Freedom to Fly

For me, regularly drinking alcohol generated terrible feelings of being worthless and inferior to everyone else I ever came into contact with. In addition, this destructive assault on my self-belief always came to the fore simultaneously with a hefty dose of what can only be described as Negative Mental Attitude.

It was the world’s fault that I did not achieve what I wanted in life, that my marriage had ended in its infancy, that I hated my job, that I was struggling financially – there was always someone else to blame and never me.

One of the greatest gifts of sobriety is the joyful return to living in the Real World. Occasionally there are difficult patches which must be navigated through and not drinking certainly does not make life a guaranteed bed of roses; what living alcohol-free does provide, however, is a reality check and a realisation that whilst things may not always be quite how you would choose you are equipped with all the tools required to make the best of your hand.

Instead of enduring a crippling dose of internal criticism whenever I meet a person who I deem to be superior in some respect to me, I now recognise their plus points as nice qualities which I admire rather than an emotional hand grenade to hurl at my fragile sense of self; so if someone is very pretty I consider them as, well, being pretty; as in ‘She’s pretty – wow, what gorgeous hair/eyes/cheekbones.’ This is infinitely healthier than the old alternative of ‘Oh my God, she is so beautiful. Look at me in comparison; I am fat, ugly, with horrible hair, awful clothes and generally hideous. I must run home at once and hide away until I forget that I ever had the misfortune to stand near this stunning creature.’

Nowadays I recognise that whilst I have my plus points and am neither hideously ugly nor out-of-this-world beautiful, I am just fine the way I am. If I meet people who are prettier/cleverer/wittier/more interesting than I am then it’s a pleasure being in their company and enjoying their special qualities. I have come to understand that there will always be someone who is doing something or looking better than I will ever be able to, and people who have amazing physiques that I will probably never attain, and people who are fortunate enough to have long, flowing, glossy tresses which I know I will never be able to grow.

Butterfly-033But that’s ok, because they will never have what I have either.

Not drinking stops the endless cycle of self-loathing and negativity caused by depression and alcohol-induced shame. Living alcohol-free allows you to come forth like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon and to subsequently realise all your qualities that have previously been smothered by alcohol for so long.

Give yourself a chance; stop drinking and spread your wings.

7 thoughts on “Freedom to Fly

  1. Whenever I read your posts I’m always so surprised at how much it sounds like someone very calm and articulate is describing what’s in my head! I am constantly amazed at the fact that for years I essentially hamstrung my own ability to cope with things with alcohol – it’s no surprising things got a bit messy.
    Calmness, perspective and self-acceptance were not the reason I gave up drinking (the were several more pressing concerns in the form of physical and mental health!) however I really value these qualities which arrived in sobriety.
    Thanks as usual for your brilliant post x

    • Thanks for this – I too can’t believe I fell into such an obvious trap for so long before I eventually realised that rather than helping me, wine was actually causing all my troubles! Totally get where you are coming from with the unexpected benefits of not drinking. Seems so obvious when you have escaped but you just can’t see it when you are in the thick of it.
      Lucy x

  2. I have had to make the same adjustment as well. Count me too as one of those people who would run and hide for cover when someone better at something I think I am ok at would cross my path. Not only would I hurl that hand grenade, I would also follow it up with relentless heavy artillery to make sure nothing was left of me. comparing myself has brought me nothing but useless feelings and wasted time. The only one I can compare myself to is me. And like you said so well, I can only say to myself “yes, they are great at _______” and perhaps learn something from them, and not be envious or resentful. I spent my whole life being like that.

    Great post!!!


  3. PourMeAMilk says:

    The voice in your writing is splendid. Very enjoyable to read. Nailed it! Thanks so much for your post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s