I’m not talking about the comfort you find in a big pile of down pillows or a fluffy duvet or being pampered to in a spa or a nice hotel. I’m talking about how so many-me included-tend to find and get comfortable in uncomfortable situations. An example of this is an abused woman. She knows that every day at 9:00 p.m. her SO is going to come home, drunk and abusive-verbally, physically, maybe sexually. And this goes on, for possibly years. Why? Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Possibly mentally and physically damaging. And yet, she stays.. Why? Well, after all, there’s a nice home in a good neighborhood. Maybe some standing in the community. He gives her nice “make-up” gifts. It’s not really THAT bad, is it? It all kind of blurs as the following day goes on. She knows that she should leave. If she has anyone that she feels safe enough to confide in, they’re telling her that she should leave.
But she doesn’t. Why?? Well, there’s a false sense of comfort and security in the known. In this case, the known being that every night at 9:00 p.m., her SO will come in and abuse her. As bad as the cycle is, it’s familiar. So, in a sense, it becomes “comfortable”.
While she knows she should leave, she’s scared. Rationally, and she goes over this countless times day after day, she knows that there’s a better life for her. Yes, she might have to give up some things-maybe her home, her things, and in some cases even her identity and that’s scary. The unknown is scary. No matter how many people tell her she can have a better life. Maybe she doesn’t feel deserving of a better life. So she becomes “comfortable” in her discomfort. Beaten down a little more every day.
Now I’m using the analogy of an abused woman-but the cycle is the same for any kind of abuse. Like alcohol abuse. That cycle. Wanting to quit and get out of the situation. Not being able to. Convincing ourselves the next morning that things will be different. Or pushing all of the mental self abuse we subjected ourselves to in the night and into the next day back down where it won’t be prominant in our thoughts. Getting “busy” with work and other things so that we can forget all of that as the day goes on. And then, “Oh Shit!” it’s 8:00 the wine bottle is empty and you’ve just remembered that you weren’t going to drink today! You were totally “unconscious” of that promise to yourself when you went in and grabbed that bottle of wine from one of the several places on your rotation schedule of where you procure your poison from-several because, God forbid! anyone think you buy wine on a daily basis! “Oh Well! I can start again tomorrow.” Eventually to bed, and of course the self abuse starts up again, slowly the night passes. A new day begins. With the same intentions and promises. And the cycle continues. Day in and day out. Why??? Because, I’m afraid to quit. No one will like me. There’s a party coming up. I’m going on vacation. Everyone will notice.. I can’t imagine my life without it! Maybe I’m not deserving of a better life. And so, we become comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. Which in turn, becomes normal. It becomes normal to spend almost all of our waking hours thinking about drinking, doing the actual drinking or regretting drinking or trying to get over drinking too much. What a fucking waste of time! I spent YEARS living like that. Most of my adult life. I’m not here to cry over wasted time and to be honest, I had some pretty good times that involved alcohol..Of course I also have a lot of things I prefer not to mention and try to forget. Things that still, after years, make me cringe.
If anyone is reading this that is questioning life without alcohol. I can tell you, it’s so much better. Shit still hits the fan. Things still upset me. And to be honest, sometimes I feel a bit of a void without “a drink first”. But that only lasts a minute. I’ve found a way to take myself through, mentally, what a night of drinking would be like-ALL of it-from that first buzz, to me ranting and raving (which I used to think was cute and SOOO sophisticated) to getting sloppy, waking up in the night beating myself up, living in fear of what I was doing to my body to feeling like shit the next morning. Oh, and guilty. And so, I don’t. I have never once regretted not drinking. I know this is all repetitive of what so many-me included-have said over and over in these blogs. If someone asked me the biggest thing I’ve gained from not drinking, I would say freedom. Freedom from the whole self defeating cycle. Freedom from all of the mental bullshit that comes with alcohol abuse. I find myself wondering if there’s been any studies done on how the whole mental stuff that goes with alcohol abuse actually exaerbates the physical effects of alcohol on our bodies. I will say that YOU DESERVE A BETTER LIFE!
In so many ways, I was that abused woman. The abuser was me. I was using alcohol to beat myself up with. To keep myself down. I didn’t feel deserving.
And, now?? Now, well- I realize that I don’t have to subject myself-for the most part- to uncomfortable situations or things/people that don’t serve my best interest. The longer I go without drinking, the clearer I am in this. Now, I’m just about that pile of pillows and that fluffy duvet! (the spa thing sounds good too:)