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.