I experience internal conflict when I state that quitting alcohol was the easy part. There is nothing easy about putting down the bottle and getting sober. It is the journey that awaits you that is also very difficult; in fact, I found it a lot more difficult. I believe it is that way because we are now going forward in life sober and not numbed out to the world around us! I wish someone would have given me a heads up about this because it was a rude awakening that I did not find inviting when I started to make this connection.
There are two things that I found most difficult about my journey out. Before I go on however, I want to say that, apart from the struggle, this journey is the most real and rewarding experience I have ever had in my life! I really do feel graced for being bulldozed over by alcoholism. The set up to my alcoholism was cast in my childhood and if not for the struggle to live that alcoholism puts you in, I would not be on the path that I am today.
So, the first difficulty was my disappointment in discovering/realizing that everything wouldn’t just snap back together once I quit drinking. Or, maybe more pointedly, I wasn’t accepting of the fact that it takes time. Like months and, dare I say “years” – as opposed to the minutes, hours and days that we seem most willing to give it at first. I even tried to create an artificial reality of time and it didn’t work out well. Time takes time!
The second most difficult thing that I have found on this journey is the “maturity thing”. It has been a difficult pill to swallow. Heck, I’m in my late 40’s….I’m mature! Physically…”yes”, emotionally…”no”! The great news is that we have something to work on the rest of our lives. I found that once you reach this conscious state, improvements happen quickly.
For me, putting the bottle down placed me at the starting line of an amazing journey. I just didn’t realize it at first. OK, I didn’t realize it for a good year! As I had mentioned in my Three Year post, this is a transcendent journey. It is an opportunity to rid your “false self” and discover your “true” authentic self. If alcoholism gives you any kind of gift, this would be it. I feel more human and connected every day.