90 days sober! How is that working out for you?
I meet many people who start pretty well, even reporting that they feel better—managing quality sleep, resulting in more productive days—feeling connected to their emotions. However! It seems that people relapse around the 3/4 week phase.
I remember when I first went sober, back in 2018. It was then that I began to recognise those feelings of anxiety and fear when meeting up with friends and the thoughts that they would be judging me because I would not be drinking. Other ideas, I am not fun and outgoing; when I am not drinking, I am boring. I placed so much pressure on myself through my thinking.
Those thoughts have never been the truth. I was and still am as naughty and fun sober as I was when I was in the throes of an alcoholic blur. The difference was I never woke up with those awful feelings of sickness, the head hurting and all the thinking around, oh my god! Did I really say that, do that, or upset someone? Or worse. I am sure some of you recognise those thoughts the morning after and the feelings of absolute lethargy and sickness. I have shared some funny stories of going to work with a hangover. But because they are honest and comical doesn’t mean I enjoyed those feelings or am proud of those tales.
But life is so much freer now. I no longer have those old emotions, and anxious thinking is rarely present.
It is interesting when you understand that it was the alcohol withdrawal that was creating those feelings in the body that I named anxiety and depression, along with my dark glasses, that only saw the doom and loneliness that surrounded me.
As alcohol withdraws from the body, dopamine lowers, the chemical that tells us we have got to have it! Alcohol, nicotine, sugar, and a myriad of other things trick the brain and make us think that we need the substance habit or behaviour. It lets us know when we are hungry, and it drives lust. These are fundamentals required to keep the human species continuing, so it makes sense that evolution gave us a way of surviving.
It is all beginning to make sense.
There are also emotional needs that we humans require. Tony Robbins talks about them, and in Human Givens, training is at the core of their therapy model.
Security, attention, control, meaning and purpose, privacy, community, intimacy, status, and achievement.
When emotional needs are unmet, we look for something outside ourselves to fill the void; this can be emotional/over-eating, recreational drug use, alcohol binges or even self-harm.
What I know to be true is that we humans are creative thinking animals that often put on the wrong thinking glasses and believe so strongly that what we are thinking and seeing at the moment is truth. Or is it?
Have you ever been somewhere and everything was wrong, customer service, food, cleanliness, price, and everyone else around you? I have!
Now, if you return, and you are in a different mood or frame of mind, suddenly, a whole new experience is being had by you and those around you.
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People are people who have the same problems, and all have thought.