It was a touuugh weekend, to say the least.
I probably should lead with the disclaimer that I resisted the urge to drink, even though I really wanted to for the first time since I stopped. I had a triggering moment that made me feel super insecure and small. I wanted to run and hide because I couldn’t show my emotions at the time and I was in no condition to put on a fake smile. I kept thinking, “This is one of those times when chugging five beers seems like a good idea.” Thankfully and surprisingly enough, I haven’t felt that way at all over the past 6 weeks…until yesterday.
Familiar feelings started to flood my system. Racing, spiraling thoughts. Tight chest. Lump in my throat. Choking back tears. This is when I normally would’ve snuck away and taken a few secret shots to get out of my head.
I ended up calming down but as the day went on, I kept feeling attacked and super sensitive over little things. Then I remembered, “Oh, this is who I am when I’m sober.” Drinking has always been my sure-fire way to numb my sensitivity and just roll with the punches. But at my core, I am a highly sensitive, introverted, and easily overwhelmed person, and without alcohol there to smooth over my jagged edges…I was really starting to hate myself.
I definitely had a few humbling moments when I realized, once again, that sobriety isn’t a one-way ticket to sunshine and rainbows. I am somebody who is really hurt on the inside, and alcohol was my way to forget and function with a smile on. I wanted to connect with people when I was drunk, not shut myself off. I wanted to do wild things and take chances when I was drunk, not hide by myself in a room in the middle of a party. I wanted to stay up all night and converse, laugh, and joke when I was drunk, not call it a night at 9 PM because I’m exhausted from being around people. I really hated sober Lauren this weekend. Alcohol would make her just stop being such a party pooper.
There are a lot of things that re-reveal themselves when you get sober. The aspects of yourself that you’re used to burying deep down finally come up to the surface and call you to face them. I’m finally accepting the fact that I need to go to therapy to help me cope with my self-esteem and anxiety issues that I’m used to temporarily treating with alcohol. It’s no surprise that people like me get hooked on the wrong stuff.