Bad news

It’s 6.30am but I’ve been awake for hours. My son has been ill again for the past couple of days, and I worry and worry about him.

Yesterday, I went to a funeral. At the wake afterwards, I drank, and when I got home, I drank all evening and into the night. There’s no excuse; I just did it, and then I couldn’t stop. It was stupid, and I feel totally miserable about it, and miserable generally.

I’ve hit a really low point, and now I’m back on Day One. I am sorry to let you down, and sorry to let myself down. But now I need to start again, and rebuild my strength.

58 thoughts on “Bad news”

  1. Oh Annie, it’s just a bump, you’ve been doing so well. Please be gentle with yourself. Dust yourself off and keep going x

  2. Oh Annie. I’m so sad for you. You’re wasting your life with this endless Groundhog Day.

    How did it happen? What was your thought process? Did you think ‘I’m not a proper alcoholic? I’ll just have the one? I’ll quit again tomorrow?’ You KNOW that’s all nonsense!

    Please, please write down all those false promises somewhere and remind yourself again and again that they ARE NOT TRUE. Show them to the husband and get him to remind you too. Then next time you’ll be better prepared….

    And I think you need more help. You’ve tried this again and again on your own and it’s not working. Go back to AA, to the counsellor…..

    Sorry if this sounds harsh, but we’re not helping you if every time you pick up a drink we say ‘that’s okay Annie. Just start again.’

    It’s NOT okay. It’s screwing up your life. I’ve watched you waste more than a year of your life, and if it’s this hard watching, it must be so much harder doing it.

    With love (even if it doesn’t sound like it!) SM x

    1. Listen to this.
      Go back to the addiction centre. Sign up for outpatient treatment. Or go to inpatient.
      Treatment is not a cure, but it is an opportunity to get some time away from the booze.
      No one is disappointed. We all want you to be well. We know that this is a deadly problem, and we pray you find your way.

      Get more help.

  3. Hi Annie, it’s sad that you drank but that doesn’t diminish the fact that you’ve just managed over a fortnight sober ! That’s not to be sniffed at and is a great basis for picking yourself up and starting all over again. Don’t waste time in too much self recrimination, that’s what Wolfie wants. So what you drank ? but you have a whole heap of sober days behind you. You’re a star and if Wolfie tells you different well then he’s just fucked off about all those sober days you’ve got tucked in your pocket . Flossie x

  4. New sobriety is very fragile. We are all human, and faced with difficult life circumstances and events it is so important to think things through beforehand, especially in the very early days. Plan how you are going to manage, visualise yourself with a soft drink, engaging meaningfully with people. We can trip up so easily when we are unprepared. You have had a slip, you feel rotten, but in your heart of hearts you don’t want to continue to drink. You have had the first glimpses of life after alcohol, now go back where you left off, to ?18days, minus a hiccup. Don’t beat yourself up about it, learn from it and move on to your next sober day.
    Hugs xx

  5. Annie I’m going to speak from the heart. Is this a blip on the road to a sober life or a sign that you just want to keep drinking regardless that your son needs and deserves a mum who is sober? You decide .

    I write as the daughter of an alcoholic as well as someone who has had their own life implode on two occasions and now is unable to work and leads a very quiet life. Work was one of my addictions. And then a violent husband. The booze was there throughout. You will be exhausted today so now is the time for healthy food and an early night, not further beating yourself up. But your battle with the bottle must be won.

    One thing seems very clear to me from reading your posts – you are very unhappy and you have no idea how to make it better. Are you clinically depressed? The booze won’t be helping but it might not be the whole story. Get back to your GP and ask for more help. I consider my anti-depressants as life savers. It seems to me you need counselling to help you manage your emotions better and plan for temptation so that you don’t turn to the booze every time you feel a bit bad. Find the money to pay for it if necessary. Money well spent. Be prepared to do whatever it takes. No buts.

    Perhaps your life will have to change. But don’t think about that now. Think about getting the help you so obviously need. One minute at a time. Sending you big hugs and lots of love. I wish I lived round the corner. X

  6. It happens. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Just keep pushing forward.
    I hope your son is getting better.

