Picking up the pieces

Yes, Day One again, but I’m not feeling sorry for myself; rather, I feel energetic and determined. The children go back to school in the next day or so, and that gives me greater flexibility to get to meetings. I have also contacted the counsellor who I met last year, and whose sessions I kept manically cancelling. First session in a few weeks. I put the sessions off in the past, because I kept convincing myself I didn’t need them, that I was overreacting. Well, I need them.

One of the comments yesterday made me think about my triggers. You’d think I’d be familiar with these, but oddly, I don’t think I’ve ever tried to form any kind of list. We all love lists, so here goes:


  •  post-holiday blues (see yesterday)
  • any time between 5pm and 7.30pm, but particularly 6pm
  • sunny mountains, sunny beach or similar holiday vibe
  • talking to my friend about her marital strife
  • dinner with my husband (if kids aren’t there)
  • pretty much any social situation
  • films with alcohol in them

I’m sure there are others. So, quite a lot for me to avoid, or to tackle with AF alternatives. Yesterday, sunk in a chair around 6pm, begging my husband to have some wine with me, I could feel the craving consuming me. It was a physical sensation. Awful.

16 thoughts on “Picking up the pieces”

  1. It is awful
    That physical and mental addiction is horrible. And that’s why the first period of sobriety is so difficult.
    Call another therapist you can see tomorrow. You need real help. A few weeks is just an empty promise. You are allowing yourself time to change your mind.

    I seriously can’t understand your husbands willingness to go along with this drinking. Didn’t he hear or see the kids reactions?

    Call back. Find help now.

    1. I agree about the therapist. You are beyond list making and dreaming up fun AF alternatives to get through 6 pm. At very least get to a meeting asap and get some numbers to call when the cravings hit. You can’t do this alone right now.

  2. I understand the cravings. Good trigger list – by recognising them, you can tackle them by creating some strategy (whatever works for you). I have tried to visualise myself slamming the door on wine, as if it were an old foe. Very positive step by booking the counsellor too.

  3. I’m proud of you for taking the step to call the therapist. You are braver than I ever was. I struggled so many more years than I should have trying to do it on my own. I’m proud of you for being here. I’m proud of you for sharing your struggles.

  4. Was just doing some research for a work project and came on this quote from the ancient Greek poet Horace:

    Why do you hasten to remove anything which hurts your eye, while if something affects your soul you postpone the cure until next year?

    Those old guys got it right sometimes!

  5. I too have failed Annie and have drank over the past five days while I’ve been away. But we mustn’t lose sight of how far we have come over the past year and how much we have learnt. We are stronger than we were and where we want to be is much closer than it was. Take care x

    1. Yes, I really think we are stronger. Don’t look at your recent drinking as a failure. Are you going to try again? I’m here for you (though only on Day 2…) Annie x

  6. Try and keep strong Annie – I’ve been trying to stay sober as long as you but will not give up trying to be sober. I am on day 8 today which is a miracle and it’s going ok. I am focusing on why I don’t want to drink and how much I gain by not drinking.

    When those thoughts of “oh but I can’t drink at the weekend (or on Monday evening) with my husband” I am now thinking “I can sit and relax with my husband with an af drink and a box of chocolates” which can be followed by feeling great in the morning! More confident and happy rather than feeling guilty and despair!

    I know there is a long way to go but if I can offer any advice it’s that I’m finding it less traumatic now I’ve admitted to myself (not to other people – that didn’t work) that I don’t want to drink alcohol – I don’t like what it does to me anymore and by avoiding it I’m not going to tear myself apart because of it.

    Know you are not alone and we all support you 🙂

  7. I think if you’re not willing to remove yourself from your environment and get intensive in-patient help, you’ll have to set some serious boundaries at home. If making a list of your triggers was helpful for you, maybe you could write down some rules you could implement in your house to help you. For example, one good rule might be “no alcohol in the house.” If your house is where you typically crumble and give in to a drink, having no alcohol in the house would make a lot of sense. Husband has to be on board with this as well. No alcohol whatsoever can be brought into this house, period. That means telling husband not to bring it in, and telling friends not to bring it either. Another rule might be, “I get an hour a day to be by myself and exercise,” or read or meditate, or whatever. During that hour, I am not to be bothered. Or if that’s too structured, maybe you just sit the family down and say that you’re having a difficult time, and sometimes you will want time to yourself to think, blog, or even nap. A lot of people report being very tired during the first few weeks of withdrawal. Considering “Tired” is one of the 4 letters in HALT, making time to get rest is very important in your recovery. If you’re constantly just trying to power through your fatigue, instead of giving yourself permission to rest, you’re making it much harder for yourself. Figure out what you need that will help you and tell them what you want. Maybe writing down the boundaries first would help you organize your thoughts. What do you need in your environment to help you not drink? Time to nap if you need it, no alcohol in the house, maybe no parties with alcohol for the first 3 months or so… whatever you think helps. They will be your boundaries, though. No one else is going to be responsible for enforcing them, just you.

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