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connecting with moods naturally – without alcohol!

 

Since the start of my alcohol-free birth, December 2013, I have undergone some big psychological changes, without realising it. One of the deep-rooted changes, without alcohol, is in being able to stick to a long-term plan. I never had the patience for plans in my drinking days, particularly ones that involved any sort of financial reward. At the first sign of progress I would get carried away and start celebrating success before it had even happened. Then I’d  realise my mistake, give up on the idea and sulk, which meant drink. I’d then borrow money from somewhere and get into further debt. Life was always a roller-coaster of soaring highs and desperate lows.

I have learned how to enjoy life at a less intense level without alcohol. But that doesn’t mean I enjoy things any less. I have learnt to appreciate them in a new way, in mini-surges; lots  of them. I appreciate simple things like a night in watching telly with my partner,  good food, exercise, sleep, coffee, chocolate, hot baths, reading – and the appreciation is almost on a spiritual level. It’s not a replacement for alcohol – it’s completely different and far more fulfilling.

When my mother died, I was 16 months into my new sober life. I wasn’t tempted by alcohol, because I couldn’t bear the idea of alcohol making a tragic situation worse. There was no way I was going to make the recovery from my loss any slower than it need be by drinking!

But what I did notice through the awfulness of my mum’s death was that without alcohol, I wasn’t able to indulge my emotions at times when I wanted to – such as in the evening, listening to music, for instance. I was seeking the roller-coaster effect of booze because I felt I owed it to mum to weep tragically and swoon into a coma of grief!

unable to grieve

There’s nothing like a good cry and a bit of wallowing in the sadness of things at times, and alcohol is great for creating the right mood for that sort of thing, even if things go wrong on many occasions. 

In sobriety, I found it difficult to cry.

But now, with the experience that comes with time, I am able to appreciate the sadness of mum not being with me anymore, and I don’t need alcohol to conjure this up. I go with the feeling naturally when it arises and appreciate the mood for what it it. It keeps me connected and it’s all real. Nothing artificial.

Oddly enough, I appreciate low moods in a completely new way without alcohol, because they keep me connected to my inner me, and make me realise and appreciate the many highs I go through in an ordinary day. I used to think that only alcohol could make my moods interesting.

Thank God for my sobriety! It’s such a gift.

More of this kind of thing can be found in my drinking memoir

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