Stages of loss

Well, I’m at Day 25 which is mind-boggling. I have clear memories from when I sat stagnating around Day 1 and reading people who were this far in and thinking it seemed insane. Months or years long sober people were like foreign aliens. What they did seemed completely inaccessible to me.

And here I am. I’ve experienced some weird thinking patterns this last week, thinking a lot about drinking and the good parts of checking out of life with a bottle of wine. Weirdly, it hasn’t crossed my mind to actually DO it. No part of me would consider actually doing it right now, but it’s like my brain needs to allow for future me to be able to do it even though I don’t want to.

I think it must be part of the grieving process, like sifting through the remains of a bad romantic relationship. The early days are emotionally easy: you pick out all the crap aspects of the relationship and you reject them, then affirm yourself for your wise choice to end it.

Then later days the memories of good times bubble up. No part of you wants to go back because you know on the whole it was a miserable relationship, but you recognize that it wasn’t all bad.

The thing I’m finally getting through my thick, stubborn, addicted skull is that… well… it kind of WAS all bad. I just didn’t recognize it. Or if not bad, then at least totally unnecessary, just a dead weight that holds you back.

I have said since almost the beginning of my fight to kick this damn thing out of my life in January 2019 that it keeps me mediocre. I don’t expect to be anyone major who will make headlines around the world, but I know that I can live my own life better, and booze keeps me average. Is that what I want my legacy to be?

So, in the meantime, I will sit with the weird feeling of loss for a relationship I’m glad is over. I’ll accept that it’s part of the grieving process for something I thought was a friend and now see so clearly was just a dead weight.

And I’ll reaffirm how EVERYTHING is currently better. Even the hard feelings are better because I know I’m working on them and moving past them instead of drowning them in booze just to face them all over again.

Has anyone else felt this sort of nostalgia for drinking mixed with knowing it wasn’t worth it?

12 thoughts on “Stages of loss

  1. For sure. But I just have to keep remembering that the bad FAR outweighed the good in my relationship with alcohol. It’s our addictive brain that longs for that little bit of good. This is one reason I think blogging / journaling is so important, if I didn’t go back and read how I felt with a wicked hangover, my brain would start to block out those memories. Congrats on day 25!

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    1. Oh yes. No doubt about it, the bad is 100x heavier than the good. I guess I’m learning to be ok with remembering that the good was there and grieve that that part is never accessible in real life, because it’s always ALWAYS tangled up in loads of bad.

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  2. Omg yes. Reading your blog is like everything I went through, except written a lot more eloquently. I absolutely loved drinking red wine, in the winter on a friday night by myself. Like I loved it. And I properly mourned not being able to do this for a while. I found it’s like saying good bye to a comforter, you’ve out grown it, it’s holding you back, but it’s so hard to say good bye to xx (you’re doing amazing)

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    1. Aw, thanks for saying this. I think it’s probably healthy to recognize how much certain aspects of it were really lovely and magical. I still fantasize about some way to harness just the magical parts but know there’s no way for that to be possible…

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      1. Some part of me feels the need to clarify – I don’t fantasize about drinking again (and least not for real and not for long) but I do fantasize about some way to extract the tiny lovely aspects of it from allllll the bad. Obviously impossible. But wouldn’t it be nice to have that first glass buzz that lasted with no desire for more and no other repercussions?

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