I have often been guilty of, and still am really, of ‘if only’ or wishful thinking.
You know, the if only I was thinner/prettier/smarter/richer then I would be happier/less stressed and things would be easier/better. Such a dangerous game to play and it isn’t really living in the moment but wishing away time. Deadly.
And being able to manage my drinking/being sober fitted this way of thinking too. I believed that when I stopped drinking that everything else that wasn’t quite how I wanted it to be would miraculously improve. Now don’t get me wrong many of those things have happened as a by-product of stopping – I’ve lost 7lbs, my face is less ravaged by booze fugliness when I look in the mirror in the morning and I have more money in my pocket. But initially I wasn’t less happy or stressed and things felt harder and worse not the opposite. But the pain in the early days is worth the pay-offs in the longer term.
I guess my point is just don’t expect miracles. I am less moody and generally easier to be around, now that I’m not permanently hungover, but if you had relationships that you struggled with this change in you will not necessarily improve things with them in the short term.
It makes me think of Tuckman’s stages of group development: ‘forming, norming, storming, performing.’ This change is like any other and when you stop drinking it changes the dynamic with others that you relate to, and with, so these stages come into play. I think at almost 7 months I’ve done the forming new ways of relating and it has become more normal but now we’ve hit the storming phase. But as always I suspect, this too shall pass.
I’ll revisit this post in a few months time and see if we’ve got over this bump in the road. Those of you further ahead than me in the journey – what is your experience as I’d love to have some re-assurance? 🙂