Member @preparedtochange (who has one of my favorite avatars on this site!) asked me this question in the Members Feed yesterday: “How do you move on from that need to escape your feelings by soaking yourself in wine?”
Here’s the answer: With great bloody difficulty.
Truthfully.. this was the hardest thing for me at first (aside from getting used to socializing sober) – dealing with emotions. I took away the wine and I was just so goddam raw all the time. There was no escape. And I wanted to escape!!!!!!!!!! I loved the escape that wine gave me!! I loved, loved, loved it. Bloody marvelous escape. Lovely, naughty, warm, numbing, boozy escape.
Problem was my ‘escape’ wasn’t lovely any more … it was more like a deadening, sickening, wiping out. So the wine had to go.
And then for me it was just keeping very clearly in mind the image of the sloppy, miserable, boozy me that I did not want to be any more … and forming an image in my mind of the lovely, clear, calm sober person I wanted to be. You have to take a moment to really form these mental images. Locate a clear memory of you the yukky boozer and lock it in. And concentrate for a moment on imagining yourself as strong and sober and happy. Lock it in. I did this and then didn’t let myself forget either of those images as I just forged ahead with the days.
And then the moving on began. I had no wine… I felt horrible yukky emotions … I forged ahead… I bought to mind often that image of me being sloppy and boozy and gross – knew I didn’t want to be that any more.. forged ahead.. felt awful uncomfortable emotions… tried different things to fix them… forged ahead.. bought to mind the clear, calm person I wanted to be.. moved on.. forged ahead.. the days started adding up… kept remembering that horrible boozy me… forged ahead… tried to imagine myself as calm and sober and HAPPY.. read lots of books and wrote in my blog and forged ahead… talked to other sober people online.. forged ahead.. didn’t drink… moved on.. felt uncomfortable emotions.. getting used to them now.. forged ahead… didn’t drink.. remembered the sloppy miserable boozy me.. forged ahead…. felt emotions… didn’t drink….
You get the picture.
And eventually I got better at it. The uncomfortable emotions came along and I just felt them and didn’t freak the fuck out and want to reach for a wine (or 5) any more. I just kept those images in mind.. didn’t let myself forget… forged ahead… and here I am 3 years later.
Am I perfect? No way! I reach for bad foods when I’m in a funk and yell at my kids when I get frustrated or annoyed. Am I calm and clear and sober. Kind of. I am definitely calmer than I was when I was guzzling wine like it was going out of fashion. I feel like my feet are now planted firmly on the ground where before they were wobbling all over the show.
So really @preparedtochange the answer to your question – How do you move on from that need to escape your feelings by soaking yourself in wine? – is, you just do.
You just do.
Love, Mrs D xxx
P.S. I forgot to mention how much I LOVE BEING SOBER now !! And how I’m almost grateful for my drinking problem because it has led me to this place of immense gratitude and alive-ness that I wouldn’t change for anything. Sobriety is totally awesome … it is sparkly and magical… and part of what makes it so amazing is the hard work we have to do (at first) to shift our way of living.