I am really surprised that I am having to make a daily choice not to drink. I guess that was overconfidence since I have only been dry for six months but it *felt* like “I want a drink” was behind me. I had not had a crisis or a heartbreak cross my path in that time. I was staying sober while living through regular days which was hard at first but then easier and easier. I am so grateful that I more or less had the hang of the regular days by the time misery found me. I see now how people can fall back into old habits after months or years.
I catch myself thinking “Just one to take the edge off” and have to cut that thought off before I have a chance to let it gain any traction. The thing is, *I* was really unhappy with drinking by the time I quit. I had been really unhappy with drinking for a while. I don’t have false happy memories of drinking. I remember the spinning, the vomiting, the anxiety attacks, the hiding the glass in my recycle bin, the shame. This really is not an experience that I miss.
I wonder if I am thinking “just one” because I even want a drink or because drinking to solve problems has gotten so woven into our culture that it feels like what I *should* be doing when I feel like crap. It doesn’t work! I can’t believe that it really works for anybody. How does scrambling your thoughts make anything better? How does one drink not eventually become two? I notice now when someone’s social media pics almost always include a drink. And there are many people who fit that description. Why is everyone so empty? Do I want a drink because it’s MY bad habit or because it is OUR bad habit? The whole damn society’s bad habit? Would I be thinking about “just one” if at least one person didn’t suggest it on the daily as what will me feel better?
I have said that I quit drinking. I didn’t make a huge deal of it, but I have told many people that I gave it up. And that doesn’t stop anybody from suggesting that I have a drink to get through this. It is as if everybody is so programmed that alcohol is what we are to do when we are happy or sad or bored that people genuinely believe “have a drink” is a helpful suggestion even to someone who has said they quit drinking. Fuck, I’m miserable. And sober.
I did go back to the dentist today for my annual cleaning and no cavities! Of course, I had that huge filling replaced last month but no new cavities. Which for me is a big deal because of all the bulimic vomiting in years past. And the alcohol vomiting. Ugh. All the vomiting. Anyway, I felt proud that my teeth aren’t rotting. Some days you take what you can get.
3 thoughts on “The Empties”
The daily facebook memes do get a bit annoying for me too at times. There are people on my feed taking the piss out of dry January saying they’re on dry gin, cider, wine etc. Take care, hugs x
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I’m totally surprised my teeth haven’t rotted either. Re: Societies love affair with alcohol – It’s not a habit its addiction. big difference. A habit implies that you have a choice and it’s relatively easy to break bad habits. Addiction removes the choice. I’m not saying that everyone who drinks is addicted BUT if they drink regularly enough and if they drink to self medicate then no one is immune to the addiction. You are doing very well. Remember there is no such thing as just one drink. It doesn’t exist. xxx
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And, as you said, it never REALLY helps us.
It’s a false promise.
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