Problems other than alcohol…

In early sobriety I fell into the mindset that now “because I don’t drink, everything will be okay.  All the bad stuff happened because I drank, and now that I don’t drink the “good” part of me will get stronger and win”.

By and large, that has been mostly true.  I have become honest…before I used to lie a lot.  I  pay my bills…when I got sober my mortgage was 36 months behind (yes, you read that right).  I have more than doubled my income…mostly by being present and engaged in my job and not ever being hungover or late.  I am also a better mother and leader.  And I’m fixing up my house too…

But today I had a huge wake up call.   I was recently irresponsible about something very important and it has a huge impact on my life and my future (it’s private and legal in nature and I’m sorry I can’t share it on the internet).  And I did this sober.  I screwed my own self over basically by doing what I did when I drank…I ignored an issue just like a 5 year-old and pretended it would go away.  I don’t know why I do this.  It’s part of what I need to work on as a person in long-term recovery from alcohol and general-self-destruction.

It’s the first time that I’ve seen, with 100% clarity, that alcohol DIDN’T cause all of my problems, and that at the core I have a side of me that is  self-destructive…and I can’t pretend that it’s not there, or that by not drinking it magically goes away.  “Not-drinking” makes it POSSIBLE for me to heal and get better over time.  I still have to put in the work.

The road to recovery can be very hard at times.  I am still as committed as I ever was…maybe even more so now.  I guess I am both humbled and scared at the prospect that I have so very much work to do on myself and my life.

I can do this.


17 thoughts on “Problems other than alcohol…”

  1. I am so sorry to hear that.
    If I can help in any way please email me or message me.

    Sobriety allows us to deal responsibly, even if it is hard. Be gentle with yourself. Some behaviour are so ingrained they are hard to recognize….


    1. I completely agree with Anne! Without knowing the details of what happened, I think that anyone who makes a mistake deserves compassion, especially when that person realizes that it was a mistake and is regretful. There is a human tendency to want to avoid things that seem difficult, unpleasant, or overwhelming. We sometimes use substances or behaviors to help us numb or avoid, but even in the absence of those, the tendency is still there. I think that is something everyone struggles with, it just varies the sorts of things that are triggering to people and that they tend to avoid. Take good care of yourself during a difficult time. You deserve it!

  2. You can do this most definitely! I used to think that stopping drinking would solve all my problems too. Stopping provides you with the opportunity to make real changes and or just show up for yourself in all your flawed glory. xxx

  3. Terrific post. When you take away the alcohol what have you got? The person underneath the alcohol and like you say we’re not saints over night. Self-sabotage was one of mine – I used to deliberately put myself down or make sure others did that for me etc. Also procrastination, or just ignoring the moose on the table was another one. I’m much better now but still in moments of high stress I may well find myself wanting to just wait for it all to go away – which it will not obviously.

    Fronting up and dealing with it is just so hard sometimes, but pretty much everytime I do it I realise it was not as big an issue as I thought it would be and it gets resolved.

  4. I am sorry to hear that trouble has come to your doorstep. I am still not good at it but I noticed I learn better if I do not berate myself. Berating makes me want to close my eyes for what is because it hurts. Wishing you good luck, wisdom and doing what a woman who loves herself would do.
    Hugs, Feeling

  5. Hi Jenn!
    I have to keep looking at all the underlying issues after I stopped drinking.
    It is hard work.
    Life is one huge learning school.
    You can this, and it will be okay in the end.
    You will find the support you need!
    I am so glad you are beating yourself up.
    That never helps me learn.

  6. Great post here. (Except the part about things not going well there, of course. Sorry to hear.)

    I think what you say is bang on – it’s not just booze that is the problem. A lot of folks blame the booze for their issues, but really, it’s the reason we pick up booze in the first place that is the problem. It’s the things underneath the alcohol that is what we need to work on. Alcohol was my solution, not my problem. The real problem was me – my thinking, my perspective and how I saw myself and others in the world. My emotional immaturity. My inflated sense of self. My victimhood. My martyrdom. My woe-is-me. And so much more.

    I still make mistakes. Just because I got sober doesn’t mean I am infallible. It’s all part of the journey!

    Best of luck in turning things around.


  7. Hi Jenn! That is a super bummer. However, being sober is going to allow you to run damage control and get it handled. I still have bad habits too. (Do not tell my husband I admitted that.) Everyone has room for improvement.

  8. Jenn-
    I have collected 38 days. I just came across your blog and really like it. Yes, The Bubble Hour rocks. I am so incredibly grateful for people like you who are putting yourself “out there” and providing hope, encouragement and honesty to those of us so desperately in need of it on our path in sobriety. I too, even this early on, have discovered I have a lot of work in the emotional sobriety arena. Thank you!

    1. Josie…it will be okay, thank you so much for your concern. I will find out the result of my legal matter early next week (it’s basically a ticket/legal issue resulting from when I drank and I should have already taken care of it…and it wouldn’t be a problem now.) Procrastination and even ignoring things is has caused me trouble throughout my life. Just gotta put my big-girl pants on and take care of busioness. 🙂

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