How Unpacking Negative Core Beliefs Can Support Your Sobriety

Alicia Gilbert
9 min readAug 25, 2023

At some point in your drinking, you find yourself sifting through the fog of your thousandth hangover and thinking, “Why do I keep doing this?”

You’re probably even mad at yourself.

Another Sunday morning sacrificed to fitful sleep, nausea, and a blinding headache. Your mood is so tanked you can barely muster the effort to order takeout and turn on Netflix.

You want to curl up under a blanket and disappear.

Disappear from what, exactly?

Well, there’s the moment you’re in, for sure.

The hangover, the hangxiety, the blinding sun and traffic and cars and business of life that carries on all the same while you wither away on the couch.

But there’s all the other stuff, too.

I wanted to disappear from all of it. Not just the drinking, but whatever drew me to it. I wanted to detach from the part of my brain that repeated the same mistakes over and over.

The day after drinking, I always woke up to what I considered to be the real me. The part of myself that knew better and wanted better. This is the part that made promises.

Okay, I’m going to stop all this madness. I can’t keep carrying on like this. What am I doing with my life?

Not the part of myself that drank too much and found an excuse in everything to crack open a cold one. Not the part of myself who couldn’t stop drinking once she started.

That was some abomination I was at war with (and losing to, frankly).

I realized further into my sobriety that thinking of myself in such bifurcated terms was a cop-out. It created this weird dynamic within myself and, ultimately, led to a lot of struggle and self-loathing.

Because the truth is, the part of myself that drank every day was also the real me. And the real me needed work.

“How Did I Get Here?”

Years later when I finally got into therapy, I learned that I needed to tend to whatever drove me to drink in the first place.

Some of it is baked in.



Alicia Gilbert

Alicia is the founder of Soberish, a website that focuses on recovery, mental health, and wellness. Read more at