Nine days in

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. ย 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.

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19 thoughts on “Nine days in”

  1. So happy for you Annie! And this is such a powerful post!!! I don’t know if you realize how many people you’re helping along your special journey with this blog, but I’m one of them and I’m deeply grateful for your candidness and generosity. Thank you and keep it up!
    Diane xx

  2. Annie…it’s more than okay to “mourn” drinking-Annie. She’s part of you, and losing part of us still feels like a loss even when it’s good for us. Just keep going, and be good to yourself.
    Jenn

  3. This is powerful Annie!! You’ve got it!! You have put into words exactly my thoughts 374 days ago. Simply put I just didn’t like the way it made me feel anymore. Belle’s Wolfie still shows up every once in a while, but less often and not as loud. I love to read my thoughts in your words, you are helping all of us out here! Ly
    Mary ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

  4. Annie, you sound like you are at the point where I was when I finally made the decision to stop trying to moderate. Someone over at Women For Sobriety was kind enough to comment on yet another of my Day 1 posts to say that all of my Day 1’s were exhausting her. She said this because she knew I was trying to moderate instead of committing to abstaining. I looked back at my blog and just like you, I finally realized that the chance of me moderating was a myth. I’d never been a moderate drinker, I was never going to be a moderate drinker. I made the decision then and there to never try moderation again. I didn’t vow to never drink again, but I told myself that if I drank again, I knew exactly where I’d end up, no fairy tale one or two drinks, I’d end up in a binge.. I had one relapse since that day, and yes I ended up in a binge and deathly ill, just like I knew I would. I think once we erase the possibility of moderating from our heads and face the truth of where our drinking will lead every time, we can embrace sobriety fully.
    Eat some sugar and see if that cures the headache, you could be going through carb withdrawal.

    1. My headache is better today. Thanks for the sugar advice! I worry that my blog and my charting of day ones is off-putting to people, but I always tell it how it is – that’s what I do. Annie x

  5. Beautiful Annie. You found the secret. It is the most proactive, powerful brave total surrender you can imagine. And it works. I am proud of you. And isn’t it nice to stop fighting with yourself all the time — god , that took a lot of energy!

    And yeah, I had horrible headaches the first month (and I didnt get headaches when I WAS drinking). And fatigue despite extra hours of the best sleep I had ever had. Most (if not all of that) is your body adjusting — we beat the shit out of ourselves (and especially our liver) for years. Now all of a sudden it is able to remove all those other toxins and heal some, which, like getting over any injury/illness, can be uncomfortable. Shorter term, the lack of sugar in the bloodstream (alcohol has SO MUCH SUGAR) can cause all sorts of head and stomach aches. Early on, just go ahead and eat cookies and ice cream and other sugary junk, just to wean off the stuff. Not a long term strategy, but really helpful in the short run.

    1. I’ve been trying to overdo it by starting a major exercise programme, and I think that’s a mistake, as I need to eat chocolate etc as well at the moment. The exercise programme may have to wait until I’ve got more sober time. Annie x

  6. Jenn has good advice
    Mourning is ok. It’s ok to feel like you are letting something go. You are. But it is for the best. Like letting go of a bad boyfriend.

    Keep asking for help.

    I had a lot of headaches in early sobriety. It’s your body healing. Be gentle with it.

    Hugs.

    Anne

  7. I’m very inspired by people who give up alcohol and make it to the other side without relapsing, and I’m equally inspired by people who struggle but refuse to give up. I’ve been reading sober blogs for a little over 2 years now and last week was the first time I had the nerve to 1) come out of the shadows and comment on someone’s blog post, and 2) sign up for Belle’s 100-day challenge (I’m on day 2). It’s a scary thing to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. I think you’re incredibly brave. Please don’t ever give up.

  8. Giving up alcohol is such a hard work. Our bodies are healing. Our minds are shifting. Everything changes. You are very brave and honest. It is a raw honest post.

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