I no longer define myself by my drinking

6 Mar

9:51 pm

And, no one else can, either!

Sorry about not posting as often as I usually do, but, I’ve had a lot going on. Nonetheless, I’m still here, still sober, and still thinking about drinking–but won’t–almost every day. I mean, it’d be nice, I guess, to have a glass of red. Mainly, I wonder if I can; and if I would, if I could. The thoughts are momentary, though; it’s just not something I’m going to give up the past 21 weeks (as of tomorrow) of mental work/anguish to do!

I’m definitely feeling like I’m coming out from under some sort of anxiety/depression fog, which has been enveloping my brain and hovering around it since December. I feel better, more confident, and well, more like myself, in general. Nothing has to be perfect, and, if they don’t want me, it’s their loss, is MUCH easier for me to tell myself these days, an almost automatic internal reaction–how it was, and should be; the baseline; normal. Not that I didn’t have doubts and self-confidence issues before, but the older I got the better able I was to channel the Fierce. Since I quit drinkin’, I’ve just felt…really unsure. Annoyingly, frustratingly so. More and more, decisions are coming without a lot of back and forth. I can count on myself again, and that takes away a lot of anxiety (which, I guess, I didn’t even know was coming from within).

Drinking was a phase in my life, I see now. I’m now most definitely not in that phase; I’ve grown out of it. Grown up, in a sense. Getting shitfaced messes everything up, and that’s the best it does; I really don’t have the time or desire to mess things up anymore. Drinking to excess has personal and professional consequences; I wouldn’t subject myself to them–and wouldn’t let others take advantage of me while drunk–if I had an OUNCE of self-love. I see that now.

I’m not sure if drinking will be a part of my future, but using wine the way I did–and abusing others and letting myself be abused by others–will DEFINITELY not be. It really is that simple.

I am no longer defining myself by my drinking. And, regardless of what box you fit into (someone I hurt, someone I “lost” along the way to getting sober), I am no longer allowing you to define me by my drinking. (“You” is not, well, y’all, but…well, you know what I mean!) What a liberating revelation! Am I still bitter that some people haven’t forgiven or forgotten, despite my “amends” and apologies? Hell’s, yes! Am I trying to let that–and them–go? You bet. There are SO many people in this world to get to know–that I get the chance to know–to share myself with, to love. And to be loved by. Why would I waste time and effort on those who are still defining me–and our relationship–by my nonexistent drinking? I wouldn’t. And that’s much easier to accept now than it was even a month ago.

I’m looking forward–finally–to most everything. Finally, it’s not an effort to get excited about a trip, a job application, a road race. I can almost look forward to dinners out sans wine–well, let’s not go THAT far. I don’t know if that’s part of the warped-by-wine leaving me, but I think it is. Why? Because it feels effortless, familiar–I remember all the stuff I USED to do that got me excited, wine or no wine. Somewhere along the way, none of it alone could make me feel excited anymore; the only thing I looked forward to, that truly motivated me, was wine. Getting buzzed. Doubly disappointing was that the by-product became mass confusion and destruction.

Anyway, things are rolling along: I’m *this* close to registering for a half-marathon somewhere; I’m heading to Miami this weekend for a solo “big city” adventure; and well, other stuff that’s too personal or boring to share here. Slowly, but surely, things are coming together. I just have to remember to take it easy on myself when I need to, breathe, and ENJOY the silence–wolfie (the voice of craving, that growls, Drink drink drink drink!) has finally shut up, and is cowering in his dog bed over in the far corner. Yes, I gave him a *dog* bed to rub in his now SO-not-alpha status.

147 days tomorrow, which means 33 days until my 6-month goal! Unicorns, set…and GO!!!

7 Responses to “I no longer define myself by my drinking”

  1. Amy March 7, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    I love when I read your posts I’m all head nods and, “yep, that’s right.” and “I KNOW! I KNOW!” Grown up. Being sober makes me feel like a grown up too. Like I’m handling my business.

  2. Belle (Tired2012) March 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    super lovely to read this, i agree that drinking is like a phase in my life. and now that i’m well on the other side of it (8+ months), booze has really lots its appeal. i’m not interested in testing whether i can drink again, because i’m feeling good enough now that i’d never want to ‘start all over again’… it’ll just be a tiny mystery, over there, in a pile of other things i’m not going to try … e.g., i’ve heard that periodic use of LSD is good for creativity, and i ain’t gonna try that. i’ve heard that fasting is a quick way to transcendence (!), and i’m not going there either ….
    in the end, i just know what’s true for me.
    My Truth: the further away i get from drinking, the less i think about it, and the less i give a shit. and that is a very very good thing indeed.

  3. carrythemessage March 8, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    Sounds like there are some shifts going on with you there…wonderful stuff indeed. You say a lot of great things here, and insightful. Amazing how when we sober up and examine ourselves, how much we gain knowing more about ourselves. We seem to unearth some things about us that give us true insight into our core selves. And while we can know everything upside and down about ourselves, it’s what we do with that knowledge that helps us along. Action is the key.

    What you said about not being defined by alcohol is very important. We used to call ourselves “drunks” or “booze pigs” or what not and we labelled ourselves based on our drinking. And of course others do too. I identify as an alcoholic, but only in sober / recovery / AA circles. I don’t introduce myself as that at work, or a party, or on the bus. I am Paul. I am a human being, thank you. I am love. I am gratitude. I am a work in progress. So taking that equation our of you self-identity is very important…it takes you out of that one dimensional way and rounds you out…back to you.

    The other thing you mentioned is something I recall you mentioning before (forgive me if I am incorrect…my memory isn’t always so sharp :)) , but about forgiving or letting go of those who you feel the resentment of them judging you. And you say you have made progress in that area, and I can see that. Congrats on that. I sense you getting into a calmer place. Letting go of those things in them that bothers you is important to your serenity. What’s most important in the value you place on yourself and no one else can do that for you. their reaction is their reaction.

    Glad things are coming together…amazing how that happens when we stop drinking and start living again.


  4. Chey March 8, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    Hi there, I just discovered your blog this morning. I’m on 6 days sober. I still have that constant barking “just one, you could have juuuuust one.” And maye one day I will, but one thing is for sure. After 3 years of drinking almost everyday I’m already ail of it and I want to find as much joy in life sober as I did after 3 glasses of rosé.
    Will I EVER find that? My therapist told me to try antidepressants. But I just don’t know!

    • littleman031103 April 12, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

      Chey, are you in a recovery program? Sobriety is possible. Living happy, joyous and free in sobriety is definitely possible. We can’t do this alone, though. Cheers for the days you have and I’ll be praying for you to continue.

  5. Lisa Neumann March 8, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    Late to the post, (but I always arrive). Yes, yes, yes, I am finally seeing the unicorns. I adore your undying “acceptance” of the process of healing (recovering). And for the record, people on my street don’t even know I’m an alcoholic. They don’t even notice that I don’t drink at social functions. I like to think that they think I’m just a super cool chick. Hope you have (or had) a great weekend.

    ps. let’s get on the 1/2 marathon training when you get back.

  6. littleman031103 April 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    🙂 The further you go in sobriety, the more you realize just how much more to life there is than booze. We are each a big conglomeration of different facets of being and should never define ourselves as any one thing. Cheers on 147 days sober!

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