Without Booze Who Am I?

I have always considered myself to be an honest person. I abhor liars. But the further I travel down the sober path, I realize that I have lied constantly – daily – for decades – to the person closest to me: myself. I have no idea who I am. That is the truth. I have shape shifted for so long. I am the ultimate chameleon. Alcohol and all the stories and identities I created with it not only allowed, but demanded this rigorous dishonesty. Without it, I would have had to deal with the truth of the situation long ago. That truth was the knowledge deep within my soul that alcohol had absolutely no place in my life and never, ever, in a million, billion years should have been allowed in. My drinking habit was the ultimate dishonesty to my soul.

I knew from the very first drink – even before – that I was playing with fire. I witnessed the wreckage in my family all over the place. Helplessly I watched my handsome, intelligent, personable dad destroy his entire life because he could not put the drink down. He is now essentially skid row with wet-brain syndrome. Beyond sad. Words cannot even begin to express how deeply this hurts. My family of origin was decimated because of alcohol. There were many other up close examples of the despair alcohol could deliver in my family. I had first hand, painful, inside information that this stuff was not to be played with. Even my physical body violently rejected the stuff via vomiting every single time I ingested the stuff for the first several years of my drinking career. I ignored every warning signal whether it was physical, emotional, or spiritual and forged ahead anyway. I told myself all kinds of lies so that I could continue this soul-killing, destructive habit.

And throughout my entire life I have become whoever you needed me to be as long as I could continue to check out with abandon… Super employee? No problem. Church pastor? Done. Party girl who never wants the night to end? Got it covered. Overachieving degree accumulator? Got it. Pot smoking hippie? Pass the bong. Long distance runner? Lets do some hill repeats. Potty mouth gossiper? Fuck yeah. The problem is that I am 46 years old and I have no idea who I honestly am. Take away the alcohol and all of these personas no longer fit… Because they were all created out of dishonesty.

Without alcohol here are some observations: I really do not enjoy parties with tons of people. I tend to hide. I can do an hour, maybe two and then I am done. No authentic conversation happens at big gatherings as far as I can tell. It is all surface stuff and small talk. I am not good at that. I hate running – it stresses me out and hurts my hips and knees. My dog and I prefer a long, ambling walk. Pot makes me paranoid. Gossiping makes me sad. Swearing makes me uncreative. Killing myself for work accolades makes no sense – I want to know my family at the end of the day. I don’t want to give my very best to other people’s kids and come home to my own completely depleted.

Getting sober for me, has been like taking a truth serum. The old stories and identities no longer hold up. Who is this woman? What does she dream of doing with her life? What was she created to contribute to the world? I have spent so much time numbing out, checking out, and being who I thought you wanted me to be – it is going to take some time to get to know her and figure this all out. Seems like a daunting task and I feel foolish for denying the truth of whoever I am, hiding her in a bucket of wine. Frankly, it is embarrassing to be at this stage of life and have so little idea of who I actually am. Sad really, but worth the work to live the life I was meant to live and be the woman I actually am. I am grieving time lost. Honestly, this honesty thing is a bitch…

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Published by: shineshine100

I am a 47 year old woman who is trying to live her best one and only life by putting down the wine glass and moving forward. I am a wife. I am a mom of three teens. I am a teacher. When not wasting time sipping poison I love to hike, bike, read, ski, cook, and do yoga.

Categories Uncategorized7 Comments

7 thoughts on “Without Booze Who Am I?”

  1. It’s not time lost. It was all learning experience. And now you have a chance to live.

    It’s exciting to be able to find out who you are. What you like. To no longer put others expectations ahead of yours. It’s liberating and freeing.

    Onward and upward! 😊

  2. OMG! I feel the same way. Here I am, almost 40, and now that I am sober, I am just discovering myself?! I have no idea who I am either. I was always in some sort of hungover state or buzzed/drunk. My mind was never free enough to think clearly. It makes me sort of sad too. Did I seriously waste over 20 years drinking?! What was my deal? I am such a perfectionist and I totally blew it! I could have been so much more present in my kids’ lives for all of these years. Instead, I was half the person I could’ve been. I am going to try to not dwell on the past though, and look to the future. At least we finally figured it out and stopped the madness! Right? PS…I am totally an introvert too. People would never agree with me, as I was always the life of the party and seemed so outgoing. In reality, it was the alcohol portraying me as an extrovert. It was never really me.

    1. It feels so great to read these “me too” comments when they come my way – it reminds me that I am not alone in the way I am feeling or on this sober journey. Thanks for your thoughts here – I really appreciate your words…

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