One of the things that is so hard about being addicted to alcohol is that much of the angst is internal. By the time I neared the end of my drinking days I had a lot of twisted beliefs, secret compulsions and miserable thoughts swirling around in my head. My thoughts were a noisy, angst-ridden jumble…thrown into chaos by my addiction. I was really messed up and miserable.
When I gave up alcohol I started writing these thoughts out into a blog. Every day I sat at my computer and forced myself to turn the jumbled up mess inside my head into sentences and paragraphs. My toughts travelled out of my brain, down my arms, through my fingertips and onto the keyboard. It was an incredibly powerful and freeing process. I would type a post and in the process figure stuff out. Slowly my messy brain noise took on some clairty, my own written words would stay with me all day and provide some focus and relief and I looked forward to the next time I’d write.
Everything about the blogging process – planning, writing, reflecting – helped immensely. And because the blog was anonymous and hidden (I thought) I was brutally honest with myself. I didn’t need to filter my thoughts for an audience or present any image of myself that wasn’t the truth. I didn’t care about spelling or syntax, I just wrote what I was thinking and feeling. I wrote about my experiences as I learned to move around the world as a non-drinker. My triumphs and mess-ups. My revelations and my tears.
Writing got me sober and writing helps keep me sober to this very day.
Building this website – Living Sober – was all about taking the experience I’d had in the blogging world and creating a space where others could write their way to freedom. Here at Living Sober we provide an environment which is safe and kind, where people can get their thoughts and feelings out and receive lovely support in return.
Write out your hopes & struggles, triumphs and trials. Externalise your thoughts. Get it out. You’ll find that being forced to put what is in your head into words on the screen is very cathartic and empowering.
I think at the core of any recovery programme or specific path to sobriety is the basic fact that the addict has to do it for themselves. We can get wonderful outside help, use tried and true methods, gain ideas from fellow addicts and support from experts, but at the end of the day the addict has to want to change otherwise the booze will eventually find it’s way in again. Blogging & writing to yourself cuts to the heart of that because it is self-driven – just you talking to yourself.
And in a site like this you have instant community! Lovely, likeminded, non-judgemental people like you. Look around and comment to other people and share your ideas, tips and tricks.
Just get it out.
Love, Mrs D xxx
I am truly struggling. I have been drinking for 30 years. Crazy. I just want to stop but it is difficult.
Hello @Bee. Look for the box marked “Community area” on this site and say hello in there. That’s where everybody gets to talk to each other. There are several others here at the moment on days 1,2,3 and plenty of folk cheering them on.
So many honest,raw words here from many people,I understand.
Beautiful post by Mrs D,I too love writing,always have,good old fashioned journals for me,I’m.amazed at the insights and ideas that come out when I write,and the emotional relief,and inner calmness.
My body is used to being alcohol free now,but I did have a recent yearning….
Went to a family dinner,seeing my mum,sisters and brother,and out came the bottles of delicious looking rich red wine…..
Ohhhh,my old favorite!!!
I had boring old water,but for a few minutes there,I felt a twist of longing,but it passed.
And when we got home,I thought,now,if I’d been having some of that wine tonight,like the OTHERS,I’d be wanting more,and it would be affecting my brain,and emotions,and who knows how the rest of tonight would go?
I could never control how alcohol affected me.
But,instead,we are home,I’m.calm,I’m happy,having a herbal relaxing tea,then bed,no negativity whatsoever,lots of laughter tonight.
And I’m.not craving wine.
That’s pretty cool.
And I slept well,wake up,no regrets from wine imbibed behaviour the night before,no hangover,no misery,nice and slim,ready for the day ahead.
Lots of benefits.
I gotta be honest-that wine looked good though!!!
Take care everyone
Writing my way sober is something I always knew could save me. My house is littered with the journals I have started and then abandoned as drink crept up on me again and again. I have been reading through some of the older ones that go back years. Starting out so hopeful, full of intention and commitment – all saying pretty much the same thing – that I am sick and tired of being sick and tired; that my relationships are suffering (third marriage); that I am absent for my kids, my parents, my friends; that I am losing my looks; am overweight; have low self esteem etc etc boring etc. It really is like giving up on a love affair that is toxic, but in the beginning was so wonderful, and made me feel so wonderful. As a very shy introvert, alcohol allowed me to be (so I thought) free. I was able to converse, flirt, dance.
