***Submitted by Kristin, who is a regular contributor to Crying Out Now
Since quitting drinking I have been very fortunate.
I have been lucky that I haven't desperately wanted a drink. I feel spoiled just saying that.
But a lot of that is because every time I even see alcohol I can taste my last hangover in the back of my throat. Still makes me want to vomit. It's something of a powerful deterrent for the time being.
Unfortunately, quitting drinking hasn't been as easy as just not having a drink. I'm doing well with that part. But not having an escape from my feelings? Well, I've got feelings busting out all over.
And my husband bears the brunt of it.
The littlest things set me off now. Simple statements pierce my heart. And there's nothing to do but feel these emotions. There's nowhere to hide anymore.
I used to reach for a bottle when I was nervous or frustrated or angry. And it dulled things. I didn't feel so crazy anymore. Because I can be very, very sensitive and dramatic. I hate that about myself. Alcohol stopped me from feeling like I was coming off nuts. If I did come off nuts? Well, hell, I was drunk! Of course I came off nuts!
So, it was a win-win for me.
Except for the fact that I didn't really know if I'd acted crazy or not because I was too drunk to remember. Whatever, we all know about my forgetting. That's not the point here.
The point is, when Ellie called alcohol a numbing agent, I laughed it off a bit. I was sure I didn't use it to get numb so much as I used it to relax.
Because the littlest things cut me so much deeper now, like shards of glass slipping under my skin. When work is hard or my husband is cranky, I don't have alcohol's waiting arms to run into. I have to stand and face the problem. Or wait it out patiently.
Patient has never been my strong suit.
It's not entirely easy. It's harder to face these issues than it is to not have a drink. The issues are what makes me want the glass of booze. The bottom of a bottle is a good place to hide, I guess.
So, it's hard.
But here's the thing: it's a lot easier to wake up and not be hungover. It's a lot easier to remember what last night's fight was about and to address it with a clear head rather than sweeping it under the rug because you don't want anyone to know you don't remember what you said.
So, as hard as it is, it's easier too.
Plus, I'm losing weight since I'm not consuming all that booze.
So, it's win-win in a new way.