Sober book

I think a sure sign of problem drinking is having about 20 books on alcohol and addiction. I have never managed to finish a single one. I convince myself I’m overreacting and that I should be reading Jane Austen. But the last few weeks have been such a mess, I’m seeing that unless I tackle my problem head on, I soon risk reading nothing at all. This morning, I began ‘Being Sober’ by Harry Haroutunian – really interesting so far, and I think it will be helpful.

This afternoon I’m seeing the counsellor, thank goodness.  I’m getting worse, and I can’t ignore it.

23 thoughts on “Sober book”

  1. Annie I completely relate to your struggle as iris mine as well. Day 1 yet again for me today. I have been reading your blog for awhile but this is my first comment. Let’s try to just make it through today. Will be the thinking of you.

      1. Thx so much for writing back Annie. Already had stress this morning so I just have to be strong and not go to the liquor store!!

  2. Hi Annie. I hope you don’t mind me asking but what is the counsellor actually doing for you? I might have missed it but all I can remember reading is that he has told you to go to meetings. That’s not working.

    I am not any kind of expert but I have struggled my way to 62 days sober. I really think you need to think seriously about a detox. Are you really really opposed to that idea ?

    Tori x

    1. I think he is trying to unravel why I might be drinking in the first place, and is trying to help me think about the patterns of behaviour etc which lead me to pick up. As for detox, I feel as though I can’t leave my family and my job. But thank you for your advice, Tori. Annie x

      1. My own opinion for what it’s worth Annie, is that emotional insight and healing is going to be important in your recovery so I’m glad you’re seeing the counsellor. But you know it won’t be enough. I remember seeing another commenter suggesting the SMART recovery programme – have you looked into that? Based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy apparently. I know absolutely nothing about it but happened to see it recommended again on online Guardian article about gastric surgery/obesity. It’s not just for problem drinkers. Hope the reading helps! And btw please don’t switch off your blog. I worry!

  3. I am listening to Craig Nakken, The Addictive Personality: understanding the addictive process and compulsive behaviour. Like you I have numerous unfinished self help books. That is why I ordered this one on Audio Book. It is so much easier to listen to. Already up to chapter four and very relevant.

  4. “The problem with planning is that it feels productive. But after a certain point, planning can become another form of procrastination. It’s easy to get stuck in the “researcher” phase, for example, where you’ll spend countless hours reading blog posts and brainstorming ideas, but never taking any real action.

    Planning is helpful, but don’t use it as an excuse to keep pushing back the real work. Don’t fall victim to analysis paralysis. Give yourself a time limit to come up with a plan, and then start taking action.”

    Stephen Guise

  5. Annie, please stay on course. I know you say that you can’t leave your family or your job to do a detox or go to rehab. But it would be so much better than being forced to leave because you become ill and have to be hospitalized or worse. I agree with Overcoming- reading books and blogs is fine- but they are a tool. They are not the work. And blogs can be a double edged sword- you can read about a person on 65 or 100 or 200 days sober and beat yourself up for not being being there. Or, you can read about someone on yet again Day 1 and feel like it’s not just you, that it happens to everyone. And it does, but you are sounding more and more desperate as time goes by. Just the mental and emotional toll must be soul sucking! Draining.
    You have so many people supporting you, sending words, advice, love. But in the end, it’s up to you.
    With love and hugs!

  6. Annie, I get all serious on your blog but what you write and allude to is a cause for concern. We are all here because we have a troubled relationship with alcohol, dependant, alcoholic, problem drinker – doesn’t matter what you call it. Being here is a good thing because individually we acknowledge and accept the problem. Sheer bloody mindedness, will power, peer pressure, targets and goals all provide a heady mix of tactics for stopping. I’ve said before that I have understood my problem for years and am finally worn down enough to do something about it. I don’t know how much you actually drink – only you get to see the reality of the empties. For me, I was often shocked and embarrassed by what was in the recycling bin. The reality is that this stuff is terribly damaging either in binges or the regular heavy consumption – I did both. While rehab may be awkward for you – freefalling paints another picture in her comments above – a series of events that you may have no control over. Alcohol related diseases are insidious and often show no symptoms until its too late. Neither AA nor a counsellor can help here. Ultimately, it can only be your choice but if I were at the stage you indicate and will power alone is not working and I hate to say this but you tend to give in to the smallest temptation, then I would go and see my GP and get some professional help.


