cognitive dissonance


I’m wondering increasingly about my persistent listlessness and inability to ‘get on with things’. This is really unlike me – and although I know I must allow myself space to adjust to the new reality of not drinking, I’m struggling with the consequences – it seems to me that everything is falling apart.

I lack the motivation to cook, to clean up, to manage the washing, to help the kids with homework, to manage my paperwork. All I seem to do is watch rubbish TV, drag myself to the gym, spend money I don’t have, and EAT – sugar and carbs being top of the list.

This behaviour, or lack of it, is making me really miserable. I wake feeling hopeful, planning things I need to do, and then all my energy is used up being at work and I come home with barely the energy to unload the dishwasher. The house is a mess, the kids do very little, (In reality nothing at all unless I nag them to death) and my partner just doesn’t seem to see what needs done.

All this failure to do what I need to, is not great for my mood.

This persistent feeling, from ‘not bring good enough ‘ to just plain BAD , is very familiar to me. For a long time it was my drinking that I felt bad about, my weakness in giving in every day to the lure of alcohol. It’s ironic that, having removed the dissonant feeling related to my drinking , it’s almost immediately replaced with something else.

Could it be that I’m so unfamiliar with feeling happy with myself, so unused to Not feeling ashamed of me, that I am self sabotaging? Replacing my disgust with myself related to my drinking to disgust with myself for laziness, overeating and neglectful parenting?

Is this uncharacteristic idleness serving some deeper psychological need within me ? That it’s too hard to be proud of myself ? That I deep inside believe I am too worthless to feel comfortable in my own skin. So, to bring back the unpleasant but familiar cognitive dissonance and self disgust, I subconsciously do other things that I disapprove of.

Oh heck I am a mess. A sober mess, but still a dreadful mess …


  1. Thanks Lucy. Honestly, I can’t remember how I felt last time – I had a very significant period of severe anxiety and depression about 5 months after I stopped, and was off work for 6 weeks .. I hope to goodness this is not the start of another …


  2. In his book The Addictive Personality by Craig Nakken he talks about addictions and the fact that they all have the same root cause. I am a mess with so many addictions, shopaholism, alcoholism…..but thank God am 4 weeks sober and working on it. For me the temptation to drink has not been strong but the temptation to spend money I don’t have has. Addictions are cunning like that.You would have to read the book to understand more.
    I also am feeling very unmotivated and am struggling to get things done. I am trying to be kind to myself and realise it is early days of sobriety. The anxiety for me was terrible last time (5 months sober) but have put a few things in place to help deal with that if it rears its ugly head again. It might have something to do with losing a friend….alcohol. A useless friend but a major part of my life for a long time. An internal source of comfort during stress, albeit a short lived source. What, I have to actually cope with stress without alcohol……how the heck do I do that! Stilo learning……😙😙

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  3. I too struggled to do anything more than stay sober at the beginning of the process.
    Not doing something that has been a big part of your life takes up emotional energy that can leave you feeling drained – could this be what is happening?

    I also spent money like a demon, and still struggle with numbing in front of the TV and eating shite! One thing at a time, it does change and get easier. Day 560 this end and the tough days get further and further apart – like weeks months.

    I hope this too is helpful x


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