Sobriety Is Not Simply Abstaining From Alcohol

Our society lives and breathes for a quick fix. We scoff at the idea of having to sit with uncomfortable emotions or physical sensations.

Have a headache? There’s a pill for that.

Having trouble sleeping? There’s a pill for that.

Having a hard time accepting your weight? There’s a pill (and a program) for that.

Experiencing sadness or anger? You guess it…there’s a pill for that.

Kids stressing you out? There’s a pill for that too.

And if you don’t like taking pills, beer, wine, or liquor will suffice. Whatever it takes to get the job done. And by job I mean attempting to control how one feels.

I know a lot of people who enjoy the taste of alcohol. I was never one of them. I drank for the effect that alcohol produced. From the very first time alcohol touched my lips I drank to change how I felt.

I will never forget the first time I drank. I was fifteen years old and on vacation with my extended family in Cancun. Growing up, I always seemed to get sick on holidays or during vacations. This trip was no exception. I developed a nasty head cold while we were there and was so miserable one night at dinner because I couldn’t breathe well enough to eat. My dad suggested I take a shot of Tequila to clear my congestion. I was desperate and willing to try anything. I drank the Tequila that night. I drank so I could breathe. And it worked. It cleared my congestion and left me with the knowledge that alcohol was a viable solution to this problem.

A few years later I turned to alcohol again to relieve me of a problem. I was severely anorexic and eating dinner with my family had become hellacious. I had run out of excuses as to why I wasn’t eating and my family had started to notice my eating disorder. In an attempt to prove to them that I was okay, I started to drink so I could eat. The alcohol quieted the eating disorder voice in my head enough for me to consume a normal meal without the torture of constant calorie counting and fear of gaining weight. The alcohol, again, proved to be an effective solution to my problem.

I continued to drink so I could handle life. When I felt overwhelmed with school, I drank so I could feel calm. When I felt social anxiety, I drank so I could talk with ease to strangers at the parties. When I felt depressed, I drank to feel happy. I drank to fit in, I drank to relax, I drank to let go. I drank to be someone other than myself and to feel anything other than what I was feeling.

Then I was raped. At nineteen years old, while I was still a virgin holding onto the idea that sex was meant to be a deep, intimate connection between two people who were in love, I was raped. I drank to escape. For years I drank to escape the feelings, the memories, the unhealthy ways I coped with what had happened to me; I drank to escape it all.

After a few years of drinking heavily, I drank because I physically had to. My body was so used to having pints, even liters of alcohol in it daily that I physically had to drink in order to function. I drank so that my hand would stop shaking. I drank so that my muscles would start working. I drank so I wouldn’t throw up everything I ate and drank the night before. I drank to escape the physical hell that my body was experiencing.

I drank for years because it worked. I am an alcoholic but drinking was never my problem. Drinking was my solution to whatever problem I was experiencing. Drinking was my solution until it stopped working. There came a point, actually several points, where drinking no longer served as an adequate solution to my problems. So I had to stop.

But I didn’t just have to stop drinking, I had to stop searching for solutions to my “problems”. When I got sober, I learned that my so called problems, most of the time, centered in my brain. The way I saw the world and perceived what was happening around me was skewed. Sure, I had legitimate problems, but my inability to accept life and all of the experiences, good or bad, that make up this experience we call life, was my problem.

Sobriety is not simply abstaining from alcohol or pills. Sobriety is about learning to live without a quick fix. Learning to accept situations and experiences as they are. Learning to sit in uncomfortablilty. Welcoming the array of emotions that surface when we stop numbing ourselves. And knowing that it’s not my job to fix how I’m feeling.

Sobriety, for me, has been a continual practice in letting go of outcomes. And feelings are often the outcomes I need to let go of. Physical and emotional pain, both of which are intricately woven into the human experience, are not meant to be escaped. It is not my job to rid myself entirely of pain. Sobriety is a constant balancing act between taking the required action to deal with physical or emotional pain in a healthy way, and accepting the purposeful presence of pain.

Nobody likes to be in pain or experience uncomfortable emotions, but I have found immense freedom in accepting that pain is part of the human experience and I am not exempt from the human experience. Everyone experiences pain to varying degrees. Yes, it’s often uncomfortable but I’m learning that the more I embrace the uncomfortability instead of running from it, the more I am able to fully experience life.

 

Photo Credit: Stock photo secrets

Subscribe!

We take your privacy, and time, seriously. When you subscribe you will receive the latest blog posts from Feelings and Faith, nothing more, nothing less.

* indicates required






Share This!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

33 Comments

  • 494061 236420Its a shame you dont have a donate button! Id without a doubt donate to this brilliant weblog! I suppose for now ill settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this weblog with my Facebook group. Chat soon! 147172

    View Comment
  • yeezy boost says:

    Thanks a lot for providing individuals with a very nice possiblity to check tips from this website. It can be so fantastic and also full of a lot of fun for me and my office co-workers to visit your website minimum 3 times in one week to read through the newest tips you have. And lastly, I am also certainly happy considering the tremendous creative concepts you serve. Certain 2 ideas in this posting are in reality the most effective we’ve had.

