Being new

Well, yesterday I attempted to set up a brand new, shiny blog, and got into all sorts of scrapes trying to run it alongside this one. I wanted to leave a comment on someone else’s blog in such a way that if you clicked on my name, it would direct you to the new blog – but all it kept doing was sending me back to here.

I spent a frustrating morning reading forums, and trying to work out how to sort it. In the end, I deleted the new blog. It only had one tiny post so far which essentially said I Am Sober.

So, for the time being, I will stay here. Perhaps I’ll rename this blog at some point, and archive the old content. But as I’m about to go to work, I won’t set about dabbling in technical issues.

I had emailed many of my sober friends, telling them about my new sober blog address – ignore that now.

Oh, and yesterday was my first sober day in a long time. I sipped peppermint tea on a train back from playing in a concert in London, and felt glad.

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Life passing me by

It will be no surprise to you – and it’s no surprise to me – that things have not improved. I haven’t been able to drink sensibly, and the days are going by in a mixture of haziness and a kind of frantic busy-ness. Tomorrow I’ll start…after the holiday I’ll get sober…some day soon I’ll really attend to my health…I must stop drinking and I must stop now…These thoughts go round and round on a perpetual conveyor belt in my mind, dishing out promises daily.

I stopped reaching out, and turned in on myself. It is a horrible, lonely place to be.

Meanwhile, I am tired all the time, struggling to get through the days, paranoid and unproductive.

My friend from AA has texted me every few days. She is a blessing. I have read my favourite sober blogs regularly, but I haven’t been able to comment. I feel as though I have disappeared.

But all is not lost. Today I feel ready to nurture a kernel of hope, and I am writing here in order to tell you, and to tell myself, that I am still listening.

Where have I been?

I have been hiding.

But I am here, and I want to stop drinking. I can’t look further than today, but I would like to get through today without drinking. And if I manage that, I will tell you more about what has been happening.

I’m sorry I’ve been away.

Finding peace

Thank you for all your messages yesterday. I feel a great strength coming from them – they REALLY help.

Here I am on day 2. Apart from getting rid of all the booze, there was another first yesterday: I phoned the AA lady. I hadn’t been able to speak to her on Friday. When she texted yesterday morning asking how I was, I phoned her straight back. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’ve found it strangely difficult to telephone AA people – it has felt awkward, somehow. This lady was great; we spoke for about half an hour, she listened and advised.

I didn’t feel like drinking at all yesterday. I hear the comments which warn me that this initial sober euphoria may quickly wear off, but the AA lady’s advice to keep it in the moment – not even in the day, but in that very minute – is how I’m trying to think. My projecting forward has been a major stumbling block for me. Stop looking ahead!

So, no booze in the house, husband on-side, lovely AA lady a phone call away: I am feeling positive. I do not want to go back to the sad, lonely, dark days, where I hide and lie and fool myself.

Getting rid of it

This morning, I asked my husband to get rid of all the booze in the house. As I write, he is putting it all in a box and taking it away, I don’t know or care where. I am sick of it and don’t want it anywhere near me.

I feel that I am at the start of a brilliant new day. It really begins today. I am excited.

Progress

Tiny tiny progress, mostly of the mental kind, as I still struggle to get past day one, but I am moving forwards nevertheless. The meeting on Wednesday was a turning point: the lady I was sitting next to talked to me at the end, gave me her number and said she would help me. I am phoning her today at 1pm. While I have always had the feeling that help is at hand in AA if I want it,she is the first person to reach out in a practical sense.  Others have suggested I ring them, but I have felt too nervous to do so, worried I might disturb them.

I still teeter on the brink of insanity – or at least it feels like that. For the past few days, I’ve been drinking in the evenings, and I haven’t even wanted to. I have hated the taste, I have barely been able to drink it – sounds mad, I know, but it is almost as though I am forcing myself to feel really dreadful. I reread Haplesshomsteaders post in which she says you have to stop drinking in order to get sober. It sounds obvious, but it’s the very fact that I haven’t stopped drinking, and that my drinking has escalated, that has prevented my getting to a better place.

What I’m writing sounds mad.

But I have felt kind of mad the past few days. At the same time, I feel positive that I am very nearly there. Watch this space: good things are starting to happen.

Towards acceptance

Yesterday’s session with the counsellor was all about acceptance, essentially my accepting that I have a drinking problem and that the only way through it is to stop drinking.  It may seem obvious to you – and it is obvious to me too, but the denial is intense, and my wriggling out of a sober existence is part of my difficulty in getting sober.  And I’m not the first alcoholic to find it difficult.  The counsellor said I was making progress, because I discuss the conflicts with him, and it helps me to explore why I try and deny what is so obvious to everyone else.

It’s about acceptance.

I understand comments on my blog which suggest I enjoy ‘public flailing’, but I don’t – I don’t enjoy it at all.  I keep closing the blog because I have a knee-jerk reaction whenever I feel the addiction being pushed away, whenever I begin to find the strength to get sober – it overwhelms me, and I get really frightened.  The blog reminds me of my failings, and its stretching back, with its day after day of sober attempts is pitiful, I know; but it is also a record – for me – of my path, and I am glad it’s here.

I am going to a meeting today – I have to go to at least 3 meetings a week – and my husband is giving up drinking too (he said, for 3 months) to help me.

Walkingonsunshine (wish I was!) yesterday commented that it is hard for me to change things – that I need to keep things the same at home, and that makes it hard for me to add sobriety to that life; this comment really resonated with me.  I do put a lot of pressure on myself to keep up the ‘perfect’-looking life, where I’m a good wife, mother, daughter, blogger – when what I need to do is make sobriety the absolute priority.