I think we need to accept that there is a certain amount of grief that goes with getting sober. Grief for the good bits of our past boozy life. Yes the good bits. We have to acknowledge that and grieve it and accept the grief as a part of sobriety.
Not a huge amount, but a little bit.
It’s like when a loved one dies.. you’re told that with time it’ll get easier to deal with the grief. Not because the grief goes away, but because you learn to live with it. Your life fits around it. You re-shape things around the grief. It becomes a part of you.
It’s the same with living sober. We learn to live with the grief at losing the past ‘fun’ times (I’m putting that in inverted commas because often the fun wasn’t fun at all). We learn to live with the fact we’re always going to be the sober person in the room. And we learn to live with the knowledge that this is our reality forever more.
Grief. It’s a measure of grief. And I think to deny that would be silly.
Like all grief the grief at losing alcohol is very intense at first and lessens over time, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes still get pangs of it.
But it’s ok. I’m used to it. I can live with it. And I can quickly rationalise why the grief needs to be a necessary part of my life.
Because my boozing wasn’t fun AT ALL at the end – it was heavy and sloppy and miserable.
Because I am so much calmer and happier inside myself since I took alcohol away. I feel like I’ve finally woken up as a human being and am thoroughly enjoying getting to know myself and my emotional landscape really well.
Because I am more present to myself I’m also more available to be there for my loved ones. I’m a better listener. I am way more empathetic and sensitive to others which makes me a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend.
Because I feel healthy and well-rested most of the time which was certainly NOT the case when I was necking wine like it was going out of fashion.
Because I am a part of the coolest gang in the world – that being the gang of brave and amazing sober people who have dug deep to remove alcohol from their lives and re-frame their identities as a sober person in a booze-soaked world.
Anyone who does this is a LEGEND and I’m delighted to know and be connected to them.
I’ll take a little grief over all these wonderful benefits any day.
Love, Mrs D xxx