I have been here before: day 4. Being in these early days of sobriety is hard, and I feel a bit stupid that I keep coming back to the start. Having done 30 days, 40 days, even 60 days, I know that it gets easier, and I remember beginning to enjoy the freedom not drinking gives you. And yet I keep coming back, having to start again; it’s a kind of torture.
When I was a little girl, I loved fresh starts: the new term, new uniform, sharp pencils, clean exercise books, that sense of leaving the chaos behind and giving it all another go. I still love those fresh starts, and there is something enticing about setting out on the journey, with a bit of new determination and a feeling that things will be different this time. So is it partly that as the freshness diminishes, the project weakens and it becomes…well,…boring? And is it this that makes me turn back to the drink, at first liking the ‘new drinking me’, the one glass only person, but quickly reverting to the sloppy habits of old?
Here’s what I notice: I am tripping up at the start. Not at 30 days, but at 4 days. Sure, I don’t drink for 30 days, but I decide I am going to drink at 4 days, or at least I decide at 4 days that some time in the future I will drink. And from that moment, I am doomed to fail.
So much thinking. So much searching. So much trying to work out what to do, and how best to do it. For now, I will go to bed, glad that it is Day 4 and nearly Day 5, glad that I didn’t drink today, and hopeful that I will not drink tomorrow.