I think I’m getting better at this sober living malarkey. The longer I live with no alcohol in my life the less frantic I am to try and fix my moods.
When I first took the booze away and started cracking the concrete I’d laid around my emotional self… I was like a crazy emotional harridan, lurching wildly from one emotional state to another..
‘Oh my GAWD I’m SAD!!!!!!!’ I’d wail to myself and then I’d cast around frantically for something to ‘do’ about that sadness. Frantically searching for the magic cure for this terrible sadness.
‘By CRIKEY I’m ANGRY!!!’ I’d growl and stomp around looking for a cure for this anger. This anger that must be tamed, dealt with, fixed somehow.
I’d question around anyone I came in to contact with – especially the people that seemed really calm and together – ‘What do you do when you get sad or angry?’ I was desperate for them to divulge the secret that was going to solve my ‘problem’.
That ‘problem’ being that I was emotionally stunted as a result of having booze as my constant companion my entire adult life.
That ‘problem’ being that I’d never developed any proper emotional management techniques.
That ‘problem’ being that I was needing to become a fully emotional human being.
I’m still searching a lot of the time – behold my last post on naval gazing for goodness sake – but I am also calming down a lot. Loads of great information from very clever people has been seeping in to my brain (people in my real life, book authors and those who record podcasts and TED talks). And time passing alone has also helped, I’ve now lived a lot of sober days (just checked – 1108 sober days!!) and my emotions aren’t strangers anymore. All of these things have combined to calm me down and helped me to realise that sometimes the answer to life’s tricky emotions is to do nothing at all.
Just sit. Just wait. Don’t panic. Don’t reach. Feel it. Allow it. Acknowledge it. Go gently and breath…
When we booze we’re reacting, reaching , sipping, numbing, avoiding. When we first get sober we freak out! Lurch from one emotional state to another! Panic at the first sign of trouble! Of course we do.. we’re not used to living like this. It’s hard. It’s not fun a lot of the time.
But I think the longer we live sober, the more we also just begin to calm down, accept moods, wait for time to pass, breath. Relax.
That’s why it’s so important to hold on. Hold on through the tricky early stages. Hold on and trust that things will start to calm down.
There are many Living Sober members who are facing tricky weekends ahead. Maybe they’ve got social events they’re nervous about doing sober. Maybe their loved ones are going to be away and they’re alone for the weekend – previously the perfect time to booze away privately with no judgement.
Just hold on folks… picture yourself on Monday morning waking up very proud of yourself for getting through with no boozing. It might be uncomfortable, but that’s ok. We all deal with uncomfortable emotions. If you hold on and don’t drink, eventually it will get easier. I promise.
Love, Mrs D xxx