You all know the story. It really seemed to work for a (very little) while. However, my mind seemed to play tricks on me. My memory is actually flawed, because if I really dig deep and get honest, there were some really nasty dodgy incidents even in my late teens and early twenties which should have rung the alarm bells loud and clear. I won’t go into them here – it would take too long, and some are truly too appaling to write down yet I feel, I know I won’t be judged here, but I cannot myself fathom, from this point in my life (mid 50s), how and why I let those things happen to me and didn’t make the link to the disastrous way my life was heading and alcoholl was the only link. Had I been sober, none of those terrible things would have happened. They just wouldn’t.
So if I use the analogy of a love affair. This was the most abusive kind. Violent, degrading, emotionally toxic and physically depleting. And yet, I carried on. Oh my god. What a fool. What a waste. I am in tears reflecting back to that poor lonely lost teenager/young woman that was me back then. Getting into all kinds of dangerous and sometimes life threatening situations, while trying to maintain a facade of normalcy even respectability. So sad. I realise I have to forgive the person I was then with self compassion, and that’s what hurts so much. I did it to myself. Nobody ever pushes booze down your throat! It was almost as if I was on self destruct.
Strangely getting pregnant in my early twenties kind of saved me. I stopped drinking for a while – even I could see that would be damaging to my baby, and I fell in love with my baby – eventually after the post natal depression had subsided. I married and developed some healthier habits and a family life.
Until I sabotaged it again with booze.
And so my life has been a see saw of consuming alcohol and then dealing with the consequences of the behaviours which result in the carnage that is my life fully engulfed by this toxic poison. As I write this I am feeling less sorry and more angry. I cannot at this time fully grasp the underlying reasons for my anger – something to do with this booze sodden culture, something to do with being a lost young woman with no-one to advise me lovingly, or to notice that I was drowning not waving. But I don’t want to blame others. Its not specific and maybe the anger is with myself. It may be that I have to fully forgive myself.
Anyway, its day 3 (again), but this time I feel stronger in my heart. I WANT this sobriety. Getting angry with the booze is ok if it keeps me away from it. I am now living in France – ironically for the more gentle lifestyle, food (and wine) culture. How to give up wine when it is all around? Ironic. But it is so beautiful here, the food is lovely, as are many of the people I have met, and the truth is;- Alcohol does not enhance any of that.
As I write this at 6am (I couldn’t sleep), the birds are singing a dawn chorus. It is truly cosmic to hear their sweet song. It is still and silent and green outside, with the sun just coming up over the hill. I have decided to make myself some breakfast (usually don’t eat when drinking despite oddly being overweight) of porridge berries and yoghurt – yum. I will do some much needed weeding in the overgrown garden, reflecting on the need to weed out some of my own negative thinking patterns. I will have a light lunch with something tasty AF. I bought myself the Mocktail book ‘Dry’ – some delicious recipes in there, so excited to try those. Then I will get the car fixed, come home and continue to write before preparing an evening meal and possibly more writing or reading on this site.
It is a wonderful support to have so many resources now – the internet at its best – and to connect with so many people who really do understand. Knowing that I am not alone, that others have a similar story to tell, and that they are loving kind intelligent people who want to be happy, just like me, is such a help. More than a help, it is a lifeline. The tide is turning now for our alcohol soaked addicted culture. It is too wasteful of our potential, squashing the light of who we really are. The governments collude in keeping us down to get the revenues, not realising the cost in terms of sickness and death, violence, social care and the damage for future generations. When we all finally wake up we will see alcohol for what it is. Not a loving friend or lover to enhance our lives and support us in being our best selves, but a fiendish monster that robs us of our best qualities and makes us shadows of who we truly are. (I recognise that some people do and can drink moderately – although I hate the term ‘drink sensibly’ !!!!! An oxymoron if ever there was one!)
These are my thoughts tripping off the ends of my fingers. If you stayed until the end, thank you for taking the time. It has done me the power of good to get this off my chest. I feel very humble reading your posts. They give me hope that I too can finally kick this nasty habit. Thank you. Nameste.
It. Will. Get. Better. I remember feeling hungover for weeks after I quit and getting very discouraged. Then someone told me that it takes a bit of time for the alcohol to leave your system and for your body to regulate itself. You can help by drinking tons of water and eating good quality, healthy food. Perhaps listening to soothing music or soundscapes at bedtime might relax you enough to sleep thru the night. Just some suggestions. Hang in there…it seriously DOES pass.
