Day 30

So, I have reached Day 30. Those of you who have read some of this blog will know that I was originally set a challenge of not drinking for 30 days, and writing about it every day. And I have done it! It has been a difficult but fascinating few weeks. Certainly, writing a daily blog has helped enormously, and I am so grateful for everybody’s comments. The routine of thinking what to write, writing, and reading people’s responses has become part of my life this September; in particular, the moments when I’ve been really struggling and have turned to the blog to get those tricky feelings down – that has been amazing.

What now? I had a long conversation with my husband about this at the weekend. I think he thinks the blog has taken over somewhat; whenever he comes into the kitchen it seems as though I am poring over the iPad, writing or checking. But he acknowledges that it has been successful. He says he hasn’t read it, and I really don’t think he has! I have the sense that he would like me to be normal – by that I mean have a glass of wine with him here and there. We discussed next weekend when we are going to a school drinks party on Friday and a dinner party on Saturday, and he suggested I drive to both events, and then have some wine with him when we get home!
Part of me doesn’t want to say to him that I can’t/shouldn’t do that, because part of me is still holding out for the idea that I can drink again. I asked him, ‘Can I ever be drunk again? Isn’t that sometimes fun?’ He said, ‘No, I don’t think you should ever be drunk again. That should be your aim.’ Or words similar to that.

There were moments at the weekend when I envisaged drinking again; there were also moments when I enjoyed the possibility of not drinking again. I’d like to ask you all: if I do drink again, do I write about it here? Or is that a possible trigger for people? Do I only write if I continue to be sober? If I don’t write, will everyone assume I’m drinking?

My friends, what shall I do?

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42 thoughts on “Day 30”

  1. Well done annie. I think hubby should be more supportive but what would i know. I am struggling tonight (sober still) as to whether i should leave my hubby!! So so miserable. Xxxx ps. Do not drink. Day 31 here you come.

    1. Lisa, I’m so sorry you are miserable. Things sound intense for you at the moment. I imagine not drinking is helping you to keep a clear head about stuff? Annie x

  2. Annie you can do whatever you want! You can not drink and blog, you can drink and blog, you can choose not to blog and drink/not drink. If not drinking this past month has been this much of struggle though I would hold out to see if it gets easier. What’s another 30 days in the scheme of things? πŸ™‚

  3. There are changes that happen in life where we would give anything to be able to reverse an event or decision, but we cannot. minor things or great life tragedies alike, many things are irreversible.

    the decision not to drink is reversible any time you like.

    is the decision to drink reversible? yes – to a certain extent. because you can probably choose not to drink again after a period of drinking. probably. it is not a certainty, in the same way that alcohol will always be there if you choose to consume it.

    I can’t tell you what to do because I am not you and I don’t know what is right for you. I can only tell you what is right for me. and that is, that the decision I make every day to continue not to drink makes me happier than the alternative.

    and let’s be blunt – as Belle says – it’s not that I don’t occasionally want a drink. it’s that this is BETTER. for me, that is.

    what is better for you? maybe you will be able to form a better judgement if you give it a bit more time? all the best! xx

  4. Are you in my brain?πŸ˜‹. I am here on day 16 projecting to “when it’s all over”… Maybe the best thing to do is just stay in the moment and take it as it comes. Please keep writing no matter what you decide! I need to know what others like me are doing! 😘. Another sober early morning here in New York, enjoying it with my new friend Annie ! (That’s you)

    1. Hello my New York friend! Yes, don’t project! Best to take it one day at a time, a cliche I know (can’t find the accent to put on that e), but it does seem to be a good strategy. Day 16 is great! Over two weeks! I will keep writing, don’t worry. Annie x

