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- October 19, 2015 at 2:51 pm#37682AnonymousInactive
I’m so glad I joined this site. I want you all to know how much I really appreciate all the wisdom and information provided to me in response to my threads and others. It’s all given me so much to think about. I have been really introspective this last week, thinking in depth about how I got here, what false thinking patterns I’ve developed over the years of drinking, what new thinking patterns I need to cultivate in order to change my life going forward, etc.
Prior to the recent “incident” where I got drunk, I had gone 3 1/2 months without drinking because of my pregnancy. Prior to that I had maintained a “Saturday’s only” drinking schedule for about a year and a half… which I was only able to manage as long as I kept myself busy every weeknight by meeting my running group or going to the gym. (Of course, Saturdays were drunk fests). It was an all consuming constant effort to only drink on the weekends. I had to spend 6 days of non-fun before I could reward myself. I was living for Saturdays. I was actually proud of myself. Ha! I guess it was an improvement from the days of getting bombed every other night…
I had an “ah ha” moment this week during all this introspection in which it was suggested to me that during all this success in suppressing my alcoholism I was actually a DRY DRUNK. I had heard this term before and I had applied it to my Dad when he quit drinking… but I had never thought of myself in this way.
I was a dry drunk because during the times of quitting or not drinking, in my mind, I was only not drinking for a brief time. I have never in my life, before now, entertained the concept of NEVER drinking again. Just that concept has opened up a lot of new emotions I need to deal with.
My sister always refers to her eating disorder as Ed, as if it was a real person. She says “Oh, Ed is really getting on my nerves today…” I always thought that was funny but now I think I understand it.
Now that I’ve decided to never drink again, I hear this panicked voice in my head saying things like “maybe you’re not that bad of an alcoholic and you can just continue to live with it” , “maybe you’re being over dramatic”, “maybe you can just drink every OTHER Saturday and that will fix your problem” … When I walk into a restaurant and I see the people drinking in the bar area, I hear the voice remind me of how fun that is… When I watch football, I hear the voice remind me of all the great times I had drinking beer while watching…. Heck, even when I look at people who I don’t know walking around, that freaking voice ponders that that person probably drinks every weekend.
The breakthrough is that this voice used to be MY voice… but now I’m starting to recognize it’s not me, it’s my disease talking to me. Ha, ha! I think this is so pivotal in defeating it. I figured out that I have been brainwashed by this voice for the last 15 years. It has been talking to me all this time and I have just listened to it without challenging what it was telling me.
When I quit smoking, whenever I looked at someone having a cigarette and I would think how nice it would be to do the same, I would immediately replace that thought with the thought of hacking up brown mucus. I’d tell myself how much I hated the smell too. Now, three years later, you’d think I’d never had a cigarette, I hate them that much. It’s going to be much, much, MUCH harder with alcohol, but I think I can apply the same principle.
You know, whenever, I think about not drinking again, I hear the voice get panicked…. But I actually FEEL relieved. It’s relieving to think I won’t experience waking up in the morning trying to remember what I said and did the night before… and then feeling horribly hung over all day… and full of guilt and shame for days, weeks, or even years afterward because of something I did. It feels like the pressure is off too… trying to control the circumstances and days of my drinking took a lot of energy.
What a chess game I was trying to play, trying to outsmart alcoholism while continuing to drink!! I may be intelligent, but I’m not THAT intelligent. The truth is the only way to win against this opponent is not to play the game. Shut up, voice! I now know that what you have been telling me are lies. I can be happy without alcohol. From now on, I will confront you for the liar you are each time you even attempt to talk to me.
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