It feels huge that I’m on day 2. I’ve had plenty of day ones, and day twos, but this one felt harder to get to. In the supermarket this morning, I put a 3/4 bottle of prosecco in my basket (what kind of size bottle is that? Not tiny, not a whole bottle…what’s that all about?), then a moment later, took it out and walked back to the shelf to put it back.
WHAT AM I DOING?
It all feels horribly fragile. I cannot think beyond the next few hours. The thought of tomorrow evening, Friday, is too big to contemplate. Never has the day at a time mantra felt so relevant. What I am trying to keep uppermost in my mind, is how pleased my children will be if they see me having alcohol-free drinks, when they can be sure that they won’t smell alcohol on my breath when I kiss them goodnight.
6 thoughts on “The supermarket”
Annie, Well done for returning the bottle to the shelf. I understand the feeling of fragility. I change my mind about sobriety about 5 times a day. To help you deal with the here and now, is there anything that has inspired you in the past (a sober blog, a book/article) that you can use to keep you strong over the next few days? What about the Sober School website? Or a meeting? If you connect with something that rings true with you, it may help to galvanise your resolve.
Good job putting the wine back
This is not something that we can outsmart. Please. Think about a meeting. I’m 31 days sober thanks to AA. Still a long way to go, I know. But it’s 31 days of peace and not hating myself. That’s huge. It’s the hardest most exhausting thing I have ever done. And there were (and will be days ) that I want to say F$&@ IT.
Praying for you
Focus on anything that gets you to day three, though I have to agree, a meeting or some other formal help is crucial, the sooner the better. You can’t sustain this on your own or through willpower or mental gymnastics alone. Alcohol is in control of your will and your mind, so you have to go aside those for help. That is what surrendering means, admitting you can’t beat this by yourself.
That does NOT mean you shouldn’t keep fighting to stay sober, one day at a time. Just that that daily fight will become so much easier and so much easier to sustain if you turn yourself and your addiction over.
And yes, if it helps, keep your kids in your mind. They are victims of the addiction too. It was hard for me to do, but one thing that pushed me to get the help I needed was reading about the lifelong damage sustained by children of alcoholics. I was the mom who would clobber anyone who looked at my precious kids sideways, but what I was doing to them by drinking was worse than the worst school bully. I convinced myself that I held it together for them (dinner was always on the table! I was on every school committee, made every sporting event, etc.), but that was my own pride talking. They watched me choose alcohol over them night after night. Realizing that I was doing that harm, and realizing that even with that realization I could not stop, got me into AA and onto that first step, pronto.
I was reading your comments about finding a different counsellor and taking all the posts on your blog seriously and a couple of things occurred to me…. I think you struggle with going to AA or an addictions therapist because you are very clued up on the tools and techniques to do the initial (some say hardest) physical cravings bit of day 1-4. You know about pattern interrupts, stimulus control, reframing alcohol etc etc.. There are lots of amazing blogs/websites with practical tips and support and you access them. BUT.. And it’s a big BUT What doesn’t seem to get addressed in your blog or using these types of techniques is the void that drinking fills that makes it so hard to stop longer term… i.e.. Why is drinking useful to you?? My sense is that you need to find a counsellor or meeting where you can talk about all the other stuff.. Fears, anxieties, identity, esteem, relationships, etc etc.
My second thinking (and I mean this kindly) is that you are badly lacking in your ability to self care. In some ways alcohol fills this space, but my guess is it goes deeper. Interestingly, you are really good at making time for yourself online and through the blog but the challenge is to take this self care into the ‘real world’ and something stops you. Your blogs are the evidence you can make time and commit to something.. But they are also insightful as they reduce you to a person who judges themselves on the opinions/support of others and the number of days sober you achieve. You are a complex and beautiful human being Annie, my hunch is that you need to embrace that whole self to overcome this. Using alcohol is the way you cope with something else.. Identifying what that is (perhaps many things) and finding a way to utilise different coping strategies feels essential.
Big hugs and sorry about the very long post!!
I am also on day 2! You can do it! I find it helpful to read my blog posts especially the ones where I feel hung over and miserable!!