I’d be having a nice Sunday, cooking dinner for the family. I’d have a few glasses of wine, then want more. I’d want more to drink, I’d want more people to come round. I’d want to smoke. I’d get all dissatisfied with my life thinking things were not fun enough. If friends were round, they wouldn’t be fun enough. If I was at a party, the party wouldn’t be fun enough. The music should be louder, the laughter more raucous, the dancing more wild. It’s like as soon as the wine went in, I’d want another glass. Whatever experience I was having would be measured against this internal ‘high’ barometer, and the ante always needed to be upped. I was always trying to reach some long gone ecstatic height. And I’d drink until I found that feeling – or in reality – until I passed out.
So I’d cook Sunday dinner for my family and then sit and stew in my half-buzz lethargy, in front of the TV, grumpily ruminating about how life was life was dull and there was no fun. It never occurred to me that I was looking in the wrong place.
If you’re forever harking back to ‘the good old days’, you miss out on what’s right in front of you. The past is gone and those experiences, feelings and relationships created there will never return. Life changes whether you do or not. So don’t limit yourself to what’s been, chasing old highs that will never be found. Find new highs. Why presume the best has already passed?
Since quitting booze I rarely get dragged down into wallowy dissatisfaction. I enjoy my dinner and my family and really appreciate their presence. I truly wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I wasted hours searching for feelings in all the wrong places. I didn’t realise all the good stuff was on the other side of drinking, in the golden land of sobriety… Yes I had some crazy happy times in ‘the good old days’, but I’ve had my most profoundly joyful moments when sober.