One week in

I can’t remember the last time I made a whole week sober. The last couple of days have been tough. So many times, I have felt like drinking a whole bottle of wine, and my poor husband has had to endure hours of my moaning, and my attempts to get round Dry January. The shift in his thinking is part of the deal-breaker; previously, he would have gone with my suggestions. If I’d suggested we drink, he’d have agreed. This time, he has stuck to the plan, and last night when I was begging yet again for us to give up Dry Jan, he said that I could, but that he was going to continue, and the thought of him carefully drinking ginger ale while I poured yet more wine down my throat seemed appalling, and helped keep me on track. I think he has finally seen how incapable I am at drinking moderately, and he wants to help me do something about it.

There’s a blot on the horizon, though. In a few weeks, just before the end of January, he and I are going to Switzerland for a long weekend. I have never achieved this trip without drinking, and we are already discussing it. I am going to have to plan it really carefully…hot chocolates instead of ‘special’ coffees, sparkling water instead of wine…Mummywasasecretdrinker has recently been in the mountains, and she managed – and loved it – but she has many months of sobriety behind her. I won’t worry about this trip yet.

Today is my day off – I know, so soon into the job! I’ve been cagey about what I’m doing on this blog, and I’m not sure why, so I wanted to tell you that I’m an English teacher. Tomorrow is my very first lesson (yesterday were staff meetings), after many years out of the classroom. I am so nervous, I couldn’t sleep at all last night, and feel horrible and tired today. I’m at my orchestra rehearsal this evening, so that will take my mind off it, but I have visions of walking into the classroom tomorrow, feeling old and behind the times, and 20 kids looking at me in horror. It’s obviously not ideal to be embarking on the new job at the same time as trying to deal with sobriety, but I was only asked to do the job a few weeks ago, filling in for someone who is ill. And perhaps there’s never a good time to do these things.

I also wanted to mention that I think I may be isolating myself a bit. A couple of friends asked to see me today, and I said no, I wanted to be on my own.  I’m not sure why I said this; I guess I didn’t want to go over my fears about my job, or tell them about trying to get sober.  But I know that being inside my own head can be a dangerous place, so it’s something I need to watch.

I will do my best, though I feel a bit of a wreck. But at least I am now on Day 7.

34 thoughts on “One week in”

  1. Hi Annie! I’ve been thinking of you with the new job! I think it’s awesome – scary, but it’ll take your mind off the booze, and give you more confidence and self respect. Also, I bet you’ll love the mountains. I went just a few weeks into sobriety last year. It’s such a healthy environment – all that fresh air and exercise! Big hugs xxx

  2. Congratulations on a week of sobriety! I also have a hard time on vacation, so I can relate. I am taking Belle’s advise and doing things differently. To me that means plan, plan activities while on holiday that I enjoy and are self-soothing. I am also saying no to friends right now. Time with myself, self-care is more important at this stage of my sobriety. We can do this.

  3. Congratulations! I am on day 6 and am having the same struggles as you. My husband had a very good point and said to me “you are lucky to know what is making you feel crappy and you can stop drinking it and feel great! Many people would love to know what makes them sick! We can do this!

  4. I think avoiding friends is a good idea if they may expect you to drink.
    You aren’t isolating, you are giving yourself some quiet time.

    Teaching is hard. Teaching yoga I feel that pressure, everyone expecting something from me. Just prepare and try your best. That’s all you can do, and it will be enough.

    Your husband is smart. Keep listening to him.


  5. I soooo understand where you’re at right now, in so many ways (wine, working, etc). You are doing incredibly well. Keep up the momentum! And a dry husband is, perhaps, your key to staying on track?

    I once had a teacher who used to tell us that practice makes permanent. I’ve been practicing saying “No, thank you,” over and over in my head as I go about my day. Previously, if ever asked by a friend or wait person if I’d like a cocktail, a second glass of wine, whatever, my go-to reply was always “Sure.” Now, whether I’m in the shower, making my son’s lunch, or grocery shopping, I’m saying very politely in my head “No, thank you.” I honestly think it’s helping. Hugs to you.

  6. Hi Annie, I am doing the happy dance for you. That is awesome. Tomorrow may be a bit roughy to start, I am sure any teacher walking into a room full of kids wonders how it will be and is a little nervous. You will get through it, it may be hard but those feeling will not last forever. Anyway the kids don’t know you haven’t worked in x number of years and you more than likely do know more than they do so there is your advantage. Just.Keep.Breathing.
    If anything, I am terrified you have been judging my spelling, punctuation, grammar etc.ha ha. We all have fears and weaknesses.

  7. Hey Annie – well done on fighting through to day 7, I’m right here with you. If it’s any help, I once went on a long weekend to Bruges with a group of friends, and it was all about trying as many of the amazing beers as poss. Except I was pregnant, so I couldn’t drink. And so I stuck to hot chocolate, and soaked up the atmosphere, and had a ball. I know your scenario is a lot harder, but I’m just saying hot chocolate can have amazing powers 😉 Keep blogging, keep in touch, and we’ll get you though it. I will be thinking of you tomorrow too!! Red xx

  8. An English teacher! That explains your compelling writing style! That’s a very lucky group of kids who will be looking at you! You’re doing brilliantly! Keep at it!

  9. Yeah Annie!!! A whole new you! I think your job and your husband’s help may be the key, use them to your advantage. I too was a teacher for 30 years before retirement, working with special needs children. I’m sure your students will love you, they’ll give you strength!
    Mary 💗💕

  10. Hi Annie, did today go OK? I am a little bit like you, I’m great at doing day 1’s, can cope OK with day 2 and 3 but by day 4 the wine witch is bouncing up and down and I’m doing everything I can to convince myself that moderation is a fine old way to proceed.

    I’m so proud of you getting to day 7.. I’m doing dry January too (despite drinking on New Year’s Day) and tonight was the hardest day yet. I kept thinking of you and your new job and what you had said about not remembering the last time you’d done a week sober.. I think for me it was about 6 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter!! So thank you… you saved me tonight.. and I hope by writing this I can also help motivate you to stick with it. Weekends are tough.. but perhaps we can muddle through together? Michelle x

  11. Congratulations on one week! That is a milestone. I think this is a perfect time for you to be working, it gives you something else to concentrate on rather than that drink that is missing from your hand. Your husband may be like me, he knows he can’t wait on you to save himself, he’s got to do what he has to do. Please, quit begging him to drink with you, that makes it so hard. My husband still drinks, but the one thing he has never done is asked me to go back to drinking, I am so grateful for that, I don’t know what I would do if he did.

  12. Nothing wrong with saying no to an invitation if you’re not feeling like it. Whatever decreases your temptation to drink. There’s a difference between seeking healthy alone time vs. the kind of isolating that derails recovery. Don’t force it if you don’t feel like being social right now, especially with people who drink. But going to meetings and getting sober support is very important. Hope you are finding strength to maintain throughout the weekend “danger” zone. If you can get through this weekend, you’ll be building some major momentum! Keep going!

  13. One week is awesome. Well done Annie. Avoiding friends who drink is probably a good idea at the moment. You can see them when you are feeling a bit stronger. Congrats on going back to work! It must feel good to be using your skills again. A x

  14. Don’t know if you believe in a Higher Power, but I believe that yours gave you a motivation to stay sober with this job. Those kids are depending on you, and it’s scary as Hell, but you something that scares you enough to not drink. I am so blown away by you, I know how hard this is, I’ve gone back to work after being away for long periods. It’s excruciating, but it will make you feel so much better about yourself. You’re on your way.

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