It Might Just Be Better On The Other Side…

Soberistas is all about hope and optimism. I’m a bloody-minded bugger at the best of times and when I finally accepted that alcohol and me were never going to amount to a marriage made in heaven, I was damned if I was going to let the stuff beat me any more than it already had.

I was probably a little naïve in the early days of not drinking, not fully aware of how difficult the ride can be when navigating one’s way through the emotional storms and social awkwardness of a new, booze-free life. But still, even as the gravity of early sobriety began to dawn on me, I remained stoically fixed on my original goal; to live happily without alcohol swallowing me up once again.

Just now I was reading on the internet about Robin Williams, and became overwhelmed with sadness as to just quite how a person with so much energy and hilarity and humour can be quietly dying on the inside; how complex we, as human beings are when, with rivers of grief and sorrow reaching every last corner of our insides, we still possess the ability to smile and carry on regardless.

I began to think of the accumulative pain that all the people with whom I’ve come into contact since the inception of Soberistas, have suffered at the hands of alcohol. How many of us have plastered on a smile, faced up to the world after yet another shame-filled and agonising encounter with our common enemy, pretended everything is OK? How many times have we all woken up and thought, I can’t carry on with this any more, the fight is too hard? How many have fallen by the wayside, and continue to do so every day because they are too far down the road of alcohol dependency?

As time has gone on, I’ve been lucky enough to have won my fight with booze, and the associated depression and self-hatred that accompanied my drinking for almost a quarter of a century. But I know I am lucky, and I am immensely grateful that I’ve managed to discover a completely new Me with whom I am happy  – a Me whose shoes fit perfectly, as if they were waiting all along for me to wear them.

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When it’s so very tough to admit to having a problem with alcohol in the first place, the road to recovery can be almost impossible for some people to embark on. But if, with a glimmer of hope and a lot of support along the way, a person can hang on to the notion that life might be better on the other side, there is the possibility of finding happiness. It is possible to start again in life, at any age, and put your old mistakes behind you. The false smiles can become a thing of the past, and happiness can be felt, honestly and truly.

As for Robin Williams and the countless millions who have similarly suffered at the hands of booze and their own personal demons, I hope we can all remember them in order to remind ourselves just how dangerously easy it can be to hide behind a façade, and to work together to try to help anyone who is drowning in the quagmire of depression and substance misuse. Hopefully, in that way, there will be much more optimism and far less destruction of the human spirit.

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2 thoughts on “It Might Just Be Better On The Other Side…

  1. Hope says:

    I have woken up this morning weighing up the pros and cons of life for everyone (including my gorgeous children ) without me. I have ‘everything to live for’ yet sadness eats me up inside. I can truly relate to Robin Williams, I cheer people up with my wicked humour. I am the support for so many. I have great friends coming to stay this weekend and I will put on my smile. I keep reading your blog and looking at your site whilst still drinking.
    Your blog today feels like it is written to me today and I know I need to join you. When it’s wine or life its time to get rid of wine- no brainer. I would never write like this normally but I need something concrete that I can look at, advice to myself.
    Thank you Lucy.

    • Hi Nicola, thanks for your comment. I honestly do know how you were feeling yesterday as I’ve been there so many times in the past. You have hit the nail on the head here when you ask whether it’s wine or life; some of us can’t have both. I hope you are managing to have a good time with your friends, and please trust me when I tell you that my very dark thoughts have all gone since I stopped drinking. Yes, I have bad days, but the suicidal thoughts and manic depressive episodes just don’t come any more. Thinking of you and wishing you strength and determination – stay in touch won’t you? Lucy x

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