we use all sort of feelings as incentives when we try to moderate our drinking. none of them are usually very positive ones. shame, fear, regret, and pain, like a coil of barbed wire which traps us closer and cuts us deeper the harder we struggle.
then when we cut ourselves free of the struggle to moderate and lie exhausted and bleeding, trying to pick ourselves up and carry on, we are so weakened by those negative feelings that we turn our backs on them, looking for hope and joy in their stead.
but as we find so often in these situations, if you turn a negative feeling around and look at it from another direction, there can be a positive side to it, too. in particular, to the feeling of boredom. I wrote this recently to a lovely sober penpal:
“as I may have told you I had decided to stop drinking when we got back from a holiday, and I remember standing in front of the fridge on that holiday, pouring/sneaking yet another drink – “how much of that is left? if I open the white wine I will finish it tonight and we will have to buy more tomorrow, and that was supposed to last us another day, so shall I have some of the spirit in a mixer?” ugh ugh ugh…. not happy. not fun. not any of the things we tell ourselves it is. just a fucking DRUG.”
that memory of me standing in front of the fridge was one of the things that spurred me on through the early days of sobriety. because I was so BORED of that feeling. had enough of feeling that way. wanted a new thing. and the intensity of that boredom gave wings to my feet and power to my backbone. it fired me up when I felt weakest and reminded me why I was doing it when I/Wolfie wondered whether it was all worth it.
so, if you are bored of the life you are, or were leading – if you are bored of a cycle of Day 1s and relapses – if you are so bored of it that it makes your teeth ache – use that energy. let it take you somewhere new.
it’s time. off we go. all of us together.
51 days to one year.