So afraid

Why am I so afraid of getting sober? Why, when the success stories I read in other blogs speak of the wonder that is to be experienced on the other side?  I tentatively open my blog, and write, and then a huge fear engulfs me and I close it in a panic.  I retreat into a tiny world where I exist on my own with my drinking, and no one can see. At least, that is how it feels, and closing the blog seals me into the little world.

At work yesterday, everyone was talking about how great it would be to drink at the weekend, how necessary that bottle of wine would be as a reward, all that sort of talk. And my tiny resolve snapped in a second – it was ridiculous. One moment I feel as though I’m walking in the sun, the next I’m slinking in the shadows.

Behind it all lies this kernel of hope, and longing to succeed.

Back on Mummywasasecretdrinker’s blog, she started writing a year ago today, and her post today about the strength that the blog has given her sober journey is utterly uplifting. I do feel connected to Sober Mummy – Hello, Sober Mummy! – and to other people in the soberphere, many of whom contact me and ask how I’m doing. I feel ashamed that I keep disappearing, that I keep slinking; I want to come out of the shadows.

21 thoughts on “So afraid”

  1. hi annie!

    maybe the fear you are describing is not truly fear? maybe it is, but it could also be your brain telling you, it is time to drink. as you know alcohol is a very addictive substance and even if you are not suffering from withdrawal symptoms, your brain is wired to drink every single night. when our bodies want it and our brain is telling us that a drink is the only thing that is going to make things right, it can be very very hard to fight on our own. also hard to understand when we are drinking is how skewed our entire perspective can be. we can’t feel the addiction, so we don’t believe it’s there. we think life will never be fun again, without alcohol. we can think we are sealed off from the world but aren’t fooling anyone. that is all the drunk alcohol haze talking and all it wants is more more more more. because it doesn’t want to feel shitty for a while and without alcohol, you might feel blah for a while. but nowhere near as bad as you do right now.

    maybe it is time to try something different and fight harder than you have ever fought before. these are the days that make up our lives! on the other side there is beautiful sobriety. where you wake up every morning excited to stop for a hot coffee, excited to watch whatever show it is that you love, excited to go for walks and find what you love. all that stuff probably sounds boring to you right now, but it is so beautiful and fulfilling and amazing. i am grateful to be an alcoholic in recovery because it makes the most mundane activities so beautiful and special.

    sending you love and good thoughts!

    1. Yes, the daily debate which begins around now – nearly 4pm – rules my life: I wake determined not to drink, and by mid-afternoon, I start telling myself that I’m overreacting, that everybody drinks and that I’m no different, that I need the ‘sophisticated life’. It’s the addiction talking, I know. Your description of the daily mundane things becoming beautiful, made me want to weep. Annie x

      1. Annie that debate is so so maddening. I am very familiar with it! It’s like we have to strengthen the sober side of the debate so much that it wins. Something I’ve been doing lately is spending time envisioning myself as a happy sober person. Picturing nights out sober, time with friends sober, nights alone on the sofa sober- to re-create the image of myself doing all the things I used to do drinking.
        I don’t know if that makes sense but it’s something that has been helping a bit.
        I also remind myself that I’m not like other people that can casually have a glass or two of wine at the weekend. It isn’t a problem for a lot of people, but it is for me… For us. Sending love xo

      2. Imagine being rid of that daily debate Annie. Imagine it not ruling your life. It’s got to be the worth the fight, yes? Give it all you’ve got. And take all the help you can get. Love to you x.

      3. Dear Annie,
        I’m a long time reader and first-time commenter. You seem to associate drinking wine with sophistication. May I tell you how I see you, the sophisticated Annie, when I read your blog? The sophisticated Annie talks about spending quality time with her beautiful and perceptive children. She shares how wonderful and supportive her husband is to allow her to be her best. She talks about going to orchestra practice and her life with her new teaching job. She’s a good blog writer and has proven to her readers that she’s intelligent and cultured. She’s impressive.

        Once upon a time Annie, drinking wine was a part of your image of living a sophisticated life. Now it’s not. It worked for a time and now it doesn’t. Your Drinking Wine Life Chapter is over. Begin a new chapter. You don’t need to drink wine to feel or to be sophisticated. You’re that way just as you are.

    1. Thanks, Heya Monster, and Clearlee, and Anne, and Wendy – as I can’t find the ‘reply’ thing on my blog for their comments for some reason. Annie x

  2. Hi Annie. I just wanted to send out a little flare of support while you’re here. I’m gad your blog is back up. As Clearlee says, finding a way to strengthen the clear sober vision of life so that the pull to join in on the drinking (with all the pretence of normal/glamorous life that goes along with it), that’s hard work but it’s worth it. I’m grateful for all the inspiring comments people leave here. Really hoping you find a way to hang onto being sober. Big hug to you xo

  3. When I was drinking I craved the sophisticated life, the image of me elegantly sipping a glass of prosecco. I even bought two new rather expensive champagne flutes as I thought this would help me stick to my resolve to moderate. Well I broke one glass, the other was a blotchy mess by the end of each and every evening. Elegant? Not very.
    I have just come back from Paris. As I had expected, all around were people slowly sipping wine, just like I had once aspired to do. BUT, what I had never, in my drinking days, noticed before, just as many people were sipping sparkling water, or a citron pressé, or drinking tea from elegant tea pots. And amazing tea shops, incredible choice with a wealth of associated history and culture. Now that’s what I call sophisticated. Xx

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