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Happiness is not Coming from Inside the Bottle

For two months at the start of the pandemic, I stopped drinking. I did it because I felt like I could easily get really out of control, really fast, drinking by myself in my apartment. For those two months I read blogs about sobriety, I listened to podcasts, and I read books about addiction in general, because I was intrigued by it. At the same time, I never truly considered myself an alcoholic because I was not at the extreme end of it: I didn’t depend on it, I didn’t drink every day, I never blacked out, etc.

That being said, the past few weeks I have been drinking almost every day; small amounts, yes, but still drinking enough to wake up feeling a little fuzzy. It’s messing with my sleep, and my workouts are suffering because of it too. My overall health has been declining as I have turned away from eating well and instead just snacking constantly on junk food, and all of the hard work I had put in has been reversed. This is not a “poor me” post, just facts.

But back to the alcohol. It can’t be good that I immediately have a drink when I get home, when my husband won’t know about it. I have actually hidden some of the bottles under the other recycling in the bin so that he won’t see them. Alarms ringing, right? It also can’t be good that I am looking to booze for a release after any type of day. So maybe I am an alcoholic. Maybe I can’t handle casual drinking. There’s been no social outings for months, so I can’t test the “only drink with friends” attempt. I only know that I’ve been drinking by myself in the house to feel a sense of release and perhaps a filler for boredom.

I know I drink as well because it makes me feel good. As mentioned above my health is not stellar at the moment, and putting on progressively tightening clothes because my waist has expanded is not a good feeling. Sitting around, sipping Prosecco or wine in my sweatpants maybe feels better than it should.

The answer isn’t as easy as stop drinking. I’d like to try it that way, but I don’t think that’s what will make me feel better mentally. If I’m using alcohol as a coping mechanism I need to be damn aware of what I need to be coping with. On the whole my life is amazing, so what’s making this come forward? A lot of soul-searching needs to take place, because I want to figure this out. We’re talking about starting a family this year – I don’t want to be tempted by booze at all. I could put a time frame on it, like no drinking as of January 1st, but that means I’ll spend the next to weeks wallowing and feeling like shit in the mornings. The nice thing about those two sober months was that regardless of how my day went, I knew I wasn’t going to have a hangover in the morning. And that was really, really great.

As a side note, I’m going to jot down some things that do make me truly happy:

  • dogs. While I can’t currently get my dog fix by going over to my friend’s, I can watch dog videos all day long. Maybe I should swap a glass of wine after work for a puppy video.
  • walking with the husband. We talk so much when we walk, without any screens to distract us. It’s awesome and I love it.
  • weightlifting. I recently was able to deadlift 200lbs. It felt amazing, and I want to keep lifting more and more and more.
  • writing or journalling.
  • talking with my friends and family. I think I need to call more, it always makes me feel amazing.

Food for thought for me.

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