Experiencing Grief – from the loss of drinking?

So, the past few days have been tough, and I’m not really sure why…  I just don’t feel that ‘spark’ that I used to have, I feel disconnected, short tempered, just not excited.  It kind of feels like depression, I think.  But I don’t feel like it’s a strong urge to drink that is driving this, it just feels different.

I happened to catch part of a show where they were talking about the 7 stages of grief, and directly mentioned moving from Anger to Depression…

My ears perked up a bit.  So, just for fun, I looked up the 7 stages of grief, and it was an interesting way to look at my life since I ‘lost’ alcohol in my life.

Is it possible that a person could experience these stages when losing something like alcohol?  I guess in a way, alcohol had become very close to me.  A confidant, a friend, something I cared about.

Just so you don’t have to go look them up, here they are for your reference:

  1. Shock and Denial
  2. Pain and Guilt
  3. Anger and Bargaining
  4. “Depression’, Reflection, Loneliness
  5. The upward turn
  6. Reconstruction and Working Through
  7. Acceptance and Hope

So, I thought, maybe this is what’s happening, maybe I am at stage 4…  I looked through my journey in sobriety so far and related them to the stages

Shock and Denial – I can’t say I was shocked, as this monkey had been on my back for years, but was I in denial… for sure!  I couldn’t believe that I was walking into AA meetings and trying to fathom a life without drinking.  I wasn’t like all those ‘drunks’, sure I had some problems, but I was not an alcoholic.  That was, until I started hearing my story, over and over… and over…

Pain and Guilt – I’m not sure if I’d call this a ‘stage’ or not, but it’s definitely been there.  The one tough thing about sobering up is, that as the blurriness goes away, the damage that you have done become painfully apparent.  It’s impossible to not feel guilty.  My selfishness has hurt my family, my friends, those around me…  and it was my fault, and I take responsibility (guilt) for that

Anger and Bargaining – Anger is the key here.  I had a time was I was adamantly angry at everything. I didn’t necessarily have a compulsion to drink… but I hated that I couldn’t… and it pissed me off.  It’s a horrible way to look at my situation, that I was so angry that I couldn’t go back to this harmful lifestyle.  I should be grateful, not angry.

Depression, Reflection, Loneliness – well, here I am…  And as I read through this, it was so true.  I was just thinking the other day that I feel like I don’t have any friends, nobody that respects me, and am really lonely.  And the worst part is to feel so lonely around so many people, essentially ‘Alone in a Crowd’ (look for a whole post on this coming soon).

So maybe I’m just moving through the stages, who knows…

But do know this, I am super blessed to be where I’m at right now, and each day away from where I used to be, gets me closer to where I’m going

And, I’m looking forward to the next stage… ‘The Upward Turn’!

-M

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One Comment Add yours

  1. AuntieLex says:

    Love this.. it’s super relevant to recovery.. great post!

    Like

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