73 Days

29 Mar

When I looked at my sobriety counter this morning and it said 73 days I felt really conflicted. On one hand, that feels like SO much time I’ve got under my belt now, and on the other nothing at all. I remember the sheer pain of trying to get to 7 days after a relapse, and thinking I never ever wanted to go back to square 1 again. The further away I get from square 1, the more horrific the possibility of going back seems. 

I did my ‘Step 1’ with my sponsor recently, where we talked about all the examples of why I’m powerless over alcohol. There’s an incident I’ve never blogged about that happened on my last night of drinking, that makes me want to lie on the floor in shame when I think of it (aside: does anyone else get that feeling of wanting to lie on the floor when a shameful thought comes?! I just want to drop right to the ground. Just me? Let’s move on…) This week, I’ve had some very stark reminders of what happened that night, and it makes me think once again about rock bottoms. I’m pretty sure I went out and sought that rock bottom so I would have something ‘bad enough’ as a reason not to drink. How messed up our drinking minds are. My sober mind thinks the very notion of doing something so cruel to myself is preposterous, but I went and did it. It makes me want to weep when I think I treated myself that way. 

My sense of self esteem is well and truly back in sobriety. I value myself. I know my worth because I’m not constantly battering myself down to the ground with a bottle of merlot. 

But while all these positive things are happening, in the background a Fear of Being Sober is slowly growing. I’ve done 73 days, it feels like forever. Can I really do this for *actual* forever? I know you’re supposed to ‘keep it in the day’ etc etc, but at the moment I’m finding it almost impossible to do that. My mind is running off ahead of me. What about when something really tough happens? Will I cope then? What about accidentally taking a sip of someone else’s drink, as almost happened last night? What about when I’m dating again, and want to smooth over that first night of nerves? What about music festivals- will I ever be able to go to a stinky, dirty camping weekend without the softening effect of booze?!

All of this thinking is pointless. It only serves to terrify me, and so early in my journey I need to think about how I feel now and what’s working for me now. And of course, the benefits. This morning, I’ve been up since the crack of dawn, pottered in my kitchen, had a hot cross bun for breakfast (what a seasonal treat!) and am going to go on a run in the woodlands with some friends. These are the times when sobriety is easy, and I treasure the privilege of knowing how to stay sober today, when before I did not. 

Happy Saturday! 


15 Responses to “73 Days”

  1. Binki March 29, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    I know exactly what you mean about lying on the floor. My thing is/was to make snow angels on the bed and try to get rid of the feeling that way. Pretty weird for a 47 year old woman, but there it is xxx

    • FitFatFood March 29, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      Ha! I’ll have to add snow angels to my arsenal. What an image 🙂

  2. Sober Second Half March 29, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    I’m on day 81 and lately I’ve been wondering if counting down to day 100 is counterproductive? I feel like I’m coming to the end of something when that “something” (sobriety) is actually never going to end. I’m so appreciative of Belle and the 100 day challenge, but I’m thinking that I will stop counting days once I reach 100 while continuing to practice eliminating thoughts of alcohol. I’ve bought myself a “not today” bracelet, which I hope will become my sobriety talisman 🙂 Oh, and when I feel shame my face turns beet red, I retract my head like a friggin turtle, and I cover my face with my hands. Lovely – ha ha! Have a great weekend!

    • FitFatFood March 29, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      Ahhh I bought a not today bracelet too 🙂 and I know what you mean about counting days. I feel like I’ve been sober for ages and seeing a little number gets me down a bit.

  3. lucy2610 March 29, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    Hey FFF 73 days is frickin’ awesome! 🙂 Me? I curl up in the foetal position on my bed underneath the duvet. Regression anyone? As for the fear of being sober, we can’t change what has been and we can’t predict what will be. Best stick with what we can control and that is now and once I got to day 100 I stopped counting every day. Have a lovely run it’s a beaut day for it here! xx

    • FitFatFood March 29, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      That foetal position was my hangover pose 😉 :/ and the run was glorious thanks!

