Hammer and nails

Insanity. Going to the party last night, and thinking that I wasn’t going to have any alcohol, then immediately taking a glass, drinking it and looking for top ups for the next few hours. Any thought of moderation disappeared within the first few seconds of my arrival; I threw my few sober days away without even pausing.

Time and time again, my attempts to moderate are scuppered. And increasingly, I find this to be the case. I read about it in other blogs, and I know it is common, but it still amazes me, the way the alcohol voice shouts so loud.

Day One. I recognize the need to change the way I tackle this, but first I need to get through today; I feel groggy, stupid and a bit sick.

31 thoughts on “Hammer and nails”

  1. To me, day 1 is the “easiest” to get through in terms of swearing off drinking. It’s around day 4 that things get a little dicey. I wish I could tell you what works. I only seem to be good at what doesn’t …..

  2. Remember this sick and stupid feeling! New day 1, and you’ll never have to feel this way again. Years ago, during one of my attempts to stop drinking, when people would ask why I wasn’t having a drink I’d say, “because it makes me sick and stupid.” Interesting to hear those words again, and how true it is. Hang in there Annie, we’re all here to help.
    Mary. πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

  3. Hi Annie. I started seeing a therapist three weeks ago and it’s really helping. I slipped a week ago but I’m back on day 6. Just because you get outside help does not mean you have to be perfect. The right help will understand this. This is a process and it takes time. Having someone in real life to talk to makes a huge difference. This can be a lonely and isolating experience and it’s scary to ask for help, but give it a try. Try just three meetings or three counseling sessions and see how you feel. I’m cheering you on. Big hugs!

  4. Is there any way for you to avoid going to events where a lot of people are drinking? At least for a while? When I first quit, it was hard for me to be around it. If I had tried to go to a party in my first few weeks, I probably would have failed too. I had to make changes to my life that put my sobriety first. I thought about things that made me want to drink, and if possible, I eliminated those things, at least for a time. It’s ok to make things easier on yourself. Today, I could go to that party and be fine, but if I don’t feel like going, or I feel like it might make things harder for me, I don’t go. It’s that simple. Mindfulness is your most powerful tool. Without mindfulness about why you want to drink, and recognizing situations that are not good for you, you’re just white-knuckling it, and that’s a tough way to do this thing.

    1. I agree. In my first 30 days I stayed home. I work so that absorbed part of the time. I was in bed by 7 pm every night reading a sober blog. The next 30 went to my first family gathering. Lots of sober people so felt a lot supported. I had to go to a wedding in my 60 to 90 days. Omg it was so hard. It was a wine wedding with parings. Very hard but I did it. Coming up on a year. I love Aa. It worked for me.

    2. You’re right. I have been white-knuckling it, and I think I have been arrogant going to parties and expecting to stay sober. Mindfulness is something I’ve never explored. Annie x

      1. It’s amazing how little we drinkers know about ourselves, isn’t it? And don’t get me wrong, we all white-knuckle it at times, but to do it for any long period of time would be very difficult. It’s OK to stack the odds more in your favor. The thing I said about it being OK to make things easier on yourself, it’s really true. I am so hard on myself, and it really was a revelation to me that I didn’t have to do everything the hard way. I didn’t have to punish myself by being around other drinkers and being “strong.” I don’t think there’s any great mystery to being mindful, but for those of us who have been used to pushing down and numbing our feelings, it can be a real change. Number one is to put your sobriety first, above everything, including friendships, fitting in, worrying what others will think… all of it. Number two, be kind to yourself in any way you can think of that doesn’t involve alcohol. Learning to do that has been life-changing for me, and I’m still learning. I am no expert, I just know that this is hard and I see you struggling and these are some of the things I’ve learned from many sober bloggers over these last 6 months. As Yoda says, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” Go do it. If I can, you can.

  5. Change what you do every day. Put things in perspective and don’t dwell on staying sober. Take it all in baby steps. Use your tools, make sure you have an AF drink that you bring with you to these affairs. Have one of those first, and then see how you feel. Email a sober friend when you feel ready to cave. There is always an out. I am here for you as are so many others. Reach out.

    1. Lots of good advice here. Thank you. And I think I do rather dwell on sobriety, but not always in a positive way. It kind of consumes me. Annie x

  6. AA works for me. I own, work and live in a fine dining restaurant. One of my jobs is bartending. I am around alcohol most of the day. Without AA and my support group I couldn’t do it. You have to surrender to your disease. I wish you the best. It is not easy, but can be done, one day at a time.

  7. Oh Annie. I don’t think going out, let alone to PARTIES is a good idea when you are attempting sobriety. Get to an AA meeting and enlist some MORE help is probably the kindest thing to do for yourself right now. big hugs

  8. Sending love Annie. This is my second attempt at sobriety and I’m doing things differently to shake things up. And it’s feeling easier because of it. There is a few Bubble Hour podcasts on relapse. Perhaps listening to those and exploring the WHY behind you picking up a drink will help prevent it next time. Don’t beat yourself up, just seek to understand and learn and move on with your journey. Xxx

  9. I know just how you feel. Day 1 again is my middle name, but at least I feel like if I keep trying I am definitely drinking less than last time this year. Wish I had some words of wisdom. You are not alone though

  10. I’ve never been to a meeting, counselor, etc., but I’m willing to bet that lots of other folks taking that step were “groggy, stupid, and a bit sick” for the first time too.

    Please go find a hammer before you get a hole in your forehead from pounding that nail one too many times…

  11. Oh Annie I know exactly how you feel – been there so many times before I got sober – 18months now – I love not wrestling with trying to moderate and I am loving my sober life – no battles or guilt or nausea or hangovers or humiliation or trying to remember !!! I did a 10 week mindfulness course and then did it again for 10 weeks – it filled up my toolbox and helped me find ways to manage my emotions – still working on it but every month I feel better – despit life throwing me curlies
    Just worth a try – thinking of you x

    1. How do I go about finding a mindfulness course? I’m really interested. Was this in the US? I’m in the UK. Not sure how mindful we are here. Annie x

  12. I had the same experience over and over during my many failed attempts at sobriety. I would go to a party thinking I could moderate, when I knew in my heart of hearts exactly how it would end up. I’m betting you also knew, but perhaps chose not to see it. I think I hadn’t ever really accepted that I had a problem – or surrendered to my addiction, if you will. Now I have, and my life has become so much easier.

    I agree with everyone who has suggested trying some new sober strategies, whether that’s AA or counseling or whatever. White-knuckling it is no way to live, and worse, it doesn’t work.

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