I am not the problem….

At the end of my drinking days I was a miserable booze-soaked wreck. I had so much wine coursing through my veins I was soaked in the stuff. I was completely ground down by my heavy and dysfunctional drinking habit. I felt weak, powerless and pathetic because I couldn’t control myself when it came to alcohol.

My sense of wellbeing was well and truly eroded.

I felt like a piece of shit to be perfectly honest. I had let myself down time and again.. making promises and breaking them over and over again.. so many broken promises that I had lost faith in myself.

This is what booze had led me to. Feeling like a worthless piece of shit person with no willpower or inner strength.

Fucking shit addiction.

I think the big thing that happened for me at my point of change (over six years ago now).. was that finally one day I had a subtle but significant thought-change and shift inside myself. In the wee small hours of the morning with my cheeks wet from tears after my final ever binge a little thought occurred to me and with it a long-dormant part of myself rose up inside.

The thought went like this.  “I am not the problem. Alcohol is the problem.”

Such a small thought but a very powerful one because what that thought did was shift the power and give some back to me – me who was feeling so powerless and helpless. “I am not the problem. Alcohol is the problem. I suddenly saw that the problem wasn’t inherently in me, it was only me when I had alcohol in my system. As I shifted the power and saw clearly what the problem was I was lead to only one conclusion….

“Take the alcohol away and the problem is gone.”

And so it was with this thought that I separated myself out from the problem. I found a little kernel of strength inside as I refused to believe the problem was inherently in me. No – the problem was the alcohol in me. And so I decided that in order to fix the problem alcohol simply had to go. And at that point of change alcohol became the enemy. Not my friend. And that is a belief I have clung to ever since.

I am not the problem. Alcohol is the problem. 

There was a lot of hard work (most of it unexpected) that went on after that moment of clarity to change all of my hard-wired thinking around booze (that it was the golden ticket to fun, helped me deal with stress, made life interesting, enhanced social events etc etc etc).. but throughout it all I held tight to that single clear belief .

I am not the problem. Alcohol is the problem. 

I can’t believe how much has changed for me in six years since that moment of clarity. I can’t believe how different I feel as a person. I can’t believe how much I have learned about myself. I can’t believe the endlessly fascinating world I am now awake to – all the new ways dealing with emotions I am now embracing.

I can’t believe how much more calm and grounded and connected I feel as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

I can’t believe the internet has become such a magical & powerful force in my life. I can’t believe how warm and amazing the online recovery community is.

I can’t believe how amazing it is to live entirely alcohol free.

I just can’t believe the turn my life has taken. All because I had a moment of clarity on the 6th of September 2011.

I am not the problem. Alcohol is the problem.

Take the alcohol away and the problem will go.

Love, Mrs D xxx

  1. Anonymous 6 years ago

    I already quit the most EVIL HABIT I could IMAGINE. Pain pills. Alone. No rehab. But a year later, I couldn’t stop the STRESS !
    NOW, I’m BADLY ADDICTED to Alcohol. TERRIFIED I am in “THIS “!
    I’m SCAREDto stop. I’m MISERABLE to continue because I HATE how FAT & UGLY I now. I honestly cannot Imagine QUITTING! I’m also middle aged AT BEST & AM SOOOOO EMBARRASSED ! NEVER in a million years would I have thought THIS would be me. But it IS. I AM SCARED. BUT I AM MORE VAIN THAN AFRAID. VANITY IS EXACTLY how I quit pills!
    Afraid I will start the “promises” to self / others. And FAIL. Afraid I can’t handle LIFE Without it.

    • behind-the-sofa 6 years ago

      Sorry to hear that you’re in such a bad place…. you did so well getting on top of one addiction only for another one to flare up…. this will, unfortunately, be likely to continue until the underlying reasons driving your addictions are addressed….. seems to me you need to get other people involved….. can you visit a doctor? Maybe get some counselling and or go to an AA meeting or something similar?…. you shouldn’t have to suffer alone with this.

  2. Marsha62 6 years ago

    Thank you for this. Just repeating the words gives me some well needed self esteem.

  3. BlueSojourn 6 years ago

    This is a beautiful post, and SO true. It echoes my own sentiments. I have often thought: The fact that I became addicted to a HIGHLY-ADDICTIVE substance does not mean that I am weak, flawed, or abnormal. It actually means that I’m well within the normal range.

  4. Marsha 6 years ago

    Thanks for that great post. I hear you and will take that mantra with me on my journey. Day 97 for me, and planning on doing something special for me to celebrate….not involving alcohol. Any suggestions 🙂

  5. Sammy 6 years ago

    Thanks for the reminder , today for the first time in ages I got an urge to drink and have been thinking what would it matter if I did , then I read this and it caused me to remember what alchol did to me ! I am just over 10 months sober will I start forgetting why I don’t drink ?

  6. Fee 6 years ago

    I never thought of it like that before. “I am not the problem alcohol is the problem”

    I know it brought out the very worst in me. Liar, manipulator, stealthy, sell myself down the river and the list goes on ad infinitum. Can’t bear to go on with it.
    Thank you I will think on this on my 26th day. x

  7. Serenaville 6 years ago

    This has come at such a good time for me. I hear every word and will carry that mantra with me today and hopefully tomorrow.

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