From drinking to seeking fun πŸ˜„

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Prelude

During the past two months, I’ve felt self-growth, a sense of progress stemming from several sessions of psychotherapy and constant daily reflection.

Starting with my late mother’s end-of-life journey, barreling into the COVID debacle, and grieving with anxiety (and depression?) for several years afterwards… I feel good. Normal.

I sought therapy to dig deep into my quench for booze, to understand its tightening grip on the day-to-day… I had been drinking heavily, often to excess, for years. I’d frequently complain about it, yet I couldn’t shake it.

Coached by a compassionate professional, I came to realize:

Milestones

Separating the grieving for mum and the drinking

The doctor helped me to see the positive in mum’s journey, to embrace the good memories, knowing I did the best I could.

Now, alcohol seems so distant from my feelings towards mum’s journey. I can wrap up the latter with a full heart.

Quantifying alcohol consumption

Next, a spreadsheet of daily drinks with columns to describe any emotion, the occasion, habitual (was it part of a meal?), estimated versus actual number of drinks, hangovers, good sleep or not.

This helped to see the breadth of consumption and discover interesting habits / patterns.

The doctor and I discussed a reoccuring loop that spun from anxiousness -> drinking -> hangovers -> guilt -> back to anxiety, leading back to drinks… The loop starts or finished somewhere between feeling anxious and thirsting for reprieve.

Seeing alcohol (ab)use opened my eyes.

Disassociating alcohol from emotions

Throughout the months, I enjoyed several social events with some to little to no alcohol. It felt good, especially the following morning sans a hangover.

I understood that alcohol can be part of the fun, but the alcohol shouldn’t create the fun.

The doctor also emphasized this point, noting that hanging out with close friends (visiting from the States) would have been delightful with or without booze.

Which lead me to…

Yearn for fun!

I burned a lot of energy on grieving and heavy drinking, rather than chasing fun and opportunity!

Instead of searching for or looking at a problem, seek a more joyous outcome.

Concluding

I still drink. I drink to enjoy the moment, and certainly not to escape it. And I don’t need to drink to have fun, that’s fer sure.

Am I cured? There’s no cure, there’s only progress, positive movement forward.