Day 0

I am starting again. This is Day 1 but I feel so low and sad that I’m describing it as Day 0. I’ve been here before, but this time it feels different. This time, I need to do it differently.

Last night we went to a supper party. I was undecided about drinking but by mid-afternoon I was sure I would drink. But what really struck me last night were the little things about the drinking: the way I looked for the bottle, the way I started to worry when I’d finished my glass. All the sophistication in the 1976 pudding wine was lost: I wasn’t sophisticated, I could barely even taste it. I’d drunk so much by then that the quality of the wine was irrelevant. My dear, sweet husband sat opposite me and watched.

Right. I need to tackle this in a different way. No more flailing about. I can’t keep stopping at day 2, day 42, day whatever. I need to keep going. So I’m going to have to do this in a way which gets me through these hurdles. For a start, I’m going to write here every day, as I have found the blog to be good. And I’m going to need to look more carefully at my triggers. This morning, I’ve already been worrying about some boozy friends coming to stay in January, about Christmas – about this Friday, for crying out loud. I can’t think like this. I have to work on what is happening today, and go forward like that.

The kids are still asleep as it’s half-term here. I have crept downstairs, desperate to write here, desperate for help.

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48 thoughts on “Day 0”

  1. You have all that you need in that determination in your words today. You can do this and there’s lots of help and support out here. Turn that feeling of ‘low’ into one of relief and strength that your last drink is done; no more ugly shame, only a clean, clear path ahead. I’m with you. Bea x

  2. The encouraging thing about kicking an addiction is that most people practice at it before succeeding. If stopping were easy, it wouldn’t be considered an addiction. You’ve had a couple of very serious practice runs and succeeded on both of those, and it sounds now as if you’re girding up your loins for the real thing.

    Good.

    However, it’s time for another rethink. When what you’re doing doesn’t work, you need to change what you’re doing. Whatever more support you need – you’ve got this blog, those of us that comment, Belle and your sister (I think) who proposed the 31 Day challenge – please take time today to look for it, identify it and reach out for it.

    Please get every scrap of support available to you as early as you can. It makes a huge difference. If I lived in a city big enough to have a women only AA group I’d start with that, but I don’t, so I had to get my support on line. It’s worked for me and I’m incredibly grateful for everyone who contributes to my sobriety, albeit virtually and anonymously.

    We’re here for you, recognising all of the things you’re saying and cheering you on.

    Sara

    1. Thank you so much, Sara. Yes, I’m going to look hard for the various strands of support I have. My online people here, including you, are amazing! I haven’t reached out beyond that yet, though. Annie x

  3. Anne you sound so strong today, so determined to see today as an alcohol free day. Its your last low/what have I done day for a while. Think about how great you’ll feel tomorrow, what have you got planned for those triggers later, fill the house with chocolate and whatever you’d prefer as an non-alcoholic drink. Hide your purse, get into your pj’s early, have a duvet day. What can you do to make yourself pampered and loved today. Read an inspiring book, write, who cares if its six posts in one day – be nice to yourself and focus on today. Just today, cos today’s all you’ve got to get through and tomorrows a shiny new day.

    Hugest of hugs, neither of us want to wake up feeling crappy tomorrow. xxxxx

    1. Thanks, Daisy. I’ve just started Caroline Knapp’s Drinking: a Love Story. I’ve read it before, but I didn’t ‘get it’ then. It’s brilliant. Your ideas for dealing with the dreaded triggers are great, and I’m about to make a list! Annie x

  4. Hi Dappled! πŸ˜‰

    You fucked up, that’s shit. 😦 Big hug from Holland.

    Your story teaches me that alcohol is strong and sneaky, thank you for sharing. Worrying will not help you, sorting out shit could. I am not sure I can help you, even though you are calling out. But I can tell you what I hope that I would do in your case. That would be to sit with it and feel back in the process how and where it all began. Feel back, write about it, cry about it and most importantly don’t try to change nasty feelings into something else, don’t hide, don’t try to suppress, don’t make them bigger than they are, not to talk it down and not to berate yourself ‘because you should’ – just sit with them. Everything that is not truth will only feed the addict in you.

