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.

19 thoughts on “Towards acceptance”

  1. The flailing comment was unnecessarily mean. I have been through exactly what you have – the short periods of sobriety and repeated day ones – I just haven’t been brave enough to share. It is really hard to battle with denial when your life is outwardly normal. It is hard to justify not drinking in a drinking world. It is the hardest battle of my entire life and yours, too.

    1. It is such a hard thing but I’m trying not to feel abnormal in a drinking world. I’m really proud of myself for stopping and I think we should be absolutely fine about being upfront about stopping. This is where we need to work on our inner strength, our self-worth and esteem and fight against our desire to be people pleasers all the time. We must be able to do what’s best for us, and ignore the other chatter. Why can’t we just be able to say, we used to like to party when we were younger but been there, done that and now we are sober. It should be a cool thing.I tell myself this all the time but in truth, it is still difficult.

    2. It took me many years to figure out how to quit. Well, I never figured it out, eventually it just happened.
      I know how hard those constant starts and stops are. They crushed my soul.
      I’m here cheering you on. The sober life is just so achingly beautiful. I wish I could show you….


  2. Annie, I wish you well, I think we all do. Funnily enough (not funny at all really). I saw my GP on an unrelated issue and told him something of my problem. He approved my plan and offered some support and advice but I’m doing OK at the moment. One thing he did say was that if you think you have a problem – then you probably have and stopping completely is the only solution. But then we all know that. On the plus side, my BP and weight are down but you’ve got to be 6 months clear to start seeing any positives on liver function etc, assuming you had a baseline to work from. As you know, I am rather a loner on this journey, no counselling or AA for me but I wouldn’t hesitate to ask for antabuse medication if that is what was needed to give me a clear run. My job precludes in patient therapy but the job would have to go if I had really struggled – can’t work if you’re dead. So all in all it was a useful and positive morning. I have to say that at home we have both stopped drinking for 5 months now which makes it easier for me, although it is only me with the problem – so good on Mr Dappled. I think we all view this thing differently – I’m not frightened of being sober, depressed at thoughts of missing out but I don’t worry that I haven’t had a carrot in 3 or 4 days and I am trying to see booze in the same way. My GP is 68 and told me he drinks 2 small glasses of wine 5 nights a week – never more, rarely less but he empathised with my problem and said if you can’t control it, stopping is the best way forward.

  3. Annie I’m so glad you reopened your blog. I always have a mini panic when I see it’s gone. My heart jumps into my throat for you because I (as I am sure so many other readers have) have trod this path. The “Can I? Can’t I? Will I? Won’t I? Not me surely not me?” I was rereading a journal I wrote that documented my first real attempt at getting sober. It was July 2012. And it all finally clicked for me in June 2014. I have no doubt in my mind that the same will happen for you but in the meantime have no shame about the process you are going through & the time it’s taking. Putting it out there for others as you do is heroic & I admire you very much. Blessings to you xx

  4. You know Annie, we’re all frightened of change. It’s not just you. I was in a violent marriage. I found the strength to leave (eventually) but a lot of people don’t and it almost is as if the fear of change outweighs the miserable life. I see your situation with alcohol in a similar way. But you have to believe Sober Mummy and all of the commentators and bloggers you admire. It is so worth it!

    I’m glad your husband’s going to stop too for 3 months. For a lot of us drinking together with our husbands is an important part of the relationship (a lot of us met our husbands while pissed in a bar/nightclub lol!) and for one of us to stop can make us worry about the impact that will have on our marriage. But a strong marriage will last whatever. And eventually our drinking would very possibly wreck any marriage.

    Please believe in yourself. Know that you are able to do this. Know that it is the right thing. The only thing. Sounds like you’re making progress with the counsellor. I’m so glad. Just keep moving forward.

    Big big hug and all the support I can send through wifi! XXXX

  5. I love that husband of yours. I hope you realize how lucky you are, it is so difficult to not drink when your partner is. You must be pretty special to have a husband like that.

  6. Oh sounds like you are going in a positive direction! Your counselor, 3 mtgs per week, your husband stopping drinking for you. Keep going…Don’t lose your direction. Latch on to all of that support. You are lucky that you have it! Embrace it and roll with it!! xo

  7. Annie, I have been following your blog on and off for a while but have not posted until now. For something to change in your quest for sobriety, something has to change. You have tried so hard, and I certainly feel for you very deeply as you struggle to do what you both want and need to. But this way is not working, and as you know ( maybe I even read this on your blog) right now you can no more control your drinking than you could control diarrhoea. So, Annie, what could be different ? Have you considered a residential rehab programme ? I know it sounds scary, but it would provide you with an opportunity to really focus of your sobriety in a very supportive environment. It would give you 4-6 weeks ‘enforced’ sobriety and A solid base to build on when y out come home. There are several excellent units for which you don’t need a GP referral… Please have a think about it. Alcohol kills Annie, through cirrhosis or by accident – you know you need to escape form this – please think about it. with very best wishes , and a big hug

  8. Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because there is something wrong with ME. such a hard lesson that I keep on learning the hard way.

  9. The need for the outside to look good is part of the addict fear. We fear being found out.
    The truth is, the outside never looks as good as we think. I thought I had it so together, but I was so lost in depression and drinking that I couldn’t even see reality.

    Denial is hard. You seem to have a fear of success…maybe you don’t feel you deserve it. Maybe you think it means something. Whatever.

    You do deserve every happiness and comfort. You deserve a happy and full life. You are worthy of the gift of living a beautiful, sober life.

    You can make it happen.


  10. “Accepting what we can’t change” is probably a theme for all of us. As far as your blog is concerned Annie, it’s your blog, and you should write in it, keep it open, or close it whenever you want. Being judgmental is something that we all suffer from too, whether we judge your blog, judge your progress, or judge what people comment….I know that if I feel judgmental about something, it’s usually a reflection about what I’m feeling about me. And I’m working on that. So please take whatever anyone says at face value – if we post, we care. Good job with your journey this week xxx.

  11. Annie, I am so glad you are seeing your councellor and going to 3 meetings a week. And now you have your husband not drinking too. Grab on to this opportunity. Make sobriety your priority. We all want you to succeed. And you can. A x

  12. I am glad that you are reaching out for help. It is so easy as addicts to seperate ourselves from real life and to submerge ourselves within our own little comfort zone. Even online blogging, as helpful as it may be, is not really living in the real world. We need real live people to connect with. It helps keep the accountability real.

  13. Don’t give up, but don’t beat yourself up as you move towards your goal. I’m on the exact path you are on, we’ll get there. We will.

  14. Annie, I know you said you never finish books about addiction but I’m just reading Mary Carr’s book, Lit, and the way she struggles to accept is so powerfully written about. Also, she’s like us in that she did her best to use her smarts and out-think this whole addiction thing. (Spoiler alert: that didn’t work!) And she’s such a brilliant writer, so reading this is just as good as falling into a great novel. Might be worth a read if you’re looking for something to read and thinking about acceptance. I know that for me, acceptance was incredibly hard, and it takes ongoing work, but it’s such an important part of the way to being sober. Sending good wishes to you! xo

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