  7. I think of every sober day as a step forward. You don’t have to subtract days just because you lost one. You still have those beautiful days of healing and self-love. I know I will be hearing from you for many sober days to come. I started on my one-year quest weeks ago and I am (only) on day 20. I am getting back up this time and going forward. The number of slips I have no long matters. Only today does. And today, I am giving myself another chance.
    Much love,

  8. More tough love I’m afraid.

    The fact that it wasn’t mentioned in previous posts you were going to a Funeral, to which comments and support could have been given, suggests the Funeral was being lined up as an excuse to drink. We’ve all been there.

    From reading your blog I don’t think you sound like you’re there yet in terms of being ready to put in the effort needed to stay sober. Maybe some help will get you there or maybe it’s just not your time yet.

    I hope you get what you need xx

  9. Ugh! The Funeral and your son’s illness are great excuses for you to drink. All this be kind to yourself stuff I must say drives me nuts! Be real. You are an alcoholic and can’t drink. Stop making excuses.

    1. Beating yourself up will just add to the feeling of failure and lead to another excuse to drink. You should be kind to yourself, but also HONEST about HOW you “wound up” drinking. Also, it takes a lot of guts to “out” yourself, which is in a way reaching out for help and advice. Wine Bitch did a great talk on Rebounding from a Relapse. give it a listen.

  10. Annie. If you were to count how many sober days you have had vs drinking days and you look at where you were two three four years ago what would you say? Maybe having way way more sober days than drinking days for you, for now, is the right way to go. That does NOT mean go back to drinking every day it means soend way more time not drinking than drinking until you are proud and feeling strong to go to the next level. Maybe just work towards that. Because you have come a long long way.

    Don’t forget that this blog is for you and it is helping you. Please don’t run away and disappear.

    Every one is different. Don’t let other people’s comments make you run away. This is your way. Not theirs.

    Sobermummy and her blog which i find sanctimonious and too self promoting.

    Don’t stop. Don’t think of it as day 1 again. Think of it as sober days vs drinking days. And when you look at it like that you are doing well. Build up from there. Please don’t run away and give up. Your dappled path is still there.

    But it’s your path and it’s going your way.

    1. It worked for me. Over three years i went from drinking heavily horribly every day to having more days sober than drinking. I slipped up. Many times. Many times. But i never thought of it as going backwards. I was having stretches some of them long ones where my mind was at peace and my body was healing. And slowly i liked that more than the drinking. It took such a long time but i was kind to my self and never gave up and i got there. And i am 14 months without a drinking day. It worked for me. It might not for you or for anyone elae. But anything has to be better than feeling so rubbish every day.

      Be kind to yourself. You are worth it. Xx

      1. I agree with you. Each sober day counts for something in and of itself. Sure Annie struggles but she has notched up a lot of sober days and she keeps on keeping on. A beacon of hope!

  11. Oh Annie. I’m so very sorry. I know just how you are feeling. You are so strong to get right back on board. I keep reflecting back to your worries about your son. My 9 year old was sick with a mystery fever for 15 days last summer. It was a very traumatic experience and has left me with PTSD. I don’t know what I’ll do when he gets sick again. That’s the thing that could derail my sobriety efforts. So I know just what you mean about that impacting your efforts. I’m thinking about you today.

  12. Hi Annie
    Please don’t despair. You can pick yourself up and just have your day count -1. Funerals are tough. I had to go to one on my day 3 and I would have really struggled had the wake not been at 11 a.m although that hasn’t stopped me in the past.
    Being kind has said some very wise things. I can relate to what she says about getting stronger each time and realising that despite what you think you are giving up, you actually enjoy the peace and healing that sobriety brings more. And eventually it outweighs the urge to drink.
    It’s clear that you want this and if it was easy we wouldn’t all be here crying out for help. Take care Annie and please don’t stop blogging xx

  13. What BeingKind *said: link up your sober days – don’t see this lapse as a fundamental failure. You’re going through a tough time so OF COURSE it will be an excuse to drink, you’ve not got enough momentum not to.
    We are all behind you Annie, we are all supporting your journey. We are sending you love and strength.

