Do you still miss drinking?

21 May

10:16 am

Well, that’s a question, isn’t it?  My boyfriend and I were driving to the beach the other day, or back from some boat trip, and he was like, Do you ever miss drinking, or still want to drink?  Or, do you just not talk (complain) about it anymore?

Hmm.  I really had to think about it.  I’ve been thinking about drinking, and sobriety, but I just haven’t been coalescing those thoughts into posts.  And, as you guys know, it’s partly because life has gotten busy, work-wise.  I’m still working remotely for the company I was at, and I’m also working three to four days a week at the same local coffee shop.  And, frankly, it’s still not enough money, considering my ever-present student loan debt, future goals and dreams, and well, life is expensive.  But, it’s comforting to know that I do have spending money (the lattes money), and I don’t feel “guilty” buying trips, new shoes, and expensive food items once in a while.  As Peter Tosh sang, most of us are livin’ small.

The other reason I haven’t been blogging is this irritant factor.  It’s like, I’d rather just not think about not drinking anymore.  But, I DO think about it, all the time.  It’s just changing.  It’s weird.  While I miss getting sober–there is definitely a “high” to achieving and sustaining a longish-term sobriety, and I’d say that lasts up to years–I do have to accept that I’m beyond that.  The pink cloud still rests above my head, it’s just sort of faded.

I mean, yes, when I see people come into the coffee bar at 5:30 (my start time–ouch), STILL FLAMING DRUNK and having incoherent and emotional arguments with each other, I cringe inside; and then, I breathe a sigh of relief.  And that relief doesn’t ever go away; in fact, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  I have to admit, in my darker hours, or my agro ones after the caffeine buzz wears off and I get “hangry,” a small part of me feels smug about it–just a little bit.  Mainly, though, this sense of relief, of being FAR, far away from the urge to binge drink/drink alcoholically–it’s a constant, gracious presence.  I feel gratitude all the time.  For not feeling the urge to drink, ever, really.  And for never, ever having to be hungover like that again.

What I don’t feel is the excitement in congratulating myself anymore.  And, I suppose that’s a good thing.  Life is just life, it doesn’t have to revolve around this idea of “me being or getting sober, or being pleased with me being or getting sober.”  You know?

However, then my boyfriend hits me with that question, and it stirs up the fact that I haven’t forgotten about my sobriety at all, and I have to say:  Yes.  Yes, I do still think about drinking.  Yes, I do still want to drink once in a while, when I encounter a very powerful (to me) trigger.  When?  Well, let’s just say, on a boat trip, when I feel jealous (ugh) of all the hot, young girls with their flat bellies (well, I never had a flat belly, even in my 20s).  On that same boat trip, toward the end, when my insecurity about being “old” has been sufficiently compounded by the sense that I’m not only “old,” I’m also boring–that’s when I really start to feel grumpy and want to drink.  I feel sorry for myself.  It’s residual though, like a long lost limb from a faraway ancestor–I can intellectualize it away, and realize that it’s just a feeling.  Still, I do feel tired of being the “narc.”  (In fact, at the last beach bar we stopped at on this “for example” boat trip, I ordered a virgin tropical drink, and the guy goes, “I die a little every time someone orders said tropical drink without the rum.”  And I look up, pissed, and I go, “Well, I die a little every time I drink rum.  So, what do ya got for me?”  He wasn’t displeased, but he was definitely taken aback.  He ended up adding coconut water, and let me tell you, it was pretty damn tasty!)

I have to stress, and this is most important as my sobriety lengthens:  it’s not that I want to get drunk.  It’s just that I want to…not be sober.  When I see a friend of mine, doing it up in the big city we used to live in together, drinking drinking drinking all over the place, every night; I feel…some sort of loss.  I know it comes back to this fear of missing out, or my OLD ideas and notions about how to “have fun” or “have a good life.”  My OLD ideas of me.

I don’t miss getting drunk.  What I, Drunky Drunk Girl, miss is the ability to instantly and effortlessly escape my seriousness.  The world.  Daily, “hum drum” life.  Some might call it a lack of free spiritedness, an “always in my head”-ness, a sobriety of thought, or, an overwhelming thoughtfulness.  Maybe it’s simply neuroticism:  the tendency to overthink negative (and positive?) thoughts.  Maybe I can call it depression, as this lingers.  I don’t know.  But, I do miss being able to “be that fun girl.”  Of course, I know I can be that fun girl in other ways, and that frankly, I WAS NEVER THAT FUN GIRL when I was drinking.  But, the constructs and stories we tell ourselves linger on and on into our sober years–and it really does take a constant checking in to right, correct, re-mold these ideas.  And, yeah, the peer pressure is always going to be there unless you check in and say, Fuck that, I rock.  SO MUCH HARDER NOW THAT I’M SOBER.

