Day 5-ish- It’s not about perfection.

So here we go again. I’m on day 3 of no alcohol, day 5 or 6 if I include my one drink evening, which for me, I am going to include. I get super frustrated and discouraged by the all or nothing sobriety success story. While I get that never drinking again is necessary for some people, I don’t think it has to be the only marker of success. Since I embraced this I have had a much easier time moving forward into a more sober life. I belong to a sobriety group and my heart aches when I hear women who are working so hard on their sobriety, declare themselves a failure for a slip up. Often this leads to a “Oh well, I fucked that up, might as well go big or go home.” Binge drinking bender. We need to embrace the imperfection, the messiness of getting sober, as normal, and as an important step in the journey.

Since I stopped drinking I am already being forced to confront some of the issues in my life that triggered my drinking. I have a crap load of work to do on that front. Fair to say there will be some upcoming posts on that mess.

Another change- I am off all antidepressants. It started when my insurance refused to cover the new med my doctor prescribed. The one they would cover made me feel cranky and off so I stopped taking it, and I had already weaned off my previous medication. I have been shocked to find I feel so much better! Since being off the medication medication my craving for alcohol has diminished at least 80%. I am really curious if this is a coincidence or if the medication was somehow worsening my desire to drink.

The Research Phase

I am one of those people who either researches the hell out of something or I dive in blind and reckless. There is no middle ground. I don’t know what propels my reckless, blind dives. I don’t know why saying yes to marrying a man I barely knew was something I could do without thinking, but getting sober is requiring PhD level research and planning. Whatever the cause, right now, I am in what I will refer to as The Research Phase of my sobriety.

So far my “Reasearch Phase” phase has consisted of binge listening to sobriety memoirs on Audible and taking numerous on-line questionnaires about my drinking and even googling AA meetings in my area. Which- btw – in my particular little part of the Bible Belt, they all had a definitely Christian bent that I makes me think I would not be welcome as a liberal agnostic at best. Of course at this moment I am typing, listening to I’m not even sure I can call myself an alcoholic. I definitely could have taken on that mantle at one point in my life, but now? I’m not so sure.

So I listen to these “sobriety memoirs”. I just finished We are the Luckiest, by Laura McKowen and I am currently listening to The Sober Diaries by Claire Pooley. I have ordered Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston in book form because, well, it just struck me as a read, rather than a listen. I notice as I look through lists of sobriety memoirs, they are all written by women who had incredibly impressive jobs and backgrounds. They have six figure salaries, high-powered positions in big cities, impressive educations, endless social lives, and tend to be younger than me by a good bit. They are difficult for me to connect with. I barely have a social life. I have difficulty making friends. I am 50 and I have been a mom for most of my life. I just got my first salaried job of my life this year. I am still in school getting my Master’s degree. So, while they are a good listen and I occasionally find myself relating to what they are saying, I wonder where my story fits in all this.