I've shared about how I started drinking because of anxiety, mostly in the social form. But inside a parallel track was running toward living a vibrant life beyond its confines. I read Be Here Now when I was in 9th grade! But I think my anxiety stood in the way of me fully experiencing and connecting to life and others. I did not know how to naturally bring all the buzzing nervousness down enough so that I could have actually been there then. Now I know that alcohol is not a good tool for me; not the best way I can take the edges off.
But when I was younger, I did not try any other tools. I am not blaming my parents; they tried and encouraged me by suggesting I join this club or that one, and shuffling me to team sports practices; all good initiatives. But I did not believe these things would help me. I mostly feared the judgement that came along with being in a room with my peers rather than reaching for the potential benefits of the activity. I also had this "I'm too cool" thing going. I am beyond grateful to have lost that gene along the way, because sober line dancing in the desert sounds like a dream night out now. Oh and that social anxiety I thought I had to resolve and fix and knock out with drunkenness? It is not so intolerable anymore.
I guess part of getting sober is believing. Believing that what comes in when you shut the drinking out will be better, that you will not be friend-less and bored, that you will find other ways to cope and have fun and fill time and be ok. It takes a little belief that all the things people talk and write and post about actually work. Like movement and mindfulness and long hot showers and feeling the nod of self-appreciation when you look for a pen in your drawer when you need one, and actually find one, because you're on top of it! They do work, or at least some of them will work, for you.
The truth is, you don't know this yet. Where you are, there is so much uncertainty. But there's uncertainty anyway; really all that is certain in your life if you keep drinking is not working, otherwise you wouldn't have read all of this. I get it, you can at least count on your drinking cycle: you're going to get drunk and hungover again and feel and experience all that comes with that, however that looks for you. So, how is this predictability working out for you? Maybe it is not where it's at, not making your dreams come true? Maybe this cycle is not even letting you sleep long and deeply enough to have dreams. I believe there is another way for all of us if we want it. We just have to start. Start trying to believe.