    (*Disclaimer: I don’t agree with the comment about SM. I’m a huge fan.)

  14. Annie, have you thought about asking your GP for some disulfuram (antabuse). Its not a cure but a couple of months might give you a breathing space – you can’t drink when you have the disulfuram. I was on the point of doing exactly that. Also, I won’t go to any event where there is alcohol that could tempt me – I know I have the breaking strain of a warm mars bar. For me, its not why you drink but how you drink that is the worry – just one would lead me to guzzling like the night I gave up – passed out on the sofa on January 2nd. I felt like shit for two days. If I drank tonight it would be the same or worse. When all is said and done its your life, there’s a lot of well-intentioned advice here but only you walk your path. For me, I think that stopping drinking means I might get to walk my path for a bit longer. We all want you to succeed Annie and to stay safe and healthy.


  15. I just want to give you a big cyber hug Annie. Please just get back on track. Don’t wallow in self pit or wine! Go FORWARD! And for the record, SM has helped me so very much through her blog! I am grateful for her!

  16. I’m with Sobermummy on this one, my dear, as you knew I would be. Everyone hates to see you do this to yourself. How many times do you need to prove to yourself that YOU ARE AN ALCOHOLIC and YOU CANNOT DRINK EVER and YOU DESPERATELY NEED MORE HELP THAN YOU ARE GETTING TO BEAT THIS.

    You shouldn’t worry about disappointing us. You should worry about dying, or forever damaging your children, or driving away your husband. The stakes are oh so much higher than the disappointment of a few sober sisters (and a brother or two) you interact with on your (read: your addiction’s) terms.

    Is that scary? Good. You scare me. Are you ready to do something about it? I don’t know. It’s not like you don’t know the challenges early sobriety presents, and yet you drank. I guess I will believe you are finally on your way when you DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT and something hard, that makes it clear you understand how life threatening your illness is. And I am not talking about going to a meeting once a week. I’m talking about rehab, 90 in 90, etc. You cannot handle this alone, with fizzy drinks and bubble baths and online advice you take until you don’t anymore, and drink.

    Feeling like shit when you read these words is my intention in writing them. Going down the rat hole of self loathing isn’t going to do a thing. Please please please take serious action, and if you can’t, beg your husband to help you, find you a doctor or an inpatient program.

    I am not angry, though I may sound that way. I am just so so frightened for you. All my love, poor girl.

    1. YIKES — I meant: Making your feel like shit when you read these words is NOT my intention in writing them.

      I hope your figured that out. I’m do copy editing, for goodness sakes…

  17. Hi Annie, it’s not bad news, it’s normal. We’re all addicted to alcohol, drinking is what we do. Just keep trying, we are all very close to the next drink, but it does get easier as time goes on. Getting sober is easy, staying sober is the hard part. AA and doing whatever my sponsor suggests (whether I like it or not) works for me. It’s life or death this disease, choose life.

  18. I’ve never posted. It took three hours to get an email address. You. Are. A. Warrior. I’ve never made it to day two. By the time I buy [whatever-it-is-that-day], I don’t remember the argument. Thank you for fighting.

  19. Annie, we are not disappointed, we are just worried for you. You need more help. Online support is not enough. Could you give the addiction centre another go? Or meetings? Please consider it. A x

  20. Can you grasp onto anything negative about the experience besides being disappointed in yourself? I did the same thing, but thought my way through it. Did I really like the taste? Not really, kind of liking my green tea, coffee and lemon water. How did it make me feel? Out of control, lack of motivation, a blob on the couch and so unproductive. No one was home, so I didn’t have to go there with how it may have affected others … I also focus on the horrible effects it has on the body! Ugh!! Sometimes that’s not enough, but it’s something to think about. Wishing you well and hoping for success for the both of us!!

  21. Hugs. I cannot add anything else that wasn’t already said. I’ve been in these situations way too many times. It is sad and dissapointing and it is full of self-loathing. I know all of it. Just keep on believeing that one day it will all click. Just keep on trying. Don’t give up. Ever.

