I wanted to name this blog “Reluctantly Sober”, but deferred because it was too negative. However, this blog post is more negative than my previous posts on sobriety. In my prior posts about sobriety, I was quite excited. I was on a year-long challenge and crushed it. I came out of that challenge with more control over my alcohol use. I nearly drank and knew my limits. I was happy.
So what’s the issue? The issue is that I have to be sober again… but not on my own terms. Theoretically any decision is on my own terms, but I felt I was given no choice. Like many people over 30, I have acid reflux. However, over time, sustained acid reflux can cause many issues like bleeding and pain. Without getting into too many details, alcohol makes those symptoms worse. I can’t afford to risk my life, so the alcohol has to go; along with extra spicy foods and other things that aggregate acid reflux.
The weird thing is that I’m upset and frustrated to choose sobriety this time. I enjoyed that I could drink sparingly and appear “normal” during gatherings. I enjoyed that I could continue my road to being a beer master and was so proud to become a Certified Cicerone. As much as the yearly challenge helped me to experience the benefits of not drinking and understand the negatives of drinking, I didn’t fully take that time to mourn losing a sense of normalcy. In my subconscious, I knew my sobriety was going to be temporary. It’s currently challenging to grapple with the totality of it. My stomach issues aren’t going to get better if I don’t make and keep drastic changes.
I think I’m most frustrated with the notion that I had “control” over my alcohol use. The notion of “total control” of a substance is a farce anyway, but I wanted to believe it to be “normal” and keep my lifestyle. Now, having to fully confront sobriety head on without a challenge, I’m acknowledging how difficult it is to fully let go of any habit that is normalized.
Although I’m embarrassed to share my frustrations, I felt I needed to write this post because the decision to abstain is not always gum drops and bunnies. It’s hard to break habits and go against the grain. They talked about these difficulties during the challenge. However, the real work occurs after class and in the real world. If any of this resonates with you, please comment and share. Although I’m frustrated, I believe I can embrace sobriety without looking back.