I didn't feel disconnected from myself when I was drinking. I thought I was in touch with how I felt and who I was. It wasn't until I took the alcohol away and grew to really understand myself, that I realised how cut off from myself I had been.
Crazy isn't it? I had lived inside my head for 39 years and thought I knew myself, but now I realise I didn't at all. How could I?
For all of my adult life I'd never given myself the time and space to connect inwardly.
I'd never sat fully in my emotions for long enough to truly figure myself out.
Instead, I was always reaching for the bottle to ease my moods. Drinking steadily through the days, weeks & months - and always more heavily in the tough times.
As a result, I realise now, I never really, truly understood myself. I hadn't been with a wide open brain for long enough to properly process my thoughts and feelings. I blurred things, complicated things, numbed things, avoided things.
For all the years I was a steady, regular drinker (20+ years), I didn't realise what a massive impact this was having on my overall experience of life. On my connection with myself. I had no idea. Until, that is, I took the alcohol away.
Now that I live with a wide open brain 100% of the time, never altering my brain chemistry, never 'taking the edge off', never numbing or avoiding, I've had no option but to connect in more deeply with myself. It's been incredible, amazing, eye-opening, grounding, and calming.
I can type these words out to try to explain to you how differently I feel now, how much better I know and understand myself and what a positive impact this has had on my life. But only if you experience it yourself will you know exactly what I mean.
Some of you reading this will relate, because you'll have experienced it yourselves. The rest of you who aren't quite there yet - I truly hope you try.
Connecting with myself has been without a doubt the Number One joy of my sobriety. And watching how this ripples out to all the connections I have with the people around me is Number Two.
My connections with my family, my connections with my friends, and my connections with other people in recovery - like you lot here at Living Sober! - they're all rich, meaningful and rewarding.
Connection is what sobriety and recovery is all about. And it's a glorious, glorious thing.
Mrs D xxx
Well put Lotta. Going on a journey is how I explain it to friends who are interested in how I got alcohol out of my daily routine nearly 8 years ago. Some friends look blankly and don’t quite understand that concept as alcohol to them is still such a huge facet of their lives. Personally for me I’ve loved going deeper into who I am and everyday I’m proud of what I have achieved. I still listen to podcast such as To 50 and beyond and other sober podcasts, as they inspire me and confirm why I stopped when I did. It is totally worth discovering who you are without alcohol blurring everything.
Have been sober close to eight months now and never want to go back to my heavy drinking ways. Most days I feel extraordinarily positive about this new journey I am on. However I would be lying if I didn’t share that there are some days when trying to face up to and get through some of my current pain without the crutch of the numbing assistance of alcohol I feel enormous sadness. I used alcohol to get me through the hard times. Now that I am trying to face up to those things that have caused me pain rather than drink them away I do sometimes feel that the world that I thought I new is crumbling away and I am starting again from scratch. When I feel this way coming to this community and sharing my sadness helps.
Mrs D, I’m a member of the group and need everyone’s help in my journey. But I cannot get into the site any more! It keeps saying my user name and password don’t match, although I have reset my password to he best of my ability many times. Help! Help again!
A beautiful post. It’s true about connections. I’m finally getting to know myself x
I love this post.. thank-you Mrs. D. Finding out who I am in the last 7 years has been amazing – she’s more like the curious gal she was at 13. Knowing who I am has granted me the clarity to see that I needed boundaries. That changed things friendship-wise, but I am happier for it. xo
I couldn’t agree more. Learning to connect with myself has been initially terrifying but as time has gone on very rewarding. In early attempts at sobriety one of the issues I faced was confronting my feelings about relationships and once confronted I realised that I could no longer carry on the way things were. After nearly 40 years that’s quite a scary change to contemplate. Scary for me and confusing for my husband and family. This is my third serous attempt and this time, unlike previous, I know I want to be sober for the rest of my life. I no longer think that one day I will be able to moderate. I understand that now, I believe that now and I really never ever want to do that first 2 weeks again. I guess the benefit of time has been that my family now can see that it may not be as comfortable with sober me. They see that I will no longer numb issues with alcohol, but actually sober wife, mother, mother-in-law and Nana is actually just as much fun, she has more energy, she’s more engaged with herself and others and is never too pissed to be bothered. Kia kaha sober team