Every habitual drinker who stops drinking gets to a point where they feel a deep emptiness inside of them. Like a vast dark chasm that has no bounds. When you sit down on your own for the first time without a drink as a companion, you are left alone with your thoughts, just you and your ego. Loneliness can be both alarming and unnerving in the early days of sobriety.
The temptation is to run off to the pub, buy a couple of bottles of wine, go and see some friends or watch mindless TV. You feel a need to occupy yourself, but with what? It can be hard to deal with thoughts and emotions that rise and bubble to the surface in a constant circle like the blobs in a well-heated lava lamp.
The next time you pick up a drink think about this: The reason you are poor is that you drink. If you keep drinking you will stay poor and continue to flirt with your overdraft limit. There is no life situation a good drinking session can make better, and no problem drink cannot make worse.
If you are feeling lost and hopeless, drinking will exacerbate those feelings when you awake the following day. Because you feel worse from getting drunk, you'll want to drink to feel better. It's a never-ending circle of depression and anxiety leading down a spiral staircase into the deep dark depths of misery and despair.
Stopping this madness is the beginning of the road back to sanity. No one denies that it is hard, and you'll probably need help doing it but if you want to get out of the rut of ordinariness and create a life that you like living then giving up the alcohol is where all of your energy should be focused.
If you think you need to stop drinking, but you're not sure how close you are to being an alcoholic, then this article might help you make your mind up. If you are reading this then for starters you probably need to stop.
There are many tests on the internet that are designed to tell you whether or not you have a drinking problem. Score two out of ten and you have a dilemma. Have you ever missed a day from work through drinking? Well, who hasn't? Have you ever driven in the morning knowing that you are probably over the drink live limit? Regularly.
The indicator isn't how well or how poorly you score on the test. The clue is in the looking. Casual drinkers don't go seeking questionnaires that question their drinking habits.
Part of you wants to change your self-destructive behaviour. But part of you clings to it like the log lady. Finding your way out of the maze is like trying to understand an episode of Twin Peaks. Why does your mind fight against itself and why does it talk to you incessantly when you least want it to?
The good news is that every day you remain sober the easier it gets. There are good and bad days, and some are easier than others but overall as you step away from the drinking madness the thoughts of “using” as they say in recovery parlance, become less frequent and less overpowering.
Alcoholics are the ones who sleep under the doorway at night, the tramp who sleeps on the park bench with his brown paper bag or the old man that shuffles along home along the streets unshaved, unkempt, with his carrier bag held tightly to his chest at 10 am in the morning.
These images are the stereotypical worldview of an alcoholic. Alcoholics have lost nearly everything they had through addiction to drink; their wives, family, possessions, self-respect, all gone. These sad creatures are in the last stages of an addiction that is killing them. Can they help themselves? Why don't they stop drinking?