  4. soberlearning March 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    I am right there with you guys, fetal position all the way! Under the covers and in a dark room.
    I haven’t figured out if counting days is productive or counter productive. When I was in little numbers it was frustrating, then I hit 100, and time seemed to stop.
    I am at 120 today, and it seemed like it took forever to get here. Yet, I am still counting. It must be the addict in me. 🙂

  5. Debbie March 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    On my final attempt, I chose not to count at all. It was depressing. I let Belle tell me when I came to a mile marker. Currently, I have “big” days marked on my calendar – Like 200 days and 9 months and such. That way I don’t focus on the number which can make it feel worse for sure. 73 days is amazing, truly. I’m so proud of you. My *sage* (haha) advice, just make it to bed each night sober and don’t worry about tomorrow. You are getting stronger and whatever comes at you, you WILL be able to handle. The more days, the more tools. {hugs} D

  6. thirstystill March 29, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    I get what you’re saying about living with that fear of accidentally having a drink someday. When I quit drinking last summer, I was eventually terrified that I would accidentally drink in the distant future, and being freaked out by that was (perversely) part of the logic that convinced me to just get it over with and drink to see how bad it could be. I don’t recommend that, of course! Now what I think about that fear is this: it’s simply baseless. I don’t think I have ever accidentally drank someone else’s drink in my life, so I can’t see it happening now that I’m SOBER, and booze smells like booze, so I won’t accidentally sip it. What I have to do is keep clear on why I’m not drinking, and keep doing all the things I know work for me, and then bit by bit I will be able to stay with this. Staying with the now, and how great you feel, and your glorious run, that’s the stuff to focus on, and that’s exactly what you’re doing.

    Re the shame position: foetal, under duvet. It sounds like it must get crowded under there!

    Anyway, you’re a force of nature and you’re doing great! Take care. xo

  7. Birdo March 29, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    any thought that can be phrased, “what if…?” needs to be banished! As we are all finding, none of us can control the present very well, never mind the future! The only thing we can all do is enjoy the moment we are in and/or make the best use possible of this window of time we find ourselves gifted with right now.
    This has indeed been a happy Saturday and I am glad to hear you are having one too. I really mean that – you deserve to be happy 🙂

  8. primrosep March 30, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    another one who knows what you mean about lying on the floor. I literally used to hide under the table. If one of the kids found me I used to pretend I was picking up stuff from the floor. (I cannot believe either that I used to do this OR that I am telling you about it! I trust you. and this is completely anonymous, right?!)

    I think not just 76 days but also 7 days or 23 days or 98 days or 131 days or whatever will always seem a bit betwixt and between, at the same time ridiculously short and a reaaaalllly looooonnng time. I remember writing early in my blog how cross I was that the first year was all called ‘early sobriety’ as for me any period of time sober that included AN ENTIRE WEEKEND was quite frankly revolutionary. As the parenting cliche goes, the days are long but the years are short.

    and the what if’s do suck. I think the more days we live through sober the more we see that they are do-able and achievable. which is when you having time under your belt as a kick ass sober lady (73 days!!!!! am doing a little dance around my kitchen table for you. am in running kit. good god neighbours will seriously think I’ve lost it now) is your secret weapon. also writing this crap down. I was so worried about Christmas Day and it was more than fine and I wrote a post about it and going back to that has really helped me when I have that ‘but what will I do when’ feeling. and the truth I have found is that not drinking makes us more able to cope with crises that are not under our control – and because we know ourselves better we are better able to cope with situations that ARE under our control.

    seriously thank God we are never required to deal with life’s problems more than one day at a time. someone once told me that the reason we can’t deal with worries about the future is that we can only ever truly deal with one day at a time. plan, yes – the mental equivalent of having milk in the fridge, and a few recipes up our sleeves – but we are not required to have every meal for the next six months cooked and in the fridge waiting.

    oooh, hot cross buns. see those in my future SOON! Happy Sunday! xxx

  9. themiracleisaroundthecorner March 31, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    73 days is huge. Period. End of story. Anything else that is going on in your head needs to be talked back to, pronto. As in, “Shut the f up, 73 days is huge!!!!!!!!!!”

    Mental fetal position: yep, do it all the time. I could think back right this second to any number of horrifying memories, and I’m right there with you on the floor. The important step here is to get back up and be so, so, SO grateful that we are choosing a different path now!

    The what if’s… not sure if they ever really go away, but I’m with primrosep… the more time passes, the more events we get through sober, the easier it is to imagine an entire lifetime sober. I used to be very, very certain that I would have a glass of champagne at my children’s weddings, and that I would give myself permission to drink if something tragic ever happened to a member of my family. Seriously, I gave conscious thought to this stuff! Now (and I still consider myself in early sobriety), I realize that I could get through anything sober… not committing that I will want to, but the progress is the realization that I could. God willing, more time will pass and I will have the 100% confidence to say I WILL get through anything sober.

    For now, however, I will settle for the belief that I can get through today sober, and the gratitude that I do believe it!

    Great post!

    • FitFatFood March 31, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

      Thank you! I was saying to belle the other day I often think, “if I get diagnosed with terminal cancer, THEN I’ll drink…” madness.

  10. Gertrude June 4, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but
    your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future.

    • FitFatFood June 4, 2014 at 11:07 am #

      Ahh thabks Gertrude. Hope you are doing well yourself x

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