I didn’t make it past Friday evening, lying to Belle on Saturday by emailing her that I had made it to Day 6 (I’m sorry, Belle). I’m not sure why I did that – I think at the time, I thought I could dismiss Friday as a blip and carry on with Day 6, as I’d built up a few days of good sober momentum; and as I hadn’t been able to do that for a while, I didn’t want to lose it. But of course I had already lost it – the game was up. By Saturday evening, I was pouring wine, drinking wine, back in the pit.
One of my main difficulties with this is the constant undermining of my plans – I undermine myself. Last week, I moved through the days really excited by sobriety, intent on not drinking, and beginning to enjoy it. But as I hit Friday, I felt my resolve dissolve and I did nothing about it. And it is this inertia with is so threatening. It is as though I have no meat behind my words, that I head into an uncertain sobriety on a Monday, knowing that by Friday I won’t be able – or won’t WANT – to sustain it. This lack of willingness is what makes me fail over and over again. Because until I am willing – really willing – I won’t be able to get sober. While I entertain the idea of drinking, I can’t stop drinking. A few sober days are good, but they are not good enough, because at the back of my mind the idea of a drink still lurks, and I don’t push it away.
It is a sad place to be in. On Friday, the messages of goodwill and strength on my blog were amazing, and I read and reread them, trying to listen to them, and to act on them. Everything everyone said made sense, and their words were filled with love and hope. And yet I turned the computer off and then, later today, turned the blog off. I have tried to examine why I close my blog at these times – why not leave it open? Why turn off the strength? After all, no one knows what is happening. By closing the blog, I think I close off the possibility of help, and that allows me to sink into my own drinking world, where no one will know what is happening to me. That is the sad place.
A few people commented on the bizarre nature of my husband’s responses last week. I wanted to tell you: he is only responding to me. I don’t put him in the picture, I don’t tell him the truth. When I want him to help me be sober, I tell him that I want to stop drinking, but I only give him the half-truth: I will say that I want to stop drinking in the week, but that I want to drink ‘normally’ with him at weekends. This sounds like a good plan to him, so he agrees with it. If I were to take him along to an AA meeting, he would get a different sense of it all, but so far, I have kept him away from that, and just given him a kind of sanitised sobriety, a half-baked version of it, where I don’t drink here and there, make mocktails, then go back to ‘normal’ me, the me I think he wants me to be, the person who doesn’t have a drinking problem.
So you see, it is a big old mess. Lies, half-truths and denial, all from the same dark place, the place where drink seems like the best life. And the idea of another sort of life – though within reach – I always push it away.
7 thoughts on “Lying”
I can imagine it’s extremely difficult to stick to your plans when Friday night comes around and you know your husband is planning on drinking. It feels to me like mine is saying every 10 minutes, ‘time for another glass of wine’. I have asked him to keep quiet!
I was thinking how easy it is to give in and drink at the weekend – I’ve been doing it for weeks. This time was different though, and I’m glad I stuck with it. Because what you _get_ from not giving in, is so much better.
I still worry about future cravings and triggers, but I know that today is what’s important.
Find a way to get through the cravings, do not give in. It can be uncomfortable in the extreme, but the benefits on the other side of that craving are huge. And when the cravings start to dissipate, and you get the hang of being sober, that’s when your true self begins to show through. You will have missed her so much and not even been aware of it. THAT’S why we need to keep going!! Xx
Firstly, I want to say that your honesty is really brave, and I think that’s the first real step. Some of the stuff that you say in your blog sometimes hasn’t really ‘added up”. And only we can see that, because drinkers are liars. We all were. We lied to other people, we lied to ourselves. I lied everyday, about how much I was drinking, whose fault it was, it went on and on, and the deception was as exhausting as the drinking and the struggle to control it. Once you put the baggage of deception down, putting down the bottle is the next natural step and it is easier. This post is a break through. Go the whole way and tell your husband. Because that WILL make it easier. It was when I did. When I first started, I led my husband to believe I was only taking a break. When I came clean, it felt like I had just put another burden down. The truth does set you free….free to move on, and change your life in a positive way. You can’t make changes on a foundation of lies – and I’m not being judgemental, I am saying that as someone who lied also. Big hugs, Annie. xx
Yes, agree totally with Jackie. Really admire your honesty and as someone who also lied to themselves and told-half truths to my partner, I know exactly where you’re coming from. And I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you say that until you are really willing, yourself, to get sober all the external support in the world is not going to be enough. I used to be aware, even at the time, that by giving my partner a sanitized version of what my real, internal, relationship with alcohol was, I was giving myself a way back. Back to drinking, if I felt like it. And of course, i always did at some point. When I finally did commit fully to being sober, I explained to him about the whole wretched internal dialogue that went on because I wanted that escape hatch of his validation of me going back to drinking to slam shut. I also thought that he wanted me to be the ‘me’ that drank at weekends but it turned out that I was wrong and that he really does prefer this version of me. Hugs X
The only person you need to be honest with is yourself. We have all been there to a lesser or greater extent with the half truths. I doubt anyone among us will sit in judgement of you.
This is the insanity of drinking! So now you need a plan. A real plan that involves getting honest with yourself. Unfortunately stopping drinking is really hard work. it’s uncomfortable and anxiety producing. There is no “easy way” to do it……the early days SUCK big time. But the sense of accomplishment you feel as the days add up is amazing and so worth it. Please reach out for in person support. hugs!!!
It’s good to see such an outpouring of support and compassion for you.
When the addiction speaks, acts, and makes decisions on your behalf it can drag you into the pit you are describing. You’ve been searching for a quick fix.. a magic bullet.. if I just read the right book, the right blog, the right AF drink….then voila sobriety???!!!
Time and distance from drinking is what you need… an inpatient rehab.
It doesn’t guarantee sobriety but it will give you two things you really need for a solid start:
Distance: you won’t have access to any alcohol while in rehab.
Time: Most last 30-90 days.
Clarity of mind… a sound mind that is what I’m hoping for you to start your journey.
I feel for you, I really do. It is so hard to see the problem exactly and still be so stuck. This is, in its way, about hitting bottom. I know you have felt you’ve been there before, and I’m sure you think that right now you are pretty low, obviously you are not low enough. If you were, you would stop fighting so damn hard to keep drinking. You would admit that you have lost control of your life. Now I know you probably hink you have admitted, at least to us, that you have lost control, that you are an addict. But you haven’t admitted it to yourself yet. How do I know? Because if you had, you would STOP TRYING TO CONTROL THINGS. You would put your decisions over alcohol in someone else’s hands — a higher power, if you go in for that sort of thing, or a counselor, or an AA group or Belle, or all at once. But you would let go of the wheel. You would stop trying to control this (by controlling your version of the truth, by controlling your husband, etc.).
Good luck, Annie. I hate watching you fall like this.
Hi Annie. I have been reading your blog for a while now and get very worried every time you drop off the radar. I was so happy when i read your last post as the insight you displayed and the honesty you shared were heart warming and courageous. One thing that i have been thinking about that may be helpful is for you to take a look at the “Stages of Change” by Prochaska and DiClemente. They outline that change occurs in stages – pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparing, action, maintenance, relapse prevention. It may help you to work out what stage you are at at the moment and what it will take for you to move to the next stage. If you jump to the action stage before you are truly ready you are setting yourself up for failure and self-loathing every time. Take a systematic approach to this. Sending you lots of hugs xo