For as long as I can remember I drank almost every Friday night in my addiction. That’s over 10 years of Friday nights, give or take a few..I am sure in that period there had to be a few Friday’s I didn’t drink. Whether it was going out with friends, getting done with work early or drinking when I got home from work. I got fucking shitfaced, blackout wasted on Friday’s!! When I got Sober, every Friday for one year in my recovery I got severe ANXIETY on this day. I feared Fridays. The “ITCH” would start rolling in around 2pm, why at that time? Not sure, maybe in my addiction that’s when I would usually start thinking about what I would be drinking that night!! My anxiety would get so bad being in a public restaurant was difficult. I would look at people and get envious they could have drinks and I couldn’t. As much as I was content with the choice I made to quit drinking and knew it was the right one, it was still hard for me to see. I would wonder why they could have fun and I couldn’t. I only thought you could have “fun” if you drank.
When I did try to muster up the courage and go out on this day I would straight up have panic attacks at restaurant’s..sweats, shortness of breath, walls would close in on me, I felt like I was going to choke on my food, it was a real time during that year. I had a very hard time being out in restaurants, sober because I always drank at them. I cant remeber a time of not drinking at any outing of eating. I created such a habit and routine for myself in that 10 years, it was hard to break the thoughts of drinking in my sober state. What did I do for the first year of sobriety on a Friday? Sit home of course!! I had to, its funny because we would go out to eat other days and I would be fine but that day, I just could not get over the hurdle. We ate a lot of take out on Friday’s. God bless Matt for hanging in there with me that first year, I was not easy to be around. What people don’t understand about people in recovery, WE HAVE TO RELEARN HOW TO LIVE! For reals, no bullshit here…we have to figure how to live in a world that is very heavy influenced with alcohol.. its everywhere! Us, addcits have to learn a new norrmal for ourselves. We have to find new activities to do instead of what we used to do, which for me would be drinking. This goes for anyone with an addiction..gambling, crack, heroin, shopping, etc. You have to find new heathly hobbies or things to do to replace those old bad habits and routines. I will talk more about my new hobbies I found in another post down the road.
When I worked at my office job, on Friday’s the ladies would go for happy hour, well I said “NO” many times because the thought of being in that environment made me uncomfortable. Some of the ladies would pull the guilt trip card on me and remind me how I would never hang outside of work with them. I started to feel bad for always saying no, so I decided to go with them a few times because I wanted to be a team player and try to have some fun with them. I would sit in th bar with them during happy hour wanting to crawl out of my skin. I would sit back and watch them drink their beer, wine, fish bowl drinks as they would all start to get louder and louder because the booze was hitting them and I would be having a panic attack inside as I would eat my feelings. I Couldn’t breathe, felt like the walls were caving in and every other minute felt like I was going to shit myself because my nerves were so shot. I wanted a drink TOO!! I would sit there so uncomfortable with myself just to please them and act like I was having fun when I was barely hanging on, sound familiar to anyone?? I would always leave the local establishment having an ugly cry on my way home wondering why I couldn’t be normal when I drank because I missed my old friend as in alcohol. There was always one quesiton that came into my mind during that first year and even second year but it starts to fade away after a few years of soberity and that question was.. “what if I can just causaly drink, like only have 2 and be done?” The answer is I can’t and if I could, I wouldn’t have been in the boat I was in!! Bottom line when it came to being in those social settings, they made me uncomfortable so I had to choose in my recovery what I was and wasn’t comfortable being around. It’s ok, if you have to take a “time out” of hanging with friends and family members beacuse its not a healthy environment to be in, take the time to build up your own comfort level with all different types of social situations. You have to create healthy boundaries for yourself in your own time, this is something that can’t be forced. This may take a day, a week, a month, 6 months, 2 years maybe even 5 years, everyone is different! You will know when YOU know and don’t let anyone pressue you into something that is out of your comfort zone in an unhealthy way that can fuck with your recovery.
Friday’s are no longer a day I fear and I am able to sit in a restaurant and not feel like I’m going to die! From the bottom of my heart I appreciate my close friends and family who were nothing but supportive that first year and continue to be. As you get more comfortable in your own recovery and in your own skin, a shift happens and its no longer scary. You start to change and adapt to your new normal life of sobriety and life around you!