So, no, I never want to get drunk.  But, yes, I still do want to “not be me.”  Or, be that fun girl.  Or, escape from my sober life.  And, I guess that’s what we give up in exchange for constancy of mood, deep knowledge of self, and the GIFT of being able to look forward, with relatively laser focus, on our lives–and to make plans that suit us, lift us, and maximize our potential.  That is worth a thousand nights of drinking, and a million mornings of being hungover.

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26 Responses to “Do you still miss drinking?”

  1. mishedup May 21, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    I am unable to craft a response that explains how absolutely wonderful I think this post is.
    Gem after gem..thoughtful and true.
    I GET this, as I’m sure many will….but the conclusion, that this is better, is inescapable and I am so grateful for that.
    I took myself on a little escape to a seaside town up the California coast…actually going to a yoga class here and driving home today. There were moments, for sure. I find those moments not in times I feel bad, but when I’m feeling great….sitting down to a wonderful seafood dinner that would go well with a glass of…..no, I don’t do that anymore.
    I’ve been coming here fr a long time, it’s m “escape place”, and there is an oceanside bench i used to love to sit on with a glass of wine…but this trip I sat and meditated there and it was. so. much. better!
    The clarity of purpose and thought I have now, 5 years in, well…nothing compares to it.
    Thanks for this post….I’m glad to see you so clear, and the way you remind me that I am clear too

    and I love this “I ordered a virgin tropical drink, and the guy goes, “I die a little every time someone orders said tropical drink without the rum.” And I look up, pissed, and I go, “Well, I die a little every time I drink rum. So, what do ya got for me?”

    Laughed right out loud!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl May 21, 2016 at 11:18 am #

      So grateful for readers who have become friends from afar who have helped me GET this, and keep getting it. Yes, haha…I have NEVER once been hassled by a bartender for ordering a virgin drink–chalk it up to the “booziest” bar on the planet. xx

  2. Sober Stella May 21, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

    Amazing post! I’ve read a lot about this, but not heard it said so clearly. I can definitely relate with your thoughts on this. Thank you!

  3. Dede May 21, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

    Funny…..I was just telling my husband today that I really miss drinking beer in the summer sun. Listening to music. I don’t know. I think I romanticize it now but I think you nailed it when you talked about not enjoying being the serious one. I feel boring sometimes but I still don’t want to drink. It’s been too many years. I’ll just enjoy my sober quiet life with full gratitude. Love that you’re writing again.

  4. Lydia H May 21, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

    I think about drinking and what it means to be sober a lot when I get too anxious or overwhelmed for too long. I just want to be numb for a while.

    But, the problems will still be there whether I’m drunk or sober.

    Yes, I think about be sober every day right now. But I recognize that thinking isn’t the same as doing. While I think about drinking, I also think about why I’m sober.

  5. Robert Crisp May 22, 2016 at 6:58 am #

    Wow, this post nails it on so many levels for me. I feel the same way, especially the ” it’s not that I want to get drunk. It’s just that I want to…not be sober.” That’s such a good way to describe this state, which for me is a kind of plateau. I’ve got 503 days (I started counting days again once I got close to 500, not sure why. I know and feel that drinking wouldn’t help, and it’s sometimes hard to explain to non-alcoholics how sure I am that I’m done with drinking and won’t drink, even though I think about it often. I’m through the darkest part of the woods. I’m kind of in the…I don’t know, boring part of the woods? The Life Woods. Ugh, that sounds dumb, but I suspect you understand.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl May 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

      Haha…totally understand. That plateau feeling is familiar, and a great way to describe it. I think you just have to keep plugging, and living through it, and seeing what’s on the other side of the plateau…

  6. JUST SOME WOMAN May 22, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

    I really needed to see your post today. It’s been raining for one solid, depressing, month. My husband was hospitalized for a couple of days, work sucks, and I’m ready to blow a gasket. Thanks for helping me to remember where I came from and where I can’t go back to, regardless of how I miss drinking while not missing being drunk. I don’t want to even try to visualize the ending of what one drink would bring on. Thanks for being there.

  7. Elaine May 22, 2016 at 8:16 pm #

    Not sure who talked about the first 15 minutes of a drink. That euphoria of the 1st sip and then down the rabbit hole. I’ve been sober for 14 months and have these thoughts about that sip. But! What will that change? Nada…I so get all of what you wrote. Staying strong is more important than the first 15. The after math would be belittling and guilt ridden. Miss it? Nah….seltzer & cran please b/c I have stuff to do in the AM.

