Worrying thoughts

I feared that yesterday’s positivity would catch me out. Still not drinking – day 17 – but as I walked the dog today, I found myself thinking seriously about going back to ‘normal’. A new normal of course! A normal where I drink the occasional glass of wine and otherwise stick to my shiny new sober life! Oh dear, oh dear. I think these thoughts are playing with the fact that I am feeling so much better. Kicking the coffee has really helped, but I also know that not drinking has paved the way for the tummy healing to take place.

But it’s such a dangerous place to be in, feeling better. Because as I feel the spring in my step, and congratulate myself on reading  two books already this year (no longer dead tired at the end of the evening), and am thrilled when a local friend says I look fresh-faced – at the same time, I think I can create the perfect situation where I only drink a teeny tiny bit, here and there.

I have been writing this blog for a while: stopping drinking, starting again, going silent, returning. Some of my sober blogging friends go through this pattern too, while others seem to have fixed it, managing to stay sober for many months, years even.  I am reaching out to all my sober friends, those who have done it, and those who are struggling, and I say to you all: I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this; I think I’m going to fail.

30 thoughts on “Worrying thoughts”

  1. Annie, I SO get this. I think it comes with our stops and starts and the fear that we can’t do it. Fear is an all consuming emotion. Well, I’m here to say that I have these thoughts too, but I DO think WE can do it. We CAN do this. YOU CAN. And I CAN. And we will:) Big sober hug to you today! xo

  2. By saying “I think I’m going to fail” are you giving yourself permission to fail? Your desire to succeed must be bigger than your fear of failure. Day 132 for me and one thing that keeps me from not drinking again is my self-concept. Don’t think I’d be able to recover from the damage it would do. Could you? I know, and I think you do too, that I can never be a normal on occasion drinker. Sending you strong wishes that you won’t try just one.
    Mary. 💗💗

  3. Hey, maybe you’ve heard this one before: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

    You are capable of quitting drinking if you want to, but you have to want sobriety more than you want a drink.

  4. I have thought this so often in the past. I’ve really convinced myself that I can stick to recommended units, stop at two glasses, take it or leave it, only drink on special occasions etc. etc. etc.
    I have a large family do if I add up all the birthdays, camping trips, christening a, weddings, funerals etc. that’s a large percentage of the year out. Add to this the celebrations of happy times, drowning sorrows in the bad times I know I’m only fooling myself. I have no use for one or two drinks. In fact I am would be do much more pissed off stopping at one or two than I am saying enough, I’m done. Perhaps you are different Annie and can have an occasional glass here and there. I know for sure I couldn’t. I wish with all my heart I could but I can’t. When I’m a drinker then drinking, or not drinking, or wishing that I didn’t drink, is all I think about. When? Where? How much? How much damage am I doing? Etc etc etc. we know how it goes. I’ve decided that if I can’t go it this time then that’s it. I’m not going to waste any more mental energy on fooling myself. I’ll just take my chances and drink what and when u want. Your stomach issues seem to be resolved now, and the healing has begun, do you really want to take risks with your health if you can avoid it? Everyone is here for you whatever you decide x

  5. Do you want to fail? It seems like you still haven’t committed to a sober life. You haven’t been able to moderate in the past. It will only get harder. You can do this if you really want to. Nothing bad will ever come from not drinking. I’m routing for you. Sorry to always sound like the bad cop but it is a decision. You have the control. Best!

  6. You can do this. You can not go back to what you are portraying as normal. You have tried over and over again.

    This is your addiction talking. Whispering thoughts to get you back on the booze. Don’t let it. Just decide there is no alcohol for today.

    Read your blog objectively. What would you tell yourself?

  7. If we can do this, you can do this! I only have 5 months of sobriety but that amount of starting and stopping I did was ridiculous. Its tough for me to pinpoint the change but for me, living the way I was living was just becoming unbearable. You are so much more than this!
    It helps to start to believe in yourself as a strong sober woman who can do what she puts her mind to. It helps to fully accept that you can’t drink “normally” or “moderately”. Best to you!

