That Was Then And This Is Now – Sober Reflections

I have experienced a multitude of emotions with regards to alcohol since I last drank the stuff in 2011. At first I missed it dreadfully, and the love and devotion that I initially harboured towards my old friend, wine, eventually led to the idea behind my first book, The Sober Revolution (co-written by Sarah Turner). The book depicts booze as the wayward lover – not to be trusted, although deeply enchanting and difficult to extrapolate one’s self from.

A few months down the sober road, I remember becoming increasingly bitter towards booze, and angry at the alcohol industry for misrepresenting their products. It seemed that everywhere I looked there were adverts featuring glamorous, happy people enjoying a drink and not suffering any of the associated horrors that had become so firmly entrenched in my own experience of alcohol use. Where were the images of people collapsing in the street? The facial features that had drooped with alcoholic drowsiness? Why was nobody being honest about the effects this addictive substance was having upon such a large percentage of the population?

Eventually, I started to feel more positive about living life as a non-drinker. I recognised that not everyone has the same destructive relationship as I did with booze, although a deep mistrust of alcohol and those who sell it has remained with me. This is something which I feel has helped me enormously in staying on the sober road; whilst bitterness and anger are not emotions that we should embrace forever, a certain degree of ‘fighting back’ after years of being manipulated and possessed by alcohol is crucial (in my humble opinion) in building up an emotional resistance to this so-commonly accepted drug.

Me now, minus the internal struggles

Me now, a happy Soberista

In my third year of sobriety, everything settled down and became entirely normal. I no longer missed drinking at all, and had most definitely carved out a new identity for myself based on real things that matter, as opposed to the ghost-like fantasies that heavy alcohol consumption frequently initiates. I could say at that point that I knew myself, was aware of my foibles and strengths, had a healthy level of self-esteem, felt committed to the things in my life that I cared about, and had the confidence to believe in who I was and where I was heading. The self-loathing and regrets had long since fallen by the wayside and I had finally, at the age of thirty-eight, begun to enjoy living in the real world – with all of its challenges, ups and downs, and beauty. That was when I noticed a new sense of optimism in myself, a solid belief in things turning out OK. That in itself was a revelation, as previously I had always assumed everything would go wrong in my life.

And now, with hindsight, I often look back on my drinking years with an intense desire to gently put an arm around myself and whisper, ‘You don’t actually need alcohol to be OK. Your life would be much better without it.’ And then I feel an enormous sense of relief that I came to realise that my relationship with alcohol would never have changed – that off-switch would never have materialised, and my life would most definitely have continued to be characterised by shameful situations, wasted weekends and regrets so huge that they ate away at my soul.

Thank God I saw all of that. Thank God I became a Soberista.

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5 thoughts on “That Was Then And This Is Now – Sober Reflections

  1. La Panzona {Pahn.So.Nuh} says:

    Congratulations! That’s a huge achievement. There’s alcoholism in my family but luckily I never craved alcohol and only have a glass of wine on occasion with a meal. Saludos, La Panzona

  2. This is brilliant Lucy. Yes, thank God you became a Soberista and thank God you set Soberistas up so that other people struggling with alcohol had somewhere to go for loving, realistic peer support without being demonized. Well done .
    Sue xxx

  3. You are amazing and thank you for everything you are doing to support and help others, without judgement or criticism. You truly deserve a medal. I haven’t packed up drinking entirely, but belonging to this group has enabled me to regain a manageable and sensible balance – and to not drink for the wrong reasons; to ‘escape’ from problems and unhappiness and blot them out. Thank god I DO have an off button! I now don’t drink in the week and have it under control at the weekend, so it’s more ‘social’ and relaxing than crisis self medicating. Reading all of the features on this site has really helped me to sort myself out. I’m still toying with the idea of packing it up completely…Thanks again! 😃

  4. Hi Lucy, great blog!

    I work for Drink Wise, an organisation which works on behalf of local authorities in the North West to raise awareness of alcohol harm, and ways to reduce the negative impacts of alcohol.

    It would be great if you can support our current campaign, which gives people a chance to have their say on the impact of alcohol via the #DrinkWiseChallenge: goo.gl/pzhb4P.

    Hope to be able to work with you at some point in the not-too-distant future!

    Rachael

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