The gale has passed, and it’s a quiet sunny morning here. It sounds pathetic, but I am elated not to have drunk any alcohol yesterday, after many weeks of daily drinking. Today feels full of promise, and new hope.
I have practised early days sobriety many many times, and I try to learn from my mistakes. Yesterday, I observered the various triggers, and tried to etch them into my mind for future days. I had to do a massive supermarket shop – the last before Christmas – and I considered buying my small bottle of champagne, the mini one that doesn’t feel real, but I walked away from that and bought some more lime cordial and masses of fizzy water. The entrance to the supermarket was almost blocked by an odd sort of elves’ grotto, replete with mince pies and brandy. Brandy! Elves! The world’s gone mad.
The next serious trigger was the usual wind-down, let’s have a drink because it’s dark moment (this gets earlier in the winter). Because it was only day one, I was negotiating with myself – no one would know etc – but I ran that bath, made myself a not very exciting but surprisingly nice fizzy water and real lime quarters drink, and by the time I was making supper, the craving had passed. And I noticed that I then felt completely different, much calmer.
When my husband came home, he arrived with a 2006 vintage champagne, a present from a client, in a fancy box with tasting notes: all that hint of licorice and taste of the sea stuff which makes me feel I’m missing out on a sophisticated experience. Those sorts of notes are dangerous for me: the fear of missing out often undermines what I’m doing. I have suggested we sell the champagne – it’s worth a fortune – and my husband thought that was a good idea.
I felt absolutely exhausted by 10pm, and my night was very unsettled, full of strange dreams.
I know the next few days will be full of cravings and difficulties, and I know I’ve taken on a lot by trying to deal with this at Christmas, but there’s never a good time; there’s always something standing in my way, and I’ve got to get past that. The idea of experiencing Christmas with a clear head is intoxicating in itself: but perhaps I’m being naive…