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Shaky on my feet

I struggled a bit on holiday with extended family. The family element wasn’t stressfssful, per se, but it definitely took me a whole lot out of my comfort zone and I felt awkward and at times I felt stressed.

Feelings of any description make me want to drink. I don’t always drink the second the feeling occurs, but I like to drink over said feeling at the earliest opportunity, usually the same evening. But, I couldn’t do that.

Being on holiday, with nice surroundings and good weather makes me want to celebrate, relax and switch off with a drink. Couldn’t do that either.

Booze was everywhere. In my face at every turn. The sun was shining and in our culture that simply means get the alcohol out! My party weren’t big boozers and no one commented on my not drinking. I had told the family I was on a health kick and it wasn’t mentioned again, so that part was a relief. I was also surprised as I always am at how little the people around me drink when I am not egging them on. I was such a bad influence!!

I didn’t want an actual drink, wasn’t craving exactly but I didn’t want to entertain my feelings either. I didn’t want a beer or a glass of wine, what I wanted was to anesthetise.

This realisation frightened me. I am scared that I am going to have to face everything in my life head on. Without the crutch, I feel a bit shaky on my feet. I know I need to take one situation at a time, but I was overwhelmed at how much I wanted to cower down behind a sofa with a bottle of booze and self medicate my way out of feeling awkward and uncomfortable. I really wanted to check out.

I am quite ashamed at what a coward I have clearly been in my life so far. I am sad about the situations that have gone before where I could have handled things differently had I been facing my life rather than running away from it. I scared that I will now be a pathetic mess every time something difficult comes up. Sometimes, I feel like I am a totally different person to who I thought I was.

I don’t want to drink anymore. I really don’t crave booze at home, on a night out, in my day to day life. But my unhealthy dependency on using alcohol as a major coping strategy is something that is going to take time to unlearn. It’s a bit of a bummer that this stuff doesn’t just go away overnight. there are no instant fixes, just deep breaths…and lots of them.

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5 thoughts on “Shaky on my feet

  1. Honey, please don’t be so hard on yourself! You are doing wonderfully and you are making a huge change and adjustment to your life and – as you rightly said – it’s going to take time and practice. And confronting those triggers is hard, especially at this stage.

    Please don’t call yourself a coward. You are not a coward. You are brave and beautiful. And if you could have handled some things better in the past, well, who couldn’t say that? This is learning. This is growing. Sometimes it’s painful but you are doing great even when you don’t know it.

    I think the best thing I can tell you right now is to repeat back to you something you wrote to me that helped me when I was beating myself up…

    “Whether or not you believe that it is a disease that we have no control of, we have to believe that we are not bad people. But we can recognise that we have the potential in us to harm ourselves and others and we know that if we stay sober we can be better people and be kinder to ourselves in the long run.”

    Lots of love,

    Lilly xo

    p.s. And I’m only an email or What’s App message away if you need me…

  2. “Feelings of any description make me want to drink”. I identify with this so much! I still get angry because when I’m emotional and think ‘oh shit I need to get it together’ I accidentally think ‘I need a stiff drink’. Which is then quickly followed by ‘SHUT UP BRAIN we are *not* drinking anymore!’

    I read your post a couple of times to think it over and I completely relate to how you feel scared. Sometimes I feel like I’m staring into the looming abyss of the rest of my life and I have to actually Face and feel everything and I feel like just going ‘no ta!’ and running off in the opposite direction. But the more I think about it the more I think everybody else (who doesn’t have a problem with drinking) isn’t perfect. They don’t all charge at life and deal with problems face on, plenty of people are running away from problems or squashing them down, in whatever way suits them. They aren’t drinking all the time like I was but they still aren’t facing problems and tearing them down like awesome zen warriors, they are scared and avoidant as well.
    Lily is right, you shouldn’t feel like a coward! You are so brave and if anything you are lucky that realising your problem with booze has given you a chance to take a long look at yourself and your dealing mechanisms and *decide* whether they are what you really want to be like. Most people just pootle along with their eyes closed and never even think about whether their behaviours are the best thing for them, or the Right thing.
    This is something I have heard people much wiser than myself say in meetings and I just wanted to share and tell you that I know how you feel and I think you are doing great! xxxx

  3. It IS a bummer – I completely agree with you. I am really struggling with feeling all of these emotions without being able to numb them in any way. Just try to remember you have so much to look FORWARD to — don’t spend too much of your time wishing things had been done differently, that time is over and gone now and you have the opportunity to create the life you want!

  4. Carrie: like everyone said, you are doing AWESOME. For real. These are the unavoidable steps. But, the more you keep living through the bad feelings, the feelings and regrets and thoughts that make you want to check out–the easier it gets. Soon, it DOES morph into “Oh, I can at least DEAL with these thoughts.” to “Oh, OK, I can deal AND, I can let them go.” to “Oh, OK, shut up VOICE inside my head, I’m going to start from HERE and move forward with no regrets.” You are in the creation process, creating a new way of being and doing things. You are DOING IT! Congrats on this. It really does get easier. It’s taken me a full year, but I am finally just now being able to admit and feel certain things about myself and my life without immediately wanting to run away to wine. Sure, I still want to numb them, but at least it’s better than last year, when it was an almost crushing sense of doom, of endless future of bad feelings. NO, it goes away and it gets better. Keep doing what you’re doing! xx

  5. Oh gawd, holidays with family are hard hard hard. Don’t feel ashamed, don’t look backwards. Look at now and look forward – you are forging the best possible path which is GREAT and honestly it won’t take as long to adjust as you think. It really won’t. Just go gently, look after yourself. Think of your sobriety as a lovely snuggly blanket that you wrap around yourself to keep you safe and warm. I love my snuggly sober blanket! It protects me from all those pesky emotions. You will grow to love yours too I promise. Sending big love. xxx

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