By Kelly Fitzgerald
One of the first quotes I heard in early sobriety was, "Sobriety delivers everything alcohol promised." At first it seemed confusing to me, but after a while I began to learn exactly what this meant. Alcohol makes a lot of empty promises. If it didn't, I don't think I would have been so attached to it for so long. For many of us, alcohol becomes our higher power, our guiding light, our solution for all the hardships we face. We look to it to provide us with support, relief, strength, and happiness. But we quickly find that alcohol's relief is extremely temporary, and that in some circumstances it even makes things worse. Every time I drank I went into the night feeling invincible, glamorous, and like any pain would leave me as soon as the vodka touched my lips. In reality, alcohol doesn't deliver a lot, it robs people every day of the things that mean the most to them, and for me it was no different. Here are 8 things alcohol promises, but sobriety actually delivers.
1. Social lubricant
We've all heard about liquid courage and the power alcohol has on socialization. For me, I used it so often that I arrived at the point in my life where I couldn't comfortably socialize without alcohol. And although it can seem like your cares fall away when you drink, sometimes this can go too far. For me, I needed those inhibitions back. I ended up making decisions that I would have never made had I been sober and thinking about my own moral values. With alcohol involved, I was acting like someone I wasn't. Once I got sober I was able to truly be myself, without the crutch of alcohol, and that's when I was able to be authentically social.
For many of us, alcohol becomes our "security blanket," meaning that at every event or social situation we find ourselves in, there's alcohol waiting to make us feel good. We depend on alcohol to make events fun, and without it we don't trust that anything would be enjoyable. We expect alcohol to be that constant in our life, but in reality it shakes everything up. I looked to alcohol for security, but it never delivered. Sobriety has provided me with security time and time again, and I can depend on it to always be there for me.
When I drank alcohol there were times when it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It took my mind and body to this safe place where nothing bad could happen to me--or so I thought. But this feeling was just a façade. Alcohol was actually doing the opposite of keeping me safe. It was putting me in dangerous situations. It gave me a false sense of safety that encouraged me to do things I wouldn't normally do. Once I entered recovery, I was able to feel safe for the first time. Waking up, knowing exactly what I did the night before, without any shame or guilt is a sense of safety I haven't known since childhood.
Everything we do in life, we hope leads us to one thing: happiness. Alcohol is no different. For a lot of people, alcohol is the happiness elixir. A few drinks and you're happier than a clam. But did you know alcohol is actually a depressant? Yes, it can give us a spontaneous burst of energy and lower our inhibitions, but the next day we're left feeling tired, empty, and sad. This was true for me. When I was intoxicated I felt like I was having the time of my life, but the following days brought to the lowest of lows. I found true happiness in being sober and getting to know the real me, without alcohol and drugs.