I never perceived myself as a negativist, but rather I thought I was a down-to-earth person who can see things objectively and impartially. Boy, was I wrong!
For me and most people abusing it, alcohol represents a disinhibitor, a social lubricant and a means of relaxing after a hard day. After drinking, some people become loud and energetic. However, for those who abuse alcohol, the effects of alcohol are exactly the opposite.
Alcohol made me placid
I didn’t drink because I wanted to feel boisterous and lively. As I had more and more whiskey, I sank into a quiet and contemplative mood. Although angry and frustrated, alcohol made me less aggressive and less likely to want to do anything. I was sad, docile, and depressed.
Because I was prone to negativity, I mainly experienced life through a grey, foggy window. I felt I was living disappointment after disappointment and little could be done about it. I had to accept it. My life was going nowhere and every time I tried to imagine the future, I only saw myself caught up in an overwhelming cloud of despair and misery.
I was the victim of my negative thinking and all my actions ended up just as I expected, badly. Later on, I found out that negative thinking leads to a process called a self-fulfilling prophecy, a practice where a person alters his behavior unconsciously in the light of what he thinks should happen in the future.
Initially, I didn’t ponder much on the events that were about to unfold during detox. However, as time drew near and I actually had to undergo the detoxification program, I started to worry about various aspects. I became paranoid and all I could think about were all those horror stories I read online. This is why I stood there, in front of the gates of the rehab center, for 2 hours without saying a word.
On the bright side
One of the first things I learned after following various rehabilitation programs was how to live without alcohol. However, recovery implied facing my inner self without using alcohol as the middleman. Recovery means taking the bull by the horns and finally confronting those demons I managed to keep locked up for so long.
In other words, I learned that I have the power and ability to achieve a goal. I had to develop self-efficiency and work on seeing the half-full side of the allegorical glass, not the literal one. I had to develop a positive outlook on my situation.
Because I couldn’t see the progress I was making and I became frustrated that the rehabilitation program wasn’t getting anywhere, my therapist advised me to start what she calls a “gratitude journal”. In the journal, I noted all the good things that happened in my life, including things that might seem insignificant such as “I really enjoyed having a cup of tea with my wife on the porch this morning”.
Each time I was feeling bad and started blaming myself for thinking about having a drink, I opened up the journal and started reading. True, I mainly wrote down what most people perceive as minor events. However, seeing the extraordinarily numerous minor things that changed in your life promotes a good state of mind that keeps you going.