Fluctuating feelings

I wish I was feeling more consistently positive about what I’m doing. As I near my 30 days (today is Day 25), thoughts of giving up on giving up are swarming round me in an alarming fashion. I know that the sweet sweet friend who suggested my 30 days abstinence with blogging task hoped that I would continue long after that; but as I approach it, I am finding myself exploring the possibility of going back to the life I knew before. Obviously I hope that I can take with me all that I have learned over these past few weeks, and apply it to a new fresh version of myself, one who drinks very occasionally but basically avoids it most of the time. But part of me knows that in a matter of days, if not hours, I’d be back at the start, and if last time is anything to go by, I’d soon be drinking more than ever.

So, what to do?

I wanted to write a much more uplifting post than this, telling you all how fantastic I’m feeling, what a calm mother I’ve been, how not drinking is the way to go forwards. And yet, I’m still feeling this rebellious urge to stop having to try so hard, and to think about something else for a while.

Is there still time for me to turn the corner?

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15 thoughts on “Fluctuating feelings”

  1. Absolutely! I would suggest extending your 30 days to 60 day as by that time I felt on much firmer sober ground. You can go back to drinking anytime of course but why not try it and see what happens? xx

  2. Hi Annie I am on day 53. It is probably the 6th time I have reached day 53 as I have been abstaining and then trying to moderate for probably 7 years. I have a similar life to yours – husband, family, work etc, in my 40s. Anyway, this time I have been practically glued to the Living Sober website and my daily reading of the members feed has made it so obvious to me that moderation just does not work. I wish you all the best with whatever you decide to do re drinking, but I would say that, if we need to put any sort of controls in place to harness our drinking, then that proves that it is out of control. I found a hilarious chart I had set up at Easter this year logging how I would aim for 160 ‘dry’ days in 2014. I had great plans BUT the fact I did the chart in the first place shows I just cannot moderate. Your blog has been great and your journey so real. Well done on nearing the end of your month xxx

  3. i don’t think it’s time yet for you to be giving up on being a normal drinker. Especially if the thought is causing you so much stress and angst. I’ve only been taking tiny mini breaks compared to your 30 days off and I already feel like I have a new relationship with alcohol. A healthier one. I actually don’t want it as much. And when I do have it, I either enjoy it more, or, if I’m not enjoying it, I can stop more easily than I used to. Not taking not drinking for granted changes a lot. I am really starting to feel like giving up drinking 100pc should be a positive decision rather than such a dreadful one for some people. Especially people whose worlds haven’t come crashing down around them and don’t _have_ to stop in order to keep their lives together. I think the reward for being so highly functioning until now is that we get to be a little more patient with ourselves.

    1. Quitting should be a positive decision, because it only brings positives to your life.
      Most of us do need to go brought a period of attempted moderation. Perhaps some people find they have not actually crossed the line into addiction. That the internal repercussions of drinking are not as bad as for others.
      No one knows the struggles of another. That part of this is very hard. I still find myself having to convince others I needed to quit. But they did not know how badly I felt about myself.
      I wish you peace in your journey.

  4. I think it’s clear that you know not drinking is the answer. That you will be back to drinking more than ever. Recognizing this is very self aware.

    I don’t think 30 days is long enough to have made the changes needed to make a clear choice. That’s why belle has he 100 day challenge. 100 days gives the body and mind more time to heal and to really see the benefits sobriety brings.

    Trying so hard is tiring. I know I did it for a long time. Sometimes I could even moderate. But I was suffering inside.

    The reason step one is surrendering is that it brings with it enourmous relief. Relief that you can stop the whys and how’s and when’s and focus on today. Making today the best it can be.

    Alcohol doesn’t add to your life. You are not losing out on anything. Give yourself a chance to see it. Don’t decide today. Just decide today you will be sober. If you do that each morning the days will build.

    I support you either way. All I can say is my experience is that sober is so much better.

