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Coffee & Love

14 Oct

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Yesterday was quite a remarkable day in this whole trying to stay sober thing.

For the first time, out loud, I met people who are having the same problem. I finally met the wonderful Belle and other lovely Team 100ers to have tea and cinnamon buns, and talk.
It was so important to me for so many reasons.
The first, was the realisation that I’m really not alone in having been crept up on by wolfie. That wolfie catches all sorts of together-looking, kind, bright, wonderful women. That these women have all struggled in their own way to beat the problem, have stumbled, fallen and got back up again. That several of them have stuck to the challenge, been through its ups and downs and got far beyond 100 days.
The experience was really valuable to me, but a strange thing happened while I was there, in that warm, beautiful smelling café with all these wonderful women. In the back of my mind, I had a voice almost the whole time I was there, an urge telling me that after this meeting, I would go to the pub and drink a cold pint, or warming glass of red. That I needed that final warm embrace of alcohol before I gave up for good. That this time, it would be my last.

I had the inevitable sense of feeling you’ve failed before the drinking incident has happened. There’s something about drinking where the second it enters my head to have a drink, I know I’ll do it, and I’ll drink the whole bottle.

I left the café really conflicted. On the one hand, it would be an insult to the women I’d spent the past couple of hours with, but on the other, it would mean I got once last chance to say goodbye. I was tired, emotionally vulnerable, and just really really wanted a drink.

I decided to eat some chocolate, to try and give myself a lift. That helped. Then I remembered all the “last time” drinks I’ve had over the past year. The last bottles.

I promised myself a bath and a cup of Pukka love tea when I got home. I promised myself a take away if I wanted one (I never eat take away, but I had the urge for something comforting and a bit naughty). I knew I had fresh bed sheets waiting for me at home.

And I resisted. I refound the skill that I had lost after going back to drinking. The skill that got me through my first block of sobriety: the ability to cling on to anything that will stop me drinking during my dark 2 hours where the urge is overwhelming. To stop me drinking until I can have a meal, which always crushes the urge.

Yesterday was important in so many ways, and I just want to thank Belle and her amazing team 100 supporters for their company and their words of encouragement, their wisdom on stopping.

Here I am with one more day sober (admittedly, I was still drinking until last week), one day feeling like this whole thing might actually be within my grasp.

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10 Responses to “Coffee & Love”

  1. carrieonsober October 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    It was great to meet you yesterday. I think everyone got something from it. Well done for surviving another sober day. Every victory counts and deserves a cheer!!
    Treats, eats, shoes! Whatever it takes, if you fancy it, have it. Just don’t drink!
    Happy to swap numbers and whats app if you need a number for text support or to vent on a bad day.
    You are doing brilliantly!

    • FitFatFood October 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      Thanks so much Carrie, was great to meet you too. You really inspired me to see this through.

      I would love to exchange numbers- I’ll email you. Would be great to have someone close to home as a life line.

  2. Lilly October 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Oh how I wish I could have been there to meet you all. I am deeply envious.

    Anyway, I can completely understand that urge to drink while you are discussing not drinking. When you are still quite close to drinking, drinking is our first and worst in-built response to anxiety provoking things and that meeting, whilst wonderful, was probably quite anxiety provoking at the same time because you were making yourself vulnerable and raw and really confronting the whole thing face-to-face as it were. I think I felt that way the first time I went to an AA meeting. I also totally remember the ‘last drinks’ phenomena. Oh my god, how many of those did I have? I always thought I’d have one final farewell party and that would be that. Was it ever really any different or better or more satisfying than any other drunk? No. Really, it was just an excuse to delay quitting another night.

    You did wonderfully for not drinking and for digging deep and finding other ways to get through. I, and all the others you met yesterday with more than a month sober, can tell you honestly that sense of compulsion fades the further you get from drinking. It doesn’t go away but the urges get much less strong and more manageable and often just aren’t there at all. Amazing I know but true. But you have to give it TIME to take hold.

    So now you need to dig your heels in and get some solid sober time under you. Having read your posts I feel this is something you really, really need to do. I hear myself – and others from around here – in your posts. You deserve better. You can do this.

    Surrender and give yourself time, real time, to feel differently about drinking.

    Lilly xo

    • FitFatFood October 14, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      Thank you so much Lily- I really appreciate this.

      I know it will get easier, and although I just see lots of bumps in the road ahead right now, having met everyone, I feel that if I can just stick with it, there’s a guaranteed feeling of pride, relief and achievement at the end of that road. For now, the end of the road is 30 days. Then 60. Then 90 I hope. Then the full 100.

      I’m breaking it down into more achievable chunks as right now, I don’t feel I can do 100, but I bet in a month, it will feel more achievable.

      • Lilly October 15, 2013 at 7:47 am #

        Yep, achievable chunks is the way to go when it seems overwhelming. What’s that phrase about the way to eat an elephant being one bite at a time? Ok, bad analogy but you get the idea.

        And, hey, it took me a YEAR of trying the first time to reach 30 days! I don’t recommend putting yourself through that if you can help it – just unnecessary misery – but I’m still glad I kept trying until I got here.

        And I promise you that after 30 days the next 30 go so much faster and so on until I reached 100 and wasn’t sure if I wanted to drink again or not, so thought I’d sit on it a bit and then suddenly it was 150 days. And now it’s 164 and counting…

        And in the meantime, try and shore up your resolve as much as you can through blogging, sharing, reading, listening to podcasts, journalling, whatever it takes to get your head sorted out about why you’re doing this and why it does matter.

        Plenty of great people to lean on around here too when you need it.

        xx

  3. happierlikethis October 14, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Hello! I’ve just read all your posts and share your anguish and despair at the fight of it all. But it’s worth it, it’s so worth it. Keep going. You’re brave and feisty. You’re doing it! Big hug from me

    • FitFatFood October 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Thank you SO much.

      And I like the idea of being feisty! I am doing it, and I shall continue to as long as I can.

  4. soberjournalist October 15, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    It was great to meet you on Sunday! I’m really glad to hear you didn’t go home and drink. Your post reminds me of when I first went to AA about four years ago – when I was trying to work out whether I had a problem and conveniently decided that I didn’t – I used to leave meetings desperate for a drink, even though I’d just spent an hour hearing how bad it all was. Good luck with the 100 days, I really think you’ll do it this time!

    • FitFatFood October 15, 2013 at 9:29 am #

      Thanks so much K.

      It was FANTASTIC to meet you. I devoured your blog last night- I couldn’t believe how much it resonated. I could write a tome on the things that felt relevant but the preferring to drink alone because then you could drink how much you wanted and it being a “sensible” to bring a stash of alcohol home with you to your parents…

      Hope we can meet again soon when I’m a bit further down this road 🙂

      • soberjournalist October 15, 2013 at 11:19 am #

        I’m glad it’s not just me that did those crazy things. It would be great to meet up again – I’m in London quite often so give me a shout next time you fancy cake or need to chat x

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