Sobriety, writing, and finding yourself.

A year ago, maybe earlier, I read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. It woke something in me.

Before that book I’d never considered getting sober, or that I may have a problem.

I’d always thought, that happens to other people. I can handle my alcohol. But that’s what we say when we have a problem.

I haven’t been sober for longer than a couple of days in a long time.

I thought I had it under control.

After reading Doctor Sleep, I noticed similarities between how I drank, why I drank, and whether I got any enjoyment out of it.

Secretly, I started looking at AA. I never told anyone because I was afraid of judgement. I didn’t want the possibility that I could have a drinking problem to be leaked to anyone.

In my family, we drink for a lot of reasons. For celebrations, weddings, birthdays, and a lot of other things.

But when have these things I felt like I couldn’t be me. I had to drink to numb certain pains of being around some family members.

I drank when things at home got too out of hand and my head hurt. If me and my wife got in an argument, I’d do a shot, or two, or three.

It was my coping mechanism.

In my early twenties I drank to deal with rejection. I drank to fit in because I didn’t like who I was.

It’s odd to think of this now, but I did. I drank because I felt I had to in order to fit in.

I also believed it would help my writing. It did for Hemingway.

I fell under that spell. The one where a writer or creative must drink in order to be creative. I fell for that hard.

Now, after being sober for a month. I’m nearly done with the edits of the book I wrote in the spring. I’ll finish those later today.

I’m learning that I have find other ways to cope with things. I have to talk to myself more, I have to talk myself down from things, and when my irrational mind starts acting up, I don’t reach for a bottle.

The last month has been difficult. Not because I got sober; but because I learned I can get through life without alcohol. I can have fun with my wife without needing to drink.

As of this writing I’ve been sober for 1 month.

I feel more focused. Food tastes different, which is weird. My stomach doesn’t hurt as often as it once did. I feel a better connection to my wife and kids, and that’s the big one for me.

It hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns but it’s a hell of a lot better than my last drunk.

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