Friday, June 22, 2012

Boozing has it's attractions...

In some ways a boozy existence is actually an easier one I reckon.  Even though you feel ill a lot of the time and guilty and dysfunctional (which I did), when you booze regularly as a means of emotion suppressing it's easier to live a cruisy, breezy life.

I practiced emotion-suppressing (heavy, steady drinking) for all of my adult life and as a result I was able to sail through times of stress, sadness or hurt relatively easily.  I could escape a lot with the help of my companion vino.

As I've written before my boozing was high-functioning boozing.  I ran a seemingly healthy life with good relationships but I kept my feelings at bay constantly by always dulling myself with wine.  I look now at people still doing that with a bit of envy.

It would be really nice to have an escape.  It would be really really nice to be able to reach for something that, in the short term at least, makes life easier to handle.  That's the attraction of boozing.  That's why we did it.  It helps with pain.

So take away the booze and what helps with dealing with that emotional pain?  Sometimes it's nothing. Sometimes you just have to feel the goddamn pain and let it out.

For me this means I cry a lot more (I'm getting used to not caring if people see my cry.  Not much chance of hiding my tears lately).  This also means I'm angrier more and am less tolerant with my kids (especially at the end of a long day).  I hate this, it makes me feel really guilty and I'm trying hard to stop doing it while also trying not to beat myself up about it.

What else can you do in place of boozing?  Exercise is good I suppose and I am off to a new gym now for my introduction session.  Let me be clear about me and exercise.  I don't particularly like it.  I'm not sporty.  I have flat feet.  But if I don't exercise I don't feel so good so I put it in my life as a priority because it makes me feel better.  Mentally and physically.  I usually only go 2 times a week, sometimes 3. But I'm smart enough now to just put it in place and treat it like putting out the garbage.  Something that has to be done.

Being sober means I've kind of become more measured, more serious perhaps.  I can't be breezy and cheery all the time anymore.  I can't suppress emotions, push them aside and pretend (believe) that everything is just fine.   Everything isn't fine all of the time and being sober means doing it raw, baby.  I said to someone the other day it's like I'm on a mechanical bull of emotion and it's tossing me this way and that.  But don't worry, I'm holding tight to the reigns and won't let go.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Hey you! I am too wiped out (tired) to even read your entire blog tonight but I wanted to say "Hi" and I'm thinking of you as you adjust to your new place in life. I am at the same time adjusting the new me to an old place in my life.

    I read enough of your blog to get the gist that sobriety robs of our old escape hatch, get angry-have a drink, get sad-have a drink, get worried-ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto. In the end, I was spending all my time in my foxhole, afraid of what might bombard me if I stuck my head out.

    Thank God, sobriety also gave me courage to throw open the hatch and climb out and face whatever the world wants to hurl at me.

    That's all I have tonight, I'm going to bed, I have had an exhausting, but victorious day.

  2. (((Love))) (sending lots of it) xx

    .....and I've already had a suggestion... about what to replace the booze with... (you know it got me onside with Mr D??!)

    Settle in soon x

  3. This is such an insightful post, Mrs. D. I have had some of the very same thoughts lately as you expressed here and all I can come up with in the end is the same conclusion you came up with: IT IS SO NOT WORTH IT!


  4. Same here Mrs D . . . very emotional, quicker to get angry of an evening with the kids, lots of tears. The only differnece is, you are stronger and you don't keep running back to the pain killer. I envy you.
    You really have nothing to envy of those (of us) who keep choosing "the easy way"
    The wide path is not the right path. It's the narrow, difficult path that leads to enlightenment; but you know that, and that's why you stick to it.

  5. Good post... seems to be a theme out in the blogosphere... grieving over the total loss of booze (the inability to enjoy some of the fun or benefits) and yet being glad to be relieved of all the consequences. I think the permanence often gets to people which is why is is so helpful to remember that it isn't forever, it is just for today... one day at a time.
    Hang in there.

  6. Again such insight Mrs D. Thank you. In my relatively new sober state I keep waiting for the this brand new me to emerge, who is calm, all knowing, wise. Instead all the old hurts,anxieties and irritations are still there, with one important exception however. In my sobriety there is very little self loathing. I now realise that this was a huge and constant part of my boozing past. So I feel kinder and more protective to the little hurt, anxious girl in me, instead of loathing the boozing bitch of old. This is new for me and not sure where this will lead, but it is forcing me to look at myself quite differently.

  7. I have just found your site and wanted to say thanks for the honesty. I have been attempting this sobriety thing for the past 10 weeks and recently it all went wrong. The one thing I didn't take into account (or know about) was the mood swings. I thought I was actually going insane. I see it is a normal reaction to quitting. I just followed a link, from one of your previous posts, to a site about post-alcohol withdrawal and am amazed. So, thank you, you may have just put me back on the road to recovery.

  8. I forget how much time you have sober, but I know months 6-9 were all over the place for me. Then around 11 months, and also month 5 wasn't great either, lol. The first year was a lot of ups and downs - total roller coaster - and mind you, I didn't put my house on the market and uproot my life and all that jazz. It strikes me that you went through a great deal of stress during early sobriety.

    Exercise is great and the only suggestion I have. I run and exercise every day, even if it's just a 30 minute walk first thing in the morning. If I don't, I feel off. Well aware it's another addiction, but I guess my crazy brain needs something, plus working out makes me feel good.

    Then there's food and shopping and sex and a whole number of other distractions, but I guess the real answer comes in what you said: learning to just feel the emotions and waiting for them to pass. They always do.

    Take care of yourself and please don't beat yourself up. You're doing a beautiful job.

  9. Ah yes life gets real . I remember my first year or so , that I thought life would be grand 24/7 and that all adversity would shy from my path , like the parting of the Red Sea. It's been 21 years now, and you know what ? Life is just a real as it was back then . The difference for me is that I've aquired coping skills and my past isn't barking at me life Pavlog's Dog, because my slate is clean , and pray in the morning, that GOD help me be a better person today than yesterday and believe in what I'm praying and faith that GOD does help me , become progressively better.

  10. I like that...I can relate...exercise is a chore like putting out the trash. But I have to get back into it too. I like watching Judge shows (esp Judge Judy) or Reality TV while walking on the treadmill. That is the extent of it for me! Just on week 3 here but finding I can relate to more grumpy feelings as well as that 'flat' feeling. But that is ok! I just try to get to bed earlier and like you I enjoy my bedtime routine now that don't basically 'pass out' and then wake up middle of the night for hrs. Ugh. Don't miss it a bit.