Day 9. As I move a bit further away from the bad hangover moment, I have those thoughts where I wonder if I’m mad to be sober. I have to think carefully, and remember how awful I felt, not just then, but countless other times. Here on holiday, too, there have been many occasions in years past when I have felt or been ill after drinking, or shouted at people at parties, that sort of thing.

So, working on not drinking is good, and necessary. But today it feels hard, harder than yesterday. It is extraordinary how powerful the voice is – actually, not really a voice, more a picture, a picture of me drinking a glass of wine in a civilized fashion.

Last night, my Mum made mocktails for us all, a kind gesture as I know she’d have preferred wine. Our first celebratory holiday drink was therefore one in which I could fully participate, not feel on the edge. For me, on this holiday, it’s about working through the possible drinking moments, with thought and a degree of participation, not letting myself get into situations where I’m surrounded by drinks and with no plan.

I have to say, I’m feeling a bit low about it all today. Nine days of sobriety feels miserably tiny.

26 thoughts on “Distance”

  1. 9 whole days and nights. That is huge. I’m struggling to get a day 1 completed…. Feel proud. It’s great that everyone around you is supportive.

  2. “Nine days feels tiny” is the addict’s voice rationalizing drinking (Oh, it is hopeless, I will always feel miserable, I will never get through this, might as well quit). Tiny compared to what? All those day ones?

    And I know well that picture you have of yourself, sipping on a nice glass of wine,preferably in a sundress, comfortable in your skin, life of the party, smart, witty, NORMAL. Now run the rest of the movie. Glass two, glass three, glass four, don’t we have some Bailey’s out back, why is everyone leaving so soon, maybe I’ll crack a beer, I didn’t even notice the kids going to bed, XX is such a witch I’m going to tell her (or tell everyone else) what a ass she is, where’s my husband, god, why does he always want to leave early, I’ll just get one more glass, back to (wherever you are staying), maybe blog “Oh God, I drank, I did it, I couldn’t stop, tomorrow is day one again, maybe blogging is a bad idea (or I’m not really an alcoholic, or meetings stressed me out, or vacation is a bad time to start this, or I am doomed to fail and a bad person), 3 AM up and feeling sick and anxious, not remembering where you left your purse, maybe getting up to check, want to drink water but it makes you feel sick, can’t go back to sleep alternating between making plans for moderating (two glasses a night on vacation only) and remembering what you said and did (did I really tell XX to f*** herself in front of my kids, morning light wakes you up and your husband says “I don’t suppose you will be hiking with us after all,” you go to prove him wrong, lag all the way, mom mentions how pale you are, kids look worried, husband looks disgusted…do I need to go on? I know because this is me 1000 times — until it wasn’t, until I gutted through day nine to make it to day ten.

    This is not easy. Battling a fatal disease is not easy. But it will get better — and another “but”: but only if you don’t drink, right now. And everyone here (and AA) knows how hard it is and is rooting for you, is sympathizing with you. You are not alone in this.

    I thought I couldn’t do this, and I could. You think you can’t do this, and you can. If you are going to drink again, don’t do it because you can’t stop or because it is too hard, because you can stop and it is hard, but not too hard for you — you are strong and smart and have ample reason to get sober. If you fail, we’ll all be here for you because no one wants to see you die or lose your family (no use being coy about the stakes). But know that it will only be that much harder next time around.

    Hang in there. Call or text your AA friends if it gets worse. Don’t drink.

    1. Haplesshomsteaders, were you and I separated at birth? Or are you here, on this holiday, somewhere nearby? Because what you describe is exactly how it was, and how I think. Thanks so much for the advice. Very, very helpful. Annie x

  3. You are not mad to be sober. You desperately need this.
    The real Annie is begging for you to give her a chance to be free of addiction.

    This is so hard because it is necessary.

    Stick with it. It has taken you months to get back to 9 days. It might take years again.

    Your mom is happy to forgo wine to help you. I promise you.

  4. That sophisticated one glass of wine image is just an illusion. I know you know that. I used to love that image too, but it’s a lie, the biggest lie going. You’re setting yourself free from it – go you!!! Xx

  5. 9 days is HUGE and i so hope you hang in there! i admire you so much for doing this during your holiday—i could barely function the first couple weeks! they are the worst. you are doing amazing.
    sending you big hugs through cyberspace(:

  6. Well done Annie!! 9 days is brilliant!! Careful of that old snake slithering back into your mind, trying to convince you that drinking is fun, easy and sophisticated. Read back over your blog entries and know that the snake is lying. Hold onto the knowledge that this does get easier and every day will build up your strength and every day will help you to love yourself that little bit more. Big hugs and huge high fives xxx

  7. This is amazing Annie. You’re amazing. You are trudging through the very toughest bit right now but keep going. One foot after the other. I’m wishing you strength & positivity. Once you put the stuff down, with a little time and lots of self care (which many of us have to re-learn; massage, fresh flowers, new lippie, buy & light a new candle) you get your mojo back (& some) and you will feel so powerful & have such clarity. Keep going for you & you family. You deserve to not have to use that poison to live. It’s a bit AA’ie but to just “keep on doing the next right thing” really stacks up. xx

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