When sobriety becomes an addiction... 1/14/21
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
My dad always said there are good addictions and bad addictions. I remember the last time he said this to me in Florida, about a year ago, sitting beside his pool as the sun was setting at my favorite time of day - the golden hour. Happy hour. He was on one of his long rants about how vital exercise is to daily life and why he works out two to three times a day. Walking, weights, swimming. I love working out too, but I knew what he was getting at with me. I rolled my eyes at him, as I peered over the rim of my wine glass. He continued on, obvious to my discontent with the conversation. I leaned forward and refilled my goblet with Whispering Angel, blatantly tossing aside his concerned words. I knew what he was trying to tell me. I didn't need his lectures though. I was in control... so I believed.
Here I am now. I am able to reflect and recognize what was actually going on back then. Denial. But still, thinking back on that memory, I simply yearn for the warmth of Florida and to be back on that chair sitting there again. I crave the comfort that the golden hour brings. Yet at the same time that yearning scares me. Do I want a chance at redeeming myself and proving myself to my dad again in that conversation? Do I want the wine that accompanies that time of day or do I genuinely enjoy the sunsets? I don't know any of this. I have only been sober 46 days. What I do know is that being sober is making me happy and exploring this sober world has been eye opening to me.
I have become so immersed in the daily life of sobriety within this world of Covid, that I forget I will eventually need to apply this to regular life eventually. How will I be able to face the things that tempt me? Things as simple as a sunset? Instead of facing these questions, I bury myself in the only thing I can at the moment. I focus on what I can on this day.
I have explored so much of this sober world. I have read every book I can get my hands on at this point and am still going. I have explored so many podcasts and continue to look for new ones everyday. The part that has been the most interesting for me is discovering a whole new community of sober people online. I have a small group of supportive newcomers, about 20-25 people, all from TLC that communicate on WhatsApp on a daily basis - checking in on one another, holding each other accountable. We also have a weekly zoom meeting. I have also become part of a group chat on instagram and GroupMe, where ladies chat, bitch and moan about whatever. And then I have found a great amount of help on instagram. Through a new account I have found people just like me on the same path, just trying to find support, take it all day by day and not fuck it all up. Because of all of the pain and trauma we have all suffered, it seems that even though these people are all strangers, we are all connected. And there is so much love not just across the country but also throughout the world and in other continents. It really is incredible.
These platforms have become safe spaces to discuss sobriety, dish about our feelings, search for comfort, and just complain about everyday life. But what I have noticed aside from the endless support, is that I have become a little obsessed with this whole new world. There are times where I have gone down the rabbit hole and have found myself deep into someone's instagram for way longer than I should, when I could be folding laundry, cleaning up the house or doing something way more productive. Sometimes, I open my phone to find 250+ missed messages on a group chat and 20+ comments on my instagram, and I find myself needing to read them! Why? I find myself having FOMO. Sobriety FOMO! I see discussions about articles on instagram and google them immediately, for fear of not being in the know. I am constantly reading and looking to educate myself on what I need to be doing to better myself. I need to be doing everything I can to ensure I am doing this thing right. I have gone ALL into this sobriety thing. And I think my husband is over it. He has dropped comments to me: maybe silence some of the notifications, don't get yourself so worked up over that post. I don't find his interest to be as piqued anymore at my dramatic middle of the night readings from my recent quit lit book, and he dozes off when I begin to talk about alcohol and the brain on the couch at night now.
So does sobriety ever become an addiction? That I cannot say, but all I know is that I am not craving alcohol and the need to drink is absolutely not present at the moment. I am happier than I have been in years. But is this obsession with this new way of living okay for me? Is it because I have such an addictive personality? It has come up in some of my chats, that we are 'holics, and we move on to the next thing that we can control and put all of ourselves into it. And this brings me back to what my dad said to me during our golden hour conversations of good addictions and bad ones, and that's not to say that I agree with him on this, but perhaps this isn't a bad thing. Being addicted to sobriety is perhaps the best thing for me, at the moment. And so I will continue to focus on it, day by day, because at least I'm not drinking.