My journey – sorry, I always slightly cringe when I talk about a journey, but the longer I am on it, the more journey-like it feels – has been speckled with so many day ones, so many stop/starts, so many determined posts followed by confessions, that I will be amazed if anyone keeps reading. But here I am, on Day 9, and I wanted to write because everything feels totally different. It seems tempting fate to sound too sure about things, so I will try not to do that, but this time I feel more hopeful that I will get there.
Last Friday, when I dabbled with the notion of yet again giving up giving up, buying wine, drinking it…going down that route…well, as I dabbled with that, I felt an overwhelming exhaustion with it all. So many times, I had started in good spirits, done a few days, a few weeks even, but always at the back of my mind was a get-out plan. And what would happen, inevitably, was that as soon as a giant craving hit, or I was tempted at a party (or anywhere in fact), I’d cave. From crave to cave in 30 seconds.
But this time, when I thought about caving again, I looked back at the hundreds of times I’d made and broken this plan, and I realised that unless I gave myself entirely and honestly to the task, I would never ever succeed. I had to decide, then and there, that I would do this, that the life I was leading drinking was never going to be as fulfilling and happy as it could be, and that I needed to stop.
I found it helpful to spend some time thinking about all the occasions on which I’d been drinking – ok, not all of them, because I couldn’t remember all of them (that’s the thing about drinking), but many of them. And the pattern of craving, then drinking, then drinking a lot, then wishing I hadn’t, then repeating this the next day, seemed suddenly so incredibly foolish and ridiculous, that I was stunned. What on earth had I been doing? The picture of Annie drinking one glass then stopping was a mirage, an illusion – it had never been like that, it would never be like that, moderation was never going to work for me.
I expect if I go back through my blog, I will see signs of this thinking, but the mental shift is now more profound.
On a practical level, I am still dealing with the everyday difficulties of not drinking. But I am waking each day and asking for help, silently as I lie there in bed. I am seeing my counsellor in a few days’ time. I am going to meetings. I have told my husband that I am serious about this. I am trying to stop feeling sad about not drinking, to stop mourning the loss of that drinking me, and to remind myself that the drinking me was not the me I want to be.
I am reading several sober blogs every day, including going back to the early days in some of them. I am building up my days on Belle’s challenge (Belle is so patient with me, thank you Belle), and the day counter on Mrs D’s Living Sober site. I am really trying, with all my strength, to keep sobriety uppermost in my mind and in my actions, living and breathing it every day until it sticks.
On a less positive note, I have an awful headache today, I almost feel sick, and as though I have a hangover. Yuck. What is that? Is this common at 9 days? I don’t remember feeling it like this before. Again, yuck.