Regrets

What will I regret at the end of my life? Living sober?

I don’t think living a sober life is something that I will EVER regret. Does it feel sort of lonely and flat sometimes? Yes. Do I have cravings for booze sometimes? Yes. Do I feel like I am missing out on fun sometimes? Yes.

Do I regret getting and staying sober for the past six months? Hell to the no.

I have been realizing more and more that experiencing life without tamping down my emotions is really fuckin’ worthwhile. I am feeling more creative than I have in years. I want to add to the world. I didn’t add much when I was drinking, even though I wanted and planned to, because I was stuck in a foggy rut of alcohol abuse. I did okay some of the time, but I was never even close to reaching my potential. Yikes.

I think people who abuse alcohol on the regular do not experience life in the same way. I was caught up in a cycle of ups and downs, highs and lows, hangovers, depression, anxiety, anticipation, being buzzed, wanting more, more, more and experiencing full-on drunkenness and blackouts. The next day the depression, anxiety, guilt and shame would kick in and the craving for booze would begin all over again. I would feel happy when I was drinking because it gave me a brief respite from feeling bad about myself and thinking about my life. I also spent a lot of time planning and thinking about drinking… when, where, with whom, how, on and on. All of that takes a lot of time! Hours, days, weeks, months, and years of my life spent thinking about, engaging in, or recovering from drinking! Fuck me sideways!

I have spent a lot of time in the past six months getting some balance back in my body, mind and spirit. I have had many negative thoughts. I have been scared shitless of living life without any alcohol in it. I have also learned how to be more kind to myself… to set boundaries and say no and tell myself nice things and let go of bad shit that keeps holding me back. I was really, really bad at all of that before. The fog of 20 years of alcohol abuse is slowly lifting from my brain, and I am beginning to see things much more clearly.

I love how this keeps happening… this clarity. It just keeps on coming!

I see that giving up alcohol is something I will never regret when the end comes and I am looking back over my life. Those hours, days, weeks, and years devoted to just getting by through a fog of addiction are now being spent in other ways. Better ways. Ways that fill me up instead of bleeding me dry. I have grabbed the reins and am learning how to be the curator of my life. I am shedding anger and sadness over the past and trying to view the future without fear.

Is living sober perfect? No. I still feel crappy sometimes. I don’t always like myself, sometimes I absolutely hate other people, and I still feel unsure of pretty much EVERYTHING at times. But one thing is for sure- losing the booze has simplified my life by leaps and bounds over the past six months. I like simple, so I am going to stay here.

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16 thoughts on “Regrets

  1. Absolutely love this post Jen. So positive and uplifting. Even the shittiest day sober is better than the best (was there even one?) day drinking. I’ll be staying here with you.
    Sharon

  2. “I think people who abuse alcohol on the regular do not experience life in the same way.”

    Indeed. My life is opening up even after such a short time. The color is coming back to my world and I love it. I can’t imagine going back to my previous gray existence. Wonderful post, Jen!

    Joyce xx

  3. Really lovely post, Jen. I had a little taste of that last fall and I almost have a glimmer again now. Thanks for pointing out the good stuff that lies ahead. Being open to participating in life instead of hiding out from it, it just sounds like a better way to life. Kudos to you for doing all the good fork, and for some fine writing about it! T/xo

  4. Clarity! That’s the thing, isn’t it? That’s what I get – not just getting that fog off of me, but getting in there and clearing the crap out, spring cleaning that mo fo and finding the Authentic Self in me…learning more and more about myself and how I can be of service to others. Seeing what life is really about, and not worrying about artificially stimulating it.

    Wonderful stuff, Jen.

    Paul

  5. Great post! ‘the years just spent getting by through a fog of addiction’ says it so brilliantly. The clarity you describe is your well-deserved reward for the commitment and effort you have given in the last six months, so well done you!

    In my early days I was frequently saved by the thought that nobody ever woke up in the morning thinking, “Damn, I wish I’d drunk a bottle of wine last night.” Non-regret can be a powerful weapon!

  6. I’m really glad to have read this. I’m only on Day 41 but I reckon I’ve already lived 410 days’ worth of questions and doubts and, as the time goes by, I become more and more convinced that hearing other folks talk openly about their still having “fond” cravings, after many, many months, not just for the booze itself but also for the life it resided in, however badly going back would likely turn out, is extremely useful and reassuring to we “freshmen”. Obviously, it’s great to hear a lot of strong talk from strong people and there’s plenty of that genuinely admirable stuff out there but if nobody says, now and then, “I could still happily kill for a glass or six of vino”, then I reckon there’s a danger that people just starting out might get the idea that all those strong folks out there have either shaken off, or were never truly subject to, the notion that looking back sometimes looks really good. Looking back is fine. However screwed-up things got, due to the booze, I’ll bet there’s practically nobody who could genuinely say that they never had any excellent times whilst in varying degrees and phases of “off-their-face-ness”. We DID have those good times. We’ll have them again and we’ll be in a far better position to appreciate them. Liking the thought is fine. Looking back is fine. Looking back can even be great. It’s when it comes to thoughts of GOING back that the memories and romance need shoving back in the bottle. then it’s strong talking and ironclad resolve all the way :o)

    • I am working on looking back happily…hopefully I will get there one day. It’s such a mixed bag. You are right one… there is a huge difference between looking back and actually going there. I think it’s important not to romanticize it too much, but that was our life! We can’t pretend it didn’t exist. Thanks for your comment. Very interesting stuff. πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Jen, I found your post really uplifting at a moment when I needed it. I am on day 12 of quitting drinking, and after being all fired up and full of enthusiasm for the first 10 days, I’ve been having massive wobbles! But you’re so right – I might struggle with what I’m doing right now, but I am never going to regret it. Also just wanted to say “hi, and thanks for your blog!” I’ve found it really helpful in these early days of my own journey.
    MTM. x

  8. I love this post! I cannot agree with you more. I it is so nice to be reminded that the one thing I can count on is that I will never REGRET becoming sober! You said exactly what I needed to hear today. Thanks – Heather

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