I wonder if anyone else had high expectations of an alcohol free life only to be brought back down to earth after a few short months of sobriety,
The expectations I had were…shall we say lofty? Here’s what I thought would happen. As a sober woman of a certain age life would be as follows. I’d scoff at a drink offer and be happily satisfied with my mocktail. My house would be spotless, my kid would be happy, my (still nonexistent) husband would adore me. I’d somehow be rich, I’d drive a nice car, I’d never get depressed or anxious again. I’d work out on a daily and be more fit than I was at 20. I’d check out of rehab a brand new woman and never look back.
So here comes the reality. My brain and body took a good year to function properly again. I felt EVERYTHING because I wasn’t using alcohol or dry goods to deal (ignore). I was sensitive, vulnerable, and self conscious. I finally understood that it wasn’t alcohol that caused my problems, it was the reasons that I drank the way I did that caused them. I had to figure out what those reasons were to start to heal. I couldn’t listen to music because it reminded me of my drunken days. I turned down party invites because I didn’t trust myself to be around alcohol. I isolated and sat in my anxiety for days at a time. I told people I wasn’t strong enough to live an alcohol free life in an alcohol soaked culture.
The thing that helped me get to where I am today? Connection with other sober women. I just did what they did, and gave myself an out- I said I won’t drink today but if I want to I can drink tomorrow. Those tomorrows added up without those drinks. I was never disappointed to wake up hangover free.
Maybe my house isn’t spotless. I definitely don’t have millions in the bank or a Bentley in the garage. I am sincerely happy, though. I HAVE to pay it forward because without that sober support when I was struggling, I’d be lost. So thank you, ladies, for giving me the life I dreamed of. It takes a village and God knows I needed every last one of you.