“Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking about what we want to be. Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking about who we never want to be.” ~ Shane Niemeyer
After eight years of heavy drinking, when I was faced with the prospect of no more drinking (I was 21!), I had so many questions about my dating life.
Are you having fun yet? Will I have FOMO? How will I deal with stress? What will I drink on a date? does anyone want to be with me What will happen to sobriety sex? OMG!
These questions paralyzed me. I couldn’t imagine my life without alcohol, but I also couldn’t imagine my life with alcohol. I thought I had put down my drink and with it my aspirations and chemistry as a potential partner.
It’s not far from the truth.
Over time, I’ve realized that a lot of people don’t care that I’m sober. Some people like it and some people are sober. After all, I’m fine with myself, so I’ve realized that I don’t really care what other people think.
In fact, slowly but surely, sobering has healed my dating, sex, and love life for good. Here’s how:
feel my feelings
Ah, alcohol seemed to solve everything. Are you stressed? drink. Excited? drink. sad? drink.
I face reality without picking up the bottle every time I think of it. Unable to check out. Honestly, it’s a good thing. It means I feel different emotions and be with them, which helps me process those emotions in a healthy way.
I recently went through a breakup and it destroyed me mentally. Even though I was the inventor, I really felt a lot of thoughts.
For the first few weeks, I tried to escape my emotions by trying to meet people on dating apps (what a raw joke!), but I quickly realized that this wasn’t going to work. I had to face my feelings head-on.
It’s been almost two months now, and I still feel sad, but I can feel the sadness coming through. I lean over to wait for the grief to come, and after it has come long enough, I lean back. I now know that the best way to overcome grief is not to fight it, but to let it grow inside of you.
Own and let go of what’s yours
Alcoholism stunted my personal growth. I think I was about 16, not 21, mentally when I got sober. What sobriety has given me is an opportunity to catch up on emotional maturity.
I can take responsibility for my actions and know when something is my fault and when I have to apologize to someone. For example, if I raised my voice at my ex-partner, I owe him to make amends or say “I’m sorry” and apologized immediately.
You can own things even when you are not involved in them, and instead you must think of things that are not yours. For example, I felt some guilt and shame about the traumatic aspects of my childhood, but it’s not mine. I have learned that I need to let it go.
Emotional maturity helps us understand what we should own and what we should reject as not ours.
I’m okay with being alone
I was afraid to be alone when I was drinking. I was cheating on my partner because I couldn’t be with him but he couldn’t be without him.
After sobering up, I practiced being alone for years. I’ve taken her on dates to the beach and bookstores, learned proper self-care through relaxation and gentle but necessary productivity such as laundry, and learned to be okay with whatever happens.
I realized that I am a lovable person and that I can love myself.
Years later I am alone again and thrive in solitude, even though I don’t like it. I’m rediscovering my passions: yoga, writing, and spending time with the people I love. I accept myself because I know I am worth it.
I can’t be with other people until I’m fully back, and I’m just not there yet. Now I try not to use others to escape my feelings by rebounding. So it’s time alone.
Have more communicative sex
Consistent consent can be difficult to obtain if you drink excessively. I was assaulted several times during my drinking years. I never should have taken it, but I put myself in danger by fainting and drinking too much.
Now I have incredibly communicative sex. I make no compromises other than my fervent consent.
When you sleep with someone, make sure you discuss it before it happens and see each other’s boundaries and needs. We communicate clearly during and after. It’s magic!Of course you are not need This required sobriety, which I did because of my drinking habits.
get additional support
By sobering up with the 12-step alcohol program, I realized I needed alcohol. another A 12-step program for sex and love. I’ve found that being sober has done a lot for my sex and love life, but I needed a lot more healing to level up. So I joined Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous to teach me how to date in a self-love and healthy way.
They taught me how to avoid doing things that would harm me, like having sex with randos and chasing people who were unavailable. In the evolved part of my life with ex-partners, they taught me how to set boundaries and embrace love. Now that I am alone, I am learning again how to face it.
final thoughts on others
I have nothing against alcohol. It didn’t work for me anymore. I ate and drank too much, passed out, got drunk and had an affair, woke up in a strange place, and made a fool of myself. I was definitely ruining relationships!
If you think you might have a problem with alcohol, there are plenty of resources for non-drinkers. Personally, I’ve found Alcoholics Anonymous to be the most helpful, but you should do whatever works for you. It may just heal you and your relationship.