Someone once asked me: "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, dealing with my emotions was the hardest thing for me at first (aside from getting used to socializing sober). 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 I had to move on.
But how do you do that?
Well, firstly I kept a very clear image in mind of the sloppy, miserable, boozy me that I did not want to be any more. Then I formed a very clear mental image 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.
Now concentrate for a moment on imagining yourself as strong and sober and happy. Lock it in.
I did this, and didn't let myself forget either of those images as I 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). I just kept those images in mind.. didn't let myself forget… forged ahead… and here I am 7 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 the answer to the 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