Freedom

To truly recover from alcoholism I need to be able to function in society alongside everyone else. I don’t want to fear social situations or worry about my answer when I am asked “what would I like to drink?”

If someone leaves a drink lying about I shouldn’t notice it, never mind what to consume it. After all I wouldn’t finish someone else cold cup of tea, especially the dregs at the bottom of the cup.

This is called a position of neutrality.

Ive been sober now for 1431 days, some days I can go through most of the day with only a few thoughts around alcohol. Other days it is all that I think about, but until until now I haven’t intentionally drank anything.

Whilst on holiday I got what I thought to be a mocktail, but it turned out to have alcohol in it. I was lucky in that my initial reaction was repulsion. I felt lightheaded and didn’t like it, the taste wasn’t pleasant either. Thank god that was how I felt and not the other, but I attribute that to strong recovery and work on myself to ensure that I remember how I was and what I don’t want to become again.

For me my alcoholism is not defined by how much I drank but more around how I drank. Alcohol was and is always at the forefront of my mind and to ensure good recovery I have had to find ways to deal with these thoughts.

We have an emotional and a human part of the brain and my alcoholism lives well and truly within my emotions. I have the ability to let those thoughts consume me and make me beleive that I am entitled to have a drink. The problem then becomes my inability to stop, after that comes the hangover, hatred, self loathing and oh well I might as well drink again. On and on goes the madness round and round my brain taking over every thought and feeling. The obession becomes so real it is all consuming.

True sobriety comes from taking more control of the emotions. I have learned to accept myself for who and what I am, therefore self loathing is minimised. I reduce resentment so then hatred or anger is minimised. By containing these feelings I can then reduce my need to hit the button of self destruction. By talking through my thoughts and normalising it the desire to drink decreases.

Even though I have been sober for sometime I am well aware that my mind will always obsess about alcohol, I am drawn to it. Thoughts of alcohol come to me on a daily basis but what I choose to do with those thoughts are what helps me maintain sobriety.

At the weekend I attended a friends wedding. It was a wonderful event and was the first event I have attended where I truly wasn’t bothered by the alcohol around me. I had the confidence to ask what did and didn’t have alcohol in it and express my wish to not have any. I did this confidently and without emotion and therefore got no question or judgement in return.

I also had my group of friends around me who were well aware of my journey. In one situation I was advised of someone who stood up and changed the drink that was intended for me, again without question of judgement.

Ive come to the realisation that if I am confident about my choices I don’t have to justify myself to anyone. The language I use is confident and statements rather than questions deter anyone probing or pushing for reasons why. The reality is that most people are more interested in themselves anyway.

There was a mixture of the one extreme drunk right through to the non drinker and I mixed with them all. The company was fun and if anyone felt a bit too much I just moved to another table or group of people. At one point I found myself just sat on my own watching the events happen around me, and I felt happy in that moment.

The evening grew into a night of dancing and laughter culminating in utter exhaustion and a natural end to the evening. When I left I was happy to be going home to get some sleep, there was no want to extend the party of feel left out.

All in all it was a great evening with good friends.

Photo by Vireshstudio photographer on Pexels.com
  • I am happy to be able to remember it all and look at photos smiling rather than worrying.
  • I was hot and sweaty but if was from dancing and laughing, not drinking and falling over.
  • I was engaged in every conversation I had and loved hearing other peoples stories.
  • I was wonderfully happy for the Bride and Groom, not filled with jealousy or feeling left out.
  • I am truly blessed to be sober and have such wonderful people around me.

2 thoughts on “Freedom

Add yours

  1. Great post! I really like what it says in the Big Book – pg 84

    “And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality—safe and protected.”

    What a promise! One of the best.

    One thing I have noticed about normies is that they do not explain why they choose ice tea over beer. I always felt the need to explain, “I’m allergic, I break out in handcuffs…” I have come to realize that no one cares what I order. I can sit with friends that drink and not be influenced by it. The book also suggests that if I am struggling with this, I need to call my sponsor or go work with another alcoholic. I know this works. It has worked for 11, 366 – one day at a times.

    Happy 1431 day!

    Like

  2. Awesome post! I’m going through the same thing now…though I will have someone wine occasionally. It feels great to have made the decision to try and stop drinking. I feel healthier both mentally and physically.

    Like

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