Thank you for all your thoughtful comments. I am so grateful for all the help and advice I receive here, and I read each and every comment carefully , and think about what you say – so THANK YOU.

The day counting issue is a tricky one. I find it helpful in some ways as I build up momentum, and distance myself from drinking, but it is daunting if I ‘fail’ and go back to the start. For the moment, I will be counting the days from Day One, but I am not forgetting my two sober weeks and the strength I got from them, and I don’t feel ground down and back at the start, but am moving forward, with some good strength behind me I hope.

I drank a little in the last two days, and I’ve felt ok.  But I know that the bigger drinking patterns are only an ice cube away, and that feeling looms large in my mind. On top of that, the slight feeling of inertia compared to the brightness I was feeling when completely sober suggests to me that I function better and feel generally happier when I am not drinking. I still struggle with the idea of being left out, and still hanker after the perfect vision of moderation, one which I know doesn’t work for me long term, but which I still chase.

But it is almost a year since I started this blog. As I’m still here, writing and finding my way, it seems to me that I desire a sober life, and that I can’t find peace drinking here and there.  And when the drink gets a grip, it is horrible. The idea of drinking sensibly is beguiling, but ultimately unobtainable – for me at least.

So while I really appreciated those comments which suggested I carry on from Day 12, I feel I must start again at Day One.  But mentally and physically I’m further along than that, and hopeful that I will find my way again.

Still in the mountains, still clambering over the rocks, home again in a few days.

9 thoughts on “Thoughts”

  1. Hi Annie-
    Followed your comment from Sober Mummy. Just wanted to say hello and your story is mine. Back on day 1. Onward and upward. You (we) can do it.
    Daisy from Kansas

  2. Dear Annie…I don’t know if this can be of any help to you, but here is the strategy I am employing and it seems to be working for me. But before I let you believe that I have a solid base of sober days under my belt I have to come clean and say that I am on Day 6. For the past 12 years I put back lots of wine, nightly, a habit that I returned to after 13 years of successful sobriety. THIRTEEN YEARS!! I did not fall off the wagon spectacularly, or even consciously 12 years ago. I just started to take my recovery for granted and an innocent opportunity to drink was offered and I said “Sure..why not”.

    But I digress…I quit in my late 30s with virtually no pain or the anguish that the decision to “not drink today” causes for so many. I just embraced a vision of myself as healthy, fit, active, organized, present… and there was no room for alcohol in that vision. Not sure how, but it made it easier for me and the more I ACTED on that vision, the more it became true. One of the by-products was enormous relief and JOY! It was like a “switch got flipped” and I was a non-drinker. But after 13 years, I stopped thinking about myself as a non drinker consciously, and that was my downfall, along with perhaps not dealing with other issues that left me vulnerable.

    Fast forward to where I am today, now in my 60s. Recently, I had the incredible good fortune to meet up face to face with Belle (maybe you follow her blog – if not you might take a look there) We spent two hours together and her energy and vibrancy really affected me and I started to re-form that vision of myself that I could once again be healthy, fit, active and yes PRESENT…willing to show up and live the life I was meant to live. Still needing to work on what I was avoiding as I drank each night away, but at least I can do that with some clarity and subsiding brain fog. I am re-framing the way I look at my days – to do what I need to do to realize the vision of myself, how I want to be, as opposed to “how can I get through this day without drinking/will I or won’t I/I’ll drink today and promise to quit tomorrow/ blah, blah, blah.h… As long as I approach life AF by obsessing/thinking about what I am giving up, envious of those who “get” to drink, trying to live without, I know I am going to eventually cave. I know that about myself.

    So I encourage you to try getting a strong vision of yourself where there is no place for alcohol. Cut pictures out of a magazine of women that you admire and make a journal. Do a cost-benefit analysis (two columns: one that lists what you gain and the other: what you lose) by drinking. Just don’t obsess about getting through the day and not drinking. You will make yourself miserable. Try re-framing it by changing the vision of yourself.

    I believe you want to quit…otherwise this blog would have shut down ages ago! Visioning (and meditation!) might help. Big hugs and much love and luck to you.


    PS…sorry this is so long!

    1. Well said! Recovering from alcohol abuse at any level is not about emptying your mind of thoughts of drinking. It’s about filling it with the vision of what you want for your life.

      1. It is really the only way I have been able to be successful in recovery! For me (an I consider myself really lucky to have this kind of brain ..(or something) Once I “flipped the switch” it just became so easy. No white knuckle rides each day as the “cocktail hour” approached. No thinking about drinking…which occupied SO MUCH time in my brain. It has been very liberating. But I am by no means smug about it. To get cocky and take it for granted is to set myself up for relapse.

    2. Excellent advice. It may be fear and ill health (or a couple DUIs or our kids begging us) that get us sober, but it is the incredible energy and beauty of a life lived well and in the present that keeps us here. Very well put Beattie.

    3. Hi Beattie. Thanks for taking the time to share your story. I find it so helpful. I love the idea that you met, Belle – hope I can meet her too some day! I hang on to the idea that not drinking will help make me a more energetic, lively person. Changing the vision of myself is a good idea and something I will work on. Annie x

  3. I pursued moderation for a year, at the end of that year, I looked back and saw that I sucked at moderation, but I’d gotten pretty darn good at abstaining (the moderation program prescribed many abs periods), at that point, I’d learned the lesson I needed to learn. I could not moderate, more importantly, I didn’t want to waste any more time trying to moderate. I bid a fond farewell to that fantasy and opened my arms to abstinence.

    Look back at your year, yes, look at the heart ache but look at the triumphs too. Congratulate yourself for still being on this journey, as some say, “sometimes the journey is a zig-zag instead of a straight path.”

    Day 1’s are a testimony to our tenacity. We are some tenacious women!

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