Not so silent night

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…

18 thoughts on “Not so silent night”

  1. Well done Annie, that is really brilliant. You HAVE chosen a difficult time to quit but when is a good time really? I have been following you daily for some time and am always disappointed when I see you have pulled your blog. Delighted to read this though. Keep going Annie, you are going to succeed because your determination to beat this is so strong and we are all behind you. You are an inspiration to me and many others I am sure, even if you don’t think it yourself. So many of us struggle and keep it hidden or just pretend we are doing ok but you are brazening it out and saying “I need help, I am struggling” and that inspires others to do the same. Just keep going, one step at a time and keep reaching out. You have got this!!! Sending you a really big hug.

    1. Hello, American Annie. We are connected! Thanks for your supportive words. They mean a lot to me. Yes, I’m sorry that I close the blog the whole time; I suddenly get terrified and want to hide it. But I’m determined to keep it open now, whatever happens. I send you a hug back across the water. Annie x

  2. Well done Annie, what a great start! You are right, there is never a good time, there is never an easy time. However, this year your husband knows more about your struggles. Discuss with him what he needs to do to keep you safe, for example, discreetly keeping your glass topped up with AF drink, to avoid the need for explaining choice of drink to others. Experiencing Christmas with a clear head, fully present, is so much more enjoyable than any alternative.

  3. Not pathetic at all, Annie. I’m elated for you on a Great job on Day 1. Huh-zah! Have a wonderful (or not-so-wonderful) Day 2. But mostly? Just have it. *smile* Yay for baths and fizzy water and practice. Love that you jumped.*

  4. If you haven’t read up on PAWS (post acute withdrawal syndrome) now is a good time to do this…or go back and find the podcast dedicated to this subject on Bubble Hour. The early days…weeks of sobriety are hard and know these symptoms and how to deal with them can keep you from relapse. Sounds like you are tired of the merry-go-round and I wish you the best at getting off and staying with sobriety because it is so worth it!

  5. You have take on nothing
    You are releasing. Releasing compulsion, pain and numbness.
    It is not easy, but perhaps reframing this into a positive choice-putting yourself first-will help you.

    The more you look at this as a challenge of insurmountable proportions, the harder it becomes.

    You know better. It is time to do better. You deserve it.

    Love and hugs


  6. There’s always a ‘special” social event, a birthday, a wedding, something….you are not missing out, you are not depriving yourself, you are giving yourself a gift . I agree with Anne, you deserve it. You deserve to be happy and healthy, xxx

  7. I love the part of your post where you say “makes me feel I’m missing out on a sophisticated experience” – it’s so real, that feeling, but it’s also so false. The sophisticated experience you are missing out on is your life, when you are drinking. It can be so difficult to suss the truth, but it sounds like you are doing just that now. Stay graceful, strong, and true to your new hope, and all will be well.

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