There are so many things going on when you start sobriety over. On one hand, I’m relieved to have finally committed to complete abstinence. Being encouraged to moderate and being made to feel like it’s a choice is awful. It’s what ended my previous attempts.
I’m excited at the glimmer of promise that I can see ahead but that happening with so much guilt and shame simultaneously makes me feel selfish for being the least bit happy.
I’ve never been physically hurtful to anyone while drinking but I have said and done emotionally hurtful things to people I love and that’s hard to reckon with.
The bottom line is a feeling of conflict. Wanting to love myself amid thinking I’m a monster and wanting to feel hopeful and excited at a bright opportunity (total sobriety, no moderation pressure) while under heavy weight of shame for the last time I drank and the hurtful things I said.
AA promise #3 comes to mind when I read your post.
“We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.”
This Promise tells us we can face our past, not live in shame about it, and not runaway from or deny it. Our past does not have to define us, who we are, or how we live our lives.
Ive been there, i think what you have to remember is that the person you become when you drink and the things you do and say are not the person you really are, i know that alcohol turned me into the exact opposite of who i am, i think it helps to separate that out…yes take responsibility for what youve done and said and try to attempt some apologies but then leave that person behind with the understanding that person only comes out when you drink so move forward, stay sober and be who you really are
I totally get what ur saying but YOU ARE deserving of a good life, no matter what was said or done. The guilt and shame can be unbearable tho some days… i get it. We can make amends in a variety of ways. And sometimes the best amends we can make to those we have hurt, is to take action and to stay clean and sober and not engage in thay type of hurtful behavior ever again. Its not always easy to forgive ourselves for the wrongs we have done but we we have to remember that we werent ourselves under the influence. We were different people and doing things that we probably would have never done sober. We are human and we make mistakes. All we have is today and what matters is what we do with this current moment… and that is stay clean and sober and show ourselves and others that we have changed.
That’s a very freeing concept but a difficult one to accept for me. I would never seek to avoid accountability for my actions but regretting them feels like I’m trying to pay penance somehow. I guess beating yourself up doesn’t help those you’ve hurt anyway.
I will be leaving the person I become while under the influence behind. There is nothing redeeming about drinking for me or for the person I become.
It’s so hard to do the self-compassion thing. But it is very healthy. I will try to incorporate that as I move forward. Thank you for your words.
Making amends helped me a lot. Not just saying sorry, but acting in a different way, and noticing that I was doing things differently and acknowledging my growth. Seeing your opposite actions is a lot more concrete than ‘forgiving yourself’.
I mean yes when we were under the influence of whatever we said and did horrible things that cannot be undone. What counts now is your future sobriety. Do not be consumed by guilt for what is behind you…
Yeah, my sorries have gotten empty with overuse. The person I conflict with is the person who tries to push me to moderate and erodes my sobriety. I’ve decided I’m never playing it by those rules again. So I am acting different and I’m usually doing a lot in the service of this person, I just went along with their suggestion when I knew I shouldn’t.
Bottom line, I will be a acting different and sobriety brings me strength—more every day. I love it.
Thank you for that encouragement. You’re right. What matters is rebuilding and improving.
People do come round once they see your serious about recovery, im at 8 months now and my own mother has done a big u turn recently, my brother still doesnt speak to me, some will forgive, some wont or will take more time thats a hard truth but there it is…recovery is difficult but you can choose to make it more difficult by berating yourself while u try to heal…i made a choice to be kinder to myself to give myself the best chance at recovery…you can choose that too
I think of it as a monster who has feelings. becoming a better monster. A living loving life monster. We can’t erase our past but we can certainly make a better future
Curious, Do you mean moderate as in changing how you express your sober feelings?
I mean moderate as in drink moderately. Break my sobriety but stop short of binging, which I can’t do. My resolve fades with each drink and before I know it, I don’t care about the limits I set when I started.
“Some battles cannot be won and must never be fought.”
I despise moderation. It’s a lure away from safety and so elusive that it’s never captured. It’s social pressure from a partner whom I need to be supportive but isn’t.
I could not agree with this more, once i accepted that i just cant drink full stop it was very freeing…there are many problems with moderation but i just realised this the other day…i kept trying to moderate…eventually stopping and starting drinking…id stop for a couple of weeks then binge like id never stopped…problem is my tolerance had lowered and i kept ending up completely obliterated thinking i could drink like i had done before and the devastation id cause myself got even worse
Yeah and (while not naming names) she doesn’t understand that and pushes me to participate. It’s infuriating. She treats it like I’ve got a poor attitude towards booze or haven’t properly tried moderation. She claims to have a strategy that will work for me. It’s bs… I am abstaining for myself and for the strength of my household. I’ve carried this family on my back more often than not and booze is my Achilles heel. I‘ve been a doormat for years to this person and I’ve recently started standing up for myself. It’s invigorating. I won’t be under anyone’s control again. (Sorry this ended in a rant.)
I think people who can moderate and arent addicts aka ‘normies’ just dont understand how it works for us full stop, as adults i dont believe anyone has the right to control anyone, thats up to the individual themselves
Reading this made me cry & gave me so much hope ! I am the same I am not the person I am when I’m drinking I’m the complete opposite. I do wrong and make bad choices when I drink.
Reading this has made me realize I’m not alone and that there are people out there struggling like I am.
This makes my heart smile im glad that my post has had this effect on you, you are not alone there are many of us in the same boat but you can get better there is always hope my friend, sending love and hugs