    I came to this because I feel that in the text above, you take a huge jump from paragraph 2 to 3 – like some contemplation is missing there. I’d say go back and experience a ‘sit with it’ excercise. Get you back on your Path again. πŸ˜‰ You can do it. You have don it before, you have learned, you will learn. You’ve got one flat, don’t go slashing the other 3 tires too.

    Allez hop!

    ❀ ❀ <3, Feeling

    1. Thanks, Feeling. Your comments really make me think. I went back and reread my post and I can see that gap. Yikes. I know there’s a lot of work for me to do this time round; I was breezing about a bit before, hoping it would all slot into place. You really do help me, so please keep commenting! Path x

      1. I am guessing everybody has done the breezing, I have, a few years back, I thought I’d just stop and get on with life. That worked for a while but I was not prepared for the peer pressure of my boyfriend then. It cost me another 3 years of serious drinking to get to the point where I was about 3 months ago. That is why this time around I prepared. I hope it will keep me clear. No, I should say; I want to be clear and not drinking is a big part of that. I am working on making it work. It is a lot of work, I had not thought that is the case. But I feel that it is neccessary because alcohol is strong. Realizing that scares me, but I have to face it and shine light on it, expose it because addiction trives in the dark, feeds on lack of clearity, makes darkness. I think it is very brave what you have done; tell your story here. πŸ™‚ You let the light in so you and I, we, can see and take that knowledge with us.

        Can you handle a little joke already? I read back and think: did I really just write; ‘thank you for fucking up?’ πŸ˜‰ But I did, well, sort of, not like that exactly. Alcohol is strong, your little step outside your path tells me that. Hope you dry yourself off, treat yourself to some nice stuff and love yourself back into the light. I’ll, I guess we’ll be sending back-up love if yours is a little rusty after a night of boozing. πŸ™‚

  5. I believe in you, Annie. You haven’t let yourself go down the drinking path for very long, so getting back in the saddle should be easier. As Sara says, you have had a couple of very good practice runs. This time will be the best for you. Watch out for those late afternoon triggers and keep on blogging. You have tons of support!!

  6. Every time gets easier. Trust me. You’re building the synapses in your brain so this time you’re starting down a path that’s already been cleared. It’s never starting over again at the very beginning.

    1. Encouraging words – thank you. My brain feels pretty dull today, but also different somehow. Or perhaps that’s just wishful thinking on my part… Annie x

  7. Annie, some of what you write here reminds me of how I have been feeling lately. Your feelings about drinking are changing, and this is good. I wrote about it today on my blog- but I think we can look at addiction sort of like the stages of grief…and then we finally reach the acceptance stage…KNOWING that alcohol cannot and should not be in our lives. I’m sure there is some moving back and forth- it’s just real life. But, as I’ve read your words since you’ve started commenting and writing your own blog- it is clear to me that drinking and having alcohol in your life causes you undue pain. This is SO hard, I know this…I just drank a couple of days ago and didn’t enjoy one moment of it…yet, I did it. These moments are there to teach us things and to move us forward on our path. It sounds like you are ready to begin this healthy new life- it doesn’t need to be called “day….anything”….it can just be called Wednesday; the day I started living my healthy life….because I deserve it! Because you do! You deserve it. Love and hugs and support, and thank you for your continued support:) xoxo

  8. I’m glad you are back.
    Addiction is hard shit. Blogging is good. Online support is good. But you had that before and it wasn’t enough.

    Real life support is important. The fear and embarrassment and excitement of walking into an AA meeting and hearing other tell your story is truly life changing.

    Going to a therapist and opening up and telling them everything is also hard, but so relieving.