  5. Hey there Annie, firstly, congratulations on 30 days!! Woo hoo!! You said you would do it and you did. Totally fantastic. Like some others have said, I think it’s easier to make decisions about what works for you best with a longer chunk of sober time under your belt. It’s tough when your other half doesn’t necessarily agree with that… but also interesting to see how your mind is working when you think along the “if I’m allowed to drink” lines… you know, the … How much could I have and how often? Could I still get drunk now and then? Then it would be, how often is now and then? It can be really freeing to move away from all those questions, from all that counting, questioning, regretting, wishing it was different. I don’t think you’ve really felt that, yee ha! I’m free! feeling yet … maybe hang on a bit longer and see if you do?
    Either way, fab achievement, Annie. It’s a privilege to follow your journey πŸ™‚ xx

    1. Thanks, MTM. You’re a wonderful support to me. I have bought that Veronika Valli book you recommended and am about to start it. I agree I need more sober time under my belt; I’m just balking at the idea! More thought required. Annie x

  6. Congrats in 30 days!! Now what to do. This is where I am: 23 days, have been reading your blog and Unpickled constantly, I feel, for me, that even trying to see what it would be like to drink again would be so very disapointing to me. Still doing this journey privately so I am the only one I would fail. I look back at what I have done so far and how much better I feel mentally and physically and at this point think one drink would send me right back to where I was. Keep posting Annie, myself and many, many others are supporting what ever you do. Even drinking again moderately and writing about it may help others decide for or against, plus we’re all out here for you. My advice though would be to stay strong one day at a time. πŸ’—

    1. You’re a huge support to me, and I always look forward to your comments. Day 23 is brilliant, and you’re right not to contemplate that one drink. Keep going as you’re doing. Is that good English?? I will keep posting. For the moment, I’m still intent on continuing sober. Annie x

      1. Awesome! Thanks for you’re reply, we’ll all keep each other strong. Side note: I drink to alter my mood and one drink just doesn’t do it. One would mean more and then more, so one every once in awhile won’t work for me. Reading these blogs have helped me figure that out. Happy thoughts are with you Annie! πŸ’—

  7. Well done Annie! 30 days! Hoorah! Love to you from The Sober Garden. You know what I’m going to say…sober for today…That’s the phrase that stops me from feeling faint with fear at the word “forever”. You’re doing it! xx

  8. Hi Annie Well done on your 30 days. What an achievement ! I will tell you what I have done in the past, as i have been queen of stop start and failed moderation. I would spend the next 30 days ‘being normal’ as your husband would describe it. I would have the odd drink and ‘go with the flow’ . I would also keep a daily blog about it. That way, if and when you fail to moderate, you will have a day by day blow by blow account of the slippery slope and how you slipped or not down it. Written down in black and white, this will give you the final, the ultimate lesson in why you don’t ever drink alcohol again, and it will be a great reference point to look back on if you want reassurance as to why you recommitted to an AF life. I have loved your blog, and you have my unwavering support and respect whatever you decide to do.
    Ps I would love to be ‘normal’ for the sake of my fabulous husband’ but I just don’t seem able to be !!!! So I might not be ‘normal’, but I am so so happy being sober !!!

    1. Thank you so much for your advice. The idea of blogging daily, whatever happens, is a good one. But I do worry about leading people astray. I will certainly try to write a post often, though. Annie x

      1. Please keep posting Annie no matter what. Know it may be a pain but think it will help you and will definitely help a lot of us thinking about the path you may be willing to try for all of us. Support either way! Ly πŸ’—

  9. In my view, if we’re even having the conversation about whether we need to quit/drinking has caused us problems, we should quit.

    I know forever seems like a long time, but just putting one foot in front of the other has helped me massively.

    At the weekend, I watched some friends drink and it all seemed a bit “what’s the point?!”

    I know it’s different for me, not having a husband who I used to drink with, so I see your dilemma on the “should I or shouldn’t i?” Question. Deep down you’ll know what you should do. And only you can make that choice. Not your sober friends, not your husband, just you.

    And with the blog, I used to blog every day in the early days, but that’s eased off. I rely on it less.

