A leaden heart

I am worried that my Groundhog Day cycle of Day ones may be off-putting to anyone reading this blog, particularly people in early sobriety who are looking for help. My current lack of ability to get more than a couple of sober days under my belt is depressing. But I always try and write honestly here, and my stumbling journey is an accurate picture of what is happening to me at the moment. I read a variety of sobriety blogs: people starting out, people way ahead, people starting and stopping, and I find them all inspiring in different ways. However, I’m getting depressed reading and writing my own blog as I seem to be so very stuck.

Yesterday afternoon, I texted my poor husband and said I wanted to abandon my sober plan. No way, he said, having listened to my ranting for an hour the previous night; but once he got home, I persuaded him that I wanted to go back to the drinking at weekends/no drinking in the week plan, and he agreed because I know he doesn’t want to stop drinking entirely.

I am stuck stuck stuck stuck stuck. All day, I will be intent on sobriety, stock up on tasty alcohol free alternatives, look up healthy recipes to make, dip into sober literature, all clean and new. But by 4pm I am crippled with anxiety by my intentions, and the slow descent towards the first glass of wine begins. And then it’s all over, because one sip and I’m off, draining glass after glass and all the while sure that this is the way to do it. The last two evenings, I feel as though I have drunk less than usual, and yet I have fallen asleep before going to bed, and can’t remember conversations I’ve had; and I’ve then slept so badly, and have woken with a leaden heart.

Listening to the Bubble Hour yesterday – I think it was the recent episode about Father’s Day – Jean said something about alcoholics/addicts drinking to feel normal, rather than drinking to have fun. Yesterday afternoon, I felt terrible, headachey and very tired, and when I drank, I instantly felt better. And as I felt it, I knew that I had reached a whole new stage of my drinking, and that I was in a really bad place.

It sounds trite to call this another Day one – I’ve had so many in the past, they become meaningless. But it’s the only place from where I can start, always with a sober plan in place, and good intentions, and then hopeful that I can get through the 4pm sabotage moment. I will write again this afternoon as those feelings kick in, to see if I can analyse more carefully what is going on at that point.

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26 thoughts on “A leaden heart”

  1. I know the drill so well. I get a few days, feel good, and then the “have a few drinks to celebrate sobriety” stupid thinking kicks in…. Day 2 here. Making a “short goal” mentally of 30 days. Hugs

  2. hi Annie, in my late twenties I decided to give up smoking because I couldn’t bear the thought and image of me in my early thirties pushing a buggy with a fag in my mouth. I found that picture so awful that it was all I needed to stop smoking. Do you want to be a drinker as you get older ? Picture yourself in your 50s and 60s being a heavy drinker, being plagued daily with the mental machinations (is that word ?) 24/7 of will I won’t I drink. If you had the choice of never drinking again or continuing to drink the way you are at the moment , which would you prefer ? I bet it is the first, in which case , don’t pick up another drink and get on with the fabulous business of living. That’s all you need to do to avoid that heavy drinker future picture. Xx

  3. I love your honesty. I read so many blogs and find them all helpful. I’ve considered starting my own, although I am still too nervous to follow through with the idea. I do wonder how I will ever get to the successful, happy place those with a few sober years under their belts are enjoying. I am stuck in Groundhog day with you. I made it to 5:36 last night before I caved. I know the exact time because I looked at my watch when I gave up the fight. Today is our anniversary, and I know my husband would love to get back the person he married, who was not gulping bottles of wine every day.

    1. I find having a blog helps me to make sense of what is going on. Let me know if you start one! In the meantime, I’m glad you’re here. Annie x

  4. Annie, just had a thought. Have you considered a medication to ease your anxiety? You might talk to your doctor about gabapentin/Neurontin/Gralise. As I told you yesterday, I had many Day 1s myself, and a few months ago, I went through about 3 weeks in the same conundrum as you. I found the gabapentin took the edge off of the anxiety within 10-15 minutes, and helped me not to drink for that night, and then sometimes the following one or two nights. It might help you get a step ahead of the witching hour a bit.

    (p.s. I am not a doctor, nor am recommending. Sharing for you to consider and to talk to your doctor about external options/help.)

  5. Yes, write about those feelings when they occur! How did the AA meeting go? Maybe writing about some of those harder moments would help, too. For me, true change required facing some pretty uncomfortable truths and feelings, and setting myself up for success with my environment and the support of my family. Plus grit! You have to dig deep for the determination to get through. I had to admit that I was an addict to alcohol. The only way out is through. You can be happier and healthier!

