Sunday, January 16, 2011

Release and Relief

***Submitted by Lisa

I woke up at 2 a.m with a sour taste in my mouth a sick rising feeling in my throat. My stomach felt unsettled and my body ached. I sat up slowly in an attempt to control the nausea that had awakened me. I sat in the kitchen and sipped a cool glass of water and chewed on some antacid. I thought about taking some ibuprofen but didn’t think my stomach could handle it. I returned to bed and eventually fell back into an uneasy sleep.

When the alarm went off my head throbbed. The memory of feeling this way on a regular basis was so vivid I didn’t even question why I felt the way I did. I pushed through the morning routine but felt myself flagging. My husband, who knew I was feeling poorly, commented that I had probably caught the stomach bug that was going around and suggested I go back to bed and all of sudden I had a moment of clarity. I was legitimately sick. I could return to bed without guilt and accept that my husband would get the kids off on time. I called my office without guilt and left a message that I was sick and would not be in. As lousy as I felt my mind was at ease.

This sickness was not caused by alcohol. I stopped drinking almost seven months ago. I know longer had to push through morning queasiness and a thick head with gritted teeth . There was no reason to hide my symptoms from my husband or brush my teeth four times in the hope of washing away the sour taste of last nights chardonnay from my breath.

I had spent my years of drinking so tightly wound, so invested in promoting my image of complete control that I still forget sometimes that I know longer have to keep up that front.

Stopping drinking for me was a relief a huge relief. I won’t say it was easy to do or easy to continue to do but I have these moments where I realize I know longer have to pretend. I no longer eye the wine bottle on the table and time my grab at it. I no longer have to concentrate on controlling my mouth, thick with the effects of alcohol, in an attempt to control the slight slur the begins as a drain my third glass.

When I don’t feel good I can take care of myself I can give myself a break. Life is not perfect but the misery is gone. I don’tneed to prove anything to anyone.. I just need to take care of myself, to continue to remain sober.


  1. It really is a huge relief... I've told many people, being on this side is in a way so much easier. In some ways not, but in some ways, definitely.
    Take care :)

  2. Isn't it interesting, how we continue to have to change our mindsets, especially about ourselves, our shame.

    PS- The stomach bug is horrible....hope it passed quickly!!

  3. I've been thinking about this too - knowing that you're actually sick, not hungover, or not hungover and sick is one of the many benefits of sobriety. Before, I lived like a sick person, because every day was a struggle. Now, at least the struggles come and go.