The Fear

Sunday 25 Oct, 2015, 1:37pm by Mrs D 20 comments

The biggest thing I always want to say when I’m asked about my sobriety is that living alcohol-free life is not the boring-ass disaster that I feared it would be. I was terrified at the prospect of never drinking again! Utterly terrified. And I know a lot of us drinkers are.

We know we’ve got a problem, we know we probably need to stop drinking, we know it’s making us feel miserable emotionally and terrible physically… yet we are still shit scared to give up.

Shit scared to take the leap into living sober.

One of the main reasons I want to be a visible person in recovery is to give an insight into what life is like on the ‘other side’. I know for me when I was locked in my boozy hell I would look at sober people with a sense of wonder and puzzlement.

I used to see famous sober people (I didn’t know any in real life) and wanted so desperately to have an honest conversation with them about what living alcohol-free was like. Are you bored? Are you anti-social? Is your life a misery? Do you have any fun any more? Do you get any invitations? Do your friends still like you? What’s it like? What’s it like? What’s it like?

Because I could simply not imagine a happy life without booze. I was deeply conditioned to see alcohol as the magical elixir that made everything better. My brain was hard-wired to believe that alcohol was the best way to relax, that it was vital for fun, that it helped me to bond with my friends, that it proved I was a good hostess,  that it was my friend in times of loneliness or boredom. I thought drinking made me cool.

(OMG writing that now makes me sad and happy at the same time. How deluded I was.)

Of course I couldn’t have that conversation with stars like Rob Lowe or Keith Urban, so I’d just go on the visual cues they gave me. And honestly – most of the time they looked happy and content (albeit on camera in public). But it was enough to really make me wonder.. were they covering something up? Were their lives really ok with no booze added?

Now I’m in that position. I haven’t taken  a drop of liquid poison for 1510 days (and counting!) and I can be that person that answers my questions of old and tells the truth.

Here’s the truth…….(summarised in a nut shell)

It takes a big transition to shift from living boozily to living sober. It takes quite a bit of work early on to shift your thinking and break ingrained habits. You might need to work on other factors in your life that cause you pain (such as current unsatisfactory circumstances or past hurts & grievances), and there may be some shuffling of relationships or activities. But it can be done. If you really attack your sobriety head on and focus on all the good things not drinking delivers you … Slowly over time you just start living and not thinking about reaching for a drink constantly.

And you start to feel great! You no longer suffer terrible hangovers or extreme guilt! You feed all the things in your life that are lovely and make you feel good, and you starve all the things that bring you down or make you suffer.

And you just live. You get up.. you live and breath all day… and you go to bed. Repeat. Alcohol doesn’t enter the picture. Sorrows do – because life is like that – but so do triumphs and joys.

You just live! Alcohol free. Compulsion free. Addiction free.

I get the fear. I understand it. I’ve felt it too.

But seriously, you’ve got to feel the fear and do it anyway (to use a well-worn phrase). Take the leap. Know that you will get to a happy place. Know that the lies you believe about alcohol’s supposedly positive benefits are all bullshit. Know that you will become a person who just moves through their life without struggling with addiction.

And then you too can become that empathetic person who passes on the message to those behind us. You can tell them you understand what it’s like to be locked in a boozy hell, but reassure them that sobriety is not the ticket to a boring, miserable life. Far from it. It is the gateway to finding your true, authentic self and ultimately (hopefully) a lovely feeling of tranquility and inner calm.

Here’s hoping.

Love, Mrs D xxx

20 comments

  1. A great post @Mrs D
    Life on the other side is infinitely better. I agree with the comment about sorting out the past etc. This is an important part of living sober and should not be underestimated in how much it can help us move forwards.
    It Is such a relief to be able to go to parties, dinners, have people over…. and enjoy the night sober, present and mindful. It feels so much more genuine.
    Keep well xxxx@Kazza

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  2. Great post, thank you!! There is totally a “fear” that life will never be the same again, but that’s a good thing!! Coming up to 11 months tomorrow and having “faced my fears”, life is so much better sober.

    Love being in the new “cool-gang!”

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  3. Oh my god mrs d. I have been thinking about giving up for so long but the fear of what my life would be like had always seen me go back to my stupid old ways. This post is a complete game changer for me. You have answered all my fears and now I am confident to say I will NEVER drink alcohol again. This is the last day one of my life and I will never have to reset my little app again. I owe you big time xxx.

