Tag Archives: reaching other people

Getting through, over, or past it…sober

17 Jul

3:06 pm

Just checking in. So tired. Sad, happy, confused, relieved. I’ve been entertaining an old classmate/friend/drinking buddy for the past five days–and I’m so. Very. Tired. And sad. I don’t know, maybe just drained.

This was a hurdle, and I guess I did good. I think I’ve hit a new place in my sobriety where the cravings are secondary (practically nonexistent) compared to my desire to move through things sober in order to learn what I know I need to learn.

Like, how to make small talk with someone whom I just can’t reach…the way I want to/the way that makes me feel safe and good and good about myself. Yeesh. I felt like the entire weekend was trying to make contact through bubble film between our two ENTIRELY SEPARATE UNIVERSES. Sometimes I wonder if I’m unique, if this is my own personal dragon to slay–always in my head and worrying what someone is thinking about me, whether they’re having a good time, whether they’re feeling a connection to me or feeling like I’m a cartoon character who projects my thoughts into clouds above my head.

I didn’t react to these feelings of discomfort and disconnection by wanting to drink, though. I know I can’t, I know I shouldn’t, and that’s that. It’s that easy now. Plus, she’s seen me at my worst, and neither of us want to go there again (she didn’t drink the whole time either, so that made it even easier). However, getting me through it was this newfound sense of knowing that it’s these moments, and events, and people that I NEED to “do” and “get through” sober. I can’t drink to avoid the reality that, connecting with other people is hard. It’s a big deal-thing for me, it’s something I’m constantly worrying about: is it me who can’t seem to feel anything but trepidation and lack of familiarity around people I don’t know? I mean, it’s a visceral relief–and always has been–when I can finally be alone again. Do others feel this way? Sigh. I drank a lot over this, and now I can’t. So, I do my best and hopefully, is it good enough.

This was hard to learn about myself, though. Re-learn, I should say. I mean, I really SAW it this weekend with my friend in town. I never would have had to face it and accept it if I had allowed myself the option of going around it by getting drunk.

My friend and I were drinking buddies in graduate school, and we never hung out much outside the bar. I’ve changed a lot, and I don’t want to say that she hasn’t; but what I noticed was how much chaos she was holding onto (for protection?); chaos in the form of bad relationships, a job that doesn’t pay her what she’s worth, a disrespectful roommate, comparing herself constantly to others, passive aggressiveness.

Let’s face it, though: getting sober has not only made me see these things more clearly, but allowed me to see that I deserve better in a friend AND, that I can and will (uncomfortably and clumsily) stand up for myself. Anyway, the point is, I see these things in other, non-sober people, and am somewhat astounded that getting sober has offered me a way out. By no means am I free and pure and enlightened, but at the very least, I NOTICE the chaos and I make attempts at not living in it anymore.

I think it was Day 120 for me yesterday! The cravings have subsided, that’s for sure. I no longer really fantasize about that “glass” of wine because, well, it’s sort of getting pointless/boring to do so. Yes, at times I felt bored, agitated, and exhausted this weekend, but I knew in my gut that THIS was the only way, getting through it all sober. And, I have the feeling that sobriety is going to start resembling this more; the cravings seem small-fry compared to the “real work” that lies ahead. And, the rewards of this supposed “real work” are bound to be much more substantial–a true high–than resisting the cravings. I can feel it.

Onward…

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