  8. Sometimes when things are good is when I want a drink the most. I think these worrying thoughts are normal. I also think you really need to committ. If you want to try this sobriety thing you really need to stick it out longer to see the great benefits of sobriety (Im only 2 and a half months in which isnt alot but Im gainng so much from this).
    You know you cant drink normally. Dont listen to that nasty addict thinking.
    You deserve a beautiful sober life.

    Sending lots of love and remember to be kind to yourself. No fast decisions and lots of love to yourself: baths, naps, US Weekly celebrity stalking (okay that one just might be me!)

  9. if you fall you just come back. but hang in there- i am struggling right along with you and am on day 3 once again but its okay because i at least keep coming back. reading how much better you feel makes me hopeful. lets do this!

  10. Hi Annie – you can so do this ! I struggled with controlled drinking for 3 years before I truly accepted that I just can’t be like everyone else and have the odd glass on the odd evening – it has been such a relief to finally be myself and like who I am and be authentic – no hiding bottles or gulping an extra one in the kitchen – I like myself and am working through all the emotional crap that sent me drinking as my crutch in the first place and guess what ! IT IS GETTING EASIER AFTER 18 months I have a councillor through alcohol dependency unit (govt funded) once a month and I have replaced lots of things instead of drinking ! I’m not the same fun I used to be with my husband, friends and family – some people had to go my drin king buddies and now I am making new friends yoga buddies and gym buddies and guess what I really like myself warts and all – you can do this ! If I can j know you can you have lots of strength – just hang in there – sorry for ranting but a book I read I think it’s called how to quit drink now quoted don’t think a day at a time – I want to NOT DRINK way more than I WANT TO DRINK – I wrote a letter to alcohol my friend for 45 years and I said goodbye – it was really therapeutic ! I’ll send it to you currently walking my dog and stopped to reply to you – beautiful day in NZ SUMMER HOT – just keep on hanging in there – xxx

  11. Oh please…you know damned well that you can’t go back to a teeny tiny bit of wine. It can’t happen. You’ve proven it before just as we all have. Unfortunately for us…it’s an all or nothing proposition.

    But you have to be ready for this journey because nobody else can do it for you. You have to embrace all the good and kick those lying ass thoughts to the curb when they creep into your head and IT’S HARD!!!

    I’ve been exactly where you are right now. When I was reading what you wrote (especially the bit at the end) I could feel the anxiety rising and my heart starting to beat faster as I remembered that feeling. That feeling of failure but at the same time resignation which leads to a feeling of relief.

    Just know that no matter what you decide, I’ll still be here to listen and support you on this journey. You’re worth the effort no matter what you do.

    Love and hugs and endless belief,

  12. One of the things Im learning is, I start to panic about the future and then I fear I won’t live up to my expectations and then I give up.

    Try to focus on today, its all any of us have. Take some breaths and give yourself permission to not think about anything other than whats in front of you right here right now.

  13. But…you feel so much better. Feeling better is a great reason NOT to drink…That is the gift…That is the “treat”…That is the best part of the journey!

  14. You’ve got to WANT this. This is your mind playing tricks on you. This happens when you start feeling better. You may be able to moderate, for a short time. Then you’ll be right back at the bottom. Stay strong my friend!!!

  15. It’s okay to have thoughts that you are going to fail, just like it’s okay to feel like shit sometimes. The important thing is that you don’t act on those thoughts/feelings. Don’t drink! Your brain is going to try to make it super complicated with all of those thoughts racing through your head, but the fact is that if you don’t drink you won’t fail. So take it one minute, one hour, and one day at a time. It will get easier. Find a distraction, do something else, go scream into a pillow. Just don’t drink today!

  16. I have thoughts like that, too. But I try to dismiss them. Spending too much time with that thought just seems to take me further toward a bad end: taking a drink. Best of luck; you know what you need to do.

  17. Annie…I will add to SC’s quote with this one…If you really want something you will find a way…if you don’t you will find an excuse! Hang in there!

