Does Sobriety make you anxious?

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A nice calming sunflower to ease that anxiety!

At the time of writing this I am close to hitting the 6 months celebration point of being booze free. No alcohol for 6 months is as much of a surprise for me as it may be for you! I really do amaze myself, and I do feel proud. However I must say, it is making me very feel very anxious.

I feel anxiety because I wonder will I ever be able to drink again? Will I fall back into a negative pattern, a downward spiral, a blubbering, slurring, promiscuous mess if I go back to drinking? Will I get back to drinking every night? It really makes me feel very nervous.

I wonder if I can return to moderation, and drink only occasionally, or for special events? Do I need a new set of rules? I have been on and off alcohol before and I was a fairly moderate drinking before a heavy 3 year solid binge of enduring grief and personal challenges inspired booze smashing sessions.

I lost all my immediate family to Cancer in a four year period. My sister died from breast cancer at the young age of 47, and both my parents died within 2 years of each other from lung cancer. Life really sucked for awhile there, so I drank to forget, and to temporarily avoid my reality, because it was incomprehensible. How could I live without my loved ones?

Well I managed eventually. I decided one day after looking at myself long and hard in the mirror, I really hated what I saw. I was miserable, overweight, depressed, I really looked like shit, I needed to make serious changes.

Giving up drinking was my first big step in the right direction towards becoming a new improved version of myself, and one I now love very much.

I have managed to stay off all alcohol now because I have been very strict with myself. I have written about it diligently in my blog, and have managed to resist its tempting lure all around the world as I travelled. I know I am so much better without drinking, as for me the lifestyle benefits without alcohol, are significantly better than getting drunk every night.

Since I have given up drinking I have been writing intensely. I realise I love writing and I want to publish books. I have multiple waves of inspiration flowing through my bright clear mind, and I have been taking motivated and inspired action to make my dreams a reality. What could be better?

I know I am much better off without drinking, but the thought of never drinking again is also overwhelming and stress provoking. A champagne-less wedding? No thirst quenching cold apple cider after a hot day? No wine sampling at beautiful wineries? No more mojitos with fresh mint? Ever again? Now that is overwhelming.

How have you tackled returning to alcohol after a long break? Or have you decided never going back to drinking is really the best choice for you?

I would really love your feedback as I am struggling and undecided about my resolution to avoid, give up, or simply take a temporary break from drinking.

I know my stance on drinking is ultimately up to me, but I would love to hear what your experience is and how you have overcome this challenge.

Thanks,
Anita

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24 thoughts on “Does Sobriety make you anxious?

  1. Well done on 6 months, that’s fantastic! I’m yet to make it beyond 60 days booze-free. I’m on day 25 of my latest attempt. I’ve never been what could be called a moderate drinker and have drunk fairly heavily and frequently for most of my adult life. I agree, the idea of NEVER drinking again is damn scary. I imagine myself being able to decide better if I could manage a year of sobriety though I think in my heart I suspect it’s going to be an all or nothing thing for me in the longer term.
    Sam 🙂

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  2. Thanks for your comment Sam. All or nothing is sometimes the only way. For me I think moderation would be okay for a monday or a tuesday then by friday it would be a blow out again to 10 to 15 drinks! And it would just be a repeated cycle. Lucky there are lots of other nice non alcoholic drinks to drink. Thats what I like. And tea, love tea. And coffee too. haha! Stupid isn’t it? But wow, life really is so much better without alcohol. I hope you can keep going without drinking too. Try reading some of my other articles for inspiration! 🙂 Stay in touch xx

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  3. I’ve always been able to drink in moderation but I’m not surprised you struggled so much after so much personal tragedy. I recently lost my father to cancer and it has really affected me. I can’t imagine that pain magnified as it has been in your case. As far as your future direction goes, maybe setting some rules and boundaries around drinking will help when you finally do wade back in (if that’s what you decide to do). Much easier said than done though…

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  4. Thanks Kirsty. Yes who knows? For now, I will remain off it. It helps me in so many more ways than drinking ever could. Both my parents were drinkers too, as was my sister. Who knows, alcohol is a funny thing. But the more I dont drink, the less inclined I am to want to go back to my debaucherous ways! I really dont feel like I am missing out on much there! We will see… thanks for commenting! 🙂

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  5. I love your honesty. I am new to this blog idea but I find the only way I can continue is to write about my life with alcohol and other substances as well as read others experiences and thoughts. I just started my blog and haven’t posted much yet because no one knows the truth and I am doing this with nothing but honesty! At one point I was at 4-5 liters of liquor a day and shots during the night to prevent seizures. I moved onto another substance and stopped drinking. Now I am about to have 7 months off the substance but I have to be honest I do have a drink once in a while. I keep a bottle of wine in my fridge and it may last a month or maybe a week. I don’t know if I am setting myself up or testing myself. Either way I am ok with it being there. I understand that anxious feeling you are talking about when thinking you can possibly never drink again. That’s how I felt when I was 17 told I could never drink again that I was an alcoholic. I don’t want people to follow my ways cause I could be messing up. I don’t know yet.

