sober and single.

Some darkness is setting in. The weather is gloomy and the sun is gone. Long nights; they end close to 8am and begin around 4 in the afternoon. The holidays are looming, and I don’t care. This will be my first Christmas without my partner and his son in 10 years. Sometimes I feel as though I’m being punished. Although I’m not quite sure what I’ve done. Lately, it’s harder to stay sober. I don’t crave alcohol so much as the feeling of being numb. I want something to take this all away, make the feelings go. I crave relief.

I feel like I should write posts that are positive, full of the benefits of sobriety. The truth is, it’s hard sometimes. While I am still 100% committed to my sobriety and sure that being sober is the best possible thing for me, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. I think humans naturally want to find a way out of their suffering. We are hardwired to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Being sober doesn’t mean that I have found a way out of this human condition.

The truth is that I am dealing with some depression and anxiety right now. Or maybe I am still in grief, I am not sure. My ex-partner has already moved on with someone else, and there are rumours that he was having an affair during our relationship, although he denies it. The last couple of weeks I have felt a new level of grief. The sinking realization that it is truly over.  The pain that comes with being rejected. The lingering feeling that perhaps I meant nothing to him at all. I know on an intellectual level that I am just telling stories to myself with that last statement. He was a good husband for many years and I know he loved me very much. Sometimes I used to think that he loved me more than I loved him. I don’t think I loved him very well actually.

While I did love him and thought we would spend our lives together, I also always had the feeling that he wasn’t the love of my life. I could never say that about him. Maybe that is something you can only say in retrospect though? So maybe it will turn out that way. All I know is that I miss him so much. But I wouldn’t get back together with him. What does that mean?

The way I feel right now is that I don’t understand love. What does it mean to be in love? How should that feel 5, 10, 20 years into a relationship? I know that love changes over time. I loved him- deeply- but I don’t know that I was in love with him towards the end. What I felt for him was a family type of love, not blood related family but I guess partnership is the right word. He was my home. My person.

It’s early days for me yet, but I am wondering what my future with relationships will look like. I don’t know very many single people. Everyone seems to be coupled with families. How do I even meet someone? While sober? I know I don’t need to worry about this right now as I’m not ready to date anyways, but it’s still hard not to think about. In the past, I’ve always met men through friends or hanging out, and always there has been large amounts of alcohol involved. It’s how I’ve connected with men in the past. I don’t think I’m incapable of connecting with someone sober- but I don’t even know in what scenario I would connect with someone sober. I don’t go out very much and when I do it’s with girlfriends or friends who are in relationships. I work in a field that is 90% women. I can’t even think about online dating. Yet, anyways.

It’s a different phase of life… dare I say I am approaching middle age. Sober and Single. It’s a completely new reality for me. I’m trying to just give myself time to be in the discomfort and not try to “fix” it. I don’t know what the future will bring. Anything could happen and I think it’s important that I stay open. Grounded and centred within myself and my sobriety, but open to possibilities and new experiences. Trusting that my life is unfolding as it should.