    Think hard about these two options. Aa is free and no one will make you return if you don’t get anything out of it.

    Have you shown your blog to your husband? If not, perhaps it’s time to be truly honest with him about your struggle with alcohol. With the compulsion to drink. With the inability to stop once you start. Those are the things that a person who doesn’t have alcohol issues can’t understand unless we tell them.

    If he understands the depths of your struggles he will be a huge support.

    When I was drinking regularly I wasn’t living. I thought I was high functioning, but it’s clear that I wasn’t anywhere near as functioning as I am today. My children were missing out on a lot. I was missing out on a lot.

    Grasp on to life. Im here to cheer you on all the way.

    Anne

    1. Anne, you are a constant support to me – thank you. My husband has seen my blog, but I’m not sure how much of it he has read. I need to have that conversation with him, but not today. I will seriously consider those other options you suggest, too. Annie x

  9. Hi Annie. Your blog reads as a cry for help. I am only 11 months sober, but I feel your pain. I have looked back at many of my journals over the years, and have seen how many times I wrote, I am an alcoholic and I need to quit drinking. I spent years doing that.
    I don’t know what clicked this time. Maybe it was being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Maybe it was the moment my husband called me a drunk, and I saw that I had the potential to lose my life as I know it.
    I started with Belle, and transitioned into AA. I love the sober bloggers and all their help, but needed live people too.
    I have learned so much in AA. Some of it I can use to stay sober, some I just tossed aside.
    The most important thing, and the biggest cliche, is doing it one day at a time. But in fact, that is really what it is. Just telling yourself, today I will be sober, then I will see what tomorrow brings. As my sponsor told me, look down, keep your head where your feet are. Don’t think about tomorrow, next week, next month. Every sober day you gain is one more day of strength against booze. Which is cunning, powerful and baffling. Or as Belle says, just tell Wolfie to fuck off for today.
    You can do this. Yes, it is hard, and it sucks, but it sounds to me like drinking sucks for you also.
    I made my bed and bedroom my safe zone. When I wanted a drink in the beginning, I got in my pajamas and got in bed. I read sober blogs, I listened to youtube AA speakers, I went to on line AA, sober sites, Lifering, XA Speakers, AA Agnostica, and just read, and read. I still do. I read other peoples stories, and struggles, and realize I am not alone in this fight.
    You CAN do this, you can do this today, turn Day 0 into Day 1.
    Stay Strong.

  10. I am sure you know the wonderful Mrs D and her blog and her book? Her early struggles are so much like so many of ours and yet here she is today a sober superstar. If you have not read her blog from the start, please do your self a favour. I am in my early days too and am not the “example” you need, but I am here listening and supporting you and sending you lots of support and strength.

    1. Winnie, you are absolutely the example I need. You and I are in this together. And I love Mrs D, have read her blog from the beginning and have ordered her book! Annie x

  11. Annie –

    You’ve got this!!! We’re all here to cheer you on win or lose but it has to be your decision and your journey. You can do this thing!

    Hugs and endless belief in YOU,
    Sherry

    1. Thank you so much, Sherry. I know this is something I have to do on my own, but your support really helps me, as does the support of everyone here. Annie x

  12. Hi Annie, I haven’t any other words of wisdom to add, except to say I’m with you all the way. You continue to inspire me, and today is going to be my day zero. I’m with you, and am determined to get into double figures xxxxx

  13. Hi Annie! You CAN do this. If it feels differently this time then take advantage. Those opportunities are little gifts of grace that we sometimes get. Dig in and do whatever it takes to get through the cravings. Read, write, take time to be grateful for what you have (writing a daily gratitude list has been so helpful for me in sobriety). Sending you good thoughts!

  14. Hi, it is the ‘future’ here. is it about ‘witching hour’ there for you….?
    I am having my morning cuppa and hoping you are distracting yourself withsomething nice?

