Updated: Feb 28
I’m early in my sobriety and I am craving a drink.
Over the past weekend I started my blog about getting and staying sober. I jumped headfirst into this venture without a real plan and without taking the time to make my blog look and function exactly as I would like it to. Shortly after my site went live with my first post, I became overwrought with self-doubt and fear. I wanted to bag the whole thing and crawl up in a ball under the covers in my bed.
What if I am a crappy writer? What if I have nothing of value to share? Will others judge me harshly and how will I deal with that? What if I fail? Is it too soon for me to think that I have anything to share with others who are struggling or on a similar journey? After all, this isn’t my first sober rodeo, what makes me think this time is different?
And so, I want a drink. Did I mention that? How the hell else am I supposed to deal with all of this uncertainty and the voice in my head – the other Roberta – telling me that I should have spent more time planning, that I can’t use my blog as a place to practice my writing, I should have boned up on my skills before I tried to share with an audience.
But those are just thoughts, not reality. That is just the side of me that I tried to escape from for many years. I attempted to drink her away, make her shut up. But after every attempt, she would come back even stronger. Not only did she point out all of my inadequacies that led me to drinking, but that my drinking was also a major character flaw. This cycle of negative self-talk continued on for years and after many failed attempts to assuage myself with alcohol, I finally learned there was going to be no escape from myself, no matter how much I drank.
Now the only sane path is to continue on in my sobriety and make friends with that voice so I can find out who I truly am and learn to trust myself. The drink I want now is the one that doesn’t come with the consequences.
The drink I want doesn’t come with the nagging desire to have another one and another one and another one…
The drink I want isn’t needed to mask the feelings I’m trying to avoid.
The drink I want doesn’t lead to a hangover.
The drink I want doesn’t lead to a wasted day (pun intended) and a wasted next day.
The drink I want doesn’t lead to lost productivity
The drink I want doesn’t lead to loads of shame.
The drink I want doesn’t lead to five more years of struggling with my alcohol addiction.
The drink I want doesn’t prevent me from reaching my goals.
The drink I want doesn’t stifle my creativity.
The drink I want doesn’t interfere with my sleep.
The drink I want doesn’t wreak havoc on my body.
The drink I want doesn’t impair my judgment.
The drink I want doesn’t impair my motor skills.
The drink I want doesn’t lead to a migraine.
The drink I want doesn’t raise my cholesterol.
The drink I want doesn’t contribute to health issues including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and others.
The drink I want doesn’t lead to a fuzzy memory of the night before.
The drink I want doesn’t lead to irritability the next day and result in me snapping at my husband.
The drink I want doesn’t have extra calories that I don’t need.
The drink I want doesn’t lead me to poor eating choices.
The drink I want isn’t addictive.
The drink I want doesn’t require me to “pick my poison.”
The drink I want isn’t the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
The drink I want doesn’t lead me right back to where I was before I started my sobriety journey, which was miserable, unhappy, anxious and depressed.
The drink I want now fits into my new sober lifestyle.
Now that I have removed the addictive, toxic substance that kept me trapped in a cycle of shame and fear for years, I have begun to work on facing and solving my problems, because that’s what people do. I’ve been told there are people out there navigating life’s twists and turns, dealing directly with feelings of discomfort and fear, all without using addictive substances. I strive to be one of those people. I am no longer giving myself the option of hiding behind a big bottle of booze.
So, as I sip on my cup of stress-relief herbal tea, I realize that I have the drink I want and I’m heading into a better life. It is time to drink up life and all if its intoxicating, messy, joyful, complicated wonders. I can do this. We all can.