A powerful observation

Sunday 27 Dec, 2015, 8:41am by Mrs D 12 comments

I go on a lot about brain-retraining in early sobriety… how we need to really embrace the reality of a sober life by actively working inside our grey-matter to turn our thinking around. How we need to actively challenge every hard-wired belief that tells us booze is the magical ingredient that makes occasions special.

It took me a huge amount of effort when I started living sober to not feel hard done by because I couldn’t relax with a glass of merlot at 5pm, because I couldn’t refresh myself on a hot afternoon with an icy cold beer, that I couldn’t raise a toast with champagne, that I couldn’t bond with girlfriends over a Chardonnay, that I couldn’t have fun at a party without numerous tequilas.

The method I worked on (developed with the help of this book and this one) was to focus really clearly on all the other factors inherent in an event. That relaxing was about being finished work for the day, comfy pants and a scented candle, that refreshing yourself was about re-hydrating and taking a break, that toasting was about human connectedness and joy, that bonding with girlfriends was about female companionship and love, that having fun at a party was about great music, excellent chats, yummy nibbles and dancing!

And slowly over time as I relaxed, bonded, celebrated and refreshed myself without booze I realised all my hard-wired beliefs were BULLSHIT! I started seeing clearly that alcohol is a drug that mimics genuine feelings .. and experiencing those feelings authentically was infinitely better and more rewarding! Honestly.. feeling positive emotions in a pure form (without booze) is incredibly lovely and powerful.

And then this update popped up in the Members Feed the other day. A brilliant illustration of someone coming to this realisation for the first time. @delgirl68 articulates this moment so clearly and beautifully I am featuring it here with her permission.

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@delgirl68: I was having dinner in my restaurant the other night and brought a non alcoholic beer in with me. I was definitely feeling the urge to drink and feeling a little sorry for myself. We (me, hubby, kids) were waiting for our pizzas and doing a “cheers”. Hubby with a real beer, me with my non-beer, kids with their soft drinks. Even in doing that, I was still having little battle in my head. But what happened was this: I realised from the outside everything looked completely normal (even though the demons were raging in my head). Here I was, out with the family, all relaxing, enjoying company, toasting, relaxed etc.

The demons had to be silenced because here I was, doing the normal stuff. If my beer had been a real one, what would the difference had been? It would have been exactly the same (except it would have been the first drink on the way to getting drunk).

I realised I had everything already – alcohol could not have enhanced it.

The voice in my head was forced to go away with that realisation that I was not missing out on anything. It was quite a powerful observation.

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Not just a powerful observation from @delgirl68 but a very profound realisation of a fundamental truth: That despite the best efforts of the alcohol industry to make us believe nothing is special without alcohol, and despite the best efforts of our own brains trying to convince us that our lives will be miserable without booze… IT’S JUST NOT TRUE.

We have everything we need for a full, fun, lovely and rewarding life right in front of us – not in the brain-bending liquid in our glass. We just have to look clearly at it.

Love, Mrs D xxx

12 comments

  1. I’m scared! One week without alcohol and I’m okay? First Friday night I’ve come home from work and not drank. I’m scared because what happens when I do go out and I’m just Mrs Boring. The only fun I have in this small town right in the wops wops is a Friday night boozing session at the local, with that gone then what.
    Everyone here is so inspirational I’m just thinking if you can do it do can I.
    Cheers (water) to no more Saturday hangovers!

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  2. I’m so happy I got sober last year. 31/1/15 was the last day I had a drink. I was worried that I would stick out like a sore thumb at first in social gatherings, and my self control would melt away like the ice cubes in my glass of poison – so I found it easiest to avoid them altogether. However, since I have changed jobs and met new people and with the new lower limits for drink-driving, have happily discovered that I am never the only sober person in the room, as feared, and it’s great! This is my new normal and I love it.

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  3. Three days into my sober life. A New year’s dinner party is looming on the horizon where there is a wine for every coarse. Right now feeling positive I can get though it if I keep Mrs. Ds observations in my minds and all the replys in my heart. Thank you to everyone out there who are living their life fully and alcohol free.You are my inspiration and support. Have a very Happy New Year.

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  4. Great post, thank you. I stumbled this Christmas for all those reasons – I’m not fun enough without booze, I’m stressed, I deserve it, people expect me to drink…
    You’re right it is all bullshit. I’ve got some way to go to retrain my brain to a really comfortable place but I am shuffling forwards. Here’s to a clean shiny new year!

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  5. Started reading Mrs.D book last night after yet another party that I swore I would just have two glasses of wine.Several glasses later and with post drinking insomnia,guilt ,remorse and nausea I know I must leave alcohol . I feel like Mrs. D and I are the same person. Her pattern of after 5 drinking and finishing a bottle or more per night was so recognisable to me. Today is the first day .I recognize that it’s not about getting control or moderation it’s about stopping completely. I needed to share this today. I know my life depends on it. Thanks for being here.

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  6. Friends say.. “Oh that’s right,, You don’t drink”. I say, “Yes I do, I just don’t want alcohol in it”. Booze dosn’t help me with my social insecurities at all, it’s just a big waste of money and energy. It’s so good to wake up in the morning and not be tired and grumpy.

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  7. This is so what I needed to read today. Been having the same thoughts, telling myself in the mirror “I don’t need alcohol for a good for time”. The hardest thing is to actually believe those words.

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  8. Love love love this post, thank you @Mrs-D. It is all so true. Those thoughts of misery when we are first confronted with the challenge to give up booze for good can be very intense and gloomy indeed. The truth is so different. Living booze free is a massive improvement in so many ways.

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  9. This realization is such a hard one to describe (well) to those for whom that bell has not gone off in their head. This is a perfect description of it. Hope that everyone takes the time to read it – well done :-)

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  10. Nice post @MrsD. This Xmas has been great for me, realising all the important stuff I’m feeling (love, relaxation, happiness) ate all better without booze.

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