I feel as if I am entering a new phase with my relationship with alcohol. In a sense, these past three (almost four) years have been about survival. The walls I put up had concertina wire surrounding the walls, protecting me and keeping the enemy out. You know the kind of wire I am talking about, barbed and razor sharp in large coils commonly used by the military and on prison grounds.
It is scary to all of a sudden be someone who you weren’t the day before; to wake up feeling lost and not sure what to do next. A major, life changing decision leaves vulnerability wide open and in order to survive, I needed to put up large, impenetrable boundaries.
One of the hardest parts of my journey has been navigating a society that glamorizes and normalizes the consumption of alcohol. It is part of almost every celebration and every gathering. No, I do not want to hear about the alcohol-based drink specials. I have yet to hear about a non-alcoholic drink special.
When it comes to alcohol, myself and many others have a broken off-switch and it is not something that is easily repaired. I found an identity in the sober-mom movement on social media and with blogs. I found stories that resembled mine and when I looked at their photos, I saw people who looked like me and lived a similar lifestyle in suburbia.
I now feel that I am at a bit of a crossroads. My military-grade walls have come down and my boundaries are now kept in place with wooden posts and barbed wire, similar to what is seen in the country. I still need some kind of barrier and I’m cool with barbed wire, having played around it when I was a kid on my grandparents farm.
I had a touch-base with my therapist last week and we talked about my relationship with alcohol. I think I just identify as a non-drinker now. Someone who just doesn’t drink alcohol. I’m not sure where the words “sober” and “sobriety” fit anymore and it is something that I need to think more about.