There is a lot of talk in the rooms about feelings, and specifically about feelings that we didn’t want to feel. I know that I personally drank to cover up feelings — of inadequacy, of fear, of confusion. We talk a lot about how alcohol numbed our feelings, or put them aside, but we don’t often talk about the feeling that resulted from our drinking.
I know for me, especially as I neared the end, I felt feelings of hopelessness, anger with myself and others, and despair as a result of my drinking. I felt like I was trapped — and I was trapped in a cycle of daily drinking. I felt that there was no way out and I hated what was happening. I distinctly remember looking at myself in the mirror, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the middle of a bender, and thinking — I hate you.
Thankfully, I haven’t felt those feelings in a long, long time. I haven’t looked at myself in the mirror and seen a monster. I haven’t felt that I had no options. I haven’t felt that I had to pull into the liquor store parking lot and buy a bottle because it was Tuesday. While I may have wanted a drink, I haven’t felt the need to drink.
And for these I’m grateful.
But sometimes, sometimes, I need to feel those feelings again. I need to remember the feeling of the ache in my heart, the miserable falling feeling in gut, the feeling that I’m stuck and that I don’t know how to get out. Because, sometimes, that idea of a drink still sounds good. And when it does, I need to remember that the fun is short lived, that the drink doesn’t wash away a problem, and that the first drink only leads to the next.
And when I remember how those feelings felt, I am able to bring myself back to reality and say no to the feeling that just one might be okay.