Something's happened to me. It's most extraordinary. I NEVER anticipated this in a million years.
I've been off the bottle for one month. And I think all these changes have everything to do with it.
The good changes:
1)I am so happy. That annoying, believes everything-is-simply-splendid-happy.
2)I'm stable. Almost worryingly so. I don't get shaky angry or maddeningly depressed anymore. It's like everything has just....calmed down. If I cause my own chaos, I really mean to do it. It wasn't a mistake. And I gave it lots of thought before impulsively causing chaos for no apparent reason. When I'm upset or angry, I know it's rational.
3)The clarity. The clarity. Everything was a fuzz back in the days of compulsive bingeing. I spoke to a teetotaling mate about this so-called “clarity,” and how everything is just...sharper. And he told me to wait until 3 months, and when the clarity kicks in, it's crazy as fuck. I think that's already happened to me, but maybe there's more coming.
4)You really get to know others around you all over again. You connect them them on a new level, and at first it's quite difficult. There are no barriers, or social-numbing through Bacardi Breezer. I have got to know 747, my friends and my family on a whole new level.
5)One of the original goals of my stopping drinking for a while has kicked in: Get to know myself again. And most importantly, address my hang ups and issues. Without the numbing of anything else. It's literally helped me to take a long hard look in the mirror. I'm dealing with stuff now that I've been pushing aside for YEARS. Going back nine whole years – and one big thing, is getting around trust and my parent's divorce.
6)Learning to be comfortable in my own shell. I thought I was a confident person, and I am most of the time. But I also suffer deep-seated self-esteem and anxiety issues that I've denied forever, which I'm finally working through.
7)Creativity. This was a tough one, because I thought without my after-work-glass-of-wine, I wouldn't be able to churn out more stories. Or think up grand ideas to take over the world. Well, actually, it's been quite the opposite. When you assess everything with a clear-head, you also start to find new things to keep you going. And it wasn't crack, surprisingly. I'm finding new, weird stuff with which to entertain myself all the time.
8)Coffee outings really excite me. Like how tequila used to excite me.
9)I never want to be in the place I was 31 December 2007 ever again. I fear getting back onto the boozewagon may just fling me right back there. If I don't give up booze forever - and I'm considering it - from March onwards the alcohol I do drink, will be very few and far between. Benders will only be for VERY special occasions.
10)There is no loser's complex. Ever. And I can't remember what a hangover feels like. Or even what it feels like to be drunk, come to think of it.
11)Mr 747 came along for the booze-free ride. I told him 1 January I was giving up booze for two months. I didn't ever expect him to do this with me. I did it believing I'd be on my own. He decided to do it too. And I can't tell you how much easier it's been having him along on the journey. We've got to know each other very well over the last month. And now we're onto Month 2.
The bad changes:
(I'm not sure if these are even bad. Perhaps they just take getting used to.)
1)A new kind of introversion. I'm no introvert by anyone's standards. And perhaps I haven't given myself a chance to be “party me” yet. I have been avoiding watering holes, clubs, and massive parties for a month now. I'll go, only to chat to people before they can't string a sentence together. Once people start getting loud and idiotic, I leave. Sober people can't handle drunk people until they've really got used to it. So I've been leaving places early, and enjoying a lot of me-time in front of the telly, with a book, going on long drives, etc etc. Stuff losers do, basically. I love it.
2)Sifting through my trust issues isn't just going to take two months of teetotaling. I'm considering therapy, as well as lots of hard work, and reminding myself not to panic.
3)It's hard when your mates are going out all the time, doing their usual thing. Things you were very much a part of every weekend. I go, but I'm there for a third of the time, not drinking, and just trying to feel normal as I do it. It still doesn't feel normal. I don't want my friends to think I'm boring. Or think I have suddenly become a different me. I don't think that's the case, but yes, I am a bit different now. Hopefully booze hasn't taken away my entire personality altogether. I don't think so.