Feeling better

I feel better when I’m not drinking: not only in the obvious physical ways of being alert, and not hungover, and not so tired, but I feel better about myself. Increasingly in the past few months, I noticed that every time I drank, I would quickly feel a mixture of extreme fatigue, guilt and as though something just wasn’t right. The ability to relax was no longer obtainable for me via drinking, and any social vivacity had long since gone, as I would quickly become obstreperous and difficult if I drank.

Today is Day 5. I had worried about getting through Day 4, but I got caught up in my children’s first day of school, and the evening passed without too many cravings. For the first time in many years, my 3 children are at the same school, and as they left together yesterday morning, smart and nervous in their new uniforms, I felt a rush of something like emptiness. Fleetingly, the sadness was overwhelming, and as I turned back into the house, I thought about how important it was for me to stay clear-headed, to embrace every moment of this next phase of their lives, not to miss it with my mind in a bottle.

Inevitably, I am focusing on how not to drink, how to fill the spaces previously filled with booze, so thinking about drinking (or not drinking) still takes up many of my waking (and sleeping) hours. It has to be like that. I should also mention that yesterday I emailed the counsellor and cancelled my appointment; then an hour or so later, I emailed him again and asked him to ignore my previous email. I’ve done that several times before: the first time I went to see him, I had cancelled and rebooked the appointment several times – he said he was used to people doing that.

I think what I’m trying to say – and it sounds muddled – is that I’m trying hard, I’m moving forwards slowly. I don’t want to drink, and I’m staying away from drinking, but I also don’t want to be the person who is in this place. I am striving to be the person a few months from now, looking back at these early days knowing I managed to get good sober time under my belt.

12 thoughts on “Feeling better”

  1. You’re on your way! Your first paragraph says it all, exactly the way I was feeling one year ago. (365 days for me on the 6th) It was just something I couldn’t and didn’t want to do any more. As I’ve told you before your blog was one of the first ones I read and followed. It helped SO much! This is your year Annie!!
    Mary πŸ’•πŸ’•

  2. It won’t be like this forever. Take comfort that all of us have been through what you are going through, we know that this uncertainty you’re feeling won’t last. There is another side and all you have to do to get there is not drink. Just live your life, go about your day, take care of your children and yourself and your husband, but don’t drink. Don’t make the not drinking bigger than it is. I promise, in a short time, you are not going to recognize the woman the woman you are during this period.

  3. You can’t be the person two months from now.
    You can only be you, today.
    Wishing things were different is the root of suffering.

    You need that appointment. The blog is not enough. Follow through. This is something you deserve.

    1. I agree with this totally. You are doing great, but you absolutely need help, in person help, to get where you want to go. I hope you are fitting some meetings in too. The problem with the blog is, it offers neither accountability or help in the moment — and, as ainsobriety points out — the moment is all we have. I don’t believe anyone does this alone, or with only virtual support (of course, someone will say they did, so let me amend that to I don’t know anyone…etc…ad I certainly can’t imagine having become sober and blissfully, peacefully sober on my own or just with the help of online friends).

      Also, what you describe, the hidden drinks, the drinking while reading your kids to sleep (been there on all counts), is what this disease is — progressive. Each time we go back to the bottle, it takes more and more for us to get less and less. It’s as if, as we get desperate to leave the booze, it gets desperate to keep us. In any case, just another thing to keep in mind as you get through these hard early days — or as the doubts about whether you really have a problem start creeping in — next time, you will drink harder for less, and it will be even harder to quit. Take care, go to a meeting, keep that appointment and make a bunch more, don’t drink. Keep thinking about reading to your kids while drinking and lying to them. That’s not you.

      1. Blogs have given me ALOT of help in the moment. Unbelievable but at exactly the time I needed it, an immediate response! Annie was one of them! I am I day away from 365 and have done this totally on my own with the help of some awesome bloggers. Belle, Annie, Jean of Unpickled and a few others. We all have our way to get, be and stay sober, each of us just has to keep trying to find it.
        Mary πŸ’•πŸ’•

  4. I agree with Mary that we all find our own way to sobriety, what worked for me, may not work for others. Some avenues lead us straight to where we want to be, some avenues lead us to other avenues that will take us there. The important thing is, if you find that the avenue you are on is not taking you where you want to go, it is time to try another.

  5. Totally agree. As I said, it is just something I don’t have experience with. And I know for me (and I’m the only drunk I can speak for), I tend to be able to find what I want to read (rather than what I need to read) when I’m online. I guess a big part of my sober journey was admitting I couldn’t control or manage the drinking, and trying to do it online was holding on to too much, for me again, control, or the illusion thereof. Everyone is different, and I certainly don’t mean to disparage the awesome work of sober blogdom. I read constantly at the beginning, when I was so scared and felt so alone, and still check in often. All I am saying was that I needed more.

    1. I’m still here. Thank you for thinking of me. I’m taking a little break from writing my blog as I was becoming obsessed and worried about people’s opinions of me. Silly, I know, but I’m trying to keep things as simple as possible. But I’m still reading other blogs, including yours. Annie x

      1. Whew! So glad to see your reply. The most important opinion, the one that will get you where you need to go, is the opinion you have of yourself. For me, I knew drinking was making me into someone that I didn’t respect and didn’t like and that made it very hard to live with myself for a lot of years. It’s such a relief to like myself again.

      2. Catching up on your blog today – first day of school for my 3. I miss them already after spending so much time together this summer. Hope your meeting with the counselor went well. Take care and email me if you ever need to talk!

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