I’m still here and still sober! I haven’t written much lately, probably because I am much more used to my sober life. It is not such a big deal in my day to day now.
The last time I wrote, I was kind of reeling from a family visit. It kind of upset the balance in my world. I’m pretty sure most people feel that way, even if they are not newly sober. The difference for me now is I just worked through it instead of escaping into alcohol.
Aside from that, I made a HUGE breakthrough in the last month or so. Last year, I was diagnosed with Adult ADD (inattentive type, not hyperactive type, that’s why ADD rather than ADHD.) The reason I finally decided to quit drinking altogether was that I couldn’t really figure out if any medication was helpful when I was still drinking a bottle or more of wine every night. I couldn’t separate hangovers from side effects. I wasn’t even entirely sure I had ADD as I kept thinking alcohol was the only problem.
So I quit drinking, cleaned up my diet and stopped taking all sleep aids in an attempt to start from ground zero. Fast forward 7+ months and I was still feeling crummy. My motivation and moods were terrible, I needed caffeine in the afternoon to keep going and I felt pointless and depressed. I wasn’t tempted to start drinking again because I know where that leads. But I knew something had to change.
I started trying ADD medication again. After an initial period of working through side effects and finding the right dose, I am a much, much, much happier person. I feel like before I was always walking through mud, trudging along, forcing myself to engage in life. I lived for the relief of wine in the evening to boost my mood. Now I just feel happy and normal. WOW what a difference. I realize now that I was probably self medicating with alcohol to combat this problem for my entire adult life. I felt depressed and scattered so I drank every night to feel happier. Then I felt worse the next day and repeated the cycle again and again.
I have read that many, many people who struggle with alcohol also have ADD. They use alcohol in excess to try to feel better, to calm down their racing thoughts or cure their boredom. ADD is also often misdiagnosed as depression. There is a book about Adult ADD called “You Mean I’m not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?” That’s how I felt until now.
So that is the value sober bad days. Once I wasn’t drowning my feelings in alcohol, I was finally able to get to the root of the problem and find a solution. I feel like a new person.