I passed the 3 week mark yesterday. Last week I realised how much anxiety I’ve been living with. It’s amazing how you can get used to things if they build up slowly.
Anxiety is a big part of drinking for me. I don’t think I drank because of some deep seated depression or trauma – it began as a relaxing way to deal with daily stress, anxiety and social anxiety.
I drank to unwind and temporarily reduce stress – although I often felt a little bit more anxious the next day. Logically I knew what was happening but I kept repeating the pattern anyway.
Over time I realised that I’d developed a dependence on drinking and I became concerned and anxious about my drinking (on top of the general day-to-day stress). At the same time my tolerance was building up so I had to drink more to get the same relaxing effect.
After my drinking began to exceed what I thought was the ‘normal’ range for my social group some sneaky and secretive drinking started. That really compounded my anxiety levels and added extra lashings of guilt, shame and the fear of being found out. So on and off for the past few years I’ve lived in that state with fairly high levels of anxiety (except for some lovely sober periods).
During week 3 I noticed that the permanent tight knot in my chest had gone away. I didn’t actually realise that the tight feeling existed until it dissolved. I’m feeling relaxed and satisfied and I’m looking forward to reaching the one month mark soon.