Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tasmanian Devil - aka the mania that comes with drinking


I did drink this weekend.  I didn't over drink, but still drank.

I was trying to explain sobriety to my dh this morning. He has a hangover so he was much more receptive to my obsessive/constant talk about alcohol.

It is so hard to put into words, to explain, the feeling of sobriety but I will try.

When I was sober for 6 months I did have some pretty difficult times where I really wanted to drink.  Like I REALLY wanted to drink and was depressed/pissed off that I couldn't.  That was real and not enjoyable.  I also had some pretty depressing times, like when I really wanted to to drink (REALLY wanted to drink) and couldn't so I just stayed home all mopey and down.  That was also real and sucked so it wasn't all just "rainbows flying out of my ass" as my good friend Kary likes to say.

Here is what was positive about it - what I think I miss.  My highs weren't as high but my lows weren't as low.  I was so much more even keel.  People didn't get on my nerves, comments didn't get under my skin, I was just calmer overall.  I was very much less reactive to everything - people, events, comments, situations. Obviously I slept a ton better - every night 8 hours without waking up. Oh how did I love that sleep.  Just thinking about going to be would put a smile on my face (that seems so weird).

I felt like everything around me just stopped moving so fast.  Everything external was calmer, more peaceful and contained less stress.  It is so hard to explain bc in reality it was my internal that was changing but my perception was that my world was changing around me.

I had this sense of calmness, somehow (which I don't quite understand) it felt less selfish, like everything wasn't all about me.  This is weird bc I feel like even when I drink I am constantly doing for others  being a mother, daughter, sister, wife friend, teacher.  I feel like I am not selfish on the outside - I do for others all the time. But when I am sober I feel like I genuinely care more for others - what is going on with them, why they might be making that comment which might not have anything to do with me.  I can empathize better for others.  I don't take things so personally which is in fact pretty selfish.

Even drinking 4-5 beers only on the weekend robs this from me.  Even that little amount makes me hyper, depressed, anxious, exhausted, hyper sensitive, over dramatic, unmotivated all week.

I seems like when I drink on the weekends I have this veil that I keep over myself all the time that I hide behind.  Behind that veil I feel like the Tasmanian devil - you know how he is just constantly in motion, spinning around himself. I don't have real, caring conversations with people because my head just feels like it is this constant whirlwind state.  I just can't seem to calm down enough in my head to truly connect with people, and that's when I'm sober. It's way worse when drinking.  When drinking on the weekends,  I just seem to keep myself in this manic, super busy, can't calm down, can't stop talking, can't stop doing state all week long.  I have no idea why???  (any ideas out there??) It is exhausting!

Maybe I am emotionally avoiding everyone and everything in my life.

When I am sober - the whole world slows down around me and I realize that it isn't all about me all the time.  There is an undeniable calmness, a sense of peace that comes with sobriety. I think I had just reached the tip of the iceberg as my sobriety only lasted 6 months.  I am in constant fascination of people with extended sobriety and am intrigued by how much better life could have gotten if I would have kept it up.

I really did enjoy that sense of peace and calmness and am beginning to miss it.


  1. Yes, exactly! I think this is part of what I was trying to say the other day, too. I realized that it used to be I missed drinking, but after this recent spell of trying to figure out how and whether to drink, I have been floored by the realization that I missed being sober. And I didn't quite believe it when other people said it, but it does seem true for me, as you say it is for you, that I can't "be sober" when I am drinking, even when I am drinking in what might be spells of successful moderation. I really appreciate this post, and your comment on mine. I think we are both figuring out something important for ourselves. Best to you. xo

    1. Thank you for your post. It is the one that got me thinking, once again, about life without alcohol.

  2. "Rainbows coming out my ass" did I really say that? I hope so.
    I'll let you in on a secret of sobriety-you can be lazy. You don't have go around compensating for your drinking all the time. "Here sweetie, yes, I know I got drunk last night but look I made you your favorite dinner, plus I cleaned out all the cabinets, alphabetized your tools out in the garage and how do you feel about a BJ later on?"

    When you get sober, you kind of feel like. "You want me to fix supper tonight? Fuck that, I'm sober now. I have nothing to make up for and I have nothing left to prove."

    No longer living with the fear that everything you do wrong or don't get done is going to be blamed on your drinking can be quite calming.

    1. I think it might have actually been "flying out of my ass" and it might have been lulu but no matter, it is hilarious.

  3. I know exactly what you mean.
    When I was drinking I felt like I was forever sacrificing for others, but in a way I can't explain.
    So much noise filled my head. Pressure, anxiety, compulsive behaviour I could not understand.
    It scared me that I couldn't see outside myself. And that I couldn't predict my own behaviour.
    I was all so complicated and tiring, but I held on to it because I was afraid of life without drinking. After all, it is what people do.

    I see now that veil never lifted, even if I only drank on the weekends. It fed he self criticism. And the need to do more to protect myself from criticism. And since I never knew where that would come from, I had to keep all the balls in the air.

    Like MaryKay said, sobriety brings relief because there is no compensation required. That self focused view does go away. And instead it is self care and self confidence.

    Consider full sobriety for a while again. That relief will return.


    1. It is so funny that we all speak the same language...a language that people without this issue don't get. I think you are right I over do to protect myself from criticism because I feel like such a failure that I have to work extra hard so others don't see that. I think that also leads me to all of my ultra sensitive, defensive behavior. People say, "But you only drink in the weekends. What's the big deal?" They have no idea how that moderate weekend drinking controls my whole psyche, my being, my soul...

    2. Yes. I felt my soul was dying. And now it is glowing bright yellow with life.

      I had to stop letting other people away me. They didn't hear my thoughts when I just wished I would die in my sleep. They only say fun, slightly unstable Anne.

      When I tell others about hat now they are always so surprised. but it was all real.

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  5. Wow, this post really resonated with me. I quit drinking around 4 months ago, and one of the biggest things I have noticed is a sense of calm. I don't get upset or irritated as much as a I used to. I sometimes feel a bit "zen" in that sense. Anyhow, I am sure that if I started drinking again -- even "moderately" on weekends only -- that I would lose my sens of calm, of balance. Right now I am enjoying this aspect of not-drinking so much, of feeling calm, in control of my life, that I am not at all tempted to drink.

    You are very right that it is difficult to put these feelings in words, but you did a great job doing it. That is why I think your post resonates with me. I especially liked this "everything around me just stopped moving so fast".... it's so true. Things slow down, life slows down...

    I think that it is great that you have realized this, and probably this realization will help you to ultimately return to full time sobriety and all its benefits.

    1. That zen is partly relief, and partly an escape from pain.
      Hold on to it!

  6. Thank, Brad. It is so weird to think that people out there think the same way I do. I felt so lonely, locked away in my own mental jail cell for so long. Congrats on 4 months!