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  6. Thanks for responding. I am not sure what to say! For me its all or nothing, I dont want to even have any alcohol in the house, not that I am tempted anymore, I just dont want it around me! Good luck with your blog writing, just keep writing and posting and you will get better.

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  7. Hey congrats on 6 months!!! That’s quite an accomplishment! I am nearing 6 months. I wAs a bottle of wine a night drinker, everyday for 6 years. For me, I was anxious during that time, so I drank!! Now, I’m still anxious. It’s annoying. I’ve always had anxiety issues. I kinda feel since I stopped, I’ve been more controlling. I try to relax and do the things I love. I even force myself to let the dishes sit there in the sink or do things out of my comfort zone to remind myself that it’s okay to not always be in control. I hope this makes a lil sense. I don’t want to drink ever again cuz I know I can’t moderate. The thought isn’t scary or daunting to me. What scares me is the thought that I will. You’re doing great and I hope and will have faith that we will learn how to cope with anxiety. Congrats again!!

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  8. Thanks so much for your lengthy reply! yes anxiety comes and goes… I am 2 weeks away from 6 months so that is pretty cool! I feel so much better for it so thats the important thing right? Good luck on your journey too! 🙂 xx

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  9. Have you read “Kick the Drink Easily” by Jason Vale? That book worked like a reverse brainwashing on me…meaning, it helped me see how I’d been brainwashed my whole life to drink.

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  10. I think you should focus on the positives and not the negatives. it is up to you to set boundaries around your choices. I guess knowing that it was such a problem in the past will help you decide how to manage drinking in the future. Thank you for sharing such an honest account. Bron

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  11. Hi there. I’m coming up on seven months of sobriety. I drank heavily for eight years, nearly destroyed my family, came close to losing my job, and…well, that’s it, but it was enough for me to check myself into rehab. I think about drinking every day, but I don’t feel the crazy drive to down a bottle or two of wine. Will I ever drink again? I hope to God not because I’m not strong enough to regulate it. As cliche as it sounds, I focus on getting my sober head on the pillow one day and night at a time. I can’t think about the future and alcohol too much without squirming inside. I’m sober now, and that’s enough.

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  12. Well done on 6 months without alcohol. You have seen the benefits to your mind and body of being ‘clean’. Alcohol is a toxin which the body does its best to remove from your body as quickly as possible so please listen to your wise body and respect its needs. Addiction takes many forms, all of them ultimately harmful to the body (and mind) – we all self-medicate with something. Mine was food. I guess we have to just learn to make that mental switch to ‘My body is a temple and I will not put harmful things into it’. One day you will have the mental strength to dismiss any ‘psychological’ need for alcohol. In social settings there are many alcohol-free options that will leave your mind clear and your body grateful and taste absolutely delicious. The only ‘fix’ you will need will be a life well lived. xx

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  13. I spent many years drinking heavily, growing up in a multi-generational social group that always included alcohol in practically all events and gatherings. One day, after imbibing shots with a friend, I fell and hit my head. It scared me. From that day forward, I resolved to make my limit – no hangover. I suddenly developed a little voice in my mind that would say “that’s enough”. I still have that voice, I always listen to it and I am much happier this way. I find when we suggest such a goal to ourselves, it usually works.

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  14. Goodness me. You poor thing. I can completely see why you started to drink too much. Well done on staying off alcohol for this long and ESPECIALLY on a tour around the world. That’s some impressive stuff.

    I am so all or nothing (in everything in life actually). I either drink nothing or too much. And every time (well just about) I drink, I regret it. I get a hangover from two glasses of red wine and then battle to sleep (and usually say some embarrassingly stupid stuff). Of course I always go over two glasses because wine just lures you (me) in every time. What I don’t understand is how every time I drink I forget these points, and then hate myself for it the next day :/

    I’ve gone without alcohol for patches of months to over a year. I was totally alcohol free until I had a baby with severe reflux and totally fell apart from the strain last year. I started having a glass of wine here and there to calm my nerves at family lunches and now I’m back to my old antics. I don’t drink ’til I drop, but I do cause myself unnecessary hangovers and messed up sleep while at the SAME time having to get up for a baby, which is just painful.

    My life is also better without alcohol, but the thought of never having it again also upsets me. Like you mention – wine tasting and other social events. A cold beer on a hot summer afternoon. Life without these things seems unfair. The problem with me is that I’m bad with moderation and bend rules if I’ve had that one drink. Therefore I need to be extreme, as in no alcohol. I just keep putting this thought away though.

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  15. Yes it certainly is. Always good to take a break from drinking, reset and see how you can live life perfectly well without it! Glad I am offering you inspiration… plenty of articles here! X Enjoy!

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