Supposedly people are different when they’re drinking. It’s true I suppose, but for me, it wasn’t like an on/off switch that flicked when I drank a glass of wine, it was more like a dimmer switch that never quite got turned off. The more often I drank, the more I wanted to drink, and the more I became someone I didn’t like. I told myself I was okay, because I didn’t drink in the day, and kidded myself I was all right, because I kept up the pretence of showing the world I was achieving everything I tried to. On the outside I was fine, but on the inside, I became less and less me, and more and more someone I didn’t recognise. The hold wine had on me was so strong I felt I had no choice but to shrug off my worries and continue to drink.
When I finally got sober, I thought the alcohol would wear off, and I’d just become ‘me’ again. I have, but it’s taken far longer than I expected. I suppose that’s the thing though, when you spend so many years drowning out your feelings and emotions, it’s hard to feel them all again. You have to relearn the way you think and feel and react. For instance, I hadn’t realised how insular I’d become, and how many protective barriers I’d put up, but now as my youngest child’s social circle expands, I’m finding mine is too. It’s hard, not horrible, but hard. I find myself exhausted, because it’s all new. The worst part is the feeling afterwards. I can do things, but after they’re done, I panic and over analyse myself, frequently ending up in tears. I remember too the things I’d rather not, it’s easier said than done just to move on, and while I’m trying, it’s a challenge. It’s just the way it’s got to be for a while. Eventually, these things I’m worrying about will come more naturally, and everything will be a little easier.
Just remember that sobriety is a journey, not a destination. You will get there, you just have to stick at it. Even on the hard days, I don’t regret my decision. The only failure would be to give up.