Some days I just want to grab the nearest bottle of tequila, smash back a few shots and dance on the closest bar counter! I miss that feeling of complete abandon where you are not in the least bit concerned about the people or the happenings around you, but are simply having a knees-up of a time! I haven’t felt that feeling since I stopped drinking and yes, sometimes I long for it. Or the gentle escape that a glass of chilled white wine offers after a long day at work or the comforting embrace of a glass of red when everything is in its place and you have a little time on your hands. There are days when I envy the people in my life who can blur the edges of reality ever so slightly (and sometimes erase them completely) for a time and then go back to normal living. Since I am unable to flick the “off switch” as I call it, I am not party to the temporary escapism that alcohol offers so many people. And so I deal with the harsh reality of life without being able to “take the edge off” when things get a little tough!
There really is no respite from the daily grind once you choose sobriety. And although the majority of the days are manageable there are days when a good thick pair of beer goggles or rose-tinted lenses would be ever so nice. Being sober means that ever waking minute is spent clear-headed and in a state of unaltered consciousness. There’s no hiding from the truth of any situation with a fruity cocktail or a couple of drinks at Happy Hour. Oh there are days when I wish that this wasn’t the case, but I know that there is no such thing as just having one day off from sobriety. It’d be like being able to leave the kids at home with a baby sitter and go out for that much needed romantic dinner or putting the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your hotel room door, knowing that everything would go back to normal in the morning. But alas this is not the case here. We addicts soldier on through life with no mini-breaks from our reality, bravely facing each day armed with our chosen coping mechanisms and our will to stay clean and sober.
And then when those obstacles have been overcome and those bad days are a distant memory, I have a little more strength and a little more personal power than I had before these events. And I can stand firm and proud in that I didn’t take the easy way out and try and drink my problems away as I would have in the past. Because if nothing else being sober has taught me that I am far tougher than I ever imagined I could be and that even the awful experiences have a lesson in them that are better learned with a clear head and an open heart.
So as the festive season approaches and drinks’ parties abound, be strong in your sobriety and know that when the Christmas cheer has subsided and the Boxing Day hangovers linger, that you might not have had the ephemeral experiences of years past, but that every moment you had was real, true and profoundly honest.
‘Til next time