Hang wih it supersaloon– hopefully both of us on gaining on day 4!
Day 3 here. Feel like shit. Not if i slept well. Got up 4 times during the night to go to the loo. Couldn’t settle. Not feeling alert this morning. When will i sleep properly.
I intimately know the jumbled brain that jumps from one awful thought to the next, and the desire to hide under the covers even though my anxiety follows me there. I also know from having had 7 years sober and about a million times of trying to find that sobriety after another 7 years of repeated relapses, but some sober windows, that if I can just make this time stick, if will feel good and proud and whole again. Day three on this time around. I will try to write every day in hopes that it helps.
Love to all on this journey
Sometimes my brain is so jumbled up I feel like just curling up in bed and disappearing until it quiets down again. Usually I get it tonquiet down with wine. I do not want to do that anymore. I have started journaling and it is helping.
Your blog has inspired me to write to help keep myself on the straight and sober narrow! I’ve just finished your book and it was just something that was so easy to relate to!
“Only I can get sober, but I can’t get sober alone.”
I recommend focusing on ‘today’ as a starting point for your sobriety. If you can get through today sober then you can worry about tomorrow as a new ‘today’. It’s a great strategy for getting through.
Gosh I’m here in the UK at home with my parents because my partner in nz had had enough. I missed home for sure but there is no excuse for my actions of deceit and hurting all the people I have. When did it get so bad? I can’t even believe I’m here. How the hell will I get my life back I miss my animals and my independent life. Although I know I’m in the best place really it could be worse. Good luck for June seems like I will be there too! If you want we can support each other. I’m so scared.
Support would be great and reciprocated. Don’t be scared. If we can crack it, we will eventually feel better, more secure, healthier, stronger. and more able to deal with life’s many and various challenges! Sorry it didn’t work out in NZ for you but the UK is not such a bad place to be, especially with parents who care for you. x
I am venturing into the realms of acceptance by replying to this. I have been recording everything I feel when I drink – the headrush, the tired eyes, followed by euphoria, the need for more, the hangover – so that I can look back and remind myself why I am going without booze for a while. I’ve done it before unsuccessfully. I’ve gone it alone and I’m not strong enough. So this time, I’ve set a date and I’m building myself a bank of resources. A notebook is the most important one. A playlist of music, a project, a set of books to inspire me (all arriving tomorrow). Chocolate(!)- available at a store near me!! I am not going to worry about what I eat or drink apart from the abstinence from alcohol. My first aim is for the month of June. I’d like to go further but I can’t see beyond that right now. June will be stressful enough in the first instance. The writing will probably be the most important help to my recovery – as long I don’t expect it to make sense. Thanks for being the person that made me start to “come out”!
Thanks for sharing this. I’m going to try it. I’ve been laying in bed sick with a head cold and feeling so guilty about my drinking and the failure it’s brought with it that I can hardly focus. I too have to admit that wine has brought happiness into my life and sweet memories but that was a long time ago. Now it brings just confusion and chaos as Mrs d mentioned above.
I just don’t want this anymore. I feel like writing about it might help me see how to turn around. I don’t want another failure.
Makes me think of this saying I saw today – Don’t think it, ink it. In this case, type it out. Something about writing takes the sting out of any situation. And in the case of good news, it’s empowering to share and to read. In early days of sobriety, I would be so inspired to read about someone with a way higher sober day count on Sober Belle’s site and her micro-emails. I’m going to write a post right now. Thanks @Mrs-D! x
so true..Writing also brings clarity when the booze brain is arguing with the sane brain, i have notebooks everywhere now and ive written out my reasons for stopping, how i feel when ive drank, what the triggers are etc and to see it in black and white is very powerful. One surprising realisation is that booze had helped me in the past, i did enjoy it, i did like it and thats ok to admit but….today the sacrfice isnt worth the pleasure. there will always be a bit of me that misses wine but its taken me years to realise this, i thought if i only concentrated on the negatives i wouldnt want to drink but thats not true, for me anyway, i had to accept that as much as i might have enjoyed wine, the taste, the socialising, it just wasnt worth the pain anymore, the awful hangovers, the missed time, the memories that were destroyed, the end! i hope 😉