I have been sober since July 5th, 2014.
It was the result of my rock bottom and the trauma that went along with it. I don’t want to go into details about that just now, maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to. My rock bottom consisted of puking into a bucket in a dark room while I tried to piece together what happened. I’m lucky enough that I have no memory of what happened. But then I had to take whatever everyone else said as truth to what happened.
I made my way out of the hole I got myself into and I’ve been going good ever since. However, there are always going to be roadblocks on that journey. This is what I learned after 6 years sober.
What I Learned From 6 Years Sober
Now that I’ve hit 6 years, I’m considered more than a dinosaur in the sobriety community. Hell, once you hit your first year you’re allowed to join the dino subreddit for sobriety. I spent 6 years without the ability to alter my mental state and that has been a big change considering I spent a good portion of my college career weekends drinking like many others. So getting to 6 years sober has been a journey.
Drinking Dreams Still Exist
One of the biggest things sobernauts have to battle with is the drinking dream. For me, my drinking dreams come in two flavors: accidentally drinking and freaking out, or drinking and then declaring it doesn’t count. I don’t know what the second one means, but the first is a real fear that I have. I might go to a bar and order a non-alcoholic beer but be given a real beer instead. A friend of mine who’s decades ahead of me in sobriety and that’s something he’s had to deal with, so I think that’s a valid fear.
These dreams aren’t as frequent as they were when I was at the beginning of the sobriety, but they do still happen. I used to wake up thinking what happened in the dream was real, so that was always a fun way to start the day. I don’t know if or when these dreams will end, but I’m dealing with them as they come now.
Still Avoid Temptation Areas
While not as severe as when I was first starting out, I went three years without seeing some friends who played at bars because I couldn’t trust myself in a bar, I will try to avoid places where alcohol is the main activity. If I do go out I try to go with a friend so I have someone to lean on if things start to get rough.
It’s made my social life even more sheltered than it already was.
It’s Still Rough
There are still times when I’m tempted to drink. It could be a really stressful day, a situation I’ve gotten myself into that’s depressing, or whatever else is going on in my life. But there are still times where I wish I could go straight to a bottle to let my forget my problems.
Everyone has those moments where you want to escape what you’re going through, but when it comes to an alcoholic or someone in sobriety those are the hardest times to deal with.
There have been times where I’ve had to take my emergency anxiety meds because I ramp myself up so much in wanting to escape from whatever experience I have going on. Take when I was let go from my job. I wanted nothing more than to go to the closest liquor store and buy something to drink and drink away the pain.
But that’s not the best or even a healthy way to deal with problems. So I fought my way through it all and came out to where I am now. It’s not exactly the other side just yet as I don’t have a new job. But if you’d like to help me out in the time being, check out my ebook or the shop where you can get some merch.
Temptation is Still There
The temptation to drink is always going to be there. I’m the type of person who is always the responsible one. I’ve had to be “responsible” since I was a child. I was told I needed to grow up. So every so often I really just want to let go and not deal with things anymore. I want to escape from life just for a few hours. And drugs and alcohol are the two big ways people do that.
So what happens when you want to let go but you can’t use those options?
I usually tail spin into an anxiety attack and have a mental breakdown so I haven’t exactly figured it out yet. I’ve been tempted by substances in the past and I think the temptation will always be there. The most I can hope for is that CBD is more helpful in these times. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet.
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