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The Case For Drunk Dialing & Holding On
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The Case For Drunk Dialing & Holding On

Her Voice

"Sorry I called, I was drunk."


It's the embarrassing statement we make when our fingers have a mind of their own and drunkenly dial the one person you know you shouldn't be talking to, the ex-boyfriend, old "situation," or former fling.

10 times out of 10, the person knows you were tipsy then because the conversation usually goes 1 out of 4 ways:

  • A. You have a mini breakdown,
  • B. You cuss them out,
  • C. You ask for them back, or
  • D. You are completely incoherent.

Everyone processes heartbreak differently, but one thing we can all agree on is that sorrowful feelings erupt like an uncontrollable force after one too many gulps of wine. Once ending it with someone, you aren't over it right away, and moments of weakness happen, especially in a drunken stupor.

Drinking too much and picking up the phone to call or text a former flame happens to the best of us.

Alcohol seems to be the best solution when going through heartbreak. Sure, it's not the smartest idea, but it's what most people lean on to mend a broken heart. The first thing I did was go to the bar and down an insufferable amount of sugary cocktails. The next weekend, I mixed vodka in my wine (Who does that?) on a night out, only to wake up with not much memory of the couple hours before. I hesitantly looked at my phone to see that I called the person I was crying over all week.

A few months went by, and I would do it again. Another couple months later and ring, ring, it's me again, sloshed still. Every time, I'd promise myself never to do it again, but the cycle continued. So I started to put the glass, well bottle, down less and less. Admittedly, Bridget Jones may make look downing a bottle of wine and drowning in heartbroken sorrows fun, but it's far from it. Getting a grip on why I kept doing this told me I hadn't detached from my relationship as much as I thought.

First, I asked myself some questions:

  • Why do I keep calling him?
  • Why when I'm sober dealing with my emotions isn't this hard?
  • What is drunk-dialing really doing for me?
  • What am I deflecting?

Answering them honestly helped me to see that I was holding onto something I needed to let go of. I'd been playing a cruel joke on myself. After every call, I had to remind myself of why things are the way they are. I never feel as bad each time because my heart is mending, but a tinge of sadness still lingers. Calling this person was backpedaling the progress I had been trying to make to be happy on my own.

I couldn't be happy without him if I kept looking back.

Thus, I sought out healthy ways to detach. I wrote inspirational quotes on post-its and put them on my bedroom wall. I read poetry from the likes of Reyna Biddy, Alex Elle, and Ivan Nuru. I practiced yoga every day for 30 days, and then on a frequent basis. I journaled and reflected and spent a lot of time alone.

Most importantly, I quit drinking alcohol for one month.

I couldn't avoid my feelings and drunk-dial because it was doing nothing for my growth. On days that I felt the urge to, I would read the post-its on my wall over and over. Or I'd listen to "A Message From Women" by Reyna Biddy when I needed a pep talk. Her and Alex Elle's words about isolation, brokenness, letting go, healing, and self-love were a source of rejuvenation for my spirit. Constantly being reminded of my self-worth, and how holding on was diminishing it, allowed me to come to terms that is was really over.

Instead of masking my emotions, I remained honest with myself and how I was feeling.

Sadness, anger, and grief - I felt it, all of it. But I released those energies from my body by being consistent with the methods mentioned above.

Waking up without the heavy emotions I had months before and actually feeling happier was me finding my way back. Admittedly, I've slipped up since then but the impulse is fading away as my heart continues to heal, mend, and move on.

Concealing any emotions in the depths of your heart only for them to come out in an inebriated state is an indicator you have to address these feelings head-on. You need to learn the difference between being heartbroken and moving on. Alcohol is not going to help with the latter, but it will only keep you in a broken place.

Recognizing that you need to get out is the first step.

Doing what it takes to elevate and move forward is hard but it isn't impossible. There is no rulebook for letting go. Find what works for you and stay consistent.

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