Go fourth

I am on Day 4, and pleased as it is quite a few months since I last had even a tiny sober stretch. I didn’t sleep well last night. I’ve experienced this before when trying to stop drinking: strange flashing lights, so that I think an ambulance or fire engine are coming. Last night, I even got up and checked outside the window, I was so convinced these lights were real.

Flashing lights in my mind is a disturbing concept. When I stop drinking, the realisation that I have been hurting my body comes hurtling into focus. The excuses I have used for drinking are many, but I am a sucker for the red wine is good for your heart campaign, and when I was in the thick of drinking, I would often Google articles about the benefits of alcohol. The denial! The denial!  But little by little, it dawned on me that I was harming myself, and that my body wasn’t coping with alcohol very well. I know it sounds obvious. Readers of my blog may remember my stomach problems? Even after extensive investigations, and nothing sinister having been discovered, the consultant telling me to go home and relax with a glass of wine, I knew that drinking was affecting my stomach. And the gradual thickening of my waist, which no amount of exercise or healthy eating would shift…gin and tonic calories, all of them. Let alone the wasted hours not spent doing anything useful, the disengaging with my family – I looked as though I was there with them, but I was exhausted by 8pm and zoned out.

I need to remember these things. Because as I start to feel a bit better, a bit more on top of things, I start to believe I can control it, so that I can go back to being a normal person who doesn’t have to write a blog, or go to meetings, or fixate on the daily business of not picking up a drink.

But I am not a normal person who can control it. Not picking up a drink: that’s what I’m focusing on at the moment.

14 thoughts on “Go fourth”

  1. Awesome Annie! and right on …just focus on not taking a drink and nothing else. Sleepless nights are tough but unfortunately part of the process…melatonin helped me some nights. So much peace is on its way to you!

    1. Pamela, thanks for the melatonin advice. I need to look carefully at advice on how I could help improve my sleep – often a problem for me in trying to get sober. Annie x

  2. Or magnesium. It is the ultimate sleep aid and drinkers are usually deficient.
    You are doing great, but you need to set yourself up for success
    Have you found a meeting nearby
    You should start going
    Support is vital. Even if you decide AA isn’t for you eventually, you should lean on them in the short term

    1. Anne, there are meetings nearby. I have been to some of them, but find it hard to go when the kids are here. Easier in term time. But, as you may see from my latest sad post, you are right to suggest more immediate support, as I keep falling. Annie x

  3. Keep that quiet voice always at the front, it is the one that is telling you the truth. It is you. You don’t need to go find magazine articles to validate it, because it what it says is so right, you know it. Down deep, you know it. For thirty years, I pushed mine to the back of my mind, but it just sat there whispering, “This is not who you are. This is not what you want. This is wrong.” I kept trying to ignore it. Like you, I kept trying to find evidence that it was wrong, that it was just my over-reactive guilty conscious. It just would not go away

    You know what? Now it sit right up front, center stage, and I hardly even know it’s there. We are of one mind.

  4. You sound good! Ride this out, be strong. It is worth it. Anne is right, reach out NOW so you can gather some momentum. Dont waste this great start! I am feeling positive for you!!!

  5. I do recall having vivid nightmares the first few weeks I quit. I’m a fan of sleep-aids (lifelong insomnia) but not prescription. I like a half of a unisom or melatonin or valerian root, sometimes some kava tea before bed. You’re doing well! Keep it up:)

  6. Annie! I haven’t been around for ages but this evening felt the need to pop by and say hi to you (and Mallards) and I’m so glad I did. You’re still here, still blogging, still striving and it’s inspiring. Love to you x.

    1. So so nice to see you here. I am still here, but I’m not doing so well. But I WILL keep striving. I wonder how you are doing? I can’t tell you how good it was to see your comment – thank you for being my friend. Annie x

  7. Hi Annie, well done on day 4! You are doing so well. Just keep reminding yourself why you are doing this. You will start to feel better soon. I too had insomnia in the early days, it does get better. I started taking magnesium (thanks Anne!) and it helps I think. You can do this Annie. A x

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