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.
This obsession with filling your time with things to do is a natural distraction defence to prevent you from gazing inside at your self. You've spent so long running away that you don't know what to do when faced with the nakedness of your being. It is timorous to continue pursuits like socialising and drinking rather than reflecting painfully on the deceit and self-deception that your life has become.
Reflecting on your being and mortality is necessary to fill the void that exists in your ego. Studying yourself will make you uncomfortable and is one of the reasons why the addiction usually wins out because it is easier to run away and hide in a fog of intoxication than face up to establishing who you are, or what you have become.
Who are you? Why are you here? What is your purpose?
Overwhelming questions for which you must start to seek answers. That feeling of emptiness is there because you never filled the soul with kindness or love. Always running away and looking anywhere but inside for answers.
It is common in recovery to hear people talk about how you must “learn to love yourself” and of course this is true. You must also learn to live with yourself and your emotions.
Most people can't bear to sit down with themselves for five minutes. Internal reflection is non-existent. Learning the basics of meditation and beginning a meditation practice will help you with that. Yoga is also something worth looking into.
When I drank it was mostly because I was looking to find something. I was always searching for something that I couldn't quite put my finger on and never would be able to even if I drank myself to death.
What you are searching for is you. And you won't find you at the bottom of a bottle.