Thank you for all your comments in recent days, and I’m sorry not to have responded to them individually. I still feel quite fragile – at least, my sobriety feels fragile, but perhaps that is inevitable at only day 13. Things keep threatening to derail me. A day or so ago, I read a short article by Hannah Betts in The Times. She is great, and is 19 months’ sober, so a bit of a role model, but I was dismayed by her comment that she missed her ‘booze brain’. She was referring to a book recently published in which a photographer shows pictures of people after one, two, then three alcoholic drinks, and how they begin to laugh and relax. She wasn’t promoting drinking, she was – I guess – missing it, or certain aspects of it. I read and reread the article, looking for ‘permission to drink’ therein, and then in desperation I searched for other articles she has written about the benefits of sobriety. There are quite a few, and they are well worth reading (sorry I’m so hopeless at links etc).
Thoughts of moderation still slink about like thieves. I abandoned buying wine this morning when I read an email from SoberMummy – we are arranging to meet! – and I thought, ‘I can’t meet SoberMummy if I’m drinking again; that just wouldn’t be right!’
So I guess I’m hanging in there, but it feels really hard, and I feel quite fed up.
There’s me saying I’m not going to post so often, and now here I am writing my second post today. Erratic, or what! I have just reread my earlier post; it is full of fear. I think when I wrote that I wouldn’t write so often, it was a kind of get out of jail free card, a chink in my sober armour which would let me run away, not be so accountable, not be so careful. The truth is, I do need to post every day, because without this network, and without a place to put down my fears, my difficulties, and my successes, I won’t be able to do it.
But I expect you all realised that when you read my earlier post. It was as though I was planning my own relapse, giving myself a loophole, permission to drink.
That earlier post? It doesn’t sound like me – not the sober me, anyway. It sounds like an alcoholic me, and it sounds like addiction desperately trying to cling on to me. Well I say no to addiction, and no to alcohol, as I settle down in front of a film with my 1 million calorie lemon cream slice thing which I bought yesterday and haven’t eaten yet.
Well, it’s day 12, and I feel pretty calm. Thank you for all your good advice last night! Those crazy spells are so undermining.
I wanted to tell you that I’m not going to be able to post every day – and having posted daily thus far in this sober run, I didn’t want you to worry. Work load and family pressures are taking up much of my thinking space, and I don’t really want to write titchy posts. So my plan is to write every few days; I hope you understand.
I had a bit of a meltdown this evening, so full of doubt. I did this ridiculous thing where I ordered some wine to come with the veg box we get delivered each week, and then I cancelled the order, and then I ordered it again…and this went on about 10 times. In the end, I cancelled it – I don’t want a case of wine arriving on Thursday.
I also tried to persuade my poor husband – again – that giving up drinking was too extreme, that I wanted to continue my ‘good sober work’ in the week, but drink at weekends. He doesn’t know what to make of all my indecision, but he patiently listened, and let me come to my own conclusion, which was that I need to stop thinking so much, and go to bed.
The mental gymnastics are crazy-making. In the meeting last week, I was struck, not for the first time, by the calmness and certainty of the ‘old-timers’, those people who have been sober for years. They were so sure of what they were doing.
…but am now back from the supermarket and have armed myself with treaty grub to help me get through this evening…
I often walk the dog with a lovely friend. But this friend is a trigger: she doesn’t drink much herself, but her house has tempting bottles of interesting-looking alcohol on display, and she often has fun parties and dinners. I was having coffee in her house this morning, and couldn’t take my eyes off those bottles. And then I felt an immense sadness, and wished I could drink.
I walked back through the sun, and now I’m at home. Day 11 but I don’t feel upbeat, I feel a bit miserable.
Yes, my friends, day 10 over here in the land of many day 1s. I am so pleased! Thank you again for all your lifesaving comments last night, and for your support over the past week. It’s a long road, but I’m plodding along it.
I went back to work today, and the old drinking memories came flooding in. It’s not a drinking environment – far from it – but the pressures of work, and the feeling of needing downtime and rewards at the end of the day, are triggers which I need to work through. I have worked out which meetings I can get to this week, and I WILL GO. Complacency is the enemy, and the feeling that I’m setting myself a big task which I won’t be able to sustain.
Physically, I feel ok. Not that zippy, and not a pink cloud in sight, just quiet really.
You would think I’d be getting used to this, but Sunday evening and the cravings and doubts are worse than ever. It’s incredible. I made it through Friday night, Saturday night…but instead of feeling elated and proud, I feel oddly frightened, as though by doing this, by committing to it in some way, I am going down a path where I can’t turn back.
In short, I feel rubbish. I’m sitting at my desk, trying to work, as I have a lot to get done, and my mind is all over the place. I can’t concentrate.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH.
I don’t drink. I don’t drink. I don’t drink. So why do I want a huge glass of wine? Why do I want to hide from myself like this?
Thank you to SoberMummy on Mummywasasecretdrinker who wrote a lovely post yesterday. It kept me going all day, and all evening, and now here I am on day 9! The sober universe is powerful, and I find the love and support here a huge huge help. Thank you, too, for all your comments here, and on SoberMummy’s blog.
The whole thing feels a bit surreal at the moment. Last night I wasn’t even tempted to drink. And it was Saturday night. I made a plan with my husband: mocktail at 6.30pm, supper, light the fire (still chilly here) and watch a Hitchcock film. I need things to look forward to, otherwise I fantasise about drinking. I guess I feel in limbo, poised on the edge of going back to work tomorrow, knowing that this will put a few challenges in my way.
Could this possibly work this time? Might I now really be a non-drinker? I’ve tried so many times. People say it will ‘click’, and I wonder how I’ll know when/if that happens.
THANK YOU for all your comments yesterday. I wish you could see me poring over my computer, reading and digesting your words. I even read some of them out to my husband. Ah! My husband! I am not sure whether or not he reads my blog – he may have done once or twice, but I don’t think he does on a daily basis. I think he thinks I’m a bit crazy about my blog. I told him what I’d written about his views on meetings; he expressed concern that I was entering a dark world, and that I didn’t ‘need it’, but I explained that I was seeking some real life help, some people who could relate to what I was trying to do, and that I needed that as well as my lifeline on the blog. The people who comment here are real to me, and I would love to meet you – maybe I will one day – but in the meantime, I need to connect with some people close to home as well. In yesterday’s meeting, there were 5 people who I recognised and knew from previous meetings, all of whom welcomed me cheerfully, didn’t probe into where I’d been in the interim; I felt at ease with them. The ‘scarier’ people were new to AA (they were there as part of a detox programme), and that was what threw me a bit. Later, when I thought about it more calmly, I felt the meeting had done me a lot of good, and I will go back.
As to my husband, and his support of my sobriety: his refusal to let me drink yesterday was crucial, and though I know I mustn’t rely on that, it really did help. I gave him a hug from you, Hapless, as you requested, and he seemed very pleased.
So, here I am on Day 8, Saturday morning, and feeling quiet and glad, and grateful. Let’s see how today goes, and the Saturday evening possible blues, but I think Fridays are harder, so I’m glad to have got through that.