drunk grieving isn’t really grieving…

from my inbox:

rlynn: “Today I feel like Carl from the tv show ‘Idiot Abroad’. He is always being forced to do things that other people put on their bucket list but he is just content to be comfortable and uninterested.

I woke up like this. My dog is asleep on my lap and I thought I don’t want to outlive her. I don’t want to be alone and I am too old for love … I’ll be nearly 42 when I get to day 100. Last year the love of my life died on his birthday … The other dysfunctional love of my life is a drug addict. It’s been exactly 3 years since my heart starting really breaking, and since I have really felt alone.

I tried to cheer myself up with a list of things I love: Yoga mats. Dog. Dancing. Swimming. Snow cones. Nature. Good hair cuts. The smell of coconut. And patchouli. Bubble baths. Ayurvedic spas. Hammocks. Watching sea life. Philosophy. Silence.

Wow, that’s a small list I thought. Even smaller is my bucket list. I don’t want to jump out of an airplane, or walk the Great Wall of China, or travel at all. It would be nice to be ok and content. That’s all.

Well – another sober day. You can’t have black without white. And so it goes. Feeling a little sad but it will pass.”

me: I love the idiot abroad show, it’s quite funny that you say you feel like him 🙂 it’s a bit normal to have some sad bits especially in early sobriety. It’s like you’re figuring stuff out. You’re still grieving for the death last year. Maybe you’re really grieving now for the first time (drunk grieving isn’t really grieving, it’s just ‘temporarily forgetting’).

so yeah, some bits are hard, and then other bits – dogs and baths and coffee – are good. you have things in your life that make you feel good. you don’t need a big bucket list. not yet. that’ll come. for now it’s about soothing, and taking care of you. clean sheets, bath, tea, candle. good tv show. comfort. love, me

Rlynn: “Ah – I didn’t think of it that way. Drunk grieving that is. Makes perfect sense! Thanks for putting that into perspective. I stubbed my toe last night and it was crazy water works … Not ‘stub your toe water works’ but I just lost a friend crying.”



I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Wow, wow, perfect timeing! This past Sunday I woke up for my morning meditation and somehow stumbled across amazing grace in my music. I listened to it over & over and cried like I’ve never cried before,It was the moment that I truly realized that I had not fully greived my boyfriends death from 16 years ago. I was overwhelmed then and could hardly talk for months, and then the numbing was on. I panicked and called my best friend that is also sober And was hysterical about how shameful it felt that I had done this and am just now at 8 months sober realizing this, thank god she reminded me that I was sick back then and it wasn’t really me!!! I am so grateful to be sober and am willing to go to any lengths to feel all of the sun and all of the rain. I finally grieved……

  • My father passed away suddenly an unexpectedly on 13 Oct 1984. 20 years later to the day I was sat in a church weeping as I remembered him. I was already an out of control drinker when he died, I’d just turned 22. 13 Oct 2004 was the first anniversary of his death I was sober… I finally grieved… The temporarily forgetting can go on a long long time if fuelled by enough alcohol

  • That’s a really good perspective. Thank you. So many of us in recovery judge ourselves harshly for not dealing with our issues and challenges in the past, and worry about the surge of reality checks that we encounter once we’re sober. This makes so much sense now. ” drunk grieving isn’t really grieving, it’s just ‘temporarily forgetting’).” Thank you.

  • I have been thinking the same thing in the last few days- funny timing that you post this now. I’ve had a lot of losses in the last few years and I don’t think I have fully gone through the process of grieving either. It’s a relief to know that I am in the same boat with others out there.

  • Hang in there, Rlynn. There are lots of challenges to sobriety, and for me, facing unspent grief and piled up regret has been the most challenging. I think that’s why Belle’s guidance has been so helpful…she acknowledges that there are painful, difficult feelings in early sobriety, but that with the support from those that have been there, we will learn to love ourselves through and past those feelings as long as we stay sober. She has also taught me that when I spin that grief and regret into self-loathing, that’s actually just Wolfie trying to undermine my sobriety. And we all know that Wolfie is full of shit. Self loathing is so familiar to us, we just naturally go there first. But I’ve discovered it’s just another way for me to avoid the real feelings. Thinking of you and sending you warm hugs.

      • She has also taught me that when I spin that grief and regret into self-loathing, that’s actually just Wolfie trying to undermine my sobriety. And we all know that Wolfie is full of shit. Self loathing is so familiar to us, we just naturally go there first.

        THANK YOU RENEE AND BELLE!!! I love the part about spinning into self-loathing and it is so true, I go there FIRST when anything is not up to “what I demand” and it is not serving me. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    • I’m 60, got sober at 55, so 5+ years in … and I’m finally grieving … my Mama …will be 10 years in Feb. BIL and MIL died last year and first college friend died Friday at 61. TODAY I know a drink will ONLY make me feel worse and will shut down my grieving … and so it goes … WE grieve together, just like we stay sober together … because we can’t do this alone!.

  • Funny, just last night I came to the same conclusion; drunk grieving is not really grieving. My mother died 7 years ago and I feel like I have to go through parts of the grieving all over again. My mom asked me on her death bed to ‘just drink less beer’. It took me 7 years to get there. I quit this year on her deathday. 🙂

    PS: 42 is not to old to love! There is NO age limit to love or fun or happiness. My aunt is 70 something. She’s dating online and looking for a man to spend the rest of her life with, and it is working. 🙂

  • 42 is not old ! you are so smart to have started the 100 day challenge now. I am 52 and just reached day 99. My only regret is that I did not do this 10 years ago. You are grieving and getting sober. Both hard but worth it. Keep moving forward. You can do this. You will look back on your 40’s with pride now that you are sober.