Most of my life, I drank to escape my feelings.
And because I did it for so long, its almost like I did not mature emotionally in full.
For me, to stop drinking means I have to learn to sit with my feelings – the whole gamut of it.
And you know what? It is uncomfortable as hell to do this. There is something SO unfamiliar and…painful, even – to be in a body that is trapped in anxiety, fear, anger, anguish.
To be sober in early sobriety, meant to be trapped in a very heavy body from which I desperately wanted to escape. It’s funny, but true. I was my own enemy. Whatever happened in the reality of life – the exterior events that surrounded me – didn’t really matter. The filter with which I interpreted that reality was broken, and everything was internally represented as a mountain of stress and darkness. Therefore, there was an immediate need to escape, via drinking.
So one of the things I had to confront early on my sobriety — the second bout of sobriety, mind you (go and read my story in the about tab, if you have not) — is that I had to stop and take a look at this filter. I had to look at HOW I perceived reality, and start addressing the stories of anguish and stress that I embedded in my head. I had to start recognizing these as a result of a broken filter.
The truth is, reality is what it is. But with my broken filter I perceived it in a messed-up way. And then once that messy caca was inside my head, I moved on to the next step, which was numbing out my body to the discomfort, via…yup, you guessed it – a drink. Or twenty – who the f*ck am I trying to fool.
So stop today and think about this. Think about the mental process that gets you to your own drinking. What happens from the core, what is going on with your own filter of reality? Are you creating stories or accepting the facts for what they are? Does any of this ring a bell in you?
Do you feel all the feels, and can you learn to sit with them rather than hide?
Do you see how addiction is a place to hide from them?
Pamela is a Certified Professional Recovery Coach & Educator. She has been in recovery since 2009, and is a passionate about breaking the stigma surrounding addiction. Please share this post via the channels below or anyone in your life who may benefit from a little information about drinking and recovery.