With or without a drink I am socially confused, anxious, and worried. With or without a drink I am a mom, wife, daughter. With or without, I am a woman who – like many before me – struggles. I struggle with my purpose.
I have been sober for 3.75 years. And when I say sober, I mean afraid to take an aspirin. Sober, as in no matter how stressed out I get I will never, ever lift a drink to my old wrinkled lips. Because with a drink, I am ugly. I am all my demons amplified.
In the beginning, I cried. You could find me in bed crying and sleeping. It was the only way for me. When I tired of my own sickening whimpers, I inserted head phones to drown out the noise of pathetic. I was paralyzed. Fearing that if I moved the bottle would magically appear in my hand and I would have no choice but to swallow and feel the numbness seep into my brain. I had to, for the first time in my existence, feel it all.
Feel. IT. All.
Hilarious to me now, but back then I didn’t even know what IT was. Was IT the memories?The sorrow? Was IT the embarrassment? The pain I caused everyone I had ever met? Was IT the sadness so deep inside of me it turned my soul brown and ugly?
Was I paying some karmic debt? How is a human so ugly? How did this happen? When did that happen? Frantic, I would look slowly; peeking behind that brown curtain inside of my hurt brain — instant repulsion of who I was. Like a blink, the suddenness of IT physically hurting so much I would retreat into my tears; too afraid to delve further, for I knew with certainty that the ugliness of who I was would consume me.
But I persisted.
In those moments of tear soaked pillow wallowing, earphones in, I began to meditate. It would soothe me. Comforting the pain I felt. Taking me outside of myself, out of my exploding brain in the gentlest of carriages.
I began to heal myself with my hands.
Painting, sewing, making. I was never successful at any of these things, but it allowed me to barf myself up in a tangible way. A real way which did not cause anyone pain. My “art” became a tool for effortlessly removing the brown curtain of my soul. It was quiet, it was colorful, it was soothing. Each and every moment of discomfort began to get less scary. Each and every memory became less painful.
To this day I have to peek behind the curtain and feel IT. And I realize that I will have to confront myself for the rest of my life. I will have to fight her and love her all at the same time. Now it’s a habit. I relish in the moments where I can dissect one of those ugly deep soul crushing feelings and give IT the respect IT deserves — give myself the respect I deserve.
I often wondered how people could live without liquor. How could they process all the feelings which were so overwhelming to me in my sobriety? I was envious of those who could have a cocktail and be a normal human. Some luck of the draw I got. The short end of the stick and I hated them all.
Now I realize that we are all in our own battle. Drink or no drink, every human being on this beautiful round sphere is in a fight with themselves. Some are winning the battle, some are getting knocked down. My hope for all of us is that we can just take a small peek every now and then at IT. Just the tiniest of peeks behind that curtain and know with certainty that somewhere under there, in the darkness, if you keep looking, you will discover that IT is beauty.
There is beauty in the way we process IT, even if it begins with a tear soaked pillow.
This beautiful post was submitted by Heather who also writes,
“I am currently involved in a journey which at times is the most beautiful journey I’ve embarked on. I have two daughters and I write this for them. I have an infinite amount of words I could type on many aspects of becoming sober but have kept this short. Love and respect to anyone who still struggles.”