Sober Plan of Attack- Body & Mind

11 Nov

I’m spending the day at work in a state of exhaustion after all the last few weeks of on off drinking. When I’m honest with myself, I know that between my very boozy holiday, my 4 days off and then 5 days on, 2 days off, 5 days on, I’ve consumed hundreds of units. If I drink at least 10 units a time, which I do, then that is a terrifying amount.

 

I spend a lot of time thinking about the mental break I need from drinking, but forget about my body, because I can still run and work and laugh and maintain nice skin while drinking like a crazy. But this weekend I actually felt my liver tremble. I was drinking to get over my horrible hangover (*drunk logic alert!*) and I felt it twitch. I got up, poured the mug of beer down the sink (I was drinking beer from a mug, so I could drink it while watching TV with my house mate, like any normal person would do, right?!) and that was my last drink.

 

My biggest biggest fear is that one day something dramatic will happen from drinking- my liver will have severe problems or I’ll somehow die in my sleep while drunk. That would be shame enough, but then what if anyone I knew found this blog. Or looked at my google search history “How do you reverse liver damage” “Is a twitchy liver dangerous?” and all the sober blogs I seek out.

 

There’s something very useful about putting everything down in black and white about my drinking, but if I’m perfectly honest, I feel so detached from it. That can’t be me, drinking warm beer from a mug on a Sunday afternoon. Or having to take out a black bin bag that I’ve been stashing bottles in my room so my house mate doesn’t see. That just doesn’t fit with the image of myself that I have. It doesn’t fit with my naturally conservative, preoccupied with health, high achieving self. But it’s the truth.

 

I start with great resolve and then think I don’t have a problem and start drinking again. If I look back through this blog, I’ve been wanting to quite since January. I first emailed Belle from Tired of Drinking on 30th July this year. Before I started writing this blog, I’d purchased and read Jason Vale, Alan Carr and other sober bibles in October last year. In June of the same year, I’d been to see my Occupational Health officer at work about my depression being compounded by a bullying boss, and tried to tell her about how worried I was about the creeping up of my drinking habits, but chickened out. When I was having CBT therapy the year before, my therapist asked whether I had a drinking problem and I said no. What would have happened if I had recognised then what I know now and said yes? How much heartbreak would I have saved myself? I’ve probably wasted 2 years drinking, but I am young, and I’m taking action. If I stop drinking now I can save myself decades of heart ache. 

 

It’s all so exhausting. Despite loving living sober when I’m actually doing it, I’ve been there before but never for more than 3 weeks, but I know it makes me feel great. So why not at the end of a crappy year give myself a Christmas present. A feeling and a goal to focus on.

 

It’s exactly 50 days until 1st January 2014. Imagine if I focus on that goal and reach the dawn of the new year sober, having navigated the horrors of December socialising, work Chirstmas parties, the traditional Christmas Eve reunion at the pub I drank at when I was a teenager, the Boxing Day knees up with my friends, a boozy trip to France where friends are already planning the wine they’ll bring. If I can keep my sober car moving through all of that, taking one day at a time, it will feel a pretty awesome way to start the new year eh? And then, maybe just maybe, I could think about 2014 as a sober year. But for now, I just need to drag myself through the next week.

 

Here’s my plan of action to keep busy in the evenings:

 

  • Tonight I’m going to the gym with a friend if I can muster the energy. If I can’t, my back up plan is to watch 28 days- the Sandra Bullock film about rehab, on Netflix. I don’t usually watch films at home, so will make this feel special with my favourite Pukka herbal ‘love’ tea and some Turkish delight chocolate.
  • Tuesday– is running club night. I get home so late there’s no way I can drink.
  • Wednesday– I’m either going to go to the cinema, or go on a gym session with my friend.
  • Thursday– I have asked a sober friend if she could meet, if not, I need to find a plan B
  • Friday– I have a cosy night in planned with my best friend, who knows I’m not drinking
  • Saturday– I’m going to visit a tee total friend and stay over at her house.

 

Keeping busy is key this week. 

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8 Responses to “Sober Plan of Attack- Body & Mind”

  1. AuntieLex November 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Great post.. Great plans.. I find keeping a tight schedule keeps me not drink thinking… I also relate because I have been trying the 100 day challenge since mayish and have quite a few day ones under my belt… Goals are great, but baby steps and minutes by minutes are also helpful.. I stopped keeping track (Belle has been for me) but sounds like you know what you need to be dong.. Proud of you…
    Hugs!

    • FitFatFood November 11, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Thank you!

      I’m trying to have the big goals in the back of my mind, and just get these first tough weeks out of the way so I can feel steadier in my commitment to not drinking.

      Every day 1 is a lesson learnt, and after the year I’ve had, I could write a book on them! 😉

      Thanks so much for the support and encouragement- it means alot.

  2. Lilly November 11, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    I hope this encourages you not discourages you but I read this and I could so relate to where you’re at. I spent an entire year trying to reach 30 days – I would always fall off around 2-3 weeks when I’d start feeling better and would decide I had been making too big a deal of it all… only to end up back where I was. It took me at least 18 months – maybe two years – to find a real foothold on sobriety from when I started to admit I had a problem.

    I was thinking about this the other day when I read this:
    https://www.thewatershed.com/blog/the-5-stages-of-recovering-from-addiction

    You are/have been in the contemplation/preparation stage, which is key to getting to recovery! Now you need to move solidly into the ACTION stage. And what you’re doing here all sounds like great ways to do it – I’d add to that to make sure you have enough support, here or elsewhere. Have you considered AA at all?

    I was so frustrated with myself during that whole time – I felt like such a failure. But I wouldn’t have got to where I am now (six months sober) without it. You have to keep going, keep trying.

    I also read your stuff about new years and remembered having that whole debate with myself but also thinking ‘or maybe I could start after the New Year?’. Well, guess what? That NYE was one of my worst, must humiliating drunks of all that I still cringe to think of. My world was a black place come new year’s day. (And I can’t wait for New Year’s 2014 to wake up clear headed, sober, feeling good about life!) Save yourself that pain if you can love.

    Keep going!!!

    Lilly xo

    • FitFatFood November 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

      Lily, this comment is just fantastic. So fantastic in fact, it’s just made me want to write a whole post about something I just realised reading it.

      And you’re spot on about New Year’s. The time I broke my longest sobriety stretch was on my birthday this year and it was one of my most humiliating drunk evenings ever. Once I had that first sip I was a whirlwind. Waking up the next day having slept though a fire alarm where the whole hotel was evacuated is a moment I’m going to keep in my head when a little glass of champagne seems to sound like a good idea…

  3. thehungrywolff November 18, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    I can completely relate to the feeling of detachment when drinking – hiding empty bottles in my room and drinking from a mug – yet not relating this to myself. I told myself it’s just easier to hide it as people “might think I have a problem” if I didn’t. So ironic and unbelievable that I’m an intelligent person but can convince myself like this! Anyway, love the blog – it’s really helping me. I’ll be cheering you on.

  4. Kevin Hall April 18, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

    Inspiring post, just jumped on the teetotal wagon myself so can really relate!

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