I need to call myself out. It’s now the evening of my Day 7, and the eve of my holiday. I haven’t had a drink, but I am desperate to, and really wavering. I went to my meeting earlier today, and everyone there was helpful about how to manage these early days; but this evening I’m feeling rubbish, and as though it’s such hard work managing not to drink. Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh.

I rang my Mum and said we wanted a little to drink when we’re staying with her (on this holiday) – what am I doing????? I texted my husband and said the same thing (he has rightly ignored my text). I ate 3 crackers with cheese, gulped down a fizzy water and lime…digging deep into my pretty titchy toolbox, but I still feel completely mad.

It’s so difficult, I’m so bad at it. Why did I ever start to have a problem with drinking? Why, why, why?

14 thoughts on “Help”

  1. These early days are so difficult. You are not alone. Just believe it will get better if you don’t pick up a drink.

  2. Tomorrow morning if you don’t have that drink (or shall I say drink(s) because one is just stupid), you will wake up with a smile on your face and a new building block in your confidence. Please stay strong!

  3. Several thoughts, the first and only really important one: Don’t drink. Do what you have to not to drink for the next whatever-time-frame-you-can-manage. An hour, ten minutes, one minute. Just don’t drink for that minute. Do something else. Then get through the next minute. Don’t think about the holiday or later this evening or when everyone goes to bed. We can only control the minute we are in — the past is over and the future may never come. So don’t drink now.

    Second, if you got any phone numbers at your meeting, use them now, call until you reach someone and tell them you are thinking too much about drinking. Don’t worry about bothering people. As you will learn when you get a little further down the sober road, a big part of recovery is helping someone else (didn’t you get a taste of that in one of the post — I saw you comment how thrilled you were to help a commenter?). The twelfth step is all about helping another alcoholic. The founders of AA thought doing so was the key to sobriety. So I guarantee you, any aa member will talk to you and be glad to — and if you don’t have a number from your meeting, go online. I’m sure the UK AA has a hotline. And if this seems really distasteful to you, then just don’t drink and you won’t have to do it.

    You complain about the hard work you are doing not to drink. You’re right, it is hard. What’s harder is the work you are doing to try TO drink — roping your mom in, texting your husband, using your prodigious (and I say that because of the quality of your writing) brainpower to scheme your way to a drink. You have come very close to the first step of AA — you have admitted your life is unmanageable with alcohol in it. And you are proving that right now.

    Fourth, part of getting that first step is getting help navigating these first days of sobriety. It sounds like you did that with your husband (that or he is getting frustrated) because he’s ignoring your drinking requests. I think it is time to do it with your mom as well. As many others have suggested, be completely honest. I am a mom of adult children, and if one came to me hurting and struggling the way you are, I would do anything to help. You need her and anyone else you trust enough to tell to protect you from you lesser self these early days.

    Fifth, don’t ask why as if having a problem with drinking (might as well just say it, being an alcoholic) was something you chose to do, a lifestyle choice. You might as well ask why you are allergic to bees or get breast cancer or anything else like that. You are an alcoholic, and it means certain things (not drinking = not being a beekeeper or undergoing chemo). You never made a choice, and it sucks that you have this disease, but what doesn’t suck is that there is a quick and, though not painless, pretty much always successful remedy, and that’s to stop drinking altogether.

    Sixth, simple trick I know you know — don’t think of that (oh so lovely) first drink. Because it never stops there. Don’t think of the drink, think of the drunk. Think of where that first glass at your mom’s goes — to a second (still pretty good) and a third and then god knows how many and slurring your words as your get in a stupid fight with your husband and seeing your kids turn their head away from your stinky booze breath good night kiss and waking up to another day 1 or worse, a string of drunken days where your friends and family all blur and disappear in the bottom of a wine glass.

    And seventh, this time it’s different, isn’t it? I started reading your blog before I got sober, read it through the early days (in which you were in early days too, for a second time), was scared for you when you disappeared for a while, have rejoiced in this latest attempt which seems so real and necessary. I think you get the stakes now. It is a matter of life and death, and I am not being dramatic.

    Stay well, Annie. I know you can do this. All my love Kate

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