We are now here on the first stretch of over two weeks. It is such a strange thing. Going teetotal is something that does not seem to matter at all, but yet matters enormously at the same time. It is hard to explain. I guess if you are a high bottom drinker….. that is not a total alky… just a periodically heavy drinker (a drinker who wishes they drank less when they drank. A drinker who regrets the excess but does not drink on their own or in the day time (unless of course it is lunchtime)).. A high bottom drinker as a opposed to someone with a low bottom (someone whose life is seriously compromised and affected by their drinking)….I digress. As I way saying if you are a high bottom drinker, giving up totally seems pretty drastic. Especially when you have had a good two weeks off and are finding it hard to remember the really bad times. But it is good to pause. To look around and to remember the days when all you could wish for was bedtime. When the voices in your head were loud and accusatory, and when you felt shit shit shit about yourself. I know that I am in the best place I have been in for many a moon. Calm most of the time. Also knowing that I can get up really early every day and take my daughter to her job at the boulangerie. I can get up with a whole heart. I can look her (and myself) in the eye with confidence and know I have no secret shame. I know too that I can be the driver if the kids need me. Any time day or night. I am the reliable adult. The one they can trust to be themselves and not a product of themselves plus a skinful of booze. Which really detracts from ones best self. That is the truth. Alcohol does not enhance us. It degrades us. But it pretends it will enhance us. Make us sexier. Make us funnier. Make us more acceptable. It is not true sadly from this side of the fence.
Blahdi blah. Only two people have my blog name. And I don’t know if it will ever change. I love them two and I know they are doing well. N and I. Hello out there my fellow sobersistas. The world needs me sober. I have much to do and much to see and I am excited.
Catching you up…
It has been a while… I am sorry that I have not blogged daily. I want to also find ways to make this more interesting with pictures etc. Anyway. I had a days of grotty irritation back on day 9 and just was so out of sorts. I was cross with number one husband and he was trying to be nice and I was not interested in his niceness as it felt like he felt sorry for me and I was a bit mean and very mean and shitty. But then I emailed Belle and I listened to some audios and I treated myself to chocolate and stuff and then I woke up and decided to BE NICE. To accept that he does not know exactly how to support me, but he wants to support me. I figured too, that if I was to give up smoking and then sit evening after evening surrounded by a bunch of smokers, buying them cigarettes and opening their packs of fags, and lighting them for them, then clearing their ashtrays and so on, IF I WAS DOING THAT…. it would be hard to give up smoking…. and effectively that is what I have been doing since day 3. And not feeling shitty. But maybe underneath there was resentment boiling up or something… That was silly to expose myself to the drinking so early on. Even though I still feel that I was okay doing it, I perhaps should have taken some time out….
Anyway. I made a decision to not take myself so seriously and to lighten up and be nice. And we have not looked back and he is being so gorgeously supportive and I am cool.
I am away right now. All are the the pub, I think. Earlier I had jealousy over the cold beers that were going round. But …..I have listened to Belle, I have had some chocolate. I am blogging. I will email. I will have a bath. I will pack my lime, lemon and grapefruit slices and go and find them in the pub and order a cocktail. I will obviously order a MOCKTAIL. Then when it gets to the end I will top up with sparkling water and slip in my slice of citrus and just enjoy the evening. And eat a lovely dinner… Treat.
I can only do today. Not a stitch of a point thinking beyond that. I am loving the fact that being long term sober opens up a whole host of possibilities…. work…. projects…. writing… painting…. just a challenge that I need. Something needed to give. I am going to be so productive and I have such potential.
Just for today. So we will gain our momentum in our little sober cars. And I really believe that putting distance between ourselves and day 1 will give us a whole new perspective … It will change. I love my two sober sisters… N and I. And wish them all the love in the world.
Feels like ages…
I have not been able to save what I have written the past few days. I hope this one sticks.
I have much to say and not much time! It is truly a week of socialising that has past for me…. Every single day bar none, since 1st August, have there been drinking occasions. I come from a fairly big drinking family, it would be safe to say, and my mum and her husband have been here staying. It has been surprisingly simple to know what is for me and what is not. I have been sticking to mes choses… and my other drinks of bitter and better for me brands. Once I explained that I cannot hangover – it wastes my life and sends me into a crevasse of self-despising misery – they understood. The initial reaction was…. what a crazy thing to do! Even now everyone seems to think that at day 100 I am going to get so pissed that I cannot stand! My strategy is very strictly sticking to thinking about today only.
I am reprogramming my drinky brain. It has been (with a few tiny pauses) been drinking for 33 years. That is a mighty long time. I love myself without booze. Really really really really love looking the world in the eye without the background of something just ”not right”. Waking up in the night feeling that all is well with my soul.
