Day 15

13 Aug

The weekend felt like a real breakthrough. I had the following events to contend with:

An evening in the pub with university friends, who love their beer (as do I, obvs)

A housewarming party

A date (bar, pub restaurant)

Dinner with my two booziest friends (both of them definitely have a drinking problem, and we all have enabled each other to drink too much over recent years)

Friday in the pub passed so easily. I went to yoga beforehand, which I’m finding really helpful in negating the desire to drink. Sometimes, the compulsion to go and get smashed comes from a pent up energy or anxiety, that I feel the need to calm, and drinking really helps that. I arrived at the pub, ordered my pint of coke, everyone got on with drinking and no-one commented the whole night that I was on pints of water and lime and soda from then on. I had a fantastic time, laughed my head off and was in a great state for my long run the next morning.

Saturday came with some challenges, mainly that the party I went to was deathly boring and would have been helped along by a drink, and that I really wanted to share wine in the restaurant when I was on my date. But again, I resisted the impulse and it went away. I had a perfectly good time, and the fact I’m not smashed and still having fantastic sex is really helping me with the catholic guilt I would be feeling about my decision to have a “rebound” relationship which mainly involves sleeping with a guy I have no intention of having a long term relationship with. This is the first time in in my life I’ve had casual sex and the first time I did it, I was drunk (1 beer and a large glass of wine before I met him, shared bottle with dinner, shared bottle after dinner). The shame the next day was not necessarily about the act itself, but the fact that I was drunk when I made a snap decision that was huge for me. Now I’m sober and making the decision to continue those liaisons and enjoying it, I’m finding it hugely empowering.

The final test of the weekend, the boozy mates dinner was fantastic. I arrived, gave them their ‘thanks for cooking me dinner’ bottle of wine (to add to the 2 they already had in the fridge, and the 2 pints they’d had that afternoon because they were so hungover from the 5am finish the night before) and cracked open my diet cokes. Here, there was some talk about me not drinking, but again, they’re used to me periodically abstaining when I’m training hard, and have regularly made the comment: “You’re the only person we know who can have fun without drinking”, which says as much about them as it does about me, but also reminds me of the time when I was a “normie” drinker. Two or three drinks to get into the spirit and then stopping. Or at university, barely drinking outside special occasions because it just wasn’t worth it for the impact on my work.

I’m on Day 15 now, feeling strong, but still having the niggling thought that now I know I can abstain, it’s ok to indulge, sometimes, right?

I need to continue with my one day at a time approach, taking each evening as it comes, each opportunity to drink in isolation, as the thought of indefinite sobriety is too much for me to handle at this early stage. I still associate drinking with letting loose, having fun, but I feel infinitely better without it, and still have real fun when in great company, so need to remember that.

May week 3 be one of cementing what I’ve learnt in my first two weeks. 

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4 Responses to “Day 15”

  1. Lilly August 13, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Hello,

    You’re doing great. The first two to three weeks can be rough but you’re off to a great start so just keep going.

    If I can say, just gently though, it struck me reading your post that you might find it hard to stay on track if you keep doing everything you’re used to doing while drinking – like going to pubs and bars mainly. You don’t have to stop doing these things forever but it might help you to try and steer a bit clear of them just for the next little while. Just a thought?

    And ah, yes, I know those feelings of ‘I can abstain so surely it’s alright to drink just a bit’ but the thing is you have to give yourself some good distance from alcohol to really see how it’s affecting you. So maybe just keep focusing on the 100 day goal for now and you can reassess thereafter?

    Anyway, just wanted to say hi and well done on 15 days and staying sober through some tempting situations!

    Lilly

    • FitFatFood August 13, 2013 at 11:24 am #

      Thanks so much for your comment Lily- really appreciate you posting. Congrats on your 100 days recently!

      I’ve been thinking hard about this, the avoiding drinking situations idea, and I suspect that actually, the most helpful thing for me to do is to adapt to not drinking in these situations and repeat this behaviour until it becomes habit. When I’ve had periods of not drinking previously, I’ve been much more withdrawn and that means that the second I walk into a pub/bar/restaurant situation I have an overwhelming craving, rather than the rumbling undercurrent I felt in those social events over the weekend.

      Secondly, my drinking has never been that bad when I’m around other people- it’s drinking on my own which has been my problem, or continuing to drink when I’ve left a social situation because I haven’t had enough by drinking the same as others. I’m focusing most of my energies on being along and ok not drinking, which is the toughest part for me.

      I’m really glad you brought this up, because it’s something I’ll definitely keep an eye on. My feelings above that this is a good approach for me might be great now, but I suspect will become more problematic the further on I go. I’ll keep assessing : )

      I’m REALLY worried about a work trip away next week- it’s a big 5 day media event which is almost entirely structured around drinking and my birthday while I’m there, so that’s the next big challenge…

      • Lilly August 13, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

        I totally get where you’re coming from as I struggled with the solitary drinking too and also had similar thoughts re social situations. What I’ve learned for myself is that those situations can be just fine – even loads of fun – or they can really suck and be dangerous. So now I am much more selective about them. If I feel they are going to be too hard and make sobriety feel too hard, now I won’t go. Even if it means pretending I’m sick or something. And just also checking in on where you’re at, how strong you’re feeling, if you know that you’re likely to cave to a ‘fuck it’ moment if offered a drink, which can happen in a split second the way going to the bottle shop to buy wine can’t quite. This gets easier in time too, which is why I reckon it’s good to ease off the temptation situations in the first month or so. But only you know what’s best for you – this is just my two cents for whatever it’s worth.

        As for the trip, that sounds dicey too. Having said that, as I posted about the other day my last day one was at a wedding overseas for god’s sake, so you can be sober at anytime anywhere if you’re feeling strong enough but are you right now? Is this trip totally essential? You can always be sick if it’s not? You getting sober truly IS more important.

        If not, here’s my advice: Plan your toolkit beforehand. What you’ll drink. Your rewards. Your way to get away when it all gets too much. Your sober lifeline. Have you people you can text or call when the going gets tough? (Email me if you want to What’s App me – though I a in a very different time zone.)

        You can do it 🙂

        xx

      • FitFatFood August 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

        Thank you Lillty- I might take you up on that offer 🙂

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