Tonight we have a few friends here for New Year’s Eve. I feel calm and ready, but it is only 12.20pm and the fridge is stuffed full of alcohol. But I have also stocked up on AF alternatives, particularly as there will be children here (as well as my own children).
I know I need to do this. The last few weeks have been fuzzy round the edges. Lots of fun here and there, and good cheer generally, but I felt weary in the middle of it all, and knew that my drinking was sneaking back into my daily life. That’s the problem. My husband claims that our no drinking Mon-Thurs was working, but I knew that the Friday/Sat/Sunday drinking was out of control. By December the 1st I slid into full party mode and am only now emerging.
Went to a drinks party and was drunk in 45 minutes, saying mean things about a friend of mine; stopped going up to say goodnight to the children, preferring to stay downstairs to get a few extra glasses of wine in me; stayed up until the small hours watching terrible television and raiding the drinks cupboard for old Baileys. Old Baileys ! So classy! Old, old habits, all flooding back within a few weeks.
While walking the dog a few days ago, I found myself making New Year plans: don’t drink in the week, eat healthily, only drink 2 glasses a night… Well, forget these plans, I won’t be able to sustain them. The best plan – and I know it’s tough – is to STOP DRINKING.
Day 2 underway.
A few weeks ago I had to go to the doctor as I had this raw pain in my stomach. I was given some medicine and told to watch and wait. Guess what? Drinking wine on a daily basis does not help improve raw pain in stomach symptoms. When the doctor originally asked me if I lived a healthy lifestyle, I said yes without hesitation.
I lied. You know those Am I An Alcoholic questionnaires that we all do? There’s often a question in there which goes along the lines of: do you keep drinking despite negative consequences to your health? I always rather scoffed at that question, because I usually seem so healthy, even when I’m drinking. But I think this scoffing may have caught up with me, and that my stomach thing may well be caused or exacerbated by my drinking. Now, that is scary.
So, I’ve just been chatting to my husband about this. He was unaware that my stomach complaint was still rumbling away. Now I’ve told him. ‘You have to give up drinking – at least for a month – to see if your symptoms improve. ‘
I know: why didn’t I think of this before? Well, of course I did think of this, but I just didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want to stop drinking. I don’t want to stop drinking. But it looks as though I am going to have to.
No more dithering. No more procrastinating. I need to grip reality here and do something about it. Day 1 starts today, despite our New Year’s Eve party tomorrow night, despite friends coming to stay the following weekend. I know the drill – I’ve stocked up with tasty AF alternatives, and now I need to form a good plan of selfcare. I have been looking worn out for weeks, drinking every single night. I need to reach back and find the things that worked before – and there were things that worked – and think of new things, as I keep on stumbling forward.
Is everybody else asleep?
I am not sure that it is ‘normal’ to be writing a blog in the small hours.
As I close in on the New Year, I have been thinking about where I am, and what I am doing. About drinking, that is. Last April, I started looking at sober blogs; I did a sober stint, and I think I did well. At that time, I didn’t write a blog, or really read many blogs, I just set out on my own.
Then came the summer, and the summer holidays, and I fell back into my old, bad ways. With the new, Autumn term, I began my blog, and I found real strength and support. But after a while, again I fell back into my old, bad ways.
And now here I am again. I am not in a good place. And I am always here, in the middle of the night, alone, and not tackling my problem.
I think I am going to start writing my blog again. In my everyday world, I am not talking to people about all this. At 12.56am (now!), who would listen?
It is 11.20pm and I should go to bed. My husband went to bed ages ago, and I said I would stay up and clear up. The washing up is waiting for me, but instead I have done something I haven’t done for a while: I have read all the sober blogs that I used to read, and have tried to catch up with their stories. I have missed them.
And where am I? Well, it’s nearly Christmas, and for weeks now I have been in the Nearly Christmas Zone, where everything seems to revolve around drinking and festivity. This is not a good place for me. Busy days, and then 5 or 6pm I open a bottle and greet my husband with it when he comes in from work. Tonight he suggested having a couple of days off, and I said, ” I am going to continue drinking until January 1st”. I am the opposite of sober; I am drunk.
I am frightened. I want to get back on the sober path that I tried this year, with some success. It now feels insurmountable. Always waiting until January 1st; always waiting. Is it even possible or sensible to begin a sober plan in the most alcohol filled month of the year? Or am I destined always to find an excuse not to go for it.
It’s been a long time. Sorry. I am still here, but I’m not quite here, and I haven’t felt that it would be positive to blog.
But I wanted you to know that I was still here.
While I’ve been drinking, and thinking that this is all fine, a few friends have emailed me, and that reminds me that all is not lost, and that I could still go back to trying. Go back to trying not to drink.
But at the moment, that seems impossible.