  18. Annie – all the stopping and starting and stopping again is just so EXHAUSTING, isn’t it? You know in your heart that one or two drinks occasionally is not how it goes, not for us at least. Do you really want another ride on that merry go round? I agree with what everyone said above and I think it gets easier over time, and every time we walk through these kinds of fears/resist the devil whisper…sort of like building a ‘sober muscle.’ You can do this. WE can do this. I’m right here behind you on Day 12 and I’ve heard that voice (‘can’t we just have one or two, just tonight, we’re not driving, everyone else is enjoying a glass…blah blah’). I call BS on that – it’s a pack of lies and all I’ll get is hungover, miserable and another Day 1. I want to be sober way more than I want that! I hope you do too.

    You have to follow your path whatever it is But no matter what, we’re here and we have faith in you, even if you momentarily don’t, and you can borrow ours. Thank you for being so open and honest, and hang in there! You’ll thank yourself in the morning, or sooner :).



    1. I agree with everything Sobriety Rising has said – so true ! So true! It is so comforting to know that there are others out there going through the same old same old as me and you – 18 months sober and sometimes I think oh I could ha w the odd one now I’ve got it sorted ! NO I HAVENT ! I can never drink again but my body feels fantastic and every day I wake up and thank God he has kept me from the devil toxic poison that alcohol is for me. Yes Annie thank you for posting your good and bad days – you can do this – I’m Sending you love and hugs fro. NZ xxx

  19. Hi Annie – sorry you are being troubled by these thoughts. Think Belle said once that we think the only way to stop them is to have a drink – when actually the only way to stop them permanently is an extended period of sobriety. And at 14 months sober I can say hand in heart that those thoughts have all but vanished. If it were any other substance than alcohol that was making you feel this way – eg dairy? – wouldn’t you cut it out with a shrug and relief that you could feel so much better with only a minor social inconvenience? Keep buggering on – it does get SO much easier and it is really worth it! You CAN do this! Xx

  20. Hi Annie
    I’m glad you’re back, sober blogging, but sorry that you’re going through the same old despair about not drinking. As someone who managed to stop a while back, despite the temptations to go back to it, I can reassure you it does get easier and better, but you’ve already been told that, so clearly that isn’t enough.
    I’m struggling to find a way of providing the words that will make what you’re going through go away, disappear, be fine. I don’t think those words exist. Each of us finds our own way, and then reaches out to help others on the same path, a bit like mountaineering I suppose. The trouble with it is that we can’t stop you looking down, to continue the mountaineering metaphor which is what you’re doing.
    You have to want to do something to succeed at it and that means changing behaviour, not just making a new year resolution and hoping it’ll come right.
    Nothing on God’s earth would get me into an AA meeting, and knowing that I’d have to do that if I didn’t succeed on my own was enough of a motivation to get me through the first few months. That’s my stuff, but it was enough for me. For other people, going to an AA meeting was the thing that got them through the first few months, so what’s clear is that stopping is highly individual and the only person who can find their way is the person who wants to stop enough.
    Please, please get some Real Life support, whatever could work for you. It may take one or two attempts to find a place you feel comfortable, but even searching is more positive than planning to fail.
    If you don’t make it this time you’ll be beating yourself up again and that is so counter-productive. It’s horrible reading for me, finding out how much someone despises themselves, and I find it utterly heart-breaking.

    1. What I know is that tough love doesn’t work with boozers, and harsh comments like “your blog is horrible reading for me” really aren’t helpful. at all.

      What’s heart breaking is how hard it is to quit drinking, how much wolfie fills our head with bullshit. I don’t see this as you ‘despising yourself’ … it’s that the booze voice convinces us that it’s not going to work.

      when it is working. you’re sober. this is you. doing it.

      you have 18 days sober, that’s a lot of sober momentum. some individual days are shitty. that we think we might fail is a pretty common thought to begin. So you keep going. you get to day 30. you see how you like it. you keep going. you get to day 45. then you get to day 60.

      even if some days are crappy.

      hugs from me
      belle xo

  21. One day at a time Annie. You are doing it! Some days are harder than others for sure. I thank you for your honesty. It’s amazing how the days then add up, as Belle says. And momentum helps. You are building a great foundation for yourself. Keep going my friend!

  22. Just catching up on yesterdays post, good days and bad days, I think they are all part of the process, all part of the dappled path we follow. Keep focussing on the sunshine, on the good days. We can do this xxx

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