Dancing Queen

Tonight I had a ‘sober first’. I danced my socks off, laughed hysterically and had an absolute ball, stone cold sober. I don’t know why I thought I couldn’t, I guess sometimes it’s not until you experience it that you believe it. All the ingredients were present, the right people, the right music and some ‘sans alcool’ weiss beer (fed up with lemonade and feeling like a freak, plus I like the taste of course).

The last few days have been testing, I’m on a work trip in France, surrounded by free wine and beer and have got through 3 dinners and 2 lunches, all with alcohol present. I mean, wine at lunch time, yes please! That’s like my perfect lunch. But I didn’t cave, in fact I didn’t come close, and then tonight I danced like a maniac and loved it. I know people assumed I was drunk, because they were surprised when I revealed my sober state. What this means is that I can still be fun me, dancing me, stupid me, when I’m sober. What a fucking revelation. And tomorrow morning I can be slightly tired, very stiff but alert me, ready to start work again. How amazing, I think that’s called having it all.

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Today I want a drink

Today I want a drink. I’ve no idea why. It’s a stressful time at the moment but today hasn’t been extraordinary. I did see someone drink wine on the telly, that’s what kick started it I think. What followed from that was the idea of having a night off from my head or more specifically work. 

I won’t drink though. I’ll read some blogs, try and meditate and have an early night. I received some sober jewellery today from Belle. That will definitely help. 

S x

Brussels

I’m in Brussels on a work trip. I was here at the same time last year at the same conference. I’m staying with the same friends. Last year even though I hadn’t drunk for a few week I took the first glass of wine that was offered to me. We drank a lot that night, I was useless the next day. This year I stuck to tea and after an hour I realised that I was really doing this. Hanging out with friends, socialising, really laughing and not missing a glass of wine even though they were drinking (moderately of course). It was a revelation, the first time this has happened. I am very grateful. 

S x

Tears and fears…

The last two days have been difficult. I’m experiencing a lot of anxiety about work. I have a couple of very busy months coming up and some very dull but complex accounting to complete. There’s not much I can do but buckle down and get it done. I have waves of fear rippling through my body, they are subtle (it’s been much worse before now) but constant. The last two days they have given me massive cravings.

However, I’m on Day 30 and I’m not drinking, abso-bloody-lutely not. It’s been a while since I’ve had 30 days, sometime in July/August, I got to 28 days, then I got bored, which turned into spoilt child mode ‘why can’t I have a drink, I’m a grown-up’ etc etc which turned into me drinking. I knew I was going to drink because we were about to go on holiday and you have to drink on holiday right? Imagine not doing that. So I was scheming for a few days before I drank, making excuses, justifying my behaviour. That’s how I know I won’t drink today, I’m not scheming, I don’t want to drink, even though I’m anxious.

The tears have been flowing, I miss my husband who is working away, but I hold on to the fact that all this would be much much worse if I was drinking.

Emotions

I’ve just finished reading ‘Mrs D is going without’ and I loved it so much that now I feel a bit bereft. What I found SO helpful was everything Mrs D writes about emotion. For some reason I thought that when I stopped drinking everything would be calm and ‘sorted’. Oh how wrong. I’m grumpy, snappy, teary, fearful and sometimes down right terrified. I really thought that sober = perfect life (I’m so delusional). However, I was so relieved to understand from the book that this is just life and I’m just experiencing emotions that I’ve squashed down the last 20 years (and boy are they coming back with a vengeance). This seems like basic life knowledge but I never knew it. They should teach it in school, much more useful than the periodic table (probably).

On another subject. I cannot work out how to show comments (not that I get many…). Any advice on that?

Plodding On

I’ve just realised that the only time I thought about drinking today was when I drove past a wedding venue and I thought about drinking champagne. I didn’t have any pangs during the witching hour (ie. when I make tea around 6pm) or after I put the kids to bed. I seem to be able to slip into non-drinking quite easily, but that also means I slip back into drinking quite easily too – I’m trying to stay aware of that.

Right now I’m reading ‘Mrs D is going without’ and there is so much I identify with, especially when she talks about those hours in the middle of the night, waking up, still drunk, but with a pounding head and dry mouth. Actually, the physical stuff I can cope with – water and painkillers are never far away. It’s the mental stuff that goes on at that time of night, don’t ask me why, but at 4am it feels like the world is collapsing around my ears. I panic about work, the kids, my health, stuff I’ve seen on the news. It’s irrational I know, and it also happens (not to the same degree) when I’ve not been drinking, but then I can reason with myself, plus I can get back to sleep. When I was going to AA I learned that this happens because alcohol suppresses a hormone that keeps you awake and when the alcohol wears off it comes back with a vengeance. I don’t miss that mental torture. At. All. Not. One. Bit.

The title of this is plodding on, but actually, the last few days haven’t really felt like plodding. I’m on Day 15 today (not that I’m focusing on the number of days) and I think I might have even been experiencing a pink cloud. I love that when I’m sober I’m satisfied with simpler things like a bit of gardening, baking a cake and listening to my kids read. I don’t feel the need to escape into a fantasy world (Real Housewives anyone?).  I’m more prepared to tread a middle way as opposed to existing on either end of a spectrum (I probably need to explain this). For example, I’m trying to learn a language, and the recommendation is to study for 1 hour a day. I can manage this for maybe 2-3 days but I don’t really have the time and other stuff suffers, so then I jack it all in for a few months and try again. An alternative option is to do say 10-15 minutes a day, much more manageable and achievable, but of course, it’s going (I think) to take longer to learn. It won’t really, but then again there’s really no rush…yet I’ve lived my life trying to get to the end of my to-do list, which like being the first car on the road, is just not possible. The universe is in a constant state of flux, everything is always moving, there’s always stuff that needs fixing, cleaning, doing etc, and that feeling makes me incomplete. Sometimes I think I drank so much to drown out this feeling, which of course meant I did less and exacerbated the problem. Am I making any sense? In any case, when I’m not drinking, I am more prepared to take things as they come and not try to control events. Usually controlling events was all about ensuring I could drink, and drink a lot.

That’s enough from me for now. S x

 

Should I count the days?

Today is Day 4. Which Day 4 I have no idea, I seem to be amassing quite a few Days 1-14 right now. I’m not even sure if I should be counting…but you can’t deny that watching the counter go up does make a difference. Even on the one day at a time philosophy of AA, everyone always talks about how much time they have under their belt.

I’m questioning this because I’m trying to take a new approach, adopt some new thinking so that I don’t just follow my cycle of two weeks off, two weeks/months/years on. Yesterday was a flat day, the kind of day that would have been vastly improved by a nice bottle of wine (or any bottle of wine actually). However, today I saw a glimmer of light, I think it’s because my sense of smell is returning and the pain in my stomach/liver is subsiding. Also, I had my first solid nights sleep in a while.

My other question is do I immerse myself in sobriety stuff or distract myself with things totally non-related to drinking. I’m sure I should stay open to whatever feels right but that is easier said than done.

What I really need is patience, patience, patience. I seem to think that if I get two or even four weeks sober then I have it sorted. I want long term sobriety without the hard graft. The world wasn’t built and all that…