It’s been a while since I had regrets about drinking.
It used to happen all the time. You know the sort of short-term regrets: Why did I do that last night? What did I do last night? I wish I’d stopped after the first bottle. God I wish I didn’t say that – I’m so embarrassed.
Those regrets used to happen almost every day for several years.
This one was different. It was triggered because I was feeling great. I had just been at a work event where I had been asked to do a completely unplanned workshop/presentation. I handled it easily. That’s what work has been like lately – I’ve always been a good performer but now it’s heaps less effort, stress and angst (and yeah – a tiny bit better).
Then I was thinking about my private life where I’ve really got into endurance running. It’s early days and my speed and distances are not amazing for a ‘serious runner’ – but I’ve had so much satisfaction seeing the rapid improvements happen. At the age of forty, I am stronger, fitter and faster than ever before.
And then. For the first time ever. I had a long-term drinking regret …
I wonder how good I could have been if I hadn’t wasted my time drinking?
I’ve never thought about it before. I wasted a LOT of time, energy and headspace on alcohol. Hah! Maybe that’s why it’s called ‘getting wasted’. I wonder what I could have channelled it towards without alcohol?
Quitting has fundamentally started to change my life. I’ve had to work out what to do with my time. The things I’m passionate about have become clearer. And now, for the first time, I’ve had a moment thinking about the things I might have missed out on while I was drinking.
I know regret isn’t worth focusing on unless it helps me to get where I want to go in the future. I can’t control the past. I can never know what might have been. I was learning things what I needed at the time. I met lots of wonderful people back then. It’s never too late. <<insert more positive self-talk – blah blah blah>>
And yet I’ve got a bit of a nagging regret and a slightly flatter mood. It’s not overwhelming. It’ll pass and I’ll get over it. This is probably just what happens when sobriety meets a mild mid-life crisis?