Today

I sat up late last night, drinking.

I’m not drinking anymore. At that last weary sip at 1 o’clock in the morning, I made a mental note that this was my very last sip. I felt so very very tired of it all.

I woke at 5 and felt certain that today would be different. I am so glad that the counsellor didn’t agree to my cancellation; well, he agreed at first, and then texted me a few days later, unexpectedly, saying he understood that I was finding it hard to commit to the therapy, and that he would keep the appointment available for me, and refund me if I didn’t turn up on Tuesday. I am being given another chance.

My eldest daughter has just asked me if I can collect her from a party this evening, quite late, and I leaped on the idea; as my husband is still away, I will need to drive to get her, and so I cannot drink.

In a small spare room, I have a shelf full of books about addiction. I must have about 30 books on the subject, maybe more.  Late last night, I reached for Caroline Knapp’s ‘Drinking:  a love story’, which I have previously read bits of, but I have never got further than the first few chapters. I will sit and read the whole thing today – I’ve just read the first 26 pages before writing this. I remember when I first dipped into it, her descriptions seemed far off my own experiences; today, her words are painfully close to my own story. I’ve been getting worse, very quickly, and today it stops.

10 thoughts on “Today”

  1. You sound like I did a few weeks ago, (a place where I’d been for years) but I’m getting there Annie and you will too. Already the cravings are not daily. You will get there, have faith in yourself, there is a big old world out there ready for you to see through fresh eyes, keep at it xxx

  2. Ok Annie, I’ve done one dry day this week and most consecutive is 4 this year. Every morning I say this is the day to start but by lunchtime I’m checking we have enough wine in. But today I’ll start with you. I’m already seeing if i can do the whole of May, but we have a weekend away 3rd week in…small steps , let’s try and do midweek first. I’ve never shared this with anyone so hoping this will provide some motivation. Oh shit just remembered its bank holiday, can’t not have a drink !!! Only joking let’s see how we both get on !

  3. Hey Annie, a word of warning – I found Caroline’s book very triggery! I’m sure it’s not the same for everyone, but I’d put it down if it’s leading to ‘fuck it’ thoughts.

    I hope you can make enough good choices to stay sober today. Cheering you on xx

  4. Dear Annie, I follow your story avidly and so share in your successes and down times. You are an inspiration to us all by how open you are and how you lay yourself on the line. You give me hope and as a fellow serial quitter – drinker I have faith that you and I can and will do it. Keep positive. With love xxx

  5. I can always recast my magic spell, just say the word. Yesterday I looked up the response a woman gave me on the WFS forum one day. It was the response that changed my life, I quit for good that day. Here it is, I hope it does the same for you.

    “I just took a peek at your blog…very well done, my dear! But I’m here to tell you that I’m exhausted just thinking about all of they Day 1s, and Day 19s, and Day 30s. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already I know I’m sure, but all of the energy you are putting into quitting over and over again can be used in so many more productive ways. You truly have developed a lifestyle of ‘quitting’ and you’re good at it. Now take the leap of develop the lifestyle of ‘quit’!”

  6. Just do it, in the words of corporate America. One minute at a time. No forever claims, no thinking how it is going to work next month, or next week, or tomorrow, or tonight. Get through a minute then get through the next. As long as you don’t drink in this minute, then this five minutes, than this hour, than this day — you’ll be fine. But baby steps are required now, otherwise you will be overwhelmed by a change you know WAAAAAAY too much about.

    Try saying no in the minute — to yourself and others. You get your daughter home safely and want a drink. Not right now. Ten minutes later, you want a drink — not right now. Your husband gets home whenever and asks if you want a glass of wine. You say no thanks. He says “You aren’t drinking?” and you say, NOT AT THE MOMENT. He says, well are you going to drink on the weekend (or says, you’re not doing this quitting stuff again, are you?). And you say, “Who knows? But I’m not drinking RIGHT NOW.”

    Try it for a while. And good luck.

    1. Yes, I totally agree! The only way we can build up any sober momentum is a series of cumulative ‘I’m not drinking now’ situations. Deciding to definitively never drink again is attractive in the morning, but it certainly led to all or nothing thinking for me. inevitably at some point I would feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the decision, and would think that if I couldn’t commit to it, I might as well drink sooner rather than later. Putting off the drink, telling my brain ‘not now’ gave me breathing space for the craving to pass, and it always did. Please try this approach Annie, as you’ve said yourself you feel scared at the big commitment. Distract your brain from the overwhelming future, by focussing on the concrete, manageable present moments as they unfold. X

  7. Oh, Annie please let this be it for the both of us! Thinking of you and hope to be able to post a successful day 1 today and onwards to day 2. Keep reading and posting. We will get there! Hugs.

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