Double figures

It is many months since I got to sober double figures, and I’m really pleased to be on day 10. Still very early days, I know, but reading back over my blog, I hadn’t realised how stuck I was around the 1-3 day mark, let alone the months in which I didn’t blog when I was probably drinking daily. I read lots of other sober blogs, and see similar patterns in some of those, so I know I am not alone in this. It is important that I try to keep hold of this fragile momentum.

What a quiet holiday I am having!  But that’s ok, and that’s what I need to do at the moment. I have so far refused any evening social events, my family (and parents) are getting used to my ginger ale aperitif, and the kids are commenting on my suspiciously upbeat attitude. It is making my Mum a bit jumpy, I think. I overheard her telling my husband that one minute I wanted wine, another minute not, but she is referring to my life before this holiday, and before this sober quest. It’s not that she wants me to drink exactly, but in the past my drinking has validated her own; my Dad is pretty strict about alcohol, and she and I used to sneak a few glasses in here and there when we could.

Advice from my friends on this blog: just don’t drink, is what I’m hanging onto at the moment. Digging deeper into anything more longterm, or delving into why I drank, why I want to drink…all that can wait while I get used to each day without wine coursing through me. I guess I am missing the buzz, but I’m not dwelling on that as it’s pointless and I am trying to focus on the immediate benefits (see upbeat attitude reference above).

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27 thoughts on “Double figures”

  1. When I quit promised myself a year. We all have different ways of getting through the early days. But seriously, quitting for an extended period of time doesn’t take away your choice…you can always go back (as we all know of course)…but some serious extended time away from alcohol has been so life changing for me that I don’t want to go back to being sad-desperate-Jenn. I am rooting for you every day. It won’t always be this hard.
    Jenn

    1. Jenn, I know you’re right: I need to get some extended sobriety time under my belt. Failing at day 1,5 or 11 just makes me weaker each time rather than stronger. Annie x

      1. Hey Annie….while it really was awful to be stuck in the failure mode….at the same time the failures made me stronger because each time I failed it helped dispel in my mind the idea that I was in control of my drinking/not drinking. If it wasn’t a problem for me, it would be no big deal to give up for a while…that pattern of quitting, then going back, then losing control time after time after time…it was that whole merry go round that I had to step off of…and the only way to do that was to become alcohol-free.
        So proud of you!
        Jenn

  2. 10 days. That is awesome.
    Just continue to go one day at a time. Don’t drink today.

    Perhaps you should talk to your dad about your struggles. Maybe he has some thoughts on alcohol that might help you. He sounds like he might be very supportive of this change.
    You are taking care of you. And that’s a special thing. You deserve it.

    Anne

      1. No. Perhaps you could start by writing him a note. Just saying that you are struggling to find yourself and that his support means a lot to you.

        Or whatever you think might help you. Perhaps you might not even give it to him. But it will help put your thoughts into order.

  3. So happy that you’ve got to day ten. And as a bonus this will probably be a holiday in the real sense of the word. Peace, quiet, rest and recouperating, quality time with family. Stay strong and keep that bigger picture in mind 🙂 xx

    1. I’m gonna take your comment and run with it.

      “Holiday” comes from “holy day.” Holiness is the idea of seeing the sacred in the mundane. Like an eagle feather on the ground can be nothing more than dirty trash, but in the hands of a shaman it can be a sacred tool.

      Every day of seeing the world and our place in it as a special gift, and not numbing or trying to take ourselves away from it in a negative way, is a “holy day.”

    2. I said to my husband last night that trying to be sober on this particular holiday was actually a really good idea, as it’s the perfect quiet time. Feeling less sure today but hanging on to the bigger picture. Annie x

  4. I love how happy you sound. I also like how you are reading into what others say in a more positive way. For example, when you over heard your mom talk about how you wanted wine then you didn’t want wine. Instead of hearing your mother’s comment as a negative, you looked at it in a positive way without the fog of alcohol. When I was drinking heavily, I looked too much into what others said about me. I always assumed the worst. When I had a clear head, my insecurities slowly went away. (I hope that makes sense). In other words you seem so happy!

  5. You are killing this. It sounds like a great vacation too. You need rest because this is the most physically exhausting part of the process, and it sounds like you are getting it. And your clarity! You are just not drinking in the present moment, not worrying what others are doing or saying. Navigating the parties or picnics or pool times with whatever you think you can take — opting out all together, having your NA alternative at the ready, leaving early, sneaking off to text a friend or check your blog. Whatever it takes is ok and right. As long as you don’t drink, you can’t do this the wrong way.

    My mom sounds very similar to yours. My brother got sober years ago, and she counted on me, I think, to be the one to scoff at him (and his wife) for overreacting, because no one in OUR family drinks too much, we just like to have fun. And we bonded over late night bottles of wine or extra before dinner drinks in the kitchen. And when I got sober, I think she was a bit miffed too, and for very much the same reason (that now that both her kids were AA acolytes, what did that mean for her?). She asked a lot of questions, I am sure talked behind my back, but didn’t judge to my face, told me how well I looked (after a few weeks, when I DID look much weller than I had in a while), and has started to cut back herself. All the while, I resisted the excuse I had made in my several thousand previous attempts to “moderate,” — “I have to still drink with mom/at family events because she will be so sad if I abandon her.” SO much easier just to NOT DRINK right now, just for me, and not work out how it impacts everyone else. And my relationship with her is better than ever (and I still take it one day at a time).

    Also, again from experience, I bet your kids are delighted but wary. Of course they want you sober and more present and upbeat (if sleepier), but it will be a while before they can fully embrace the new you. Because they are scared you’ll go back to drinking, and they don’t want to admit how hard that is for them. In case it happens again. I think of that all the time, even with adult kids, and how much it shows they loved me even when I was a mess, and how I won’t disrespect that a love and choose that first drink over them.

    You know, ten days is fantastic, but I know this guy in AA who has been sober 15 years, and he still only counts one day at a time. He always says, whoever got up first has the longest period of sobriety. So you are beating all of us in the US!

    Keeping not drinking, Annie. You can tackle the big questions whenever you have enough confidence in your sobriety to spare the brainpower. And that may be weeks or it may be years. It doesn’t matter. What matters is you keep on not drinking one day, hour, or minute at a time. Whatever works.

    So proud of you! Kate

    1. I’m very much having to concentrate on one day at a time in order to get through this. Thank you for all your advice. I desperately need it. Annie x

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