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.