  8. freebreezi May 22, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

    great post and I totally get it. I’m not far off 2 years wine free and sometimes I decide I really want a wine, in fact it’s usually a glass of bubbly wine and I decide I am going to have it. Then wise adult me steps in and reminds me though it is always my choice here are some of the reasons why I choose to stop drinking and how I’ve benefited from doing so. And so I go on my merry way happy in not drinking. Your post sums things up nicely, is so well written and very relatable.

  9. furtheron May 23, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    It finally went some years into sobriety. Well i do have occasionally pangs of regret or memory but then the reality hits me and I’m so happy I don’t drink.

  10. hokkaido2016 May 24, 2016 at 10:55 am #

    I love what you said about wanting to drink to ‘escape your seriousness’.Me too. Sometimes all my over analysing gets so…annoying! I am only on day 2 off the booze. It must be a good feeling to have so much time under your belt to protect.

  11. dianna jaynes May 25, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    so, so, so good and relatable. i want you to know that i really look forward to your posts. thank you!

  12. Kelly NYC May 25, 2016 at 9:50 am #

    DDG I have read your entire blog over the last few weeks. What a journey you have been on. I find your strength to work through it amazing and hope I can do so as successfully. (53 days here)

    I have read, and I am sure you have as well, that one stops maturing when drinking heavily, you remain in a limbo for years. And then you get sober, you have to make up for it and do all that mental work to grow up. I would propose that you mourn a bit giving up the “girl” you were – but at 41 she is actually long gone! You have been a woman for years -so just give her up and don’t bother mourning her (that is fear of old age talking. We all go through it around 40).

    At 47, I find most woman have given up drinking. The successful, happy women I know drink very little, and very carefully, because it becomes harder and harder to process physically, and those that don’t lighten up will pay for it with their health. Drinking a lot of wine and 40’s just don’t go very well together.

    So although it sucks I (we) have to quit drinking because I (we) cant stop until the wine is gone, I notice NO ONE is drinking much anymore. I was always the last one drinking in mid- 40’s which is really not cool. Cool is being in control, calm, focused and successful. You are there (yea – congrats) and I hope to continue to my journey. I envy you a journey well traveled. All the best.

  13. Cath May 25, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Hi, i got to this blog through facebook and id like to say i agree, drunk people are no fun (and me the least of them all). Id also like to confirm that you do rock indeed. Thank you for posting, i hope one day i wont miss being drunk either. I couldnt find much about female alcoholics on the net, im glad i found your blog. Rgrds, a drunk girl from the Netherlands.

  14. No Way Rosé June 1, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    Lady, you are just 10 years ahead of your pissed city friend. Think of it like that. But I get you 100% and its comforting to know people who think exactly like me are out there. Thanks x

  15. E June 2, 2016 at 2:03 am #

    I found this because I sometimes Google to make sure I’m normal and I’m not sure that I’m “normal” or that any alcoholic is normal, but I’m not unique. I was on vacation and found myself at a lunch with unlimited rum punch, and I found myself missing alcohol, and I had to sit under a tree and grieve the fact that I couldn’t drink. And I love sobriety, I just sometimes really miss alcohol. It’s a whole entire life that we say goodbye to, and I don’t think it’s self pity. I think it’s saying goodbye.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 2, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

      Absolutely!!! There is a grieving process: saying goodbye to the old you, the old ways of celebrating, the old ways of thinking about yourself… It’s like burying something, or someone, is all I can say. And, I don’t think that ever really goes away; it definitely dissipates with time–as you become stronger in your new you–but, there will maybe always be that sort of irrational feeling of, I miss that/this/the old me.

  16. CH June 5, 2016 at 7:41 pm #

    Amazing, insightful post.

