You pulled me in close and whispered everything would be okay
That in your presence, I would find security
You told me, with your help, I could be confident, sexy, alive
The warmth spread over me like a blanket
You promised everything I needed was in you
That I was nothing without you
Alcohol lied to me but I always seemed to have a desire to crawl back for just one more dance. In a lot of ways, giving up alcohol was like going through a breakup.
In the beginning, I knew it was the right decision but was scared to take action. I didn’t want to know who I was without it. After years of intertwining my identity and formulating my self-worth through a liquid, I had to discover who I was on my own and that terrified me. If you’re in this stage, I promise you will get through the initial shock.
Telling people wasn’t exactly fun either. I used to get that confused, sad look people give you when you tell them you broke up with your significant other. Then come the questions.”What? Why? How? Are you ok?” I remember dreading those questions in the beginning of my sobriety. The best thing I found was to be honest but remember you don’t owe anyone an answer if you aren’t comfortable providing one.
You lose friends. All who have gone through a break up know that you aren’t just losing one person, you’re most likely starting a silent siding war between your mutual friends, maybe even family. When you stop drinking, people will choose alcohol over you. But as I have mentioned previously, finding out who your real friends are is a blessing.
Then comes the delusional stage where you start to think the relationship may not have been as bad as you remember. Our brains have a funny way of recalling only the good times, right?! A photo will pop up on your timeline that makes you feel nostalgic, but you must remind yourself of the negatives lurking beneath the smiles. This can be extremely painful, but it has also helped me put things in perspective countless times.
Lastly, you will wake up one morning and realize your life is better. You will be happy and content with yourself. You no longer question your decisions and you no longer miss the relationship. People say time heals. And though that is real annoying to hear, it’s the truth. Major life changes, whether a break up or moving on from an addiction, take time. Be gentle with yourself in the beginning and embrace all the stages in between. You will get through it and you will be thankful you did.