A realisation

I am in charge of what I drink, and I don’t want to drink. While cooking supper for my parents this evening, old habits reared up and I asked my husband if he’d like a small glass of wine while we cooked. ‘We aren’t going to do that,’ he said, and my immediate reaction was anger: how dare he tell me what to do! I can drink if I want to! And at that very moment, I knew that I didn’t want to drink, that my anger was directed towards my weedling drinking voice, not my husband.

Off to bed now, at the end of Day one, otherwise known as another sober day. Back on track, I hope, the last two days a glitch in my journey.

18 thoughts on “A realisation”

  1. this is proof that enlisting support really does work.! tell everyone you need to so more of this can happen.(incl your Mother!!!)
    i am so very proud of you, really i am. that is awesome Annie

  2. P.S. But — there’s always a but, right — there will be times you will want to drink, very badly. I hope the answer is still the same, from both of you. Like right now, beautiful late afternoon on my gorgeous deck looking out at the Blue Ridge. I want a nice glass of white wine — something crisp — to enjoy with it. I want that, and I am in charge of what I drink, and I am going to have a soda water with lime instead. That’s what I mean.

  3. I like him too! And I like what haplesshomesteader said about continuing to want it and taking charge and saying, “No” to ourselves. It doesn’t go away. It doesn’t happen as often. But it doesn’t go away. You are just as strong as we are, you are. You just don’t have as much practice saying “NO” yet..

  4. Annie, I found in early sobriety that the part of me that wanted to drink always resented anyone policing my not-drinking, even when I had asked them to help me stop. We send out mixed messages to family (help me stop/ let me drink/ join me and forget what I said yesterday/ lock up the booze so I can’t drink and hide the key/ why don’t we just have some wine tonight?) when we go back and forth on drinking/not-drinking.

    The compulsion to drink was my problem alone. Support only helped once I realised that not-drinking was my responsibility and could be clear and consistent in what I wanted from others — and mostly I looked for informed support from those who had struggled the same way and who were living sober lives. Your mother isn’t sabotaging you, your husband isn’t doing anything wrong, the tug-of-war is right there inside you and not them, as you know. I protected the drinking over and against everyone until I was ready to stop for good and face the deep-seated nature of my alcoholism. Whether or not I ‘counted’ days wasn’t the issue — the issue was about building up unbroken sober time and not drinking, ever. For many years, right up until I stopped, the problem didn’t look bad outwardly — I could drink very little in social settings and stop anytime I wanted — but I would always start again and every now and again the drinking would veer out of control, I managed every aspect of my life by numbing out and escaping into alcohol. I was desperate to get others to manage what I could not manage myself and then ended by lying to them and drinking anyway. Those around me were used to the Jekyll & Hyde personality of my drinking self and had written me off in terms of trustworthiness and credibility. After eight years sober, I’m a very different person and my relationships are changed beyond recognition.

    Stopping isn’t easy — please do what you need to do (a stay in rehab, daily meetings, Antabuse, therapy) and keep posting.

    1. This comment is spot on, and I’ve referred to it in my next post. Thank you so much for your wisdom. I do still feel resentful if someone comments on my drinking, even when I’m not drinking. But I know I have to take control of what I’m doing, and not look for ways out via other people’s responses. Annie x

  5. Go You!!! when your husband says stuff like that, he is actually saying “I Love You” in his manly man way:) can’t get angry at that, right? happy that you realized where that thought was really coming from!

  6. I’m curious about the thinking behind offering your husband wine. Were you testing him? Were you testing yourself? He gave the right answer this time and neither of you drank, but what if he had accepted the offer? You protect your sobriety by making choices that support sobriety, not threaten it. To me, serving wine at this stage in your sobriety is more of a threat. Why do it? Only you can answer that. Were you maybe subconsciously looking for a way to sabotage yourself? It’s ill-advised to even keep wine in the house, much less offer to serve it to someone. I’m not judging, just asking out of concern.

    1. I think I was testing myself. Or trying to get someone else to take control for me. I have to do this myself, and I need to stop blaming people for my failures. Annie x

      1. I don’t hear blame so much as just a pattern of self-sabotage. If you let someone make the choice for you, you don’t have to take responsibility. I’m not hearing that you want to blame someone else so much as you fear being responsible for fixing this, and that you’re afraid to fail. And let’s face it, responsibility is a scary thing. I understand how scary it is to think about being responsible for every last detail of your own life. It’s terrifying if you really stop and think about it. It sounds like you might have just uncovered a major pattern around your drinking-giving others control, even sometimes when you’re not aware you’re doing it. It was a clever move by your drinking brain, offering your husband a glass. After all, you weren’t saying you wanted a glass yourself. But where would it have led if he had accepted a glass? So tricky, that drinking brain. In the beginning, mine told me all kinds of things. I’m almost a year in, and drinking brain is pretty quiet these days, but every now and then it whispers things. I don’t know if it ever completely goes away, but it does go from clanging and constant to an occasional whisper.

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