Feeling hopeless

I wasn’t going to write today. Then I thought, this is silly: I need to write about the fact that I don’t want to write. I’m feeling useless. All afternoon, I have been thinking about stopping the blog and stepping out of the sober blog world. I am feeling completely overwhelmed. Other bloggers are so far ahead of me and I don’t think I’m ever going to get there. I know it’s not a competition, but sometimes I feel as though I’m the only one out here moaning on about how hard it is, and I do wonder if people are getting fed up with my stopping and starting.

So I had those thoughts. And then, I had more bad thoughts. I thought that I want to start drinking again. Not today, because today is Tuesday and I’ve got this deal with my husband that we don’t drink on Tuesdays. But I want to drink on Friday. And I started making a shopping list of things I was going to buy on Friday morning and the list included a bottle of champagne because I wanted to celebrate drinking again. I told you I’d had bad thoughts.

So that’s where I am at the moment. That’s where I am.

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Digging in

Thank you to everybody who commented yesterday (and all the other days!). I would like to be able to reply to each comment, but I don’t think I can do that at the moment, as I’m writing the blog every day if possible (one of the things on my list to help me succeed this time round) and I run out of time to comment as well. I hope you’re not sad or offended if I don’t reply. Please know that I am reading your comments and really appreciate the thoughts and advice. When I do have time to reply, I will! I am always pleased when a blogger replies to my comments on other people’s blogs.

The support is amazing, and I am interested and need the varied approaches people give me. During the difficult moments yesterday – and there were many, and they were hard – the comments often got me through. In these early days, I am finding that the blog is a lifeline: not just a place where I can vent (sorry for all the venting), but a place where I feel listened to, and where I listen.

So, here I am on Day 3. I found yesterday evening excruciating, but I gritted my teeth and inched my way through it. I had given my parents and husband the leftover cava and red wine for lunch, so there were no dribbles in the fridge. I drank the lime-y drink, had the bath, heated up the soup and watched TV. I had a terrible headache at bedtime 😟

Woke up feeling better. Mondays are easier than Fridays. So this week, I plan to arm myself more effectively if I can as I approach Friday, so that I don’t reach the weekend and fail at the first cork. What do I need to do? Well, I’ve printed out my list of sobriety tips and have it by my bed, and I’m going to get more edible treats in. I’m not going to project too far ahead as I start to panic, and I’m going to be pleased that I’m on Day 3.

Beckoning bottles

My second post today. I’d like to be able to write something profound, but all I can write at this moment is AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH.

That, I’m afraid, is how I’m feeling. Only Day 2 and as I head towards the evening I literally feel like a mad person. I have already pulled out some tools: I’m running a bath, I’ve made an alcohol-free mojito which just tastes like lime-y water, I’ve taken the dog for her second walk of the day in the pouring rain while listening to The Bubble Hour. But I’m still struggling. I am fantasising about opening a big bottle of wine and drinking the whole thing in one go, and that is not something I would even do normally.

I feel bad as this blog is becoming so so repetitive and is going round in circles as I go round the same old internal discussions, and the same old pathways.

I am going to try and battle through. I think I’m sounding pathetic, so I’ll stop writing and go and get in that bath.

Crawling crawling

Another Day 2. In my attempt to tackle this differently, I’ve got a list of things to help me with these early days (thanks, Belle!), as I keep crashing around this time. Nearly midday here, and usually on a Sunday I’d be pouring a little glass of sherry. Look away now if you don’t want to be triggered. I loved that little glass of sherry! Does that make me sound 106? Anyway, little glass of sherry is not on my list of helpful hints, so it’s fizzy water instead. I’m cooking a big roast lunch for my family, and for my parents, and even the smell of the lamb is a trigger, so when I’ve finished writing here I’m going to make myself another AF alternative which doesn’t remind me of sherry (I’ve written sherry too many times in this post. Ooops, there’s another one).

Last night, my husband nobly drove out at midnight to collect our daughter from a party. A few days ago, I had made a mental note that this would be a good time for me to tuck into the wine while he was gone. With my new if fragile resolve I did the washing up instead. I’m back in the early days of sobriety, so I know it’s not necessarily glamorous at this stage, but wow – doing the washing up on party night, staring at my reflection in the dark kitchen window, jolted me into a small realisation: I need to recreate the idea of glamour in my head, my version of Saturday night glamour at least.

In the last few days, I’ve been reading some posts by people who are struggling at the moment. The kindness and wisdom of comments which follow these posts is incredible, and I am so grateful to be part of this amazing sober blogging world. Thank you to everyone who reads my blog; you all help me in so many ways.

Back to the roast. Back to another Day 2. But no sherry.

Am I awake?

Saturday morning. I need a plan of action. My series of recent Day Ones tells me that I want to keep trying, but that my current plans aren’t working. I fall at the very first hurdle, and because I don’t have many days under my belt, I give up too easily. So, I need to get more sober days built up, that’s the first thing. I know there is deeper work to do, but before I get to that, before I even really think about that, I need to devise more practical ways to get through even a few days of sobriety.

The mind games are maddening. I can set myself up to succeed, have the best plans all prepared (alcohol-free alternatives, for example) but the voice that turns those plans into booze is currently stronger than the other voice. I need strategies to reverse those voices. I can’t even remember how I managed in the first few days of my other sober attempts, but each time it has felt different anyway.

That Bubble Hour episode I listened to yesterday really struck a chord. The contributor was describing walking past people drinking wine in restaurants and wishing that she were one of them. Only when she realised that she couldn’t drink like them, that she’d never be able to drink like them, did she surrender. I think part of my problem is that I still can’t accept that I won’t be able to drink normally, and that is what is holding me back.

I’m digging too deep for Day One. It’s Saturday, so another Saturday night looms. I need practical ways of getting through it.

My friends, your help and advice means so much to me. Although I am struggling, your strength really does help me, and I love you.