Looking forward

Day 2.

My throat was so sore in the night, I worried that I had some sort of quinsy. I loaded up on pain killers, and today I feel a great deal better. Lying in bed last night, feeling so ill, I thought how stupid I’ve been, giving up on Dry January when I did. The last few days of drinking mean that I’m much less able to fight this illness.

I absolutely HAVE to reach 100 sober days, and beyond. Because I never give myself the chance really to feel better. Even at 22 days, the addictive voice and cravings were still very strong, and I felt as though I was always hanging on the edge of caving.

My job means I am much busier in the week, but I still need to find the time to go to meetings, and to reconnect with sober help. I cannot do this on my own (even though I always think I can…).

Saturday

Things have not been going well. That’s a bit gloomy: some things have been going well – the teaching is great and I’m enjoying it – but since my Dry January Crash, the drink has crept back in, and swiftly I have lost control of it.

Today I am ill – not from drinking, though the glasses I had last night haven’t helped – but because the children and I all have a coldy bug. It’s not a little cold, it’s a throaty, wearisome thing, and it’s wiped me out. My husband and I had already cancelled our trip away – too busy at work, and various other reasons – but it has meant that I have been working working working and not looking after myself AT ALL. And somehow, this seemed OK to me – clearly ludicrous. As I approached my 23 day slip, I lost motivation, and afterwards, I failed to pick myself up, instead digging myself deeper into the wretched pit.

That pit! It is soul-destroying. I need to go back to meetings, read blogs again, get back in touch with the addiction clinic (who rang me last week), connect with other sober bloggers, many of whom have reached out to me. And the awful thing is, for many days in the past week, it felt easier to drink than to do all that.

It is fortunate that I’ve caught this coldy illness; it means I have to stop, and take stock.

I am sorry

I haven’t made it; I haven’t been able to sustain my run of sober days. I got to yesterday, Day 22, but today I have failed, and it has gone wrong.

First, I closed the blog. Then I thought that was stupid, and that people might worry. And then I knew that I had to be honest, and to tell you.

I don’t know whether it was because I took my eye off the ball, that I thought I could do it without thinking about it? Over the past week or so, people started to comment that I needed to keep on track, that I couldn’t expect it to happen without putting in the work.

I am sorry. I do feel I’ve let everyone down – and I’ve certainly let myself down.

But from here, I need to move forwards, to start again, to pick up the pieces and carry on.

Day 20

Day 20! I have been so busy, I haven’t had time to write here, or read any blogs and I feel rather out of the loop. I miss the motivation that the blog world brings, and my sobriety feels more fragile accordingly. You will be pleased to know that I am still too busy to drink! Last weekend found me with some cravings and petty requests to my poor husband, but we both feel that we’re getting used to Dry January and I find I’m not hankering after a drink quite so often.

Please forgive me for not replying to your comments and messages of support after my last couple of posts. I don’t take you for granted, and I am so grateful you’re here.

The extreme tiredness continues, but I’m trying to go to bed early, and not obsess about work late in the evening.

So, for the moment, it’s onwards and upwards.

Thank you…

…for your wise words yesterday. I’m not going to drink, I’m not going to sabotage my 2 weeks’ sobriety, and Dry January is still very much in motion. Day 15 today.

I am working today, but I’m feeling strong about tonight, and about the weekend. The drink has been put in the garden shed, my husband has the key (!) and we are planning to give it away as presents in the next few weeks.

I am so grateful for you all, and for your responses to my posts. I will write more this weekend, as I never quite know how I’m going to feel.

Strange

It’s my Day 14 today, and I’ve been teetering on the edge. I don’t work on Thursdays, and I’ve been trying to catch up with my marking for school, and to get to grips with the almost overwhelming feeling of exhaustion. It’s ridiculous – people have much harder jobs than me – but I have this sledgehammer behind my eyes and haven’t been able to shake off a headache for 2 days. I only slept for about 4 hours a couple of nights ago, so last night I went to bed long before my husband, and tried to claw back a feeling of normality.

I am worried. The job is going well, and I’m really enjoying it, and, as I wrote in my last post (and thank you to everyone for your supportive comments – I’m sorry I haven’t been replying), I’ve been too busy to drink. But today, and yesterday, I’ve been thinking about drinking, about abandoning Dry January, and drinking something this weekend, to take the edge off the tiredness I’ve been feeling, to cope with the job somehow. I just feel so so tired, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so tired, not even when I had my children. The job is so big in my life at the moment, the adjustments so huge, I don’t feel I have ‘time’ to concentrate on not drinking.  I know that sounds stupid.

I did a big supermarket shop this morning, and bought wine and gin. I told my husband that I wanted to have a ‘small drink’ with him tomorrow night, and he said nothing, just looked wry, as I’ve said the same thing every day (almost) since January 1st.

I paused in my marking of books at lunch today, and watched a recording of a documentary which was on Channel 5 last night: ‘My name is…’, frank interviews with alcoholics. It was a timely reminder to me that I can’t allow the job, or anything else, to derail me.

Too busy to drink!

Yes, folks, you’ve read that right: I am officially too busy to drink! The past couple of days have been non-stop, and – crucially – the witching hour comes and goes with my not noticing, because at that moment I am planning lessons at the same time as trying to keep a grip on the household tasks, and not let my own children feel neglected.

I must go to bed now, but I wanted to tell you that I am closing in on the end of Day 12, and thoughts of drinking have been virtually absent for the first time in YEARS. I’m not complacent – of course not – and another weekend looms, but might this be a little bit of progress?

10

Thank you all for your kind, encouraging comments. I really appreciate your support. Again, I feel very tired today, but am glad to have reached Day 10. Double digits!

Next week is going to be challenging, as the job gets fully underway. Please forgive me if I don’t write much for a while; I find I have so little energy when I get home, and I don’t like writing half-baked posts (as I fear this one will be…)

My husband and I are pottering along with Dry January, but I am also aware that I’m not putting quite enough thought into my sobriety, and that worries me a little. I feel as though I’ve slightly lost heart. But I’m ok.  I’m ok.

Lethargy

I am sorry I didn’t write yesterday. I was exhausted, and didn’t have any time or energy, but then in the night I worried that people might be worried about me, hence my brief post earlier today.

My first lesson went well – at least, I think so, though it is hard to tell, of course. But by the evening, I felt completely shattered. I had huge cravings, and was on the cusp of drinking about 1000 times. Those Friday nights are still a major challenge. At one point, I looked at my blog and read a comment from someone who wrote that weekends were tough, and she hoped we could muddle through together, and her words – and the other comments which I read and reread – gave me strength, and helped me to get through. I am often amazed by the power of the blogging world.

Day 9, and I am a bit disappointed that I don’t feel more upbeat; rather, I feel sluggish and very tired. And I am still spending so much time thinking about how not to drink. This evening, I will try and look after myself more – I actually hate writing that, which perhaps explains why I am so shattered, because I am not caring for myself. I hated writing that as well!