Day 27 Alcohol Free: Get Lonely

 

Sometimes, even with the strongest conviction to quit drinking and stay quit, temptation will hit you in the gut like a bag of bricks.

For me, over the past couple days, I’ve been letting myself get irritated, agitated, and frustrated without establishing a way to get my emotions back to a calmer place.

I’ve gotten upset about:

  • cars that drive too slow, even though they’re actually driving the speed limit
  • my boyfriend being too logical and not emotional enough
  • walking into a sold-out, overcrowded sporting event hungry, angry and tired, where the line for a $12 hot dog was minutes long
  • wearing a dress on a windy day, which makes it hard to walk and carry a burrito at the same time
  • people who repeat themselves several times in work meetings
  • people – who aren’t yet aware of the fact that I don’t drink – offering me a drink
  • taking the weekend to go to the family cabin, knowing full-well that cabin weekends are a big drinking trigger for me

And I almost did it tonight. I almost had a drink.

A SIP, is what I told myself. I told myself I’d just have a sip. Someone who didn’t know I quit offered me a sip of their organic, sulfate-free, chemical-free, paleo-friendly red wine and I thought for a second or two, hmm, I could have a little taste and still be alright.

And then, all at once, I felt guilty, upset, and depressed. Guilty, because I absentmindedly entertained the thought of drinking without question. Upset, because I knew I wanted it in those brief moments, and I had allowed my addict brain to take hold. And depressed, because even though I know why I quit, and I know it’s the best decision for me and my life, I still miss the sharing aspect of having a drink, and I miss feeling like I didn’t have a demon under the hood that I have to hide or control.

But, such is the life of someone who got caught in alcohol’s grip. In the end, the person offering didn’t even think twice when I said, oh, no thanks, I’m on a no-drinking challenge right now. Just feels better, y’know?

And it does feel better, for the most part. But sometimes, before it feels better, it feels just a little bit worse.

I definitely feel like I’ve allowed myself to get a little raw around the edges over the past few weeks. I’ve cried, cried, cried; I have also felt full of rage, numb, overjoyed, discontent, confused, and peaceful. I’m waiting patiently for my brain to reconfigure itself out of alcoholic mode, and the emotional results have been a little exhausting.

Where alcohol once persuaded me to close my eyes and put my fears, doubts or concerns into the bottom of a bottle, being sober has forced me to jump back into focus, particularly when it comes to my love life, and my social life in general.

You see, I’m having a hard time visualizing where my relationship is going. My boyfriend is sweet, kind, fun to hang out with, and intelligent; he’s also a little aloof, emotionally disengaged, overly rational/logical sometimes, and lacks confidence in his ability to improve his communication skills. When I was drinking, it was easy to forget the difference and connect with him (rather, feel connected, whether that was true or not). Now that I’m sober and he’s not, I feel the divide widening. Worse than that, I’m afraid he’s not cognizant of the gap, and in my frenzied attempts to figure out what kind of bridge to build to reach him, the earth is splitting with ever-increasing intensity and speed.

And that’s where I start to feel lonely. My group of close friends seems to shrink year by year, and those who don’t drink is nearly zero. Anyone who has ever described intense loneliness in early sobriety likely knows how this feels. Sometimes I rack my brain trying to think of someone I can call when shit gets too deep; often, I can’t think of one person at all, not even my boyfriend. And in those moments, sobriety feels so desperately bleak.

Despite it all, though, I have hope. I know that 27 days isn’t nearly enough time to have all of my social woes figured out, or to know exactly where I’m going in my relationship. BUT, these 27 days are 27 days closer than I’ve ever come before to getting what I want. I’m 27 days closer to having this shit at least partially figured out – and that’s worth it to me.

Loneliness, while frustrating, can be a productive thing in healing, when not taken to the extremes. The nice thing is knowing that there are other options to make myself less lonely, should I decide to act on them. I’ll  probably have to seek out groups of support among dry people in dry places, at least to start; as I become more comfortable in my non-drinking life, I’ll hopefully feel less apprehensive about reaching out. It’ll take work, and making myself laughably uncomfortable, but from everything I’ve read and heard, it’ll be completely worth it in the end.

 

4 thoughts on “Day 27 Alcohol Free: Get Lonely

  1. Lily 🌷 says:

    I know what you mean about the schisms in relationships coming into focus when you don’t drink any more. Me too. And I’m grieving and struggling with that. No answers for you, but empathy X lily 🌷

    Like

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