Skip to main content

New, but familiar, Beginnings

The sun is shining, the family are all out. And I'm wondering what the heck happened after my last blog entry 5 months ago. I sounded so strong, so focused. Yet I've had many Day One's, and weeks of just not bothering, between then and now.

Today is Day 8. I feel really positive. But reading back at those last couple of entries in February makes me feel uneasy. I'm so sure now, but I was so sure then. I imagine I had a wobble, and didn't want to write about it. Then maybe had another and another and it's just easier to go with it. 

I guess today's lesson to myself is not to get complacent. However focussed on sobriety I feel right now there will come a time where it's so easy to 'just have one' and after that I may as well finish the bottle, then see the week out, and what's so good about sobriety anyway. 

It's really hard to explain this to someone who doesn't have the same issues and ambitions around alcohol. I know a lot of people who drink as much or more than I did. And a lot who rarely drink at all. To most people there are alcoholics, and everyone else. But it's far more nuanced than that. And there is a growing movement of people who are choosing to regain control and live a better life alcohol free. I see them because I'm looking for them I guess but blogs, podcasts, and books extolling the virtues of sobriety are plentiful, and they give me hope.

To someone who doesn't feel it, it's hard to explain the constant internal battle over 'just one' or 'just tonight'. Doing deals of 'I'll just drink at the weekend', 'I'll get those mini bottles of wine instead', 'I won't drink 2 nights in a row'. It's exhausting and pretty unhelpful.

I'd liken it to a programme like Slimming World. The urge to eat something you know you can't have can be really powerful. Usually in part because you know you're not allowed it! You're tempted to just this once have the cake. But you know that you can easily make excuses for yourself every day of the week and then you'll get nowhere. So you need to change your behaviours and habits, sometimes change where you go or who with. Slimming World (or any other similar 'diet') takes time, patience, dedication but the results are worthwhile because it makes you healthier, happier and more in control.

The first few days are hard. So it's insane to keep doing them over and over. Claire Pooley wrote a blogpost about sobriety being an obstacle course starting with a massive wall and ending in a field of bunnies (or something cute like that!) if we just keep climbing the wall over and over and never getting to the field of bunnies we're going to be exhausted and dejected and want to give up. This weekend has been surprisingly easy; I've felt full of energy and although I thought about drinking I didn't crave it. However earlier in the week I had a lot of battles to just get through the day. Trying to convince myself that as long as I got through the week then drinking at the weekend would be fine. But I don't want to. I want my life to make me happy just as it is, not by dulling my emotions and blurring the edges with a bottle of Pinot. And I never want another hangover again! 

I've no idea if anyone will read this. If you do I hope it helps you to either understand people like me who know they need to make better choices, or it helps you to know you're not alone. Either way this is for me. To remind myself that it's hard at the beginning and that it's easy to forget. 


Popular posts from this blog

Some kind of weirdo

So I've decided I need to change my life. I've been deciding this very slowly over the last few months. I drink too much. I am constantly conscious of it. And I'm as scared of quitting as I am of not quitting.
I lost a good friend to alcoholism last year. We'd lost touch because I found her too heavy to hold up. One of those friendships that you really want to maintain but know are going to be all consuming and I didn't feel like I had the time or energy. I feel like an absolute shitbag to be honest. Could I have hauled her out of her self-pitying alcohol soaked hole? Probably not. But I wish I'd tried harder. Years past we'd drunk together. Wine nights while the kids played, camping trips made better with a can or 4 of Stella. But even in those moments where I thought her drinking was a level up from mine, I NEVER thought it would KILL her. Sure things got bad towards the end, but for most of the time I knew her it was weeknight evenings wine o'clock…

Wobble in Whitley Bay

We're officially half way through the month. And I have a confession. I had a wobbly weekend. To be completely honest I knew before I started that this weekend was going to be the most likely point to fall off the wagon. I was staying with my dear friend Kate (t'other Kate) in Whitley Bay. We've been drinking together for close to 20 years (sorry mum!) and although we see each other pretty infrequently I adore her. Whenever we're together it's like we've never been apart.  I was so excited to spend time with her and her beautiful family. And yes, we should be able to hang out without the social lubricant of alcohol, and of course we can and do. But kicking back for the evening with your best friend is just a little incomplete without a glass of wine in hand. Not drinking felt like I was putting an expectation on Kate not to drink either, or to feel bad if she did. And when it's the last time we'll see each other this year, well to be honest, in the moment …

Day 1 - take 2

Last night was a very rare night away for me and Mr P, childfree. There were some bumps along the way, our romantic getaway to beautiful Buxton started with about 0% visibility due to fog and a "closed" camping area due to snow and a frozen toilet.

Safe to say I had a bit of monk on. In the end the landlord of the pub managed to sort the toilets (and the emergency electrician he called out confirmed we were unlikely to combust overnight from dodgy hookup point). Visibility became less of an issue once the sun set too, But by this point Mr P had coaxed me into a wine to help me shake off my mardy bum (And mardy face I imagine!)

I hadn't really talked to him seriously about where I was at with alcohol but ironically, over a large Merlot (for me) and a pint of bitter (him) I was able to talk frankly about it. The alcohol was a bad idea, but the chat was not. He has never had this kind of issue with booze so doesnt REALLY get it but is supportive nonetheless. So no more snea…