Nearly derailed

…and then at the meeting, I spent an hour worrying about one of the women there who had been friendly at the start (when I first went to meetings), and has backed off, and today was sitting next to me, and then moved to sit somewhere else. And I worried and worried about it, rather than concentrating on the meeting.

On the way home, I persuaded myself that the meetings weren’t for me, got home and said to my husband that I didn’t like the meetings and that I didn’t like trying to get sober. Planned a whole set of moderation plans which in no way, shape or form are ever going to work (eg. Just have one glass of wine occasionally). Thankfully, I didn’t have a sod it moment, and had fizzy water with supper.

I need to continue on my sober path, so perhaps I should ditch the meetings for a while and calm down. Too much rushing about. Day 5 approaches. Calm down, Annie. And now I’m talking to myself…

22 thoughts on “Nearly derailed”

  1. It’s all about approach. A side effect of not drinking is anxiety. Acknowledge your emotions, connect with them and move on. So, you focused on some lady at this meeting. The next meeting will be different. The important thing is to haul ass over there when you think you’re going to drink. You’re doing great!

    1. Thanks, Nina. I have taken your comment about anxiety on board. I have been feeling much more anxious than usual over the past few days. Annie x

  2. I know how that feels. Anxiety revels itself in many forms. I did attend some meetings but didn’t find them useful. That’s not to say that they don’t work, of course they do, just not for me.
    It’s great that you’re using your blog during times of temptation. That’s what it/we’re there for! Well done. xx Mtts.

  3. It’s true, Annie, you may not even know you are looking for excuses. That’s your mind playing tricks you! Don’t drink!

  4. Well done for surviving tonight. I think you are right to plan some calm time. In some ways I know that my husbands unfortunate emergency back operation has helped me to get through the past two weeks. Because I’ve had a valid reason to shut the world out. All I’ve done us look after him, keep the house and garden in ine piece, make tea for visitors, and chill out. I have just read, sat in the garden, even had afternoon naps! It’s hard when you are a sociable person, to shut yourself away without a good reason but it is your physical and mental health at stake here. If you drink as much as I did you will inevitably be causing slow invisible damage which now is still reversible 🙂 your body will be good to you and restore your health if you let it. What scared me and I think perhaps you too is having to one day face up to having done irreversible damage. Please look after yourself and your precious health for you and your children even if you have to lose a few drink buddies on the way.
    Sorry for going on Annie. I’m trying to convince/reassure myself as well as you.
    Always here for you x

  5. I think you are right that meetings don’t work for some people, but I don’t think you are one of those people. The meeting worked. You went, you didn’t drink. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, but there aren’t many pleasant experiences in these early days, and YOU DIDN’T DRINK. That’s all that matters right now. The woman you obsessed on — whatever. There are all types in AA meetings because this is a disease that doesn’t discriminate. I had a horrible experience with what my brother (11 years in the program calls a “Big Book Thumper” — just an ass, and I decided meetings weren’t for me, too stressful, blah blah blah. Same brother told me to go back, that I was going to be stressed out and overthinking and not sleeping in the first few weeks — if it wasn’t that guy, it would be my kids soccer coach or the neighborhood who wanted me to help plan a margarita night or the guy who cut me off on the way to the grocery store. Might as well get stressed out at meetings with a lot of other people who understood. We are like big babies, having to deal with our emotions unmedicated for the first time. It’s hard. But we (alcoholics) are also mostly quite clever — and we eventually get it (as you will).

    And by the way, do you notice that you are more than willing to give up meetings to reduce stress these early days but haven’t once suggested cutting back on all the social obligations at which people are shoving bottles of wine under your nose? I know which one would stress me out more if I were in the early days of sobriety. Just saying….

    Does that sound mean? I totally don’t mean it that way. It is just that I recognize how you think because I WAS AND STILL AM JUST LIKE THAT.In fact, I was worse, and I would be happy to provide my SLEW of excuses for not stopping, not admitting I have a problem, not not not. I just, mainly by luck and with a lot of help, got far enough along in my sobriety that I can see how I was hurting myself.

    And let me tell you one more thing, and this is SO HARD to admit. I got sober after my kids (5) all left home. They are supportive and will say I was a good mom and our relationships are still great. But I KNOW how many camp visiting days I was only half there because I was hung over, or how many Christmas parties I left them to decorate the tree with their friends because I wanted to drink with mine in the kitchen, or how many bedtimes stories I rushed through because I wanted to get to my “mommy time” solitary night cap. What I would give to have just been a little less good at making all my excuses and to have had some sober days with them when they were still young. YOU CAN HAVE THIS, and in truth I am jealous, but still I want it for you.

    Also, I know I sounded like the biggest AA cheerleader out there, and it really isn’t the case. I’m not even a Christian (and I’ll save you some time — there are lots of non-religious or not-Christian folks in AA and doing the 12 steps. After “they stress me out” and “there are weird people there” and “I am not like other AA people,” “It’s all too Jesus-y” was my go to excuse for not going to AA. Its simply not true, just an excuse not to face up to what I had to do, like all the others). But all this reminds me of my favorite part of “How It Works” which they read at the beginning of my home group meetings: “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.Remember that we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us.”

    Hang in there. If I could do it, and I am the biggest excuse-maker, self-justifier, (former) wine-lover out there, you can too.And you can do it better than I did. All my love, Kate

    1. Thanks again for all your advice. I really appreciate it. I will still go to meetings – I think they’re helpful, although I don’t always realise this until a few hours (or days) later. Thanks too for your honesty about your family, and for encouraging me not to waste precious time which I could be spending with them. Annie x

  6. Annie…keeping trying and working at this. If you have to take a non prescription sleep medication then do it..tell your family you may be short tempered at times and that sobriety is hard work but it will all be worth it in the end for you and for them…Remember you have 2 voices…the real Annie and the addiction…listen to Annie!

  7. Annie, I think you are pretty bloody wonderful, personally I cannot abide the thought of a share all group where I confess to wasting half my life, marriage, lack of children, loss of friends, respect in the workplace, being taken to one side and told that I stank of Gin. Just think, if I hadn’t have succumbed to booze I wouldn’t have to. But I do: I will, I have found an AA mtg near me next Tuesday. It can’t be harder than what we are fighting and heck, it just might work. Lots of love, keep strong (for me, am your one day behind cheerleader!) chyx

    1. I would genuinely encourage you to go the meeting next Tuesday. You might find it helpful. Hope you’re feeling a bit better today, my friend? Annie x

  8. Here’s the thing…all those feelings you had in that meeting? All those things that are making you feel uncomfortable? THOSE ARE THE REASONS WE DRINK!!! We drink when those things begin to bubble up because, for whatever reason, we don’t want to deal with them.

    Anxiety, fear, insecurity, uncertainty, shyness, nausea (yeah…I used to get nauseated before meetings), being flung back to middle school feelings.

    That means that you must do what you don’t want to do. You must push through and go to the meeting. Stop running. The only way to the other side is through all of this. There is no change without discomfort.

    You’ve got this! Just keep going!


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