I have read and reread everyone’s comments from my last two posts. I am profoundly grateful to everyone who commented, and I mean everyone. It is true that I find ‘tough love’ comments hard to take, but I recognise the wisdom in them, and I know they come from a supportive place. A few months ago I would have walked away from my blog, following an apparently negative comment; now I see the potential for discussion in people’s reactions, and the forum for debate. I still get hurt, I still find it hard to hear, but I suspect we all feel like that from time to time.
In the spirit of honesty with which I try to write this blog, I must tell you that I am yet again back on Day One. This follows a pretty sad evening in which I pretended to my husband that I was drinking an alcohol free drink, giving him the AF alternative, and then later hid a glass of another drink in a cupboard. I then stayed up late drinking more and slept in a different room so that he wouldn’t smell the alcohol on me. All this after I had promised myself I would drink nothing in the week, and only drink at weekends. And this was Monday.
Addiction. And me with no power to control it.
So, before I went to bed, I started to investigate how I was going to get some outside help for what is happening to me. I won’t write about this on my blog – at least, not for now.
I am going to keep trying. I am going to keep recording my struggles, and I sincerely hope I move forward. I have got this holiday soon, and it is impossible for me to avoid it, but I can’t wait until I get back before starting my umpteenth sober thing, because otherwise I’ll just drink masses, behave badly, disappoint myself and my family, and feel terrible all over again.
21 thoughts on “Tuesday”
My heart hurts for you my friend. It’s a horrible mental state to be in. I know the next day feelings well. And I know the “drink/don’t drink/fuck it I will deal with sobriety later” battle. I think we try to “negotiate” with alcohol. But there’s no middle ground for people like us. It’s either all in or all out. Just keep trying. And keep blogging. Whether you succeed or fail (and you KNOW what I wish for you), you are being honest and helping a lot of us who are in the same sinking boat.
Yes, I am constantly trying to negotiate with alcohol. It doesn’t work! Annie x
A blog can be many things to many people, Annie — as a blogger I use my posts for looking at all kinds of unresolved issues in my life, things that make me happy, links to what I’m reading, responses to other blogs etc. Today I’m eight years sober but I don’t feel I have that much to say about sobriety anymore — I am very happy to be here but I will stay vigilant and keep protecting my sober life. It means everything to me.
For about five or six years after I sobered up, it was just a blog about recovery in which I made a note of what strengthened my resolve, what didn’t work well, what felt hard to handle. What helped me the most — and this is always true for bloggers — is that I read my own blog and listened to myself. That helped me stay sober, along with all the kind or challenging comments from others. Someone suggested early on that I go back and reread my own journey at the end of each month and when I did that I found many insights or warning signs I’d missed when i was writing the posts. You might try doing the same thing, even if some posts are hard to read. Make sure you are hearing yourself, listening to your inner self like a good caring friend.
I understand how awful and discouraging the relapses are. you know, I knew after my first blackout at 23 that I was severely alcoholic and should never drink. I tried to sober up then and failed and drifted around, stopping and starting again, asking for help and not taking the help, giving up, starting over and trying all kinds of geographic escapes and threats and promises to myself until I finally stopped at 47 years old.
I sat down on 17 March, 2007, and realised I had underestimated what it would take ME to stay stopped. Others did different things or didn’t have to change their lives or could stay sober without close support or could keep alcohol in the house — I couldn’t do that. I had to guard my sobriety like a watchdog outwitting wolfie at every step. I still do, although it feels easy and like second nature by now. So I told everyone I trusted about my problem, I got expensive and painful therapy, I never went anywhere if there was alcohol being served unless I had told the person hosting the function I would not drink. I cancelled holidays and refused promotions when I was too vulnerable. At times when I felt very shaky and overwhelmed I considered a prescription of Antabuse or booking myself into rehab or a neuroclinic. I would do anything — anything at all — that kept me from drinking again.
And in my blog I talked to myself and others like me about how it felt to have the days add up, how it felt to stay sober through bereavement and menopause and heartbreak. I was my own first and most attentive reader. And my own best friend, as time passed.
You can do this Annie — keep blogging and persisting in sober efforts and you’ll get there. Never give up, you deserve a sober life.
This is so helpful and beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Congrats on 8 years!
Thank you so much for writing this comment. I find it very helpful, and I think others do too. I was particularly struck when you wrote about having underestimated what it would take for you to be sober; I have got some tools in place, but not nearly enough, and I know I am lacking the intention and determination to get there at the moment. Annie x
Annie that part of the comment struck me especially too. I know for me I still can’t believe how hard this is some days; and I definitely under-estimated what it would take for me to give up drinking. The cravings can be very strong sometimes and my mind lately trying to convince me that I am making “not drinking” too big of a deal in my life. So I come back to the sober blogs (mine included) and the 3 “deal-breaker memories” in my head to remember why I am doing this. I do not want to repeat those episodes ever! A few blog posts today by “Ah for the Love of Me” (about gratitude as a tool) and “Sobercourage” (about coping with cravings) were so helpful for me to read! Ten months into this I would never have guessed I’d still be having cravings but I definitely do (e.g., so wanted a Guinness Beer yesterday for St. Patrick’s Day for example). Today I am so happy I got through the revelry of this whole weekend leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. I am so glad I just went to be last night to stop thinking about that last craving! More tools is a good idea! You are learning and growing every day!
You are not alone. Would you consider trying an open AA meeting to see if it would be for you? You don’t have to commit, you could just go along and listen as a first step.
I really am exploring this possibility. Annie x
Annie. I so understand as well. And I will be honest. Your husband knows what you are doing. I used to do this too. Was I looking for someone to intervene? To stop me? I am not sure, even now. But no one ever stopped me.
If you are looking for help you might have to ask out loud. He is probably trying to protect you.
Keep searching. Take some of the good advice listed here. Realize that this won’t be easy, but will be so worth it.
Love from Canada.
I read the advice carefully, and am trying to use it. Talking to my husband is a big hurdle, which is strange as he is usually very easy to talk to! Annie x
It is very very scary to show our weak side. I hid mine from craig for a long time, although I really think some of the things I did were cries for help.
Telling him about my internal struggle was hard, but shockingly freeing.
wow! you are so brave for sharing and being honest with us. that is an important step, you being raw here! well done. no one is judging. you need help, you know this, and I think you will get there soon, when you are ready. try and reach out. yes it is scary, but it is worth it. keep going Annie
Thank you, lovely Lisa. Annie x
It took me getting lots of outside help as well as writing my blog.
I knew I had to do something different.
I went to AA, got a therapist, went to Women for Sobriety, found a life coach, and told everyone I needed help.
I hope you fin some good help!
I do lack outside help. I know it, and I’m trying to address it. Annie x
Annie, I want to give you a big hug because I know how much you are hurting right now xxx
Thank you. Annie x
From a follower of and a believer in everything Belle…thinking of you and sending you strength and hope and peace.
Yes, Belle is great! Annie x
You will find your way…trust this! Keep blogging and talking to yourself and us. Outside help in whatever form that is …for you is important for you now…go get it! We support you and are rooting for you because we all know how difficult this really is but also how freeing sober life can feel.
I find it hard to imagine a free sober life. Annie x