Losing alcohol as a friend

Today is 23 days sober. Some have been good, some have been terrible, and some days I haven’t really even thought about how many days it has been. Some days I have felt really, really sad though and I have had a really hard time trying to understand that. Why sad? It just didn’t make any sense to me at all and I couldn’t figure out why there’s some days that I just want to curl up in the corner in a little ball. I don’t cry – I haven’t cried in many years – but if I did I suspect that I would be driving home singing along to Adele or any of the songs on the http://www.sad-songs.com website and crying the entire 54 minute commute home. Fun times. No wonder my boyfriend escapes to the bar with his friends as often as he can. It wasn’t until I read a post on UnTipsyTeacher’s blog today that talked about grief and loss and one of the things that she wrote was:

“Many of us, in the early days of quitting drinking, write of the loss we feel.
It is a real loss, and not a loss to brush off.
For many of us, alcohol was our friend.”

When I read that, it was a little “aha!” moment for me. Alcohol (mainly wine) was so much a part of me, almost like a dear friend. If I had a bad day, what did I look forward to the most when I got home (or on the way home)? New situation to head into? Couple of glasses of wine will help with that and calm my nerves. Event that I’m not looking forward to going to? Oh just loosen up first with a few glasses, and guess who will be waiting for you when you get home afterwards? I had a glass of wine in my hand through moments of happiness, sadness, celebration, comfort, relaxation, excitement, funny conversations, serious conversations, break ups, make-ups, vacations and getaways and road trips and everything else in between. Part of me feels like I have been abandoned and it’s like a sappy scene from a sappy movie where the girl holds out her hand, arm and fingers outstretched, tears running down her face while she sobs out “but I can’t dooo thissss withouttt youuuuu”, while the other part of me feels like I’m the one doing the abandoning. The “Sorry, it’s not you, it’s me. I have to go and do this thing called “living life” by myself. I have to face my fears and find out how strong I really am, and have all sorts of new and wild and crazy and fun adventures without you, but thanks for (some of) the memories” type of breakup.

So… I think that I have to realize that I AM grieving, and I have to accept that and work through it and stop squishing those sad feelings down and burying them with cinnamon buns and hot chocolate. Any advice on how to do that would be fabulous – I’ve never been very good at dealing with grief or breakups – I basically just stubbornly stick my chin out and power through and move on.

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21 comments

  1. sobersuitsme · November 17

    Perfectly stated. It is a loss and it sucks. We can’t bring it back. It feels really sad. I hear you. Keep going. It gets a bit easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • shehidbehindtheglass · November 18

      Well I do have to admit that it’s already easier than it was 2 or 3 weeks ago (thank goodness!)

      Like

  2. ainsobriety · November 17

    Yes. Grieve. Cry. Stomp your feet. Eat the cinnamon buns.
    Mourn the loss of what’s familiar. But just keep reminding yourself that there is hope and growth in change. And, although it sucks, it is oh so worth it.

    Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

  3. thecasksdregs · November 18

    The loss we feel is amplified by our recognition of long dormant emotions. Our insidious relationship with alcohol is so strong that it has allowed itself to infiltrate our every activity. Extracting oneself from its clutches is not only hard, it evokes strong emotions. It is as you say, like the loss of a dear friend.

    My advice is to not stop with eating sweets in vulnerable moments. Everyone needs something. Instead, offset that indulgence by taking up physical activity (jogging, swimming, and bicycling work best for me). And since exercise is known to strongly improve both physical and psychological states, you will be creating a circularly reinforcing relationship to improve your overall well-being.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Untipsyteacher · November 18

    I am so glad you found that helpful.
    I agree that physical exercise is so helpful in recovery.
    We need to get out of our head, run, walk, yoga it up.
    Be with nature.
    I find my times outdoors so healing.
    I love hot tea and hot coffee. It is taking place of the ritual I need, where I make the water, pick the tea, and enjoy in a beautiful cup!
    You will be SO SO glad you are stopping drinking.
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    • shehidbehindtheglass · November 18

      Thank you for your words of encouragement Wendy. I am amassing quite a collection of tea, and I am really enjoying that ritual too. It’s calming – fill the kettle, turn it on, pick out a mug (I pick up coffee mugs from different places that I visit, so each one evokes a memory too) run my hands over the different teas “hmmm what flavour am I in the mood for?” Loose tea in a steeper thingie (I bought some fun ones off amazon), or if it’s a tea bag it’s more than likely a yogi brand one so then I read the little saying on the tea tag. I love being outdoors too. Hope you have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. morethanmyshare · November 18

    alcohol was my friend too, but it took a lot away from me. it clouded my life and demanded that it be my only, most important friend. anything I did with alcohol I can do without it. and remember it. and not feel shitty the next day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. suburbanbetty · November 19

    Alcohol is like a backstabby, asshole friend. More of a frenemy, really.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rob · November 22

    stuff good food not feelings. It is important not to replace alcohol with sugar. Sugar is the devil! Anyway, that wasn’t my point lol. First of all, be of compassionate mind toward yourself and not critical. Second, continue those great conversations with yourself, simply adding it’s not abandonment when you are getting out of an abusive relationship is it? Finally, MEDITATE, MEDITATE, MEDITATE!! I promise, if you start meditating, your world will be rocked to its core. You can sort all sorts of things out while meditating. You can quiet the mind during meditation. You have a plethora of health benefits as well. I could quote you study after study about the benefits of meditation. Trust me, I’ve just got 192 days, and meditation changed my life! And no, there is no “right” way. Grab headphones, grab chair, grab soothing sounds, sit still and shut up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • shehidbehindtheglass · November 22

      It is definitely on my list to try/start doing! For me it’s finding the space and the time

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rob · November 22

        immediately when you get up, otherwise, it won’t happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • shehidbehindtheglass · November 22

        This is going to sound like I’m making excuses, but that is when I have started running again. Does right before bed work? Or do you feel too energized after to sleep? Do you use or recommend any apps for it Rob?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rob · November 22

        There are quite a few apps. Just find one you like. Also, it only takes 10-15 mins. You don’t want to meditate before bed only because you will fall asleep. But, if that’s when it’s better than not.

        Liked by 1 person

      • shehidbehindtheglass · November 22

        Thanks for the advice and encouragement! Maybe I’ll put an “out for lunch” sign on my office door and try it over lunch. A midday power nap would be an added bonus 😁

        Like

      • Rob · November 22

        that’s actually a PERFECT time to do it! Within a few weeks you will be AMAZED at your mindfulness, wellness, tolerance, etc etc etc. And it’s not a nap lmao

        Liked by 1 person

      • shehidbehindtheglass · November 22

        Falling asleep at my desk in the middle of the day isn’t a nap? Hmm. Just teasing you, I didn’t know what else to call it

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rob · November 22

        uhm, meditation? lol

        Like

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