Difficult conversation, whiskey.  Hard busy day working, cold beer.  Nice meal, nice wine.  You know what I mean.  Where is the line that you cross into dysfunctional drinking?

Also, I think for the first few months of my sobriety I was feeling quite aggressively 'sane', like I'd seen the light and realised what a fallacy alcohol was and how we've all been brainwashed to accept this mind bending, awful tasting liquid as a regular part of our lives.  One that we turn to in times of pain, anger, sorrow, joy or celebration.

That won't always be the case in our society I thought. It was almost an arrogance that I was superior because I had 'become enlightened' and had taken the 'big bold, oh so clever' move to live without it and I would show everyone how possible it was to still enjoy life but with the booze removed.  Alcohol industry take that! Mrs D is one of the first to lead the charge in  a worldwide change in attitudes towards drinking that will lead slowly to alcohol being treated as tobacco is.  Outlawed, frowned apron, becoming rarer and rarer.

But that feeling is slipping away as I look around and it seems like that will never happen because - my god! - bars and cafes and bottle shops are everywhere.  E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.  And booze is in almost every house and workplace. Everyone drinks.  Mostly in a functional, moderate manner.  'It's ok' (society says to me), 'we all handle this fine.  It's just you sorry.'

So now I'm starting to feel a bit more humble and .. well .. flawed.  It was only my excesses and abuse of the liquid that meant I had to remove it completely, and now I'm a lonely sober boat in a booze soaked world.  Aside from you other lovelies that is.  But you know what I mean.

I dunno.  Maybe this humble state being more ashamed of myself is a better place to be than a cocky know-it-all.  Or maybe this is just another stage in the learning-to-live-sober roller coaster.  I can't bloody wait to be 2 years sober.  I really can't.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. I have had the exact same feelings, Mrs. D! It is so funny how we Lovelies think so much alike!

    Here's to two years!

  2. TheNoiseAndHaste here (finding it impossible to post from Wordpress, so I'm trying anonymous.)

    "When does drinking emotionally turn into problem drinking?"

    I would say it doesn't, necessarily. Emotional drinking isn't alcoholism. People who throw back a couple of drinks when they're low or pissed off maybe using alcohol to change the way they feel ... but I don't think those people are necessarily en route to alcoholism. We alcoholics know the kind of weird thinking that goes on in our own minds. (cunning. baffling. powerful.) A person who is drinking too much because of emotions may eventually realize it and say, "well, clearly i need to cut back." And then -- they will! Or, maybe, the thought of cutting back or the possibility of problem drinking never even enters their minds! When the cloud passes, their consumption goes back to normal, with ne'er strange, alcoholic thought!

    But, the alcoholics who start out drinking emotionally will soon find themselves worrying to death about how much they want to drink and/or breaking resolution after resolution about cutting back. The switch will have been tripped, and sooner or later it will be clear to them that they are alcoholics.

    Emotional drinking didn't "turn" them that way. They were just different from the beginning. And somewhere along the line, the switch tripped and that was that.

    At least, that's what I think.

  3. I'm not sure if you already attend AA meetings, but if not, I urge you to try one out. I assure you you'll never feel alone again as a non-drinker, haha.

    I know exactly what you mean. I recently went through a mourning period where I was sad I couldn't go out for a drink with my husband like a normal person. He drinks a lot (too much by many standards) but he doesn't struggle like I did.

    I believe there's an invisible line alcoholics cross, at which point we just can't return. And we can be better than we ever were before without alcohol. It's possible that crossing that line is inevitable for some of us. I'm just glad I crossed it while I was relatively young and before I got a DUI, lost my family, my job, etc.

    Hang in there. The emotional stuff is hard. Soooo much harder to feel without alcohol. But the difference is if you feel it, you can process it and move beyond. You have a real chance at growth that you didn't have before.

  4. I speak for myself, but have heard lots of other folks say at AA meetings that one of the primary reasons to their drinking was them not being able to handle their emotional life, not being friends with emotions at all. And I believe my own main reason for drinking excessively was to cope with any kind of emotion. It sure is a red thread running through the entire collective of addicts (I think).

    Being sober and coping with happy jolly feelings - noooo problems hahaa Any kind of negative emotion and I start spiraling downwards. This journey in sobriety sure includes a lot of analyzing emotions, identifying them, talking about them, coping with them and most of all - working my butt of to learn to let go of that lunatic control I try to hold on EVERTHING. Just trying to learn to [let go].

    Now, I'd say that we better leave our lonely boats and jump up on that enormous and marvellous cruise ship that I'd like to call... "Adventure of the Sober Seas" ;-) To join all the other sober alkies, it is so much eaiser sharing my disability in coping with emotions with the help of others.

    You can find me at deck 17! Am up there dancing my skirt off - shaking off my need to control :))

    Take care mrs D! *hugs*

  5. I have nothing wise to say - just that I appreciate your post and your ponderings and I love all the comments. So much wisdom there and I am just a happy reader.
    Thanks for the share!

  6. Its the same reason I have a strong aversion for the 'normalisation' of gambling - it's as though it is acceptable and so it is not the problem - YOU are. Just like guns and drugs. All bad, not the poor bastard who uses it. It shouldn't be around in the first place, or if it is, tightly controlled and somehow winked at and let through as an idulgence. Even crap junk food is on my list.
    I know, I can veer pretty far to the right sometimes...

  7. Ms. D -- I am also married to a "normie" and often wonder why he can drink like he does and I used to drink...well..a lot. Wine was also my drug of choice. I finally figured out that I do not have an "off switch." When I start drinking, it's game on! That's the difference, I think. Normies drink AT the party -- alcoholics are still drinking AFTER the party.

  8. Well, I too was enlightened, but it was while I was still "soaking in it"! Alcohol made me feel so superior to the knuckle draggerz I was forced to coexist with. Don't you see?? Booze made me worthy and wiser. Now that I'm sober, I see just how pathetic I really was. Mrs D, please don't consider yourself "flawed"! Hell, we're ALL flawed, really. It's how we deal with it that makes us who we are, not by what we can or cannot do. I mean, my wife isn't flawed just because she cannot ingest antibiotics (they make her very ill), you know? Yeah, sure, I may be damaged goods, but, so what? As long as I'm not searching for an answer at the bottom of a bottle, I'm doing ok- Take care- Coop

  9. Well I think you were right the first time, your eyes have been opened. But, people don't seem to like it, but don't feel bad, you are still right.

  10. Mrs. D - I'm two years sober (1/7/10) and I still ponder, ponder, ponder. What I've come to realize is that it really doesn't matter how you've come to where you are when you become an alcoholic - it just matters that you're sober now.

    I've been blogging of late at about all those issues. Drop by and see what you think.

    Oh - and I read a fabulous quote today that I'm going to put on my mirror. Once a cucumber becomes a pickle, it can't go back to being a cucumber.

    Thanks for sharing - you are an helps keep me sober to hang with all you "lovelies" as well.