  22. Don’t give yourself permission to give up…even for a couple of days. The secret to sobriety is this : You have to want to be sober more than you want to drink. Then you have to make uncomfortable and inconvenient choices. There is no easy way. There is “heavy lifting” involved. I’m not sure what your “heavy lifting” is. But it’s time to find out.

    P.S. We all write blogs in different ways. Some blogs resonate with us, some don’t. And that’s fine. But each one of us started writing because it was our own personal sober journey. And that deserves a little respect and kindness. This sober world is a refuge for all of us. So if you don’t like a blog, just unfollow. xxxx

    1. Good morning! Yes, I managed yesterday and am here on Day 2. I’m at work now but will reply to everyone’s kind comments as soon as I can. Annie x

  23. When I think things are getting too much, I try to remember a comment that I’m thinking of making into a stitch sampler to hang on my wall: ‘There’s nothing so bad that alcohol doesn’t make it worse’. Best wishes Annie x

  24. Sorry to hear about your ‘blip’ Annie. Reading the comments, it seems reaction falls into two camps – tough love and self care/kindness – neither is right or wrong and both come from places of good intention and support (so don’t go locking us out of the blog and disappearing!! 😀 ) As the expert in your own life only you know what you need and how to move forward from here, but the important part is the learning and moving forward. I have said it previously on one of your posts. Why is alcohol useful to you?? None of us say, ‘Oh go on then, I’ll just poison myself a little bit’ and you have proven time and time again you can overcome the physical addiction and commit to a process (just look at your blog.. you are far, far better than me at writing every day!!) So what is it emotionally you are addicted to? What did it give you at the funeral/when your son was sick? My guess is without a substitute coping mechanism this will keep on happening. xxx (PS: Knowing why its useful doesn’t stop you drinking – I am proof of that!! – but it helps you target your sober plan and mitigates the risks of further slips. Insight is everything.)

  25. Ive read through your ENTIRE blog…This is a joke, right? I don’t believe it’s humanly possible to navel-gaze for 3 YEARS STRAIGHT!

    1. Annie, I would ignore the oh-so-perfect Vika and carry on. I hope Vika’s path to sobriety and beyond has been PERFECT. Is that comment a joke? Was that supposed to be helpful?
      Beingkind is being waaaaaay too kind.

      1. Vika please do not reply. Please just go away. This is not the place for you. Perhaps if you did a bit more ‘navel gazing’ you might gain some emotional intelligence.

  26. Wow! Lots of passion here today! I check on you daily and I’m sad you chose to drink. Listen to SoberMummy. She called it right. We don’t do you favors when we say it is ok. That it’s just a blip or bump. You have one life given to you and you’re allowing it to go by in waste. Please follow the excellent If hard advice offered to you here!!

  27. Annie,
    Is this really a “blip” or a “bump” or is it a pattern? We all had moments when we had to white knuckle our way through but if that is your main method it won’t last. Blogs can be helpful in so many ways but in and of themselves it does not translate into sobriety if you don’t make tangible changes day to day.
    The addicted part of you will continue to convince you (true Annie) relentlessly in every possible way to drink. It’s a battlefield of the mind.
    Please step out in faith and seek professional intervention at an inpatient facility.
    with hope

  28. Hi Annie, I’ve just been listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast “Happier”, in which she explores how to make good habits stick. In episode 59, at just over 13min in, she talks about using distraction to curb cravings, giving some useful examples. It’s not specifically about alcohol at all, but when I heard it I thought of you and hoped it might be of help.
    Hope all is well xx

  29. I think that Vika put it a bit too bluntly, but I do think that she voiced the frustration that many of us have felt as we’ve followed your progress over the last few years. The hard fact is that the navel-gazing hasn’t gotten you sober, not even close. It could be argued that you’re in a worse place than you were a few years ago, because your drinking is more entrenched. Please take the advice of so many people who have taken time to comment. Get some real, professional help. We would all like you to succeed, but you are the only one who can make that happen. I hope you do before it is too late.

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