Pretending Is Hard
Not drinking is easy.
Days sober: 12
Everytime I quit drinking–I’ve done it more times than I can count–I’m amazed at how much easier and smoother my life becomes almost instantaneously. Seems paradoxical, doesn’t it? Every twelve step meeting and treatment program tells you that quitting will be [stern voice] “one of the hardest things you’ll ever do”. And I just don’t know if I believe that.
When I’m sober I can wake up early without fatigue. I can workout and not repeat to myself “I hate this” the entire time. I can complete my to-do list without getting distracted by utter nonsense. I can follow a schedule and be somewhat on time. I can make healthier food choices and easily avoid dairy and gluten like I should have been doing for years. I can be a more patient and present mother who is FUN. I can be creative without my anxiety talking me out of it and telling me “maybe you just suck ¯\_(ツ)_/¯”. It’s been twelve days without alcohol and I feel like Amanda-freaking-Chantal Bacon minus the pretentiousness.
This begs the question: why then, do (did) I even drink in the first place?
I used to struggle with the answer. Logically it didn’t make sense why I would continue something that has zero benefits. That dissonance caused me a lot of inner turmoil. Like, what was wrong with me?
Growing up, pretty much any adult I interacted with told me that I was “too much”—too chatty, too hyper, too disruptive, too ambitious, too unrealistic, too annoying. I slowly grew to dislike who I was at my core. Alcohol was great. It dulled all those feelings of inadequacy and I became someone that blended in; I became a shell of who I really was because I was so desperate to be accepted. All of this is to say that I was struggling with undiagnosed ADHD and simply needed help, but that’s another topic for another day. My point here is that I used alcohol to not be me. That’s really tragic.
Little Allie ^^^
This time around the block, I’m embracing ME and all my weird, loud, not-unloveable, “too-much” glory. I’m fucking cool and nice and I don’t need to hide behind the curtain of alcohol. I will be unapologetically authentic and be proud of who I am, and I refuse anything less. THIS is why sobriety makes life so much easier–you aren’t trying to be someone you’re not anymore. I’m just me. Pretending is hard and it makes everything else hard too. Let’s not do it anymore.