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  4. So inspirational. Am six months sober now and got a bit teary reading that. It was exactly that kind of talk in your book that gave me the courage to quit. And I am so *very* grateful to you.

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  5. MrsD, thank you for this article. Reading your blog has become an important component in my recovery. It is so inspiring to hear about the positives of sobriety.

    The so-called “benefits” of alcohol gave me excuses to continue to drink, such as alcohol supposedly being the best way to relax or interact with friends. It’s wonderful to hear the truth from someone who has quit for so long. I continue to remind myself that not drinking has so many upsides, such as waking up with a clear head, remembering what I did the night before, feeling good instead of lousy, practicing healthier habits, freedom from alcohol-induced guilt, less anxiety and depression, etc.

    I feel like I can live authentically in the present, and look forward to a positive future of (as you have stated) “tranquility and inner calm” instead of looking back at the mistakes of my past.

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  6. Brilliant post, thank you! You are so right that life without the addition of alcohol brings us closer to our true authentic selves… One thought that helps me appreciate that is watching my children – they don’t need the drug of alcohol to enjoy and celebrate life – and neither do I!

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    1. I read these posts looking for the strength to stop.
      LIke you, I have looked in awe at my sober children and fed enviously from their joy.
      All the best
      x

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  7. Love this post, Mrs D! One thing I’m realizing about”the fears” is that it’s important to feel them and acknowledge them, not just “take the leap” and race ahead to arguing against the fears. It’s a tricky balance, as one wouldn’t want to wallow. But for me, I’m starting to see that not feeling enough of the pain/fear when I was quitting before (in an effort to be logical about it all, or to race my way past feeling the tough stuff, or both), well, I’ll just say it’s part of what I’m trying to do differently this time. Thanks for being open about it all and showing that it really does get better. xo

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  8. Thank you. Just thank you. This is exactly the thing I have been mulling through my brain for the last 6 months. I’m so scared to stop because I fear I will be miserable and not feel those highs I get from drinking. It’s a relief to me to see what happens on the other side that you do get to be happy and excited about life.

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  9. Fab post Mrs D! It took me years to work up the courage to stop. Like everyone else, I often think ‘Why didn’t I do that sooner?’. I was driving round the bays yesterday to pick up my Dad and saw a fair few people stumbling home on the walk of shame. I LOVE that it’s not me and my head is clear and I am real. Amazing! Love you so much Mrs D, thank you for everything x

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  10. Wow @Mrs D. This was an awesome experience read! I don’t mean to get too spiritual but this mornings message in church was relative to keep pushing on and take the leap! It wasn’t a sermon about addiction but so much of it was relative to it. Thank you for sharing this. Those of us new to sobriety (regardless of how many times we have been ‘new” to it) really need that reassurance from those that have experienced and conquered what we are currently experiencing. I obsess over the thought of never drinking again….but I’m taking the leap! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  11. Thank you Mrs D for this. I would like to make the next step but yes, I’m afraid . And part of me also says, ” you’re not that bad” “you’re not an alcoholic” ( a term I hate with a passion) Moderating is ok but I’m thinking Of going AF and seeing all those benefits. :)

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing! This is exactly what I needed to read this morning as a boost on my fourth day sober. I feel like I’ve never really known myself and I’ve been trying to find her for years but alcohol has been in the way. I can’t wait to live well without the guilt and shame and everything else. I know it will be had work but I’m determined to do it. Thank you for creating this place for me to go as I embark on my journey where I can pull from the strengths and experiences of others to help get me to my destination! This is amazing and so exciting!

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  13. Perfect post for me this morning. Particularly related to ‘starving’ all the things that bring you down or make you suffer. It is so hard to imagine life without booze at the beginning, but as you say, slowly but surely you find that you can live happily without it. I am so glad I don’t drink anymore.

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  14. Hi Mrs D

    I’m definitely a newbie and a longbie thanks to the truth and testimony you share. My thoughts “ditto” yours x-actly!m To have a re-assurance that I won’t be drabby and dreary because I’m no longer skulling at high speed just adds to my ammunition kit that I’m continuously aiming and firing at when that sneaky addictive voice tells me to think how yuumm a glass of sparkles would be. Thanks to your toolkit I’ve been smashing it everytime …yay,yay,yay! and thank you.

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