    Maybe try to allocate online time, so it’s not becoming all encompassing? X x x x x

    1. That’s a good idea, special online time. I’m still trying to decide whether to write every day or not. I read your blog every day; I’ve been going back over your past posts from the beginning. I find them – and you! – incredibly helpful. Annie x

  10. You have gotten lots of good advice. Here’s mine.

    Think about the last 30 days. What have you lost by not drinking? What have you ganed? Was it worth it? If so, stick with the not drinking.

    Have you been honest with your husband about how drinking really made you feel inside? It sounds like he is a regular drinker and thinks everyone should be able to choose when and how much they drink. He doesn’t understand the desperate compulsion that addiction stirs up. And so he is supportive of having a drink here or there.

    I know a drink here or there would never satisfy my personal cravings. If I had one glass I always wanted more. And I often wanted to get drunk, especially when I was using booze to numb feelings of depression and anxiety.

    Regardless of what you choose, please keep writing. If it bothers people they can worry about that themselves.

    My honest advice is to stay on the sober track. To keep the momentum going. The benefits of sobriety-clarity, self respect and joy, have been so much bigger for me than I ever expected. No glass of wine would be worth giving them up.

    Anne

    1. Anne, I really hear what you say. And I really do listen! Everything you say here makes sense to me; so I don’t know why I’m having this battle in my head. 😦
      Annie
      X

  11. First – thanks for pointing me in the direction of your blog. You’re a great writer and you have a solid following of people who are right where you are and who are very supportive. I can’t wait to go back and read all of your journey the last 29 days.

    Whether you drink or not is totally up to you. For me, as you know, it’s not the drinking, it’s the thinking about it that I couldn’t tolerate. The constant buzz in my brain and that awful cycle of how much, when, was I drunk, what did I say, who did I call….UGH! No thanks, I like the peace inside my head much more. It took a while for the noise to subside (and I mean a while) but it was totally worth the wait.

    Whatever you do I say keep writing. You’ll find the same support out here whether you’re drinking or not. You’ll also be able to see what’s in your head and process through it a lot easier than if you let it roll around up there with nowhere to go.

    Good luck whichever you decide. Just listen to your heart.

    Sherry

    1. So nice to see you here, Sherry. I read your blog a lot. I must say, today I’ve been plagued with ‘what shall I do now?’ questions. All very noisy in my head. Annie x

  12. Please, write about it!! How will we ever know what to expect or not to expect? If you are helping (and you are whether you know it or not) other people be it they are struggling with alcohol or, have a loved one is struggling, you might be what we need to see in order to continue on ourselves.

    And… if this blog here, is helping you, it most certainly will help when you “get back on again”.

    Whatever you decided, just know that we and those who do not comment, are here for you now, and will be here for you (if) then.

  13. tough decision, annie, and I hope you’re happy whichever way you choose!! my husband dismisses my sobriety too as a bit over dramatic and unnecessary, but in the end, it’s my head isn’t full of shame in the morning and my body that feels healthy again. not his. so I basically ignore him and look to the blogs, books, podcasts, and my meetings for support.

    whenever I get spooked by the notion of being done “forever”, I just remind myself that all I can control is my choice today. I also feel like at this point we’ve been thru the hardest part… the early days.

    I never want a Day 1 again, although I’d desperately looove to be “normal”. I know I’m not a normal drinker… normal drinkers don’t obsess and blog about drinking like I do πŸ˜‰ If I suddenly started a blog about muffins and started counting days since I had my last muffin, and pining for all the muffin filled days of my past, and hoping there would come a day when I can once again eat a muffin, you would all think I was nuts and clearly had a muffin problem πŸ˜‰ If I substitute booze for muffins, the answer becomes clear to me.

    So for now, I’m sticking with this sober gig. I hope you do too, but whatever you decide, we are all out here rooting for you and hoping you’re happy and healthy!! keep us posted either way!!

  14. You can always go back to drinking, but you quit for a reason. If you can’t moderate your drinking, you will find out soon enough, and you can start the process over.

