Anxious Moments

So just how stressful can it be? It’s only a barbeque right?

I’ve been sober now for some six months; hooray! But still I haven’t completely overcome the anxiety problem.

I had been drinking for so long that sometimes, in more lucid moments, if I tried to cast my mind back to when I last went to bed sober I couldn’t actually put my finger on a day.

Drinking became so ingrained in me that I just couldn’t be me without a drink. It was like a lifelong companion from whom I couldn’t bear to be parted. Even the thought of taking a social situation without a drink sent me into a panic.

I think I’ve nearly beaten it now though; I’ve done an anxiety management course which went well, I’ve started walking again which really helps on bad days and writing this blog has been a tonic too but every now and then I hit a situation that brings it on again.

The advice on the course is right. Each time I confront a situation that I find stressful it becomes easier. First it was the weekly quiz night at the hostel where I am living, then it was the support groups but last night was another milestone in my learning to do things without drink and I am pleased to report that you can have a barbeque without beer!

For me, anxiety and alcohol go hand in hand. I used to drink to beat the anxiety and the alcohol just made the anxiety worst. Early morning panic attacks were a daily event and attending a social function such as a barbecue would have meant making sure that I was sufficiently fuelled on alcohol before I went and keeping the levels high throughout the event.

But last night, though I did find I difficult at first, I managed my first ever sober barbecue.

No alcohol and only a limited amount of anxiety. OK, so I wasn’t the life and sole of the party but then again nor did I make a complete tot of myself either.

So there we all were; recovering alcoholics and addicts, stood around eating our greasy burgers and hot dogs and not a glass of booze in sight.

There is no doubt in my mind that anxiety is a big problem when giving up drinking. Learning again to complete tasks dry that you have always previously associated with drinking is a challenge but not impossible.

As they say, it’s one day at a time and one new experience at a time.

Chalk another one up to the Sober Artois52!