Baby steps

Day 4. I had a big wobble last night, texted the counsellor to cancel, texted my husband to say I didn’t want to do any of it (counselling, sobriety) and that I wanted to drink etc etc etc. It was the same old story. But I held on tight, and later in the evening, I told my husband that I did want to continue with the therapy, and that the therapist had suggested I go to 2-3 meetings a week. My husband’s response? ‘Oh Christ!’ Not a prayer, I fear, but an exclamation of frustration, as I think he thinks the meetings are ‘too much’.

But in the quiet early hours, I explained that I need to do whatever the counsellor suggests. I texted the counsellor again, rebooking the appointment – he said he’d kept it for me again. He is PATIENT.

I really felt like drinking yesterday. It’s so difficult, and I don’t want to throw away what I’ve been gaining the last few days. Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrggggggghhhhh – is how I feel.

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Talk

Thank you all for your encouraging words, and I’m sorry I haven’t replied to them individually.

So, I went to the counsellor. At last, I stopped procrastinating, cancelling, and generally avoiding my life, and I went. I saw him for a few sessions last year, so he was familiar to me, but it was in a different place, nicer actually, less scary. I had first seen him at the Priory, which is a formidable addiction centre in the UK (and I know it has a very good recovery success rate, but it was still frightening to be in a rehab place); today we were in a counselling centre. The person I saw is an addiction counsellor – he’s been sober for many years, and he understands the struggle.

I will go every week if I can – we made a plan and those appointments are in place. Now I have to make sure my ‘healthy adult’ voice doesn’t get sabotaged by my extremely strong and persuasive ‘coping soother’ voice (aka the addiction voice).

It was good to talk to someone other than myself.

Let’s see what happens next. Day 2 today.

Action

As I started to write, a text popped up – from the counsellor, replying to my confirmation that I’d like to see him tomorrow. His reaching out to me last week, keeping the appointment slot open when part of me wanted to turn away and ignore it, is helping me to push through to tomorrow.

So, day one again today. As I lay in bed this morning – it’s a Bank Holiday here in the UK today; raining – my eldest daughter came in and stroked my forehead. My drinking is preventing me from being the mother I need to be. Hour by hour, minute by minute, I am going to get out of this place of despair.

The middle of the night

It’s past midnight and I’m still not in bed. My husband is still away. I had a good sober plan today – I was going to pick my daughter up from her friend’s at 10pm, a good way not to drink. But as the day went on, I rearranged it so that she would be dropped home by someone else.

This meant that – yet again – I had wine. After a while, disgusted with myself, I stopped drinking it and poured it away down the sink.

I wanted to lie, and to say I was on day 2 tomorrow. But whether it is day 1, 2 or 50, I just can’t get a grip on this; and every time I fail to get a grip – and that happens more and more frequently – I hope that I am heading towards a place where I succeed. Because I can’t go on like this.

 

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.