The holidays, and my sober advice

23 Dec

10:41 pm

This holiday has been stressful to me, I have to admit.  We’re in a different place and time, and a different space, within ourselves.  All this change, combined with all this self-imposed people pleasing–well, it grates, especially since it’s one of the reasons I drank in the first place.  If only I didn’t have to do this, if only I could just say no, I wouldn’t have to drink…is how it used to go down in my mind.  Still sort of does, on some level, I guess.

I remember feeling so unappreciated (kind of how I’ve been feeling lately, but I see it for what it is–partly of my own creation), and drinking at that feeling.  I remember drinking at people, if they pissed me off; or at bad situations, if they didn’t go my way; or at being let down, if my expectations weren’t met.  It sounds hard to believe to people who don’t use alcohol, but it’s how we keep rationalizing our compulsive and binge drinking, even when it screws up our heads and lives:  before we’re able to think it through, pick it apart, and realize what we can change and what we’ve created in our own minds–we drink.  Bam!  We’re drunk and shit sucks, and we’re down the same hole.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve wanted to say “Fuck it” the past few weeks, months, seasons.  It’s a feeling that builds and builds, a little “fuck it” here, a little more “fuck it” there, and…you know how it ends.  Rest assured, I am not going to drink, but I don’t think I’ve felt so close to wanting to say, fuck it, and go and get what’s MINE.

I miss having something of my own to take the edge off; I miss being able to just say, fuck it, I’m done, I’m drinking wine now.  Is what I’m really wanting and needing, though, some time for myself, to nurture and heal and appreciate what I’ve accomplished and who I am?  Is what I’m really needing some simple self-care?  Because, in that caring of self, as a sober person, I can totally see my role (my expectations and reactions) in creating a bad situation.  It’s also a way to reinforce self-respecting behavior (like, I feel this way and so, in respect for my legitimate feelings, I say no, or I don’t do this).

And I told you to be patient, and I told you to be kind

When you’re actively drinking, there is no self-reflection; it feels SO good to drink at it–whether it’s your anger at what someone did to you, or your feeling of frustration at not having handled the situation differently, or your belief that you are helpless to change it anyway–and then, to hold onto it until the bottle’s gone and you’ve blasted off, not to return until you come back the next morning (or afternoon) and realize that you’ve so lost.  Whatever there was to win, you definitely did not win that.

Letting go is the hardest part, it really is; it’s all about a higher self, and higher behavior; and sometimes it feels like your brain is pulling itself apart.

What I’m increasingly tired of is, I never get to escape…to the magic realm.  You know???  To the romantic place.  To the sensual world.  To the realm of ridiculous fantasy…which is what wine and drugs do, is they help you CREATE the ridiculous fantasy, and it feels so damn good to be there for a while!?  The ancient Greeks knew how important wine was to their conversational gatherings, right?  God, if only I came of age in archaic Greece!?

Regular life just gets so monotonous!  I miss wine…enhancing music, the present, the past, the holidays, my relationships, my dreams.  I miss the old me, and I have missed that crazy, romantic bitch ever since I got sober and had to let a large part of her go!?  I know, this way is so much better–I can actually hear music, have a present that is worth living, have a past that doesn’t haunt me, experience holidays that go off without a hitch, cultivate relationships that don’t crumble or blow up, and, um actually make real some of those dreams.  I just have to wonder, will I ever truly be able to smile easily, and without some part of my mind thinking, God, it would be SO much easier to find this entertaining if I had some wine?

I guess I’m feeling uninspired lately, a bit cynical, and just sort of a combination of tired and under-appreciated; I know I can remedy all of this with self-care, which includes just making some other choices.  And, it’s a blessing of being sober to not only have choices, but know that I have choices.

Anyway, my two cents is this:  whenever you feel like drinking this holiday, just remind yourself that IF you’re drinking AT someone, or something, it’s SO only going to fuck you up.  That someone or something does not know, and does not care; and worse, it won’t solve or change anything.  Remember, drinking AT yourself, or your problems, or your letdowns is not going to change you, or your problems, or your letdowns.  And, while all this advice sucks and stings, this, too, shall pass.  Give it a minute, three, a few hours–hang in there–because this, too, shall pass.  Your higher self will come back to the fore, and you’ll be able to agree with me/you, and say, right, OK, I got this.  I don’t have to drink now.  I don’t have to drink.  Exhale, this sucks, I still hurt, but I don’t have to drink.

Thank you, friends; I am sort of tearing up because I know I am talking to myself now, and I know that you’ve been listening and hearing me for the past six holiday seasons before this one.

Merry Christmas, all, and to all a good, sober night.

5 Responses to “The holidays, and my sober advice”

  1. Julie December 24, 2018 at 9:07 am #

    I relate to everything you’re saying. Thanks for this post. You’ve reminded me to pause, step back, and notice when I’m slipping into old, unhelpful patterns. What I have now is real and precious, and I’m going to hold it close and protect it. Happy holidays and best wishes for 2019!

  2. Adrian December 24, 2018 at 10:45 am #

    There’s so much great stuff here, and it seems to me you’re at that second (third? fourth? who’s counting) node in the path away from an addictive substance where the thing is to drop the hard stuff entirely. This is how I see it at least. Node 1, drop the numbing agent and feel everything that’s there. Learn to put up with it, fix some actual things needing fixing, let some of the chaos clear. But then I feel like we’re left with this white-knuckling through stuff that, it turns out, according to some path-breakers, and I’m starting to verify, we can just let go of. The result is actually a new kind of magical realm. The “release technique” people call it imperturbibility. A state where one needs nothing outside of oneself in order to be okay inside. I guess I’m writing this just to say keep seeking. A less stressful existence is quite possible. The voices I find super helpful are Michael Singer (The Untethered Soul, and an 8 session video course that popped my eyes wide open) and the Release Technique people, who also popped my eyes wide open. Brilliant, essential, freeing. You may have your own people whose perspectives resonate with you, or you may create your own path. Just know that it’s there for the having. xo Adrian

  3. Ainsobriety December 24, 2018 at 11:29 am #

    Hug.
    I try to remember is that the brightness and uncaring of wine is temporary and the aftermath is even more painful and unacceptable.
    I remember hungover Christmas mornings…they hurt.
    Clarity is always the right choice.
    Hugs and love,
    Anne

  4. Lisa Neumann December 31, 2018 at 2:46 pm #

    You just grow and grow and grow. There are so many twists and turns in our recovering life. I am so happy that you keep showing up here and that you continue to work toward greater meaning within. The gift of “the ability to make choices,” beautiful, simply beautiful.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. repost from drunky drunk girl: the holidays, and my sober advice | club east indianapolis - December 24, 2018

    […] This holiday has been stressful to me, I have to admit.  We’re in a different place and time, and a different space, within ourselves.  All this change, combined with all this self-imposed people pleasing–well, it grates, especially since it’s one of the reasons I drank in the first place.  If only I didn’t have to do this, if only I could just say no, I wouldn’t have to drink…is how it used to go down in my mind. […] […]

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