Embrace The Suck: Dealing With The Uncomfortable Lessons Of Sobriety

Alicia Gilbert
7 min readAug 4, 2019

Sobriety has been one of the most humbling and illuminating experiences of my life. The process, however, isn’t always comfortable.

In fact, it’s the deeply UNCOMFORTABLE aspects of sobriety that help you grow the most. Which is why I want to talk about them.

Sobriety shows you who you are, but also who you were.

When you abuse alcohol, that inner addict’s voice takes you hostage.

There’s the real you in there, buried deep, but it’s suffocating under the weight of addiction, problems, and (in my case) untreated mental health problems like depression or anxiety. And so this hybrid version emerges — a Frankenstein creation of disparate parts that should never coexist.

But they do. And not very well, I might add.

One minute, the real you pops up. This is the version of yourself that allows you to sleep at night, who wants to be a good person and live a fulfilling life. She (or he) is the one with the friends, the one who got the job, or was charming on that date.

(For sake of ease, I’m going to use ‘she’.’ If you are a man, switch the pronouns how you see fit.)

But then the other sides emerge — usually after a few drinks or in the absence of desperately needed ones. The circus begins.

Seeing Your Ugly Side

Maybe you’re hilarious and wobbly. Or maybe you’re THAT girl. There’s no way to predict who will show up.

Your problems come rushing to the surface and you become the person who emotionally unloads on acquaintances or work friends. This person has no idea how inappropriate it is. She just keeps going.

All these competing parts have you morphing into a woman who irrationally obsesses over love interests she’s only just met. The person who drinks herself silly on a Friday night and posts self-deprecating posts on social media, hoping to find validation for the pain she’s in.

Or maybe she decides to rehash old gripes with unsuspecting friends, family members, or exes. She wants to fight. YOU did this to ME and now we’re going to talk about it (except it’s just…

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Alicia Gilbert

Alicia is the founder of Soberish, a website that focuses on recovery, mental health, and wellness. Read more at https://www.soberish.co