and I guess I still need time to work out exactly what I want to say. But, I’m back and who knows what the future holds…
Lately I have just been feeling stuck. I’m restless, irritable and discontent and I know exactly what I need to do about it but I’m finding it extremely difficult. I’m very lucky with where I live in that I have a choice of two meetings a day every day of the week but I just haven’t really found anyone I feel comfortable really sharing with yet. I did previously have a sponsor but he moved on and since then I’ve been feeling pretty lost. So, with that in mind I decided to step outside of my comfort zone tonight and go to a meeting in a town I had never set foot in before. It was huge and absolutely filled with people, it was pretty intimidating. The old negative thought processes kicked in and my anxiety went into full flight so I left at the smoke break after the share. Feeling pretty annoyed with myself now and I’m wondering if the reason I haven’t been able to really share with someone is because I haven’t truly put the effort in to find someone I want to share with…
Still, tomorrow is another day and maybe I’ll just try again.
They got a saying, if you’re not drinking then you’re not playing.”
Ah Lana Del Rey and her melancholy lyrics… This particular line struck me from the minute I first heard the song. I was alone driving down a stretch of motorway surrounded by fields and rain clouds in the middle of a 200 mile drive. It summed up exactly how I have felt about my social life since I stopped drinking.
In the west of Scotland drinking is the norm, and for the most part it is heavy binge drinking that is viewed as being “social”. That is just what everyone my age does around here and being sober has a tendency to make people uncomfortable around you. It’s ‘weird’, it’s ‘different’, it’s ‘wrong’, “Why on earth would you choose not to drink?” Before I stopped drinking I was the girl that was always the centre of the party, the one who was up for anything and didn’t give a shit what anyone else thought (that was the way everyone else perceived it at least…) But I was also the girl who was deeply ashamed of the poor choices she consistently made, disgusted at plenty of the things she had done and on the inside was hiding this feeling of complete and utter loneliness, desperately doing anything to be accepted.
I have heard many times and from many different people, some of whom I had considered good friends, that I am not as much fun now that I am sober. Let me tell you something, no matter how many times you hear that sentence it hurts just as much as the first, like a knife twisting deep in my gut. Does noone like the ‘real me?’ am I only deemed worthy of socialising with when I am high on booze and low on morals..?
I haven’t had a drink for 2 years, and one day at a time I hope to continue that for as long as I can.
Alcohol isn’t my problem right now, reality is.
So I feel it is only fitting to begin this blog with a little background about my life, or to borrow a phrase: What it used to be like, what happened and what it is like now. My “drunkalogue” isn’t full of fireworks and drama. No jail sentences or bar brawls (well, one, almost…) but what it is full of is hurt. Hurt and shame and struggle. Struggle to fit in, struggle to cope and struggle to understand who I was and what I was doing.
As is common in the west of Scotland I began drinking at an early age, around 14 or 15. In hindsight, I suffered from blackouts from my very first first drink and the slope only went downhill. Sometimes it seemed to stay on an even keel but overall the trend was a downwards spiral. That isn’t to say there weren’t good times, there were of course, but I have accepted that I can no longer drink in safety. I am an alcoholic.
In the beginning alcohol was the wonderful cure to all my problems; it helped me forget, it helped me to cope, it helped me find self-confidence and now without it… I have to find other ways to deal with reality, with life on life’s terms as they say. That is no easy feat. I am 2 years sober and although I am in a far better place mentally today than I was when I first gave up my beloved alcohol there are things I still don’t fully understand how to cope with. The biggest hurdle for me is without a doubt finding some sort of self belief, self confidence. The confident part of my identity is still very much tied up in the girl I was when I was drinking and how people saw me back then. Some days are easier than others, some days I can see the good parts of me that I don’t always realise exist but most of the time I feel different, and isolated, and unsure of myself.
It is time to start looking for who I am, time to start learning to love the person I see in the mirror and time to believe in myself and my abilities. If only I knew how in seven hells to start…
So uh, hey there y’all. How you doing?
My name is Nicola and this site is about me and my life as a sober 23 year old.
Life sober isn’t easy at the best of times and I think, when you’re young it can be even harder. I have been sober since the 6th of August 2012 and it has, without doubt, been the hardest period of my life. I have learned, I have grown, I have struggled and I have changed.
But, there are still things to learn, changes to be made and I’m quite sure plenty of struggles to be had so if you would like, feel free to come and join me on my journey through life; One day at a time.