Today, on day 94 alcohol free, I took three important steps to further secure my continued sobriety:
1) I deactivated my Facebook profile.
I just can’t take it anymore. Facebook is just one giant advertisement with political B.S. from both sides thrown in. So, I deactivated mine. It will remain deactivated until the end of the 2016 election season at the very least, if not longer. I cannot stand how polarized things have become. I cannot stand the anger and the hatred. I already know who I am voting for. I don’t need any more convincing; truly, I didn’t ever need convincing in the first place. The fact that my Facebook feed is a dumping ground for angry Republicans and Democrats and Independents and Anarchists is too much for my sensitive brain right now.
Not only that, but I’ve found myself feeling more and more socially isolated the more I use social media sites like Facebook. It’s nothing unique; it’s just the FOMO kicking in. I see friends and acquaintances having a blast, going out drinking or sipping mimosas over brunch, adventuring out together for weekend hiking trips, and all I can think is that I feel so left out. I hate it. It’s no good for my hear to feel so alone.
I need a break. And so, a break I will have.
2) I finally gave in and decided to give AA a try.
I reached out to a good friend of mine (also an old roommate) who has been sober for nearly 4 years now, and I asked her if she had any recommendations for a good AA group I could look into. I’ve been pretty hesitant to join AA because I don’t subscribe to the idea of a higher power (I’m an atheist) and I don’t like the idea that I have to admit powerlessness over alcohol. I know that many people say that you can form your own meaning out of those parts of the steps, but it has always turned me off for some reason or another, and it kept me from wanting to participate.
Additionally, I’m scared of the conversation I’d eventually need to have with my boyfriend, where I would tell him that I’m now going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I don’t feel ready to give myself the label of alcoholic. I know I have an alcohol problem, and that drinking isn’t for me, but I’m fearful of the judgment that might come from admitting that I’m going to AA.
The main reason I got over myself, though, and now want to go to AA is because it’s becoming more and more apparent that I need some kind of social outlet that doesn’t involve my romantic relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I love my boyfriend and his friends are awesome, but they are the only people I hang out with these days. I don’t feel like I have many other people in my corner besides them. I need to have a community of my own to support me, especially when my boyfriend isn’t available and I feel particularly alone.
So, my friend invited me to join her at a Friday night meditation AA group. I’m actually kind of excited. Not only do I hope to meet some friendly sober people who “get it” – but I also hope to finally learn how to meditate and use it to my benefit in real life. Killing two birds, know what I mean?
3) I gave myself permission to admit that Facebook wasn’t working for me, and that I needed to find real-life support.
One thing I know I struggle with is admitting I need help, or admitting that anything is wrong. It’s almost like a compulsion for me to make things seem totally fine on the outside, so nobody would ever really suspect that I’m having a hard time.
But I keep learning and re-learning that my approach hasn’t been working. If anything, it has contributed to me feeling more and more alone, rather than connected or “okay.” Trying to pretend that Facebook doesn’t depress the hell out of me makes it feel like I can’t escape, because who does that? Who leaves Facebook? Me, I guess. At least for now. And instead of further isolating, I’m seeking out real-life connections through AA, with the potential for honest-to-goodness social support built right in.
But for now, today, I’ve got to dive back into school work. The days just aren’t long enough, it seems. Oh well – at least it keeps me busy 🙂