11 June. 2023
Anxiety is a funny old thing. When I was drinking, I always had an underlying bubbling anxiety. It was always there, never stopping me from doing things but always making me aware it was there. When I stopped drinking, instead of that I’d have nothing and then a full blown panic attack out of nowhere. Although I never drank in the day I think that drinking as much as I did took the edge off my worries, and stopped me overthinking before something happened. It was almost like I did things on autopilot without engaging my brain too much. Afterwards, I could drink to stop myself worrying. Now, I don’t rely on alcohol to numb my feelings, so it was hard to learn how to ‘be’ and deal with certain situations. Like today, I had to take my son to meet his Beaver group on the moor for a hike. What with one thing and another, I was panicking before I got there, and although I’d planned to stay, I found my flight instinct kicking in and before I knew what I was doing I was half way home. Logically I know no one can see my insecurities, I know that no one is judging me, but I feel horrible all the same. So I went home and cried, because that’s normally what follows a panic attack, and then I had a cup of tea and waited for my emotions to settle down. I come out of them much better than I used to, and managed to go back to collect him without any drama, although I did fall asleep this afternoon, which again is normal after I’ve felt this way. My point is, that I may be 6.5 years sober, but I’m still learning, and that’s okay. We all are. Learning to live without a substance we’ve relied on emotionally can be hard, but it isn’t impossible, and I’d much rather feel my emotions than numb them, even when it’s difficult.