When I first got sober, I had many misconceptions about what sobriety meant. I told myself that once I got sober I would be happy, life would get easier, my problems would get better, etc. In a nutshell, I thought that when I quit drinking I would be a completely different person and could start over. Boy was I wrong. Some of the things I hoped for did come true, but sobriety isn’t about escaping who you are. Drunk or not, you’ve still got the same character defects. They may not be exacerbated quite as much, but they’re still there.
In a way, life without drinking can actually be worse than life with drinking. Let’s face it. Being fucked up and feeling shitty sure feels better than being sober and feeling shitty. But before you start thinking that I’m saying there’s no point in getting sober, let me tell you about the gift that sobriety holds- hope. Yes, simple hope. For me, that is the major difference between the two lives. At any point when I was drinking, I would go to sleep knowing that tomorrow was going to be worse than today. There was no doubt about it. I would constantly keep trying to run from my troubles as they kept piling up deeper and deeper around me. The best I knew I was ever going to feel was the moment before I went to sleep at night because it was guaranteed that waking up tomorrow was going to suck.
In sobriety, it’s quite the opposite. The one thing I love about being sober is that no matter what happens, life will be better once you wake up as long as you don’t drink. I can have the worst day of my life, but still have hope that tomorrow I will have the opportunity to try again and that things won’t look so bleak. Sobriety may not promise happiness right away or immunity to life’s pain, but it does offer the promise of a new dawn. And that’s more than drinking ever gave me.