    Anne

  5. You have already turned the corner! First by posting everyday and putting yourself out there for all of us to read and gain strength from. I’m only on day 20 and have told no one for now. I need to own this. I think as much about how to keep myself from not drinking as I did figuring out how to sneak extra drinks. Hope that will eventually go away. Point being – I believe if I had a drink now, even one, it would crush ME. And I’m the one I’m doing this for. Stay with it for YOU! Prayers are coming your way. You have been a tremendous help for me, hope I’ve given some back. 💗

  6. I would second earlier commenters that if you are still feeling wobbly then you might like to consider prolonging this period…maybe to 60 days with an option to review then? love what Belle says about “You have already tried moderation – what you haven’t tried yet is an extended period of sobriety.”

    if what you have tried previously wasn’t making you happy – how about trying something new?

    drinking will always be there if that is what you decide. having twenty five days of sobriety under your belt is sober momentum that a lot of people out there would give their eyeteeth for. that’s really valuable. don’t discount it.

    all the best! Prim xx

  7. Annie, I sense that you’re feeling only deprivation and even the small gains from these early days of sobriety aren’t competing with that loss. I wonder if it would help to really identify what the drinking desire is responding to. ie boredom? Frustration? Loneliness? Stress? Etc I’ve found that I have to keep asking myself, when Wolfie gets shouty, what am I feeling here? What’s wrong? Even this simple identifying and vocalising of the trigger helps me to get a small distance away from the urges. Because the feelings themselves are natural and do need addressing, but this doesn’t mean that a drink is the only way. I can find other diversions. Or it may be that something needs to be dealt with. And often it’s just a case of ‘normal’ life discomfort and drinking would only add to the bad feelings, if not immediately then later. I also agree that 50- 60 days is a more realistic a time to feel the benefits of a calmer sobriety. Do you think you could hold tight for that? It at least offers the possibility of a different outcome, like Primrose said, whereas moderate or heavier drinking is a path you’ve already tried and you know the outcome; that’s why you’ve been trying this. Hugs and courage to you, whatever you decide is right for you. Bea xx

  8. I haven’t read your whole blog yet but I’m on Day 62 (so 61 days sober) and I’m using all sorts of online support and reading books about not drinking to help focus my mind – I don’t know what help you’ve chosen to use.

    Willpower alone hasn’t work for me in the past, so I knew it wouldn’t this time but I don’t want to use AA. (A women-only group might have worked for me, but not a mixed group and they only have mixed groups locally so that option wasn’t viable for me.)

    There is only one thing I can stay at this stage that might be worth considering, and that is this. On Day 60, for the very first time, I sat down to eat dinner with my partner and genuinely forgot that I would normally have a glass of wine to go with it. It just hadn’t crossed my mind. Then the same thing happened on Day 61. On both days it was only when I saw his glass that I realised I hadn’t thought about drinking at the daily danger point.

    I’m doing Belle’s 100 Day Challenge and I can tell you that most people who have succeeded on it say that the first 30 Days are the hardest – I agree. If you give up giving up after 30 days, you’ll never know if you could have gone 60, 90 or 100 days and it does get easier. I promise.

  9. Dear Annie, don’t be too hard on yourself x. I’ve looked back at some of my posts from around the 30 day mark (my memory’s pretty well shot to pieces) and what is really clear is that I was constantly asking “Now what? Where’s the life I recognise?” and I mourned the loss of the life I had whilst drinking. It’s normal and right to be asking yourself these questions and to be feeling how you are, my friend. Like Bea, I wonder too if identifying exactly what the drinking desire is responding to would help? My advise; to stay sober for today. Today is what counts. Today is where we are and all we have. You’re doing GREAT. Sending love from the Sober Garden x.

  10. The first 90 days were a blur for me, as in they went by fast overall, but some days just felt hard. The cravings were more alive then and my old life, though of poor internal quality, was at least familiar, comfortable. I did not drink then, and I’m so thankful and even perplexed, but it only grew easier to resist and get through lulls and low spots. I 110% – a million times over (whatever that number is) – second the wise recommendations to extend your commitment by another 30 days…and longer if I’m honest. Turn that corner. Keep going. We already know what waits for us if we go back. No thanks.

  11. Annie, where are you?. I am worried I have not had a Blog from you this morning. your Blog and your story are part of ‘what I do’ each morning now! I hope you are ok.
    xx

    1. Don’t worry, I am here! I am in the middle of my orchestra rehearsal but I’ll write my post when I get home. Thanks for looking out for me, Lisa. I’m fine! Annie x

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