Six


Yesterday was 6 months without an alcoholic drink. Hopefully this post will not be too long, boring, or rambling, but I feel this is a good time to elaborate on “What it’s like right now.”

Where to start…

The drinking (or not-drinking if you will) is going great. Last week brought another painful experience with my wife, one of those times I was dreading, that situation where I am afraid the “fuck it” attitude will kick in and I will go off the rails. One of those times where my need to solve everything right away could not be met and I would turn to something else for temporary relief. I needed to take action: go to meetings, call someone, pray, meditate, live with the pain, but I am happy to say that I did this and the desire to drink was not present. I feel like the obsession has been lifted from me. I say that not as a finality, one thing I have become convinced of is the idea that if I do not take action to maintain my condition then it will return with a vengeance. I am much more comfortable with the fact that I don’t drink, find it easier to be around others drinking, and also obsessing less about recovery. I am becoming more able to compartmentalize my recovery actions and not let this journey become the all-encompassing definition of who I am.

Nowadays, the majority of my recovery work revolves around finding “emotional sobriety.” When it comes to this, I cannot say enough good things about the AA program. Most people think of AA as a place where alcoholics go to stop drinking. I see it a bit differently. For me it has become a way for me to learn to live life so that I don’t have to drink. It took some time for me to understand that, and to see the difference in those 2 definitions. I believe I maybe could have treated the drinking “symptom” through willpower alone, but this is a better way for me – to treat the underlying problem to alleviate the symptom.  For those of you skeptics, yes this is the “dry drunk” theory. A theory that I once considered complete horse-crap, but (for me) I now believe in 100%.

What has changed? My humility is at a place it has never been before. I went from a person who would get annoyed that my wife mentioned to her friend that we had an argument (shattering our illusion of perfection), to a person who can (if it comes up) tell someone that I am an alcoholic, going to therapy, and have some serious emotional issues. This feeds in to a new sense of honesty I have about myself, and try to live by. I am now more comfortable giving up control and asking for help from others and a Higher Power. Something I also used to think was BS and weakness. When my emotions get the best of me, even when it is completely the other person’s fault :), given some time I can recognize my fault in it and take responsibility.  I feel a freedom that I have never had before. Having said all this, I am nowhere close to perfect. I still struggle with that initial emotional reaction, especially with my wife. When somebody says something I take offense to, it is still often a problem. That sensitivity, sense of fairness/unfairness kicks in and I have a hard time not letting it spin through my mind or even outwardly reacting. The progress is that I can now see it afterward, my part, my reaction, and I can take responsibility. In the past this was always invisible to me. I am hoping that in the second half of my first year, this new awareness will bring improvements to my initial reactions and that I can make improvements to my self-centered responses to others behavior.

People talk about being grateful that they are an alcoholic. If you are like I was and this makes no sense to you at all, let me just say that I truly believe that had I not designated myself as such, I would be exactly where I was 6 months ago – if not worse.

Thanks for listening.

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About A Beast Within

Trying to find myself, battling alcoholism, and other personal demons. Sharing the journey. View all posts by A Beast Within

4 responses to “Six

  • karenlessscripted

    Kudos to you for gaining such clarity. I totally believe in the concept of the “dry drunk”. I’ve also seen people get sober only to pick up another addictive behavior because they’re not working some kind of program or focused on recovery. For me, sobriety is physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. Congratulations on 6 months! I wish you many, many more.

  • Scott

    Congrads on 6 months buddy!! You are understanding through your own experiences living in recovery and living the steps becomes the new normal way to live/think. Remember we spent “X” amount of years as drunks, being selfish, self centered to the max, it takes time to change the old behaviors. I have dear friends with well over 30 years who own up to still making mistakes based on self, these are people who work the steps, go to meetings, use their God and serve others.

    I like what you said about awareness. To me awareness is one of the keys, keys to my serenity and being a kind and loving person to others. For the most part I think before I speak, check my motives, with time and practice this becomes a automatic way of dealing with others. I may be still cutting someone to shreds in my mind but I am not doing any damage by opening my mouth:-) You also seem to be doing what others and I do, using the 10th step all day long and not just doing one at the end of our day.

    I like what you wrote. Keep doing what you are doing 1 day at a time and those days will add up. Your recovery life will become as comfortable as your favorite clothes. Meetings, working and talking with newcomers will help you remember your last days of drinking.

    In Fellowship
    Scott

  • runningonsober

    Congrats indeed on 6 months! I feel that same freedom in not drinking. It’s like as soon as I just accepted that drinking was no longer an option under ANY circumstances for me, I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. The weight of burden and the weight of addiction… I could finally get on with living my life. Not that the road’s not bumpy, but at least I’m not stuck in the muddy quicksand spinning my wheels and going nowhere.
    Enjoyed the read!

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