    1. Grit. I am definitely lacking grit at the moment. I am hesitant about writing about the meetings, because they are so private for everyone there. Annie x

  6. Wish I had wise words to give you, I don’t. Can only pass on a 70 year old’s life lessons. Realized I needed to control my drinking a few years ago with my goal being to not drink fewer days than I drank, even kept track. Worked for 1 year then the depression about my drinking set in; hiding alcohol, sneaking drinks, lying to my family, etc. My day 1 was Sept. 6, 2014, almost 300 days ago. I stopped privately, as Jean from Unpickled said, ” I drank in private, I chose to stop privately.” I needed to do this by myself, for myself. Yes, it’s been hard but the joy I feel is overwhelming!! I look back at all the years I wasted not feeling happy about myself and regret it. Do this now Annie before it’s too late. Much love!! Mary 💕

  7. Go back to your doctor and talk about this.
    Truthfully, perhaps you need a medically supervised detox. Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, even deadly.
    I think you should start seriously looking at treatment programs. It sounds like you need a safe place to find your day 1. Your family will survive.

  8. I agree with Anne. When you have something wrong with your car, you might open the hood and tinker with it yourself, but when you’ve exhausted all the things you know to do, you go to a professional. It doesn’t make you stupid that you don’t know how to fix your car, there are just people who are trained and much better at it than you are. Same thing with treatment. You’ve tried a lot of things, and you even admitted that you were triggered by an AA meeting of all things, and that your drinking may have reached a dangerous new level. Maybe it’s time for you to stop this struggling and check in to a facility and let the pros help you. Your family will be fine, and you’re actually doing it partially for them. You will be taken away from them either way…forced to be in hospital when (not if) your drinking takes your health. So do it now on your terms.

    1. Thanks for your advice. I have been exploring treatment options, but I have to say that I wont be writing about these on my blog. But please know that I take your advice very seriously. Annie x

  9. I too am stuck in a Groundhog cycle of day ones. My witching hour is 6.45 pm. No sooner, no later! I love your Blog and truly appreciate your refreshing honesty. I have unfollowed a few sober bloggers recently as they have started to sound preachy and holier than thou – a bit like reformed smokers but you sound like the real deal. I wish you all the very best and hope that we can both sort out our respective lives. Your husband sounds great, by the way!

  10. Annie,
    I don’t think your day 1 is “trite”. You are in a battle for your life. I agree with Anne about treatment. Yes, going into treatment will mean giving up the idea (for at least 30 days or so) that you can give up drinking at night and just change your mind the next day and pretend to be a social drinker. Sadly, I know what this is like.
    Make the decision on faith if you have to. Have faith that getting some time away from alcohol will help you get free, and have faith that we love you and that the voice that tells you to not go to rehab and keep your options open, that voice wants to keep you addicted.
    Keep going forward. Keep blogging. Get help.
    Love,
    Jenn

    1. Jenn, I really appreciate your advice. I am exploring my options treatment-wise, but I won’t necessarily write about them here. Thanks for your support. Annie x

  11. Seriously. Doing the same thing over and over again isn’t working, and while many commenting appreciate your honesty it clearly isn’t helping you. You’ve tried on your own *very* hard, I’ve read about it. You’ve tried doing things differently – sound, sage advice from those like “fit, fat, food” who had many a day 1 and then finally earned real, amazing success. (Sorry if it’s wrong to mention her, she really blew me away. What an amazing success story:) Unfortunately so far trying hard for u hasn’t worked. That’s not your fault. But failing to recognize that what you are doing, that everything you’ve tried on your own, hasn’t worked is your responsibility. Ask for help and go somewhere where you can’t talk your way out of it. Piling on the AF drinks, giving yourself treats, “writing through” the witching hour, going to AA meetings — you’ve admirably exhausted different methods. Please try one you haven’t tried yet. Anne, Jenn, Sober Geek, Ainsobriety, these people have written to you, cheered for you, connected with you for far longer than I. Listen to them. If both steadfast supporters and newcomer blowhards (that’s me;) are agreeing, there must be something to it.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. Yes, FitFatFood is an inspiring example of sober perseverance – I love her blog. I am listening to people who suggest treatment, and in the months when I wasn’t blogging, I went to see a professional about it. So I am not sticking my head in the sand. But, as you can imagine, it is complicated, and though I like my blog to be honest, it may not tell the whole story. I’m on the case though, and I appreciate your help. Annie x

  12. I am where you are … You are giving viice to many of us. Don’t apologize – we all must embrace our journey without shame. Do what you need to do , and know that there is no judgement. Much love!

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