Lessons Learnt

24 Dec

While the slip up is fresh in my mind, i want to get down on paper all the things I’ve learnt.

Drinking sucks- it wasn’t fun, or enjoyable, but depressing and lonely. I went out clubbing at the weekend, sober, and know I had a ball because I wasn’t drinking. I was dancing away, and had a wave of joy hit me, which reminded me of the joy I got when I was 15 and first started going out and dancing fuelled by vodka and cokes. How things come full circle. Now, sober highs are so much better than drunk ones. I can’t actually remember the last time I had a drunk high. 

Changing environments requires extra sober tools- Both times I’ve slipped up on a sober streak I’ve been in a new environment. The first time I was away with work, the second back at home. I get used to my sober routine and how to handle certain situations and when I’m out of that, I need to be super vigilant. 

Hangovers are the worst- with so many glorious sober days under my belt, I’ve become used to feeling fresh, energetic and happy. Today has been miserable- napping and feeling ill. I don’t want any more of these. What a waste of Christmas eve.

Alcohol makes me depressed– I get down anyway, but my God does drinking make it worse. I feel simultaneously terrible and numb at the same time. I feel lonely today, a deep-seated lonliness that being around my family hasn’t been able to shake.

Moderation isn’t an option– when I accidentally drank the champagne on Sunday, I thought that was that. I was annoyed, but had consciously stopped there and thought I could just carry on being sober. WRONG. That one drink wasn’t enough, and the desire for more festered quietly for 24 hours until I snapped and ordered a glass of wine while out Christmas shopping. Then carried on all day and night. 

I look like shit- all the clear-skinned, glowing effects of sobriety have been undone already. I look terrible. 

I don’t want to drink. I am not a dry drunk when I’m not drinking- I love being sober. I hate dealing with my feelings, but that will take time, and I’m slowly learning through therapy and self care. When I’m drinking I hate drinking so much. So what’s the issue with staying stopped?

If anyone thinks this is a bad idea, I’d love to hear it, but I’m considering not counting days this time round. I felt like every day was passing so slowly, and that I was just waiting to get to some future point, with a niggling feeling I wasn’t living fully. I wonder whether just deciding that I’m AF might work better. No counting, no negotiating that if I can make it to 100 days then maybe I could try moderation, just making an absolute and unwavering lifestyle choice. 

I met Lucy from Soberistas yesterday (I am aware of the irony of relapsing on this day, when we’d spent so long talking about the joys of sober life) and she said something very interesting. She’s not a fan of counting days, because she thinks that it tricks our minds into thinking there’s an end point. For her, she liked just deciding that she didn’t drink alcohol anymore, and sticking to it through determination and bloody mindedness. 

It might not work, because the pull of alcohol is evidently scarily strong, but I’m interested to see how I can best get myself back on track and make a commitment forever. Maybe I should try this approach. 

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5 Responses to “Lessons Learnt”

  1. momma bee December 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Awesome girl your right back on track., interesting thought on not counting the days! Merry Christmas new friend!

  2. Joan B. December 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Fantastic comment you wrote today.

    I am still too new to make a comment on whether to count or not. I had a friend who did not even mark year anniversaries of sobriety because she viewed everyday as “one day at a time,” and she knew that it was necessary to be extra-vigilant everyday of slip ups.

    I enjoy reading what you write……they have been a big help to me on my sober journey.
    Best of luck.
    Joan B.

  3. happierlikethis December 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    Whatever works for you is what you should do. For me, at the beginning, the thought of ‘forever’ was too much but 100 days seemed manageable. But, equally, deciding that you’re a non-drinker, forever, has its advantages. No counting. No wavering. No stray thoughts of moderating. Go with whatever your instinct says is right for you. X

  4. risingwoman December 26, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    It’s funny that you mention counting days, since I actually never counted them myself, and I still don’t. If I am curious about how many days sober I have, I need to find a program on the computer which counts days for me… what I remember is the day of my last drink, and some milestones.

    So, if counting feels too big, or adds pressure, or stresses you out, then just don’t do it. Focus on other stuff…

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