    1. Yes. Your liver was never designed to process hundreds/thousands of bottles of wine. By over burdening your liver, it compromises other functions of the liver that is needed for good health so you will see the effects of that as well. If you want to have a reality check (wake up call) about what can happen to a liver that is failing, learn about portal hypertension. It’s sudden onset without warning makes it even more scarier.
      Annie, alcohol addiction can turn deadly. Regarding rehab, I think it’s a good idea not to make an extremely important decision solely based on your “feelings” or the emotion of the moment because your addictive thinking can mislead you from the truth or anything that you perceive as uncomfortable or fearful… Instead just look at the facts… how many day ones since you started the blog?, how many meetings you’ve attended? how many appointments with the counsellor that you actually kept?, how many days you avoided situations where alcohol was involved?
      You might be there for your family physically but are you REALLY there for them? It must be hard to do that when you are consumed with thoughts of not drinking (when you are drinking) and thoughts of drinking (when you are not drinking).
      with hope

  7. Annie, I hope you get the help you need. It breaks my heart to watch your blog posts as I have since April. I’m exhausted reading about it, you must be wiped out. I echo all the above comments and do wonder about doing the detox….I think it’s time. Big hug!

  8. Oh Annie, if only you put as much energy into doing as you did thinking, my friend! This is your time Annie. Time to properly examine the reasons why you’re so against detox or rehab or whatever you want it call it. Without it, I don’t see how you can be there properly for your family x.

  9. I meant to add at the end of my comment ‘love to you as always from The Sober Garden’ – but your blog suddenly disappeared so I couldn’t add it! But you’re back, which is a relief. Stay with us Annie xx.

      1. That’s right she does because this is her blog. And it is here for her. No one else.

        She can cover it in pink elephants if she wants. As long as it’s here for her.

        Annie, don’t keep trying. No matter what. Just. Don’t. Stop. Keeping. Trying. Xxxx

  10. ‘…I convince myself I’m overreacting…’

    How is it possible to write these entries, for more than a year…to hopefully re-read them from time to time…and also to read all of the responses….and then make that statement??

    Most of us con ourselves. Part of the whole drinking package. But does no shred of self-awareness manage to wiggle through? What has been the point of the blog…are you addicted not only to alcohol but have also become addicted to the ‘there, there, good girl’ responses?

    I sound tough. Mean. Honest. Down-to-dirt honest. ‘There, there’ and ‘pat-pat’ havent been one iota of benefit to you. There is something just too strange about this endless public flailing.

    1. Then don’t read this blog. This is actually quite a mean thing to say.

      If this blog gives makes you annoyed then don’t read it. It’s not about you.

      Congratulations if you have managed to get sober without going back to day one more than once. The reality is that this is not the case for everyone.

      No mean comments are needed. If you don’t have words of wisdom or support then don’t have any words.

      Annie. Just don’t stop trying. Just don’t stop trying. Xxxxx

  11. Reading sobriety books, even if you finish all 20 of them, won’t get you sober. Blogging, going to an occasional AA meeting, seeing your counselor, sorting out the deep psychological reasons why you drink – those won’t get you sober. You know what will? Stop drinking. Yes, it’s hard work, but lots of people have done it, and you can too, if you choose to. Up until now, you haven’t. It seems to me that you probably never will, but I hope I’m wrong on that one.

    Maybe when you see your counselor, you should talk about why you’re so resistant to going to rehab, doing a detox, or doing anything, in fact, that might actually help you stop drinking.

    Do you really want to quit? It doesn’t seem like it.

    1. I suspect Annie (sorry to use the third person on your blog Annie!) has a lot of pressure to keep things the same from her husband and her general life.

      That is a block to her being able to stop. Because of course that is change and then, we can’t be sure of the consequences in other areas of our life.

      But what you need to know Annie, is that your sobriety is the most important thing to the welfare of your family – most especially your children – and your life in general. There really is no option.

      Ask your husband to stop with you. Or at least not drink in the house. That means no alcohol in the house. Surely he can agree to that because I think that would help you. And you need to find something sober you can do together as a couple when he gets home from work.

  12. Hi Annie…there are a group of bloggers doing Belle’s 100 day challenge. Maybe you can join up with them? They are on day 10. You can get to day 10 too! You just have to break this vicious cycle you are on of stopping and starting. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! xo

  13. I agree with many of the comments on here although they may seem a little harsh. Annie when you’re sick of being sick and truly want to give up and change your life then nothing, absolutely nothing,will stand in your way. There’s nothing more painful than watching someone you love sabotage their life again and again, its heartbreaking for family and friends.Us addicts have the support there when we ask but they need help too. I so hope something clicks soon as you’re missing out on a great life while you’re living this rollercoaster.

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