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.
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.
- 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.