Wild weather

It’s blowing a gale here in England. It feels stormy, not really Christmassy. And I need a plan. I’ve been drifting for weeks now, half-trying not to drink, always a get-out plan round the corner. It’s been hopeless.

But a strong sense of conviction lies deep inside me, the knowledge that I will be so much happier if I nail this. I saw that The Sober Garden was counting from Day One again a few days ago – I read her blog regularly – and I want to try to do that too. It may seem crazy just before Christmas, but I would rather obsess about how to stay sober, than drink mindlessly and miss my family’s joy.

It will not be easy, because I am not honest. My parents – who are coming to stay – have already talked about bringing a magnum of claret. They will expect champagne. But I worry that if I tell them what I am trying to do, it will take the edge off their enjoyment of Christmas, and my mum will worry about me. I lay awake last night wondering if I could ‘fake it til you make it’ which I think (but I’m not sure) means that you pour a glass of wine, but don’t sip it, or pour a glass of alcohol-free fizz and make it look as though it’s real champagne.

I know. It doesn’t sound a very good plan, does it.

I won’t worry about that yet.  First, I need to get through today. I’ve been like a mad thing the past few weeks, endlessly closing my blog, then reopening it, a bit like closing your eyes so as not to see something scary right in front of you.

I went to see the new Star Wars film at the weekend. I won’t give any of it away, but if you’re 45 (or thereabouts) like me, and saw the original 1977 film when you were 7-ish, then you may feel many waves of nostalgia when you see the new film. I felt pulled back to my childhood, and spent the evening crying ridiculously, worrying my youngest daughter, and prompting my wise son to comment that wine + nostalgia = ridiculous and unnecessary weeping.

In the meantime, I am drawing great comfort from other bloggers on this journey. Primrose over at takinganewpath (as well as sorting out my drinking, I need a crash computer course, as I still can’t do links) is doing a daily alcohol-free drinks thing which I am loving, and which I find really helpful.

So, I’m going to stop switching off my blog, and I’ll write what’s happening to me here, the good and the bad. I’m heading out into that gale.

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13 thoughts on “Wild weather”

  1. First things first- you trying to quit drinking will not affect anyone’s enjoyment of Christmas. Promise.

    And secondly, remember this is such a hard time of year to quit- keep going, but as it feels difficult remember that if you just get through this, everything will be much much easier from here 🙂

    Text me if you need to lovely lady x

  2. I’m so glad you’ve opened up your blog again – I had been trying to apologise to you for leaving a suggestion that was more than a bit ambitious for this time of year.

    I’d say try anything you think may work. I know lots of people do not agree with this, but I got through my first sober wedding by fake sipping at the champagne. The only alternative was plain water. I felt self conscious and ridiculous and was sure everyone would notice what I was doing, but no one noticed or cared and I got through it. (Now I would have the confidence to toast with water, if necessary, but in the early days everything is so difficult, you feel so conspicuous)

    When it comes to drinking, put yourself before other people and what they may or may not think. Anyone who cares about you will be delighted to see you well and happy.

  3. I know this post is all about honesty, but can you tell a little lie at Christmas? Like you’re on antibiotics that make you feel really ill if you drink? It’s not going to hurt anyone and may save a whole lot of unnecessary discussions in the fragile few days. Many hugs.

  4. Hi Annie, Thank you for your post. I agree that this time of year bring up all sorts of challenges to those of us who are trying on the title of Newly Sober. I am not sure what to tell people either. I even wonder IF I need to tell them anything. One thing I have noticed over the past year of attempting to quit drinking is that people really don’t pay attention to what I do. Most of it is in my head — I feel obvious and out of place without a drink in my hand. This year, my plan (I am on day 6) for Christmas Eve is to busy myself with taking care of my guests. I am going to be the person I want to be…the person I am proud of.

    1. Day 6 is great. I haven’t reached that for a long time. Yes, I don’t think people really notice what one is drinking. And yet one feels so self-conscious, somehow. Annie x

  5. Your recent posts have reminded me of this, from Gratitude and Trust:
    “I Don’t Know How To Do This But Something Inside Me Does.”
    So keep on, Annie, giving lots of space for that something to arise to full consciousness. Wishing you the best for the holiday.

  6. I’m not sure what you are trying to do by fake it until you make it…

    You have told your family you are trying to get sober. They know.

    I think having a glass in front of you is a dangerous thing. You are a daily drinker. This is not an easy addiction to break.

    I am fully supportive of you, but I think you continue to underestimate just how difficult it is for an addict to give up their drug of choice. You need real help, serious plans, a break from social gatherings.

    It will be hard to miss the parties, but Christmas will return next year.

    Go back to the addiction centre. Tell the personal the desk they are wrong, you DO need them.

    Please help yourself Annie. The easy way has never worked for you. You have tried it before. Read back to last Christmas, last summer, last week.

    I’m praying for you. This is a serious, deadly condition.

    Anne

  7. You are so right, Anne, when you say that the easy way hasn’t worked for me. I am still so scared of asking for more help; I think it’s part of my denial. Annie x

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