First of all, let me start by saying that getting and staying sober has been, by far, the best decision that I’ve ever made. There is no doubt in my mind about that. But I’m also going to say something else that might not be what other people in recovery want to put out there, but what I have found in my experience to be completely true. Sometimes, sobriety sucks.
Before you freak out and think that I am about to fall off the wagon, hear me out. Yes, sobriety is awesome. It is awesome for me and for everyone around me and I couldn’t imagine being a good father or husband if I were still drinking. But it’s not all sunshine, butterflies and rainbows. While getting and staying sober was the best decision I’ve ever made, it has easily been the most challenging. One of the things that I truly loved about alcohol was that it gave me an escape from my problems, an escape from my incessant worrying, an escape from reality. It sucks because I still have a hard time talking to my wife about my alcoholism because I still do not know exactly how to convey my feelings sober. It sucks because I used to be really good at opening up when under the influence because I was in a different place, I was comfortable in my own skin and I had escaped to the comfort that I was so used to when I had been drinking. When I got sober, I didn’t miss the actual alcohol but I did miss the escape. And at nearly 1.5 years sober, sometimes I still do. And that sucks. You know what else sucks? When I hang out with my friends, and they have a couple of beers, loosen up a bit and then head home without doing anything crazy, out of control or self-destructive. I look at them and there’s a part of me that envies their ability to put down a drink, to enjoy alcohol responsibly without having it take over their lives. It makes me feel like I am just an out of control person who was not strong enough to just put the bottle down.
So maybe a lot of people don’t say it and maybe I’m the only one who feels it, I really don’t know, but I don’t mind saying it. Sometimes sobriety just sucks. But on the other hand, it only sucks when I view it that way. Because in every challenge, there is also an opportunity for growth. Yes, I no longer have the option of using a substance to escape my feelings or problems. But because of that, I have learned to actually deal with them instead, which for me can be much harder than it actually sounds. And yes, sometimes I get jealous of my friends that can drink normally. So yeah, sometimes sobriety sucks. But you know what? Sometimes life just sucks, that is just how it is.