Shifting thoughts

Imagine writing a really moany blog which went on and on about how dreadful giving up drinking was, and kept repeating itself and driving its writer and readers mad? Oh dear, that might be me and my blog.

Last night, I decided that I needed to look at this process in a slightly different way. Clearly I am struggling with giving up drinking, and feel angry and resentful that I can’t drink; and when I do drink, I feel hollow and guilty. So I clicked on a link on Mrs D’s website Living Sober which directed me to some information about alcohol/addiction and the reward pathways of our brain. It was fascinating. If I knew how to put the link here, I would, but I’m so unsavvy where computers are concerned. The article helped me understand the physical effects of alcohol on the body, and how we become addicted, and how the body and brain try to adapt to the alcohol, thereby reducing the body’s natural means of creating reward and pleasure. I won’t continue to try and summarise it here; the link is in Mrs D’s post (on Living Sober) entitled ‘You’re not a bad person, you’re addicted’.

I stop drinking for a few days, then I start again. I am not giving my body a chance to recover and to reset itself to being without alcohol. It’s no wonder that I feel in a constant state of confusion and frustration.

And I also notice that I am finding it increasingly difficult to give up for any length of time. 60 days? 40 days? How on earth did I do that, when I now can hardly do 3 days? My biggest trigger is Friday, as in tomorrow. I need a serious plan of action so that I can get through this weekend and start adding some time to my body’s attempts to work at its natural best.

15 thoughts on “Shifting thoughts”

  1. That is a good thought process- and reading about how the body/brain changes and adapts to the poison is VERY interesting and can help one understand how important it is to stop and let your body heal. Give your brain and body and soul a chance to be the Annie you love everyday and the one that feels good:) xo You CAN do this.

  2. The serious plan is do not drink.

    Do not buy alcohol
    Tell your husband you aren’t drinking
    Do not go out to places alcohol is sold
    Have a backup plan. Treats, bubble baths, movies, books, etc.
    Enlist sober support (AA, therapy, etc)

    Unfortunately sobriety will not happen without change. You must make the change.
    Some day you will see how little you are giving up and just how much you have to gain.

    That’s my true hope for you, dear Annie.

  3. I have a drastic idea for your action plan.

    Could you go visit a friend, family, someone you trust who lives out in the country, or even in a different part of town? Let them know what’s going on and ask them to help you through the weekend. Give them your wallet and car keys, and do anything that keeps your mind off your situation for 48 hours and gives you time to reset.

  4. This is my first comment on your blog, which I really enjoy reading btw.

    Your experience reminds me of my several attempts at sobriety. I wanted so desperately to be a “normal” drinker. I gave myself drinking rules such as only drinking on weekends. When that would inevitably fail I would tell myself I will stop after two glasses of wine which would lead to a third, fourth and then the bottle. All my rules did was create anxiety and stress. I set myself up to fail because I can’t drink responsibly. It’s just not in me to drink “normal”. So having realized that, I told myself no more drinking rules. I just can’t drink. When I took away the option to drink it became easier for me. It was like a weight was lifted. It was much eaiser for me to say I can’t drink than to slap rules on my drinking. As of today I am 110 days into my sobriety. The weekends were the worst for the first few weeks. I am also a SAHM of twins so there are days when I want to give-up and drink a glass or a whole bottle but I don’t. Instead I remind myself that drinking is not an option anymore. I’ll go to yoga, take a bath, make a nice dinner, brew some hot tea and go to bed. You have to find what works for you but you can do this. I truly believe you can.

  5. Hi, this is my first comment also. I want to share an image with you that has really helped me in the ups and downs. My sobriety is a string of pearls. Every day is a pearl. I don’t throw away the pearls if I mess up one day. I just pick up and try to add a pearl the next day. The truth is that every single day you are without alcohol is a boost to your health. By using this approach I have been able to go from a daily heavy drinker to someone who never misses adding a pearl but it took a while. Just keep trying!!!!!

    As far as you Friday trigger. I think the substitute drink has helped me so much. My triggers were getting home from work and sitting on the deck on warm afternoons. I switched from wine to diet tonic water over ice with lime. Now, when I come home from work, my body craves diet tonic water not wine. Find something that fits your taste. Mine couldn’t be too sweet. Stock up on it. Get rid of any alcohol in your house and go to the substitute drink until it replaces your drink of choice.

  6. You managed 40 and 60 days before by slowly moving one foot in front of other and like me climbing the walls, managed somehow to get through.

    Hugs and more of them. Planning something exciting on Friday or early on Saturday a treat that might be fun…….. x


  7. Hi Anne,

    I’m glad you’re still here and trying and blogging about it. Just. Keep. Trying. I have personally found that mind set is so key – when I’m feeling all angry about not drinking and “deprived”, it just doesn’t work. When I can get myself in the mindset of sobriety being GOOD and feeling all determined and proud of myself, it is so much better, easier.

    This of course is easier said than done. Reading books/blogs/podcasts all help. Reminding yourself why drinking is bad for you. Playing that tape through to the end of the reality when you drink, as you recently posted about, that in the end it actually wasn’t ‘all that’ after all.

    I do this stupid thing where I quit for awhile then start fantasising about ‘just one last blow out’ as if this one drinking night can exist in isolation when the nature of addiction is to just want more and more once you feed the beast. Playing that tape through and reminding myself than when I’ve given into that fantasy it has been just that… a fantasy… and the reality of drinking too much, feeling crap, being mad at myself for having ‘failed’ in my sobriety all help.

    Friday nights are often a big trigger for me. So what’s this plan then? 🙂 Treaty food and a nice non alcoholic do – alternate non drinking plans (like a movie maybe), a good book, a hot bubble bath. Get it all set up before the 5pm witching hour hits.

    Lilly x

  8. I’m not great at math but I think Friday night is upon you in the UK. I truly hope that you’re finding a way to be your most authentic self. I believe in you, even if you’re having a hard time believing in yourself right now.

  9. I know, how did you do 40 and 60?! It’s unbelievable. But you did. You are amazing. You will do it, you’ll be one of the lucky ones. But it’s always a day at a time. I, like Cindy, like to think of the broader collection. I saw a facebook post on putting pebbles in a jar (the pretty ones you get for fancy fish tanks or flowers) for every pound lost that could be easily adapted to days of no drinking.

    I’m glad you’re back.

  10. hello Annie. hope you are ok. thinking of you. how was Friday night? one thing that struck me reading your recent posts is that when you do drink, it doesn’t seem to give you any pleasure. that’s something I remember very clearly from my final days of drinking. I blogged about it here, if it might help?

    sending you lots of love. xx

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