“How did you feel after giving up alcohol?”

At first, it felt like nothing. I gave up alcohol one night and I didn’t really think too much about it until the morning after.

You see, I would drink at least 2L of wine before I got out of bed on a morning. It helped me start my day without all the pain and anger I was hiding away from, and having to get out of bed without a drink that morning was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life.

It made me realise that, for whatever reason, alcohol had become a crutch I needed to limp through my life on a daily basis. It made me realise that I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was and couldn’t actually deal with all the things I thought I could.

Getting through my day was another eye-opener. Not having any alcohol to fall back on when I was stressed, or tired, or angry, or upset, made me feel really vulnerable. It made me realise that I had all these emotions I couldn’t deal with and I had to start learning how to deal with them because now there was no more alcohol to numb it all.

I did feel (and still do feel) a lot of things on my journey but I think the feelings of vulnerability and the self-awareness it brought to me were the two main things I had to deal with. This is because they pushed me to create a supportive structure, to find help and get it when I needed it, to develop the skills to cope. It also helped me identify other things I was using as an emotional crutch in order not to deal with negative emotions.

All in all, it was super hard giving up alcohol. It’s really not something you ever get over. There’s really no such thing as an ex-alcoholic, but with all the difficulties, I can say it’s been well worth it.

Alcohol not only drowned out the bad, it blocked out the good also. It stopped me from feeling and experiencing the love and the joy around me in a bid to protect me from feeling pain and anger and all those things.

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