1. I ignore important tasks when I drink, then in the morning I feel terrible that I didn’t get things done.
2. I sleep like crap. I wake up at 2-3 am – then it takes me ages to fall back asleep. I end up tired in the morning and not able to give my best at all.
3. Besides being tired I generally feel like crap. Not really hung over, but not good.
4. It’s just throwing money down the drain- or my throat.
5. I end up angry at myself when I drink for choosing to drink when I know it’s an awful decision. Waking up berating yourself is a horrible way to start your day. I end up starting my day feeling defeated and guilty. It rarely improves from there.
6. When I don’t drink, I feel better physically in the morning. I rarely had awful hangovers, but just felt blah.
7. When I don’t drink, I wake up in a better space mentally, which starts my day so much better.
8. When I don’t drink, I think more clearly throughout the day. I feel more in control.
9. When I don’t drink I feel proud of myself and more like a functioning,responsible adult.
10. I sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed instead of ick.
Not just today, I have actually been sober for 5 days in a row. I am feeling good, but that feeling isn’t coming from a number, it is coming from inside me. It is such an incredible change!
A week ago I knew things were not going well, but as much as I could tell myself that drinking wasn’t doing me any favors, I still kept popping open that bottle. Night after night. And the opening came earlier and earlier. Soon I was finishing 1 1/2 -2 bottles a night. I was waking up, not remembering going to bed or what I had done prior to going to bed. Mystery Facebook posts I would see in the morning, in all their embarrassing drunk-typed glory, would clue me in. I was getting behind at home and work and school. I was in danger of being kicked out of my master’s program. If that happened I would lose my job. I had lost out on enough in my life. I wasn’t going to lose this too. So the last half-bottle of a really nice wine was poured down the sink and I faced the daunting specter of sobriety once again.
Now I know I have said I am not looking for the “never ever will I drink another drop” sobriety. The never again is where I trip up. I have a deep rebellious streak that makes me challenge all the “never”. Perhaps it is where I will end up. But for now, I am just taking it a day at a time. Today is all I am worrying about. Just today. Not yesterday and not tomorrow. And today is a good day. Today I am sober. Again.
Once again, burying myself in the fog of a heavy buzz has become my nightly routine. Then clearing the empty wine bottle from the kitchen counter every morning while silently admonishing myself for drinking again instead of attending to my anxiety-inducing mountain of responsibilities, is how I start the morning. Not the way to start, or end, a day. I am having major surgery in a few days. I know that will mean no drinking for at least a couple of weeks. I am hoping that will jump start me back to a mostly, if not completely, sober life. I need to confront all the things I have been hiding from. I deserve better for myself. So back on the wagon I go.
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.
So no alcohol today. So far, so good. Of course it is 8:45 am and I have never been a morning drinker. Now I do love a mimosa, but I only indulge in them during the occasional brunch or Christmas or Easter morning. So I guess we are jumping the gun saying we have a sober day. The real challenge will come about 4 or 5pm when my brain will REALLY want that first glass of wine. I suppose I should plan now for something to distract me. It is hard because I drink at home. I don’t go to bars or out with friends, or even have friends over to drink. My husband doesn’t even drink. O, that is to say he drinks very occasionally and like a normal person. He can have one drink. Just one. It baffles me. Though he has been less than helpful when it comes to stopping. Our exchanges go like this –
Me: (morning)”Hon, I really want to stop drinking, so don’t buy me wine.”
Also him when I come home that evening: ” I bought you wine! I poured you a glass, it’s on the counter.”
I need to find something to distract me when I really want to give in, because I know that one glass will lead to two then 4. I would go for a walk but its supposed to be raining. I think the museum will be open. That’s an option. Or I could go to the library to work, but it’s President’s Day so they might be closed. Maybe I’ll start yoga even though my knee doesn’t bend enough to do a lot of the poses correctly. It might be good.