Drinking isolates us (guest post)

isolation

This guest post comes from member @liberty who wrote it as an update in the Members Feed. It had such a great response from the community I thought it was worth featuring here! Enjoy her wise words.

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@liberty: I first logged on here after seeing Mrs D and someone I knew of, talking on TV about being alcohol free, and this site. I can hardly remember what I expected to find here, I just felt an uneasy mixture of tense and hopeful and despairing and not hopeful. I so wanted to hope, but I didn’t know…

I wasn’t even really sure I wanted to completely stop drinking. I was afraid to hope it was possible. I just wanted my feeling of being controlled by my need for alcohol to change. So tired of it.
I do though vividly remember reading one post after another and thinking – oh! – they have that feeling too.

Oh! I’m not the only one who comes home and drinks alone.

Oh, others know that crushing feeling of shame and self-loathing.

Oh, others do that quick scan on waking to check the damage, followed by a wave of shame, self-disgust and sadness.

And on and on it went. It seemed almost every sensation I’d had, someone else here had also had. That was a revelation because, as I came to learn, if there’s one thing drinking does, it isolates us. The isolation and compulsion makes us think we’re worse than everyone else and more of a failure. That in turn feeds the drinking. Hey presto. Self-perpetuating problem.

There were others like me here. It both comforted and reassured me that I was in the right place, and also showed me what my drinking really was. Because I was here and reading others’ posts, it was harder to hide the reality of that from myself. That too, showed me I really needed to just stop. Do it differently.

Although I wasn’t sure what I could do when I first logged on, or eve if I could do it, within a few days I knew I needed to stop for as long as I could. I wanted freedom. And, I knew I could do it, if I could just lean on this place.

I didn’t post anything at all for a while and I still don’t have much to say about myself. But I see myself in so many posts on a daily basis, all kinds of struggles and approaches and small joys. Then, every now and again, someone has a lapse or a slip, and I’m grateful and humbled that person shares that on here, as it reminds me what that hellish cycle was like. I came to understand that I needed these reminders. It’s easy to get complacent, easy to forget those awful mornings, that crippling feeling of shame, of being trapped, of life being a small repeat treadmill, of feeling physically awful most of the time. Of not quite knowing who I was or what life might be like without being numb to it a lot of the time. Not trusting myself. The sadness of not being sure I could stand myself daily without some sort of buffer.

I’m old enough to know that what might seem a small goal is huge. I would not exchange being able to trust myself, for anything. But what I could do pretty easily is forget what it took to trust myself and what it takes to keep doing that. I think it would be really easy to forget, and just pick up a drink. Being here at Living Sober at every stage has been the cornerstone of me making this ongoing change in my life.

I’m inspired now by newer members who can’t imagine getting to big numbers. But it’s just time. Like with any change, we can’t imagine at first; we do it, we press repeat, then eventually we’ve been doing it a while. I hope this post might help you see that we are all similar as well as different, and that’s no magic about it. There’s timing though.

Also, just don’t f*** with your momentum.

This site has really confirmed my belief that connection plays a major part in changing any habit like this. For me, I need to just keep connected somehow; however it is. Just a toe in, is better than not in at all. So please don’t be ashamed to need to be here. It’s a beautiful thing.

Lean in.

37 Comments
  1. Sunnysgirl 6 months ago

    A toe in. Lean in. Ok. First day of the rest of my life.

    • Sunnysgirl 5 months ago

      I’m now 17 days in. I feel like I’m achieving so much more in a day. I’ve seen a counselor, I’m writing in a journal at night as she suggested, I went to my first AA meeting last Friday..filled with trepidation ..and they were soooo kind. I’ve had blood tests to check liver and cholesterol and just got told they were normal…I owe my body big time after all these years of abuse and it’s still coping! I love reading all your comments, keep talking, it helps all of us.

      • Sunnysgirl 5 months ago

        Also, I’m galloping through ‘ Mrs D is going without’…it could be my story…so much resonating with me. Thank you for your brave soul.

  2. MBFBFM 6 months ago

    Completely agree with the comments posted on this article . Thank you for this, it is very helpful.

  3. Lars 7 months ago

    Yay @liberty!
    Lean in.
    xoxo

  4. barnmomma 7 months ago

    Loved this, Liberty. Thanks so much for sharing it. My favorite line was, “Just don’t f### with your momentum.” Truer words were never spoken. Momentum is precious and hard-earned. I learned that the hard way.

  5. @April 7 months ago

    Exactly what I needed to read tonight… many thanks @liberty

  6. Cinderella 7 months ago

    The coolest post @liberty xx It made such perfect sense -)

  7. SueK 7 months ago

    Brilliant post thank you @liberty. This line really struck me between the eyeballs: I would not exchange being able to trust myself, for anything.
    A HUGE YES to that.

  8. Marley214 7 months ago

    This post is something that I really needed to read after today. It was very well said. Thank you.

  9. Tom4500 7 months ago

    Very nice, Liberty. Your post captures our the sameness of our experiences, and the value of our presence here. Very well said.

    • Liberty 7 months ago

      Thanks @tom4500, I feel our community has so much value, and I know many of us do.

  10. Mari135 7 months ago

    Just wow….thanks heaps for sharing this Liberty…..I am so glad you are here!!!!
    oxoxoxoxxoxoxoxo

  11. IslandOne 7 months ago

    That’s lovely, @Liberty – there are so many gems in there!

  12. morgan 7 months ago

    Wonderful. Thank you.xxx

    • Liberty 7 months ago

      xxx

  13. marmite 7 months ago

    Omfg @liberty ! What a beautiful, inspiring post. So true, this place is magical xx

    • Liberty 7 months ago

      It’s made up of all of us xx (Full credit to Mrs D of course)

  14. janus2 7 months ago

    Now that young liberty was a very cool post. Yay you 🙂

    • Liberty 7 months ago

      More of that young business please 😀

  15. deborah 7 months ago

    Thank you. I’m day four and have bad headaches and abdominal aches and cramps the first few days. As they ease I’m finding the cravings are setting in. I feel edgy like a cat on a hot tin roof. My husband said he’d go and get me some wine and I should just drink occasionally. I really tried to explain to him that moderation does not work with me…..it’s nice to have this place to come to keep focused on what I’m trying to do. I’m sick of the hold alcohol has had over me for so so so long.

    • IslandOne 7 months ago

      Keep at it, @deborah – it does get easier, you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel after a week, even better at a month and after a year – well, it’s awesome.

    • Liberty 7 months ago

      You’re doing great, keep going deborah, Yes aren’t we lucky to have this place? So many of those around us don’t get it.

  16. enzedgirl 7 months ago

    Great piece of writing and so powerfully shared xxx

    • Liberty 7 months ago

      I remember your guest post @enzedgirl and the powerful effect it had on me that you were speaking your truth xx

  17. Seizetheday 7 months ago

    So well said. What a gem you are. Xo
    Lean in everyone!

  18. seedynomore 7 months ago

    Love this @liberty I’m gonna keep my toe in too XO

    • Liberty 7 months ago

      Toes in! xxx

  19. Iowadawn 7 months ago

    What an inspiring and beautifully well written post, @liberty…thanks so much for sharing☺

  20. Begoodtomyself 7 months ago

    Beautifully written and so true. Thanks @liberty for sharing your insight 🙂 xx

  21. Prudence 7 months ago

    Such excellent insights @Liberty, thank you x

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