    I think a question you should be asking yourself right now is why is it so important to your husband that you drink? He sounds like an enabler-sorry if that is crossing a line, but that is what struck me. My husband was also an enabler, I told him on one of the several times I tried to quit drinking that I didn’t want wine in the house. Several days later he bought home white wine with a screw cap! That was very discouraging to me.

    Whatever decision you make, it should be yours alone, not your husbands. The wine will taste just about the same as the last thousand times, nothing magic about it, but waking up without a hangover, well, that seems like new territory! Good luck, write if you want to, do what makes you happy, we are here for you.

    By the way, I am on day 25 or so, my husband is much more supportive, this time has been easier. I am not going back.

    1. Day 25 is great! I think you’re right about my husband being an enabler. But he is a good man, and I think he thinks he is being supportive. He listens to me when I talk about the blog and about my last 30 days. Perhaps he should read it! Annie x

  15. Annie, congratulations on your 30 days You did it! I knew you would! I guess my best advice would be for you (if you can find them) to go back to the first few comments you made on BFB or other blogs after your 60 Days in the Spring. That might give you some insight as to where you want to go and what you might decide to do now? As for posting, I love your writing and will look forward to to your posts whenever you decide to do so. Remember, take one day a time!

    1. I’ve been looking back at my diary (which I write every day) and it is startling how miserable I was in the days following my 60 days when I went back to ‘moderate’ drinking. So that’s a good idea of yours. I think we forget how we felt, and only remember the ‘good’ drinking times, not the day to day misery. Heartfelt thanks for all your support, my friend. Annie x

  16. Hi Annie, congrats on reaching day 30 of sobriety! I’m on day 7 and look forward to hitting my day 30. You are such an inspiration and I enjoy reading your blog so much. Please continue to write whether you drink or not. With regards as to whether you should drink or not, I suggest you listen to Belle’s Thanksgiving 2013 podcast (bonus T13). It reminds me of why I’m choosing sobriety because I do feel better but more importantly the momentum I’m gaining each sober day. 30 days is my goal too but how about one more day and one more the next day and so on. One day at a time. I’m beginning to feel free of Wolfie’s chains and that is so important to me. I wanna be free, unbroken and sober! Don’t we all?

  17. Annie, I confess it was my hope that this month would give you clarity. The fact that 30 days AF was so difficult is a good indicator that change was (is) needed. What you do next is entirely up to you, but I have another assignment for you to consider. I’m reading a great book called “Being Sober” by Dr. Harry Haroutunian. I encourage you to read it and write a review of it here – just as a way to continue the dialogue with your readers. Maybe a chapter/post per week to keep you in touch with this amazing group that cares for you and wants to keep hearing from you.

    1. I read your comment and went and ordered that book! So I accept the new challenge! I’m reading another book recommended to me by another blogger at the moment, then I’ll start your one. Thank you for everything. Annie x

  18. Congrats Annie! Seems like I was just talking to you about 2-weeks into this about our rather boring sober saturdays a couple days ago and now it’s a month.

    I say bash that damn Wolfie over the head! Not worth it. I echo schooseslife and a folland, both. I don’t want you to feel sick. Alcohol doesn’t make us feel better, so what’s the point? That’s what I just told myself (and the cat) two hours ago. . . whew.
    Beep Beep! Sober car comin thru. . . hugs!

  19. Congrats on your 30 days Annie! I’m on 30 today myself, and it has been a struggle with me just as it has with you at times. I have the same conversations with myself, an internal battle sometimes everyday, cravings and crying…it has been a tough month. But, I so want to hold out for ‘it gets better’….I want to see what I feel like at 60, 90, 120 days. When I get those cravings that usually come at times of emotional troubling moments- I try so hard to take myself through the moments…buying alcohol, drinking it, how I would feel, how did it make me feel just 31 days ago. Then, I can make a better decision…as much as I think I want it to calm down, it just was NOT doing anything positive anymore. And now, I would feel immediate guilt. I’m so holding out for IT GETTING BETTER….I hope you continue on this journey with me! xoxo

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