Sunday morning

My husband and I have agreed that we won’t drink alcohol on our holiday. We leave in a few days’ time. I don’t drink anymore.

No more blurring; no more crazy behaviour. I am done with it.

My kind AA friend tried to ring me yesterday but I didn’t answer. I’m going to phone her back today.

I feel a heavy weight lift from my heart as I write: today is Day one.

I can’t go to rehab as my family and I are about to go on the trip of a lifetime.  To America! I have never been, and the newness of it is important in my quest. The past few years we have been to the same place in France, and my drinking was entrenched. New places will help me.

Thank you all for your advice over the past few days – over the past few years. It has been seeping slowly in.

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Saturday morning

Thank you for all your comments yesterday. I understand that some of you are frustrated with me, and I am sorry about that. I do not always write about every method I am trying to help me get sober: the AA meetings, the counsellor, the email correspondences, the phone calls…as I delve deeper into why I drink and how I can stop, the personal investigations get harder to describe, and though I try and be honest here, I cannot reveal all.  The nutrition route is only one of several tools I am using.

Ah, the blog! I have such mixed feelings about it! It can make me feel exposed and protected at the same time.  Sometimes, people’s comments make me cry.  This is not a bad thing, but it is a bit like being told off – it is never easy to accept and face it.  I don’t feel that people who comment here are enablers; and I see the tough love comments as coming from a place where people care about me and want me to succeed.  But they are still hard to read, and I went to bed last night feeling battered.  It’s my own fault – I know I appear to have made no progress, but I never started this blog to create a perfect journey story, but rather to record the path, and try to find my way.

I read many sober blogs.  I find both long term sobriety stories and early days ones equally helpful and inspiring.

I think what I’m trying to say is: I will keep trying, I will keep writing, I will keep reading.  And I thank you all for being here, and for reading what I write, and for taking time to comment; every single person who reads and writes here helps me.

 

Wading

A nutritionist friend recently contacted me, and I went to see her yesterday. This has given me a real boost. I am going to do a nutrition test, and the results will then form the basis of a health programme, with vitamins and other necessary supplements.  My body has taken a battering in recent months, and I feel pretty terrible. I’ve also put on masses of weight, and feel completely unfit. YUCK.

I always like a plan, and the last few months, work aside, have seen me drifting. Today, I feel determined for the first time in days: determined to look after myself better.

Of course, underlying it all is the drink, the wretched drink. That has to go if I’m to have a hope of dealing with any underlying health issues. My family holiday is very soon, and I have been negotiating with myself about whether it is possible to have an alcohol-free time away. Well, of course it is possible – the question is, can I do it? We are going to a completely new place, so there are no old memories of drinking (the past few years, we have been to the same location, with all the old memories keeping me stuck in bad patterns);  I have the opportunity to reinvent myself on holiday, and really experience it. In one of the latest Bubble Hour episodes, the speaker talks of going on holiday only a few days into sobriety; she walks along the boardwalk in the evening, almost crippled by the amount of alcohol and people drinking everywhere.  She describes feeling dizzy, and is desperate to find some fizzy water.  She gets through it, and the next morning walks out onto the beach before the rest of her family get up. She is suddenly aware of the vibrant life around her: people windsurfing, walking their dogs…people living; and she realises that there is a whole new life for her here, one she has never noticed before. I am paraphrasing, but do go and listen to it – it’s a powerful episode.

Again, I am sorry I have been so erratic about my blog. My closing and opening of it is part of the trouble I am in, part of my difficulty. But I do so like writing here, telling you stuff. It helps.

Wednesday

Again, I closed my blog for a while yesterday. I can’t seem to get through a day without doing this. I think I’d like to write a post later in the day as well, to help me through those hours. The cycle has become so entrenched, I know I need to get through a whole day sober, and then I will feel stronger.

Like clockwork every afternoon, my resolve weakens. Well, of course it does – I know how addiction works. Inside me though, I feel this real strength, and a strong desire to be sober. This has got to be stronger than the addiction for me to succeed.

I’ve been reading many other blogs recently. People are doing so well. The long-time sober ones sound full of strength and joy, and I want to be like them. And the newly sober ones sound so brave and amazing. My drinking is chipping away at my sanity, whittling a new, horrible identity.

Mania

Opening the blog, writing, reading, then closing the blog…in recent months, this has become another cycle in my life, and one which has been really troubling me. What happens is that I write, I commit to something, and then I become overwhelmed by an irrational fear, and close the blog in a panic. It is as though the blog mirrors my anxieties.

This morning, my husband said he felt distant from me. The drink has been driving me away. The children are uncertain as to how I’m going to react to something, one minute calm, the next angry.

I found writing a list yesterday therapeutic. Now I need to be proactive.  Stopping drinking is vital, and I know that I will feel better in every area of my life. Fear and procrastination have been ruling me for years.

My poor, patient husband… he is so kind not to be walking out, leaving me to it. His love and support are things I cannot take for granted.

A day at a time, I need not to drink. I will not drink today, and I’ll report in again tomorrow.

A list

I am sorry I keep closing my blog. I get fearful – and hide. It’s so stupid of me. I am sorry if you have been worried about me.

Today, I am writing a list of why I am stopping drinking – Sober Mummy suggested I do this, and I like the idea. I am sure there are other lists on my blog, but long ago, and  I need to ignite enthusiasm for my quest. So, here goes, just as the ideas occur to me (so not in order of importance):

* my drinking has been getting worse, and I cannot moderate.

* I am not being the best mother possible. I don’t listen to my children.

* I feel really unhealthy: I have aches in my lower back, and down my left shoulder. I have put on about a stone in weight and hardly do any exercise any more.

* I wake every morning at 5.30am and feel guilty. This morning, I woke at 4.30am.

* Evenings are terrible: I slump and do nothing of worth; I can’t relax.

* I sleep badly and don’t feel rested, ever.

* I haven’t finished reading a book for months.

* I argue with my husband, and I start the arguments.

* I don’t cook proper meals, and late at night I eat rubbish.

* I feel generally low and sad.

* I am paranoid about what people think of me.  I worry about what I’ve said and done.

* I am resentful about friends and relations who I think have done me harm (and mostly, they haven’t).

* My drinking has escalated, so that I now need much more and seek out stronger stuff.

* I think about drinking, rather than thinking about more fruitful things.

* I have this strange pins and needles sensation in my hands when I wake.

* My skin is lacklustre, my eyes not bright.

* I feel as though I need to drink to make sense of my day.

* I am wasting my life, and these precious years with my family.

* I am not being my best self.

* I know there is a better way on the other side. I want to get to the field of bunnies (Sober Mummy’s…not Heaven, yet…)

So today, I stop.

love

Annie x