  17. James June 8, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    This post is frankly awesome. I’m on day 9 today after falling off for over a year after a year-plus sober (I used to read your blog a lot when I was on my sober year, just quietly, first time back here in quite a while). Why did I fall off? A lot of the same thoughts you mention above. I saw my friends, and people I wanted to be my friends having such a good time being the people that I am just not, and it ached, oh it ached, and I fought it off for a while but eventually I slipped in to that “I can be that guy” mode, and here we are again a year and a half later on day 9. And I didn’t make more friends and I didn’t sparkle. I drank. A shit-ton, eventually, and with that of course came more isolation, and more time stewing in “what’s wrong with me”, not less. We’re just not that guy/girl. We’re us, we’re amazing, but for me at least I’m just not the funny sparkly charming one flitting through the party with a drink and an entourage of friends living that beer-commercial life of laughs and drinks. Screw that stuff, our emotional connections, our loves, our lives, lie along a different path, and it’s up to us to love that path with every last sober breath. Whoa, that all came off more airy-fairy than I meant to sound, but thanks for the post. Your honest struggles make me feel better.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 8, 2016 at 11:55 am #

      So great to hear from you–this comment means so much. I know, it does hurt, and we miss it. There is no going around that, and for some reason, it just doesn’t go away. But, the other stuff grows–and we know we are way bigger than we used to be. And, frankly, another hangover from all that “sparkly” fun would kill me. Stay strong cuz you got this! xx

  18. Casadia June 9, 2016 at 5:06 am #

    I goggled a drinking blog and this was the first one that popped up. It’s nice to feel like I’m not the only one who gets the urge. Thank you

  19. Bella September 25, 2016 at 2:11 am #

    I am turning 18 this November and for the last two years from when I turned 16 to 17 I drank and I made me feel so happy.It mainly started in the summer of 2015 I felt very sad and over welmed with school and work and all and never drank really before and i just remembere buying a 26er of Vodka and drinking half of it and got so messed up that night and from that night on I felt happy and kept drinking everyday I could get a bottle I spend most of my money on bottles and it didn’t help I had a bestfriend who loved drinking as much as me and we would crush a 26er of Smirnoff vodka 2 teenage girl 1 is 15 and 1 is 16 both weigh under 130 pounds so we would get wrecked of the bottle she would always get sick and vomit by the end of the night and I never ever have and still don’t anyways it got to the point of me not becoming an alcoholic and needing a drink first thing in the morning it was me once I started drinking I can’t stop and I thought that was just because I like drinking it made me feel happy like by the end of the night ever 3/5 girls I was with would vomit and stop drinking be done for the night but not be I wouldn’t stop till the bottles finished and then still want more!As well with my house was like a college party house with parties in it everyday my brother and his friends and i would have people over partying everyday that didn’t help..but I didn’t realize I was a “binge drinker” until I started getting mad when I would know I couldn’t drink that night and be so miserable the rest of the day and I started borrowing money of people to buy bottles and hard to pay back because with my paycheque I wanted to buy more bottles.So as well I liked this guy who was an alcoholic so he liked drinking and we would hangout at my house with everyone and get messed up together and I just thought bout that all the time getting up showering getting ready for the day sometimes go to work and then eat and drink it was my daily routine then finally after we moved out and didn’t have the house anymore it was hard to drink now and my friends went back to school so we started going to parties every weekend and it got to the point where I would be so drunk and actually black out and not remember half of the night and that lead to me getting into a fight at a crapoy motel party and I don’t even remember the fight but I didn’t get hurt i guess I blocked myself after I watched the video in the morning.Then soon as I started seeing all these videos people took and pictures of me it was sorta embarrassing and not being able to remember the night is quite scary and then it really hit me after I moved out into a place with just me and my parents and they have rules so we couldn’t party there at my new house and after I notice tho how messed up I got and things I did I end up crying and just thinking im such an embarrassing drunk and people don’t like that..but at first i wasn’t like that I could handle my alcohol and paced myself with how fast i drank and then all of the sudden I notice I couldn’t control myself and I barley ate which led me to loosing weight from just drinking and barley eating.Now I drink every couple weeks like 4/6 weeks and it’s just a couple 5% coolers but I’m actually noticing I’m really missing drinking and feeling happy again because I just look back at my photos with all my friends and us being drunk as hell thinking how much fun I’m missing to because I see all my other friends pictures they post online of them.I just feel tho now when I drink it’s not the same I don’t get the same drunk anymore happy and there’s no parties I feel comfortable at because the city i live in i guess a lot of people don’t like me and my friends so it’s hard to go to parties and have fun while everyone’s talking about you and staring at you or trying to fight you ..anyways I just needed some advice I guess cause I have really no body to talk to I just need to know if you think it’s a good idea if I started drinking again because if I don’t I feel sad every day as each day goes on and each day I don’t drink makes me sadder I just need some advise I guess …

  20. 100daysandcounting October 2, 2016 at 2:38 am #

    Really like your post, just what I needed to read.

  21. austina5716 December 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

    Great read thank you so much! I wrote a similar blog that I’d love to get your opinion on! https://beginningstreatment.com/is-addiction-a-disease-or-a-choice/ let me know your thoughts when you can!

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