I was worried that my feeling more positive might be followed by anxiety. Oh dear. Day 18, and as I crawl towards Day 20 which feels like a bit of a landmark, I am trying to feel good about what I have achieved so far. And I love the blog, and I love the people who comment, and things were going so well!
But I had several thought stabs today where I was genuinely pining for a glass of something, and I don’t mean tonic water. I think it may have something to do with the fact that my husband is about to go away for a few days, and I’ll be on my own with the kids. Before – before this latest attempt at sobriety – I’d have been excited about this in that it would have given me the opportunity to buy ready-made meals for myself, to open wine and bask in an evening ritual which would have involved staying up late and watching bad tv, with no one here to tell me not to do that. And now, I’m not sure how I want the next few days to work… I want to be able to tell you that I’m looking forward to a calm few days with the kids, eating with them, drinking sparkling water and getting to bed early. But the truth is, I’m frightened that I won’t be able to sustain this without the watchful eye of my husband. It makes me realise that I’ve been relying on his watching me, although I thought I was being sober all on my own.
So – what will happen in the next few days? Will I let you all down? Will I let myself down?
12 thoughts on “Fearful mid-week”
Hi Annie. I linked to your blog via Primrose’s. Massive congrats on heading towards 3 weeks.!!! It’s so good that you have identified the upcoming absence of husband / kids as a potential threat to what you have achieved so far. I’ve seen this ( via the BFB and other support forums) as one of the biggest triggers for women – more than the big social events that we’d think are harder.
I guess maybe the key is really getting a plan together – the sober toolbox or sober bubble that has helped so many of us. Also perhaps the phone number of a sober someone that you can text in case you really feel in danger. For me, a good movie (often sobriety based, but maybe not), some lovely treats and listening to a Bubble Hour or Belle podcast helped get through times I knew that were going to be hard. And just going to bed REALLY early. Once you are under that lovely comfy duvet, teeth-brushed it’s very unlikely anything bad can happen. You are doing so well, keep on going!
Sorry – absence of husband only! In which case, going to bed at the same time as kids is something I often do.
Such excellent advice above from ladyhaggismcbaggis. My husband being away used to be a big trigger for me, and everything she suggested feels like that perfect mix of self-care and comfort you need right now. I do genuinely look forward to it now, but it took time and practice. You can do it!
Hi Annie, you will do great, I know you will. I remember the first time my kids had a sleep over with their grandparents – who had picked them up at about 4pm. I wandered around the house not knowing what to do with myself. Normally under those circumstance, I’d have gone, woo hoo!! Don’t have to do bed time! No early start! I’ll have wine. (I do love my kids, but I night off is nice.) I was lost. It was bizarre, and a bit scary. It’s great that you’ve worked this one out in advance – have a plan. What to eat with the kids. What to drink. Something nice / silly to watch? Read lots of blogs and go to bed early! I always say I will do that when my husband is away, but never do…. You will be fine. You are doing the sober bit on your own, you have done this all yourself, and you can keep doing it. Hugs. xxx
In early sobriety this was my big fear. Being alone with my kids was always a tough time for me. The anxiety would scream in my head.
When I had about 30 days my husband went to inpatient treatment for 7 weeks. It was not really his choice, but we decided it was the best option.
So I was to be home alone with the kids for 45 days.
I was really scared. Scared I couldn’t stay sober. Scared I would drink and the kids would be ignored and neglected. And they were already scared and worried about their dad. Because I knew if I drank I would have probably been drunk for the whole 6 weeks.
I cleaned out all the booze from the house. All of it.
I had lots of baths and read lots and I had. A friend I could call on when I had trouble coping.
I made it through those weeks. And am sober still.
Create your bubble for these days. Take your kids to a movie. Hide in bed with popcorn. Get the booze out of the house.
You can do it. And the next time it won’t feel so scary.
you are doing this for YOU remember, not Hubby or anyone else. think of the huge benefits for the kids.
could you plan to go out instead of stay in??, meet some friends, take the kids out for a meal, hire a DVD, get a friend to come over each night, start a jigsaw puzzle??
plan ahead I reckon. you are doing great, keep up the awesome work
I so understand you feeling vulnerable, but Annie, you have done this by yourself and this weekend is your chance to prove that to yourself. I reckon the trick is to change the routine like some of the other comments say. All snuggle in a big bed together to watch a movie with popcorn? Plan your time around things that involve getting up early so that early nights are needed. Get the kids involved; what do they want to do? Be a big kid alongside them because they don’t need booze to have fun and neither does the new you. You’re doing so well. Keep going my friend. You can do this and by the time your husband returns, you will feel so strong and brilliant. Xxx
You are getting so many wonderful suggestions because people care deeply about you and support your success. Trust yourself. You can do this. Stay prepared. I threw away every drop of alcohol that was at home And gave away all the wine glasses. Stay close to sober friends and social media. Be gentle with yourself. Indulge in other ways. You will have lots of prayers. Keep writing, keep posting.
I know exactly what you mean. About ‘before.’ It makes all the difference in the world when my husband is not in the house. I’ve only successfully navigated that situation a couple times and I just fell back on the same ‘old’ techniques. Staying busy with the kids, with work, writing, shopping online, with sparkling water, reminding myself how different ‘healthy’ feels and how I’m really not missing much, despite the romanticized vision of a cold glass of wine I allow to creep into my head from time to time. Ok all the time, but when you really think about it, a few sips in and it’s just numb couch-lock and self-hate for the rest of the night, who wants that.
lots of great advice here! I would say try to have your cake and eat it too. cake always comes into it, somehow 😉
ie a combination of (a) doing the things you used to do but with different treats than wine: movie with chocolate instead of booze? have you come across Montezuma? the minibar you are allowed to raid when sober! http://www.montezumas.co.uk/chocolate-gifts/mini-bars.html
and (b) doing something completely different, switching life round. can you enlist a RL friend to come over, or to have your kids while you disappear for an evening to try something new?
the first days of being sober can be like the first days of having a new baby in the house. the chance to completely focus on a new thing, however much you feel that you don’t know what you’re doing, however terrified you are of getting it wrong. to learn new skills, when everything else fades away in the importance of keeping this new fragile creature safe and well cared for. look after your baby sobriety. it is precious. and so are you. xx
You are craving comfort and are programmed to only think of one solution (wine). You will need to retrain yourself to think of other lovely ways to soothe discomfort: a bath, a walk, a book, a massage. The possibilities are many. It’s good to schedule some (like a massage or pedi or meeting a friend) so that you have things to look forward to rather than mope. And some stocked up at home to enjoy on a whim (new nail polish, treats, tea, a craft, a trashy magazine). Yay Annie!
Congratulations, Annie, on your almost 3 weeks! We are at the same point in our sobriety, and I know how you’re feeling. The world feels so wide open without alcohol, doesn’t it? It’s kind of scary. It’s also exciting. Just think of all the other things we can do now that we’re not drinking. 🙂