After my last feeling-sorry-for-myself-post I got a comment from Lilly that said: “Why do you want to be sober? Tell us. Even if you’re still drinking. Tell us why you want to be sober.” I will present my thoughts in the form of a list as I find it difficult to organize them at the moment.
- I feel like shit. The hangovers, the trembling, the wanting more to calm down, the drinking to get tired at night, the bad food cravings, the thirst, the itchy skin – the lot.
- Mentally I’m not as strong and determined as when I’m sober. Simple everyday tasks seem so hard and pointless. Why would I brush my teeth at night after a bottle of wine when I could just fall into bed and pass out? That’s just one example of many but kind of illustrates my point.
- I want to be fit and strong physically. My gym going is erratic (at best) while I’m in the drinking zone. With that comes feelings of guilt and being useless at the things I want to do most.
- The above point is equally valid when it comes to work. I love my job but while not sober I tend to be late on a regular basis and I can’t be arsed to do my job as well as I want and could.
- This time around relationships with friends and colleagues haven’t suffered. More through luck than anything else I suspect. And also, some relationships seem to thrive more when I drink because it’s just easier to do some things and be a part of the scene. Some of my friends (well just one really) seem particularly concerned when I don’t drink. She’ll be the one trying to convince me that there’s no other problem than my lack of willpower when it comes to controlling it. She’s even appointed herself as my “carer” (my word) in such a way that she’ll say “I won’t let you cross the line, I’ll stop you/send you home/control it for you before it goes to far”. Why would she want to do that and why on earth would I want anyone to do that for me? It’s baffling. The hard part about this is that when I decide to finally give it a good honest try, she’ll be the one that I’m going to have to watch carefully. Maybe I even have to cut down my time with her. She’s my best friend so that really hurts to think about. For all her faults and being rather big-headed, I love her very much. And for all my faults and erratic-ness she seems to love me equally.
I’ve been sober before – two periods of 6 months each – so I know I can do it. And I know how happy/productive/confident/fit I can be with it. But both times I had hit some form of rock bottom before I decided to give it up. This time I seem to really want to stop but every now and again it seems pointless and more hassle than it’s worth because right now I’m not suffering as badly as I have done in the past, I’m not doing the crazy out of character things I did and my health is not quite as bad.
At the same time, do I really want to go that far again? How long is it going to take before I reach a new rock bottom? And what needs to happen for me to see it as such? I don’t know these things right now but writing this post has helped me think more clearly about what I don’t want from life and what I do want from life instead. It’s also made me think more about the previous experiences of being sober during which I was truly happy and content no matter what else was going on in my life. I was able to detach myself from other people’s insanity which was an enormous relief at the time. Now I find myself having those internal monologues with myself and dialogues with other people that wind me up no end. And that’s not even real life!
I’m off on a rant here I feel so I’m going to stop for now. I’ll try pop back and unravel my thoughts a bit further. Thanks Lilly for prompting me to do this and thanks to Belle for your patience. I’ll be in touch.