Some days I struggle with the “what ifs.” What if I could have just a few drinks with my friends. What if I could use alcohol to unwind after a long week and what if I could experience the carefree, bliss of being drunk, just one more time? My mind wanders into a realm, a dream-like fantasy where I can picture myself letting loose with the rest of society. I scroll through Instagram. Everyone is enjoying a glass of wine while watching TV or laying by the pool with a White Claw. These weird emotions continue to stir in my restless mind. I nostalgically reminisce on the days that alcohol brought me joy and ease. I remember the anticipation, the excitement that alcohol brought to my impatient mind. I scroll through pictures of my friends at bachelorette parties and I long to fit in. I yearn for those moments of inhibited fun while bonding with my girlfriends. Why can everyone else moderately drink and I can’t? Why does drinking pose such a threat to my well-being? Why does alcohol enhance the lives of everyone on social media, yet I’m stuck here sipping a Red Bull, hoping it’ll give me a little boost? It’s okay to experience these feelings, even with years of sobriety. It’s a reality that I face daily. I choose this reality over the reality of jail after a reckless night of drunk driving.
When my mind embarks on this negative tailspin it takes me into the depths of rosy retrospection. I’m only remembering the highs while completely forgetting the lows. Some days, I desperately desire this altered state of bliss because I’m constantly exposed to these stimuli, aka social media. It’s like scrolling through a delicious menu then walking right out of the restaurant. It makes you hungry and it stirs up a slew of unwanted emotions. It’s pure turmoil that leaves me in a funk.
Instead of focusing on what I “can’t do” I focus on the things that I have, which are a direct result of not drinking. I wouldn’t have half the things I have today with alcohol still occupying my headspace. It forces me to think about life and the meaning of being “present.” Why is it so difficult to just “be?” Why do we rely on alcohol to relinquish a negative mood? Why do we require alcohol to free us from life’s stressors? At the end of the day aren’t I the one that’s winning? Then why does it feel like I’m losing, like I’m missing out on all the fun?
Living my life constantly looking forward to the next night out drinking is not living. It’s a thirst and a passion for a temporary state of mind. Sobriety is a permanent, immediate solution to the restless, impatient mind. It teaches you how to cope, excel and thrive in this world full of triggers. Alcohol is the easy way out of escaping pressure. It taunts us, and promises good times while quietly destroying the minds of innocent victims by halting their mental growth and their ability to be present 100% of the time.