It comes at price of no hangovers, no shame, no guilt, no gorgeous white wine in the cool summer, and no rich red in the winter and no cold beer on the verandah, and no rose in the spring…. However, I can put something coloured in a wine glass and sip it and feel like I am joining in and it will be fine. The craving lasts all of 5 minutes and it goes. It is weird how one drink can de-rail everything. And I am not an alcoholic …. I certainly didn’t do a bottle a day, any secret drinking, any alone time drinking and so on… and I find it hard to contemplate a future without it…. However, one thing is sure, day by gentle day the brains plasticity reshapes our thinking… I am going to keep on keeping on. Never more than now do I understand ”one day at a time”. The last time I gave up I was holding my breath for three months so that I could get back in the saddle. Not this time. It is different.
Day four seems like day 400 ! It feels like ages ago that I have stopped the booze train and jumped off. I have woken up (on day 5) with a headache like a hangover but none of the associated feeling of an invisible audience in my head tut-tutting and shaking their heads and accusing. So that is great.
If ever there was a period to give up this is both very hard and very brilliant. I have social event after social event and guests staying. Every social event is alcohol centred, or so it seem to me. However, whilst this is hard for a few reasons, it is excellent for others. For instance I am feeling good (apart from headache which goes) good emotionally, and I can look myself and my kids in the eye. Every day. Love it. I have energy to be really present to the people around me.
The thing that I took from the wonderful lessons, which is rumbling around in my head is that this ”sober trial” is like a reboot of the old wiring in the brain. It is like putting a floppy disk in the the brain’s computer and trying to reset it. If I drink I take the floppy disk out and the reset will have to start again (if I want it to of course) and this is not easy….
And I like the picture of a little red sober car with me driving, rolling down a hill gathering momentum. The beginning is meant to be hard. We are going somewhere we are not used to being, and we need some help to show us the way, and to point out pitfalls. And we need some fuel for our little sober cars. Today I am going to buy this artisanal lemonade with some rosemary or herb or thing in it, which I saw in a little expensive organic shop. It costs about €4 – less by a way than a bottle of wine.
I am happy to go another day.
By and large a good day. I listened to lessons 2,3 and 4 from Belle. There is such a wealth of help in them that I will definitely listen again. I found this morning that I feel gnawed about future events more than right today’s challenges. But this changed as the day wore on. I felt really irritated and grumpy with ones’ nearest and dearest. I took some comments in a very old way and felt very frustrated with the darling one. However, I apologised knowing that I was grumpy and gritty. But it continued and my grumpiness gnawed and gnawed. Anyway, I went to the airport to fetch precious family and got back to hungry household, scantily prepared dinner and very arsey nearest and dearest. Whilst I poured beers and wine for all….. my arsey one persisted in arsey-ness. Hmmmmm. Asked the person to please understand and be nice and patient with me as I was trying to do something that I was finding rather hard right at that moment. Then the person in question said…”Well that’s your choice isn’t it?”. I was exploding with…. annoyance and wishing to join in with a drink and peevishness at not being ”supported” and thinking of all sorts of ways to ”not support” the dearest one in revenge!! Just then a friend S called and asked if Josh was free to fetch THEIR friend from the Easybus as S had drunk too much to drive… Josh was out and I owe many a dog sit to S and was very happy to volunteer to leave the quaffing bunch to their wine on the patio. Off I go and pick up G. G, it turns out was sent to my direct by the Lord. G has not drunk a drop for two years and actively rejects it and is very happy to be a sober person. He was supportive and kind and UNDERSTOOD. I dropped him off with S and went home to the family. His Arsey-ness no longer bugged me, and I was quite happy to serve them more wine, as I don’t resent their drinking one bit! I am more than happy for them to do as they would like. Various degrees of understanding emanate…. But they are a great bunch and I am very glad they are here. And thank God for G as I felt like I had a kindred spirit.
I’m hoping that I get a bit more interesting as the days go by. Last night I was at a friends house – a wonderful friend who only serves really gorgeous wine! I have left her house on more than one occasion absolutely shit faced! Last night I was a little grumpy going up there. It was very hot here, and the traffic had been stressful all day… I took my pink grapefruit juice and tonic, added some ice and pink grapefruit slices in a big round glass. I had two and then topped up the glass with Perrier all night. It was absolutely fine.
The funny thing is, you can only drink so many soft drinks and then you are full. But with wine I could drink all night and still be thirsty for more. And more. Why is it that the wine stomach in not easily satisfied?
Another day down. All good and lots of reasons to keep going.