I’m often asked if I find it hard to stay sober.

It’s an interesting question.

Staying sober isn’t the hard part…

In the very few moments I’ve been tempted, I’ve imagined how I’d feel in the morning.

I think about the self-loathing and shame I’d feel. The regret. The hangover!

I’ve not yet encountered a problem that’s worth returning to that.

So not drinking isn’t hard.

I know that drinking won’t make the pain go away or solve the problem.

And it will cause more pain, more problems…

But being sober isn’t always easy.

There have been times I’ve wanted nothing more than to forget about my emotions for a few hours.

To feel the dark, cold emptiness of oblivion.

Heartbreak, despair, fear, loneliness, self doubt…they aren’t easy emotions to sit with. They hurt like hell.

It’s so tempting to try to numb against them…

But like Brene Brown tells us, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.

I might want to numb out in a dark moment, but I don’t want to numb myself out so much that I can’t feel joy.

Although it sometimes feels out of reach in these challenging times, I know it’s still there.

A return to drinking even for a moment of numbness will darken every moment that follows.

And so I never have to fight an urge to drink, because I value the life I have created in the light.

I might spend time in the shadows, but I know I can step back into the light.

I can’t do that in the darkness of oblivion.