Sober Hindsight

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Sober Hindsight is one of my favorite things about living alcohol-free. Sober Hindsight is something you only really experience when you've got a few sober weeks under your belt, and you've managed your way through some rough times without drinking.

In other words you dealt with some gritty stuff in the raw - without numbing yourself with booze.

It's hard work doing this right? Especially when you're newly sober because your brain is screaming for it's usual coping mechanism.  "Aaarrrggghhhh!!!" you scream internally…'Give me some relief! Poor me! Poor me! Pour me a drink!".

But if you resist, if you don't pour yourself a drink, if you dig deep and grind your way through the the gritty time without reaching for that lovely numbing liquid (which really isn't lovely at all but a false, temporary fix).. and the stuff gets dealt with or fades away.. and more time passes… then sober hindsight is your payoff.

It come a good few weeks after the event … so you've got to have a decent amount of space between you and the tough stuff… and you've got to have calmed down again and still be not drinking. If that's the case and you're thinking back over that tricky time, hopefully you'll start to realise you feel quite remarkably resolved about it. Or at least better than you usually would if you'd boozed your way through like usual.

I was gobsmacked when this first happened to me. Just by being sober through a huge upheaval and properly feeling my way through it meant that I felt more resolved about it, calmer about it. I had a better understanding of it.

It was when we had to relocate cities and I was newly sober and didn't really want to move. I cried and cried and cried and cried and cried my eyes out. I was in a lot of emotional pain.. deeply sad about leaving our lovely community rich with friends and family. I was absolutely gutted and bawled for days. Honestly, it was intense and really hard work.

Then we moved.. time went on and things started calming down in the new city … and suddenly I realised that while I was still sad about the move, having cried so many tears over it meant I felt ok. Better than I expected myself to feel. It felt like I'd honored my feelings by shedding so many tears and that alone made a huge difference looking back. That alone was enough.

Simply by fully experiencing the deep uncomfortable emotion associated with our move, I felt better about it. I'd still moved cities.. I still miss my friends and family terribly, but because I honored those feelings it felt ok.

Honestly, you just have to try it to know what I'm trying to explain. Stay sober though a tough time and for a while afterward - and then hopefully looking back you'll understand what I'm trying to describe here.

Has anyone else felt this way? Tell me if you've experienced Sober Hindsight. Have you ground your way through some gritty stuff without booze and now looking back you feel quite resolved about it? I'd genuinely be interested to know if others have experienced this….

Love, Mrs D xxx

4 Comments
  1. imbolc 4 mins ago

    I seriously thought I was having a break down. I felt so miserable and didn’t want to be around anyone when I first stopped drinking. All the grief from my Dads death and unhappiness around my job came exploding out of me in lots of big messy situations. It passed and as JM said it’s all about taking care of yourself. I’m peaceful, stronger and so pleased that during those first few weeks I didn’t give in to the alcohol “lets make it feel alright” lie. I know that it’s still early days but it’s going good, very good.

  2. SeaSandSober 2 days ago

    meant to say …that was my first post. So rude of me! I should say hello. I should give a wave. I should ask to be welcomed. I do want to belong. Loved your first book Mrs D.

  3. SeaSandSober 2 days ago

    I too am at a cottage, on holiday. That means drinking in the hot tub. Right? Not this time. Long walks. Log fires. Sparkling limonata in the tub. Deep sleeps. Hanging in there .

  4. JM 2 days ago

    Hi Mrs-D and all! Great post. Something happened early in the summer, where I was so enraged, triggered, reliving trauma that it felt a bit unbearable. Shortly after, I went to a friend’s cottage, and cottages were once a huge association with crazy drinking as I had seen that a bit growing up. I so wanted a drink. But I didn’t. I went to bed early and couldn’t sleep for most of the night. I had really difficult feelings, and friends of the friend were partying outside all night loudly which didn’t help with frustration. But a little voice came to me around 5 am – “Take care of yourself.” And that became my guiding force over the summer, and I had this beautiful, pretty calm summer. Sober hindsight. Take care of yourselves, lovely All! xo

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