    1. Yes, in the middle of witching hour! Chopping peppers for supper at this very moment. Went round one craving by making a mocktail. Despite this morning’s headache, I still had those wouldn’t a big glass of wine be nice thoughts. Sigh. Annie x

  15. Annie, you can definitely do this!! It sounds like something has definitely clicked at this point, and you are looking for new ways to approach this.

    I know there is lots of advice above, and you have had over a month of being sober before, but I will just add my own little bits…I found it really helpful to have a fancy AF drink at, say, 6pm and onwards. Even if you’re not craving wine, I think it just creates a new routine, and I think my brain likes that.
    Also, I know ‘taking one day at a time’ is almost a clichΓ©, but it is so vital. To so much of life anyway, but especially sobriety.
    Finally, do whatever you need to do. Protecting your sobriety is the most important thing, so if you feel a dinner party or a drinks night is too much, and might put it at risk, don’t go. Don’t do anything you’re not ready to do.
    We’re all here for you Annie πŸ™‚ I’m thinking of you, and sending vibes for sober strength πŸ˜‰
    Hugs, waking xx

    1. All ideas gratefully received! The AF drink option at 6pm has worked well for me in the past. But I haven’t been very good at turning down parties etc and these have often been my downfall, so I’m planning to take that more seriously this time round. Annie x

  16. I know how you feel! I hate that self loathing/desperate feeling after “failing”. Each time you stumble it can make you stronger. I think it can help you focus more on your goal of sobriety. On day 5 here (again). hugs!!!!!!

  17. Hi Annie: I’m sorry I’ve been a bit out of touch. I’ve caught up on your blog and am giving you my full support. You have my email if you ever want to “talk” across the pond. As I said in my most recent comment here sometime earlier in the month, you have accomplished so much in 2014 and come so far and should give yourself more credit! You have probably close to 120 days alcohol free this year, probably more! Starts and stops seem common among all of us in the beginning until the final time when you build your resolve and decide this time “no matter what” I will not drink. Those words in quotes come from the pledge to Belle. Going back and re-reading my pledge is what gets me through the strongest urges. And thinking one day at a time, as you mention here!

    1. I’m back on Belle’s challenge. I must look back and reread the pledge which I made so long ago. Thank you for all your support. You found me at the very beginning and I will never forget that. Annie x

  18. Lots of love here, clearly, Annie. And it’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it? the only thing is that all that love and support won’t stop us from drinking. Frothy emotional appeal loses its shine when the craving is knocking at the door. The love of my wee boy and wife wasn’t enough for me to stop. I drank and drove with the little guy. Abandoned him to get my next bottle. All that crap. Love and support got me only so far. But as mentioned here, and you know this, it has to come from within. And I hear that you want it. So this is giddy up time πŸ™‚

    I think what some of the commenters are hinting (or not hinting) is that more has to change. This is not an indictment. For me, more had to change. I desperately wanted to stop. I did. I swore once my boy was born, i would stop. That didn’t work. I kept upping the bottom until I crashed down. We can’t dictate how and when it happens, but it does.

    Lots of folks out here have gotten sober with 12 step and many have gotten sober without 12 step. In the end, there was some sort of shift, you know? It wasn’t oaths and solemn promises that did it – there was something that *changed*. Some went to therapy, some immersed themselves in helping others (like Belle or now Mrs. D), some of us went to AA, some found religion, some embarked on spiritual paths, some did some behavioural work. In other words, there was a shift. Something that altered their perception of the world so that picking up a bottle wasn’t on the menu any more. And that’s the work. That’s the change πŸ™‚

    I hope that you find your way, my friend. I am rooting for you and I am sending you hugs and positive vibes. Take it for what they are…but search within, reach out and find the truth of your soul. It’s a beautiful thing, this recovery / sobriety. I know you will get there.

    Blessings
    Paul

    1. Giddy up time: that’s just it! I need to do something differently this time round, and I’m really thinking about that. Thank you for your wise words and advice. I am listening. Annie x

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