Grieving your unrequited love affair with drinking

Sobriety brings a life full of possibilities, unlimited and untapped potential, the chance to become the person you’ve always hoped you could be. But with this new life, it also brings the end of an era- one we need to mourn. 

We have to peel away the layers, unlearn everything we ever thought we knew, and unbecome everything we are. It’s a beautiful mess, filled with emotions we never knew we had. It’s chaotic not knowing which direction is the right path. 

Sometimes we can’t see our way forward because we need to look behind before we can take the next step. To grieve the heartbreak, the wounds, the pain and suffering, accept that we were surviving in a way that was best for us until it became our downfall. So that we don’t repeat the same mistakes and fall back into our outdated way of living and being.

We need to admit to ourselves our own shortcomings- that maybe because we felt so raw and vulnerable, we thought we could numb our fears. In masking our fears, we misplaced our self-love. It’s a vicious cycle of unraveling everything we thought was broken about us only to find that we aren’t broken. We were always whole and complete. 

Grieve it all. Cry for the kid who needed to be nurtured and loved. Mourn the death of the person who coped in a way that made sense at the time. Be compassionate for the person who needs to tread delicately around unspoken words and unprocessed emotions. Empathize with the person who is filled with sorrow. Be gentle with the soul who was so fragile that they needed to retreat into a self-imposed exile. 

That person staring back at you in the mirror needs your love more than anything else. Grieve with them and hold them. Don’t let go.

Accept your humanness. Be kind to yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. Find softness in the serrated edges. Laugh at the times you made a fool of yourself. 

Then take that step forward into the unknown. Throw caution to the wind as you create a life you’re proud of. Become the person you’ve always aspired to be. 

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