Of all the problems a person could have in this world, I thank goodness my problem is drinking. I haven’t always felt this way, but I certainly do now that I am 2.5 years sober and still learning and growing from the experience of quitting drinking.
Let me share some of the ways this so-called problem has enhanced and improved my life. Perhaps my realizations will serve to help you see your current struggle with alcohol, as a gift.
Unlike other illnesses labelled as ‘diseases’ the physical symptoms of the disease of alcoholism disappear, when the alcohol disappears. An alcoholic, in most cases, can expect a full recovery if they quit drinking, perhaps even a journey to thriving vitality!
Quitting drinking requires a deep level of self-compassion and significant periods of solitude. Getting to know myself on a new level has been a valuable experience. Especially now that I realize, I am child of this universe, and I deserve to be here.
Until I quit drinking I was unable to see myself in others. I looked for ways to separate myself out of fear and insecurity. Now, I spend a lot of time with people with addictions and mental health issues and I have come to understand, truly, how we are all the same.
Personal development is my jam. When people quit drinking they discover and re-discover things they love about life. We get more creative, more energized and find purpose and meaning in life.
I used to pair alcohol with almost everything under the sun. Name the occasion, I could find a reason why it was better with alcohol. If I had kept drinking I would never have known how to appreciate life naturally. It turns out I gave way to much credit to booze for enhancing my experience. I have discovered that life is actually quite amazing - particularly now that I am present for it.
Patterns are hard to break, especially if you are genetically pre-disposed to certain diseases or disorders such as alcoholism. The study of epigenetics says that we are not slaves to our history. We have a lot more control over who we become and how our lives will unfold. We can break patterns, evolve and make the world a better place for our children.
If I didn’t suffer with a drinking problem, I would not have the deep appreciation for the power of my own mind to overcome adversity. As well I would not have developed the desire to help people on a personal and meaningful level as I do now. I had to experience the depths of despair that came with drinking to know the genuine sense of connection that comes with sobriety. Like most things in life, you can’t know the good without the bad.