    View Comment
  • 760972 371178Nowhere on the Internet is there this much quality and clear info on this topic. How do I know? I know because Ive searched this topic at length. Thank you. 80976

    View Comment
  • A lot of thanks for all of your work on this blog. Kate take interest in engaging in investigations and it is easy to see why. Almost all hear all of the lively ways you deliver powerful guidance through your web blog and as well invigorate response from the others on the idea then our favorite girl is undoubtedly studying so much. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the new year. You are always doing a brilliant job.

    View Comment
  • 832855 44259Hi there, I located your blog via Google although looking for first aid for a heart attack and your post looks quite interesting for me. 643000

    View Comment
  • 644160 248548Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned far more clear from this post. Im very glad to see such superb info being shared freely out there. 822771

    View Comment
  • 345204 250182Not long noticed concerning your internet website and are still already reading along. I assumed ill leave my initial comment. i do not verify what saying except that Ive enjoyed reading. Nice weblog. ill be bookmarking maintain visiting this internet website truly normally. 846516

    View Comment
  • 38038 729642I havent checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are actually good quality so I guess Ill add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend. insurance guides 194344

    View Comment
  • 9475 44573They call it the self-censor, simply because youre too self-conscious of your writing, too judgmental. 988065

    View Comment
  • 494421 706772I want searching at and I believe this site got some truly useful stuff on it! . 654171

    View Comment
  • page111 says:

    3596 831051But a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw wonderful pattern . 501787

    View Comment
  • 672532 503248Really informative and wonderful bodily structure of content material material , now thats user friendly (:. 68948

    View Comment
  • 503111 774230Really nice style and amazing content material material , absolutely nothing else we want : D. 668149

    View Comment
  • 먹튀신고 says:

    194287 306613I will right away grasp your rss as I can not in obtaining your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do youve any? Kindly permit me realize so that I could subscribe. Thanks. 806096

    View Comment
  • Free UK Chat says:

    143407 920122There is noticeably a great deal to know about this. I believe you produced some nice points in features also. 498187

    View Comment
  • 59530 641205Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look straightforward. The overall look of your web web site is fantastic, let alone the content! 376327

    View Comment
  • 414037 814286really good post, i surely enjoy this incredible internet site, persist with it 557242

    View Comment
  • I came across your Sobriety Is Not Simply Abstaining From Alcohol | Feelings and Faith website and wanted to let you know that we have decided to open our POWERFUL and PRIVATE website traffic system to the public for a limited time! You can sign up for our targeted traffic network with a free trial as we make this offer available again. If you need targeted traffic that is interested in your subject matter or products start your free trial today: http://0nulu.com/opx Unsubscribe here: http://0nulu.com/nbz

    View Comment
  • must watch says:

    372911 184289Of course like your website but you require to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I discover it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless Ill certainly come back once again. 420152

    View Comment
  • This is a message to the Sobriety Is Not Simply Abstaining From Alcohol | Feelings and Faith webmaster. Your website is missing out on at least 300 visitors per day. Our traffic system will dramatically increase your traffic to your website: http://0nulu.com/rjv – We offer 500 free targeted visitors during our free trial period and we offer up to 30,000 targeted visitors per month. Hope this helps 🙂 Unsubscribe here: http://0nulu.com/nbz

    View Comment
  • DMPK Studies says:

    765545 118995Great post, Im seeking forward to hear more from you!! 473464

    View Comment
  • 629435 329588This really is a quite exciting article, Im looking for this know how. So you comprehend I established your internet internet site when I was looking for sites like my own, so please look at my internet internet site someday and post me a opinion to let me know how you feel. 54621

    View Comment
  • huukrouvb merhx onxqxhj gkfp jwlhgyfeenxeawi

    View Comment
  • Erma Bowman says:

    I am reaching out since we saw a link to your website and thought you would be a good candidate for our traffic service. We provide targeted website traffic to virtually any type of website. We target our visitors by both country and keywords that you either submit to us or we can do keyword research for you. We offer a seven day FREE trial period with free traffic so that you can try our service to make sure it will work for you. Which of your websites needs the most growth? Find out more here:http://segundaibc.com.br/go/1i Unsubscribe here: http://priscilarodrigues.com.br/url/11

    View Comment
  • Finn Gomez says:

    Wow I love this. I can relate ❤️

    View Comment
  • Jen says:

    Excellent! Love you words. Love you are embracing it all. It’s so hard. Thank you for sharing.

    View Comment
  • Roberta says:

    Christine, thank you for your insights. You shed light on a sobriety that everyone can embrace.

    View Comment
  • Matt says:

    This is a good one.

    View Comment
  • Kathy Hansen says:

    This is a great piece of writing Christine! Well done!

    View Comment