It aint over ’til it’s over

18 May

Yesterday I was SO close to drinking.

If you read my post yesterday, you’ll know I was tired, stressed and had full intentions to have a relaxing day to get myself back on balance. That went flying out of the window. 

A new problem has emerged with my house buying plans and once again I find myself looking for somewhere to live. I went looking yesterday and the whole process was incredibly stressful because the market is crazy and the financial pressures of the whole thing were too much to take. This combined with the idea of having to start the whole lengthy search again was too much. My body was screaming with anxiety.

I was meeting my friends for dinner and had 2 hours in town to kill. I was almost certain I was going to drink. The ‘fuck its’ were strong and I thought ‘how bad could a night of drinking be? I can start again tomorrow.’ I was slowly walking towards a pub, calculating how much I could drink before I met my friends to appear sober and feel drunk enough to satisfy me. Annoyingly, one of the friends I was meeting knows I’m in AA so I had to remember that once I met them, I wouldn’t be able to drink any more. Bugger. I was contemplating ringing my sponsor, but didn’t. I was accepting my fate of drinking. 

There’s an individual who reminds me of my last night of drinking, an experience so horrific to me I never ever want to feel like that again or see him again. Let’s call him James. I half heartedly asked my Higher Power to give me a sign by getting James to contact me, to remind me of how bad it was. No such sign came. I got closer to the pub.

I walked in, went up to the bar, looked at the larger taps glistening and found myself asking for a pint of lime and soda. I gulped it down and decided what to do next. 

The pub was rammed- it was the FA cup final (big football championship here in the UK) and the local team Arsenal were in the lead. The atmosphere of nervous excitement was palpable. I ordered another drink, a water, and felt my seconds ticking down to meeting my friends. My insides were churning, all I wanted to do was have alcohol running through my veins, but I drank the water, watched the football and let myself get swept up in the atmosphere. 

The footie fans were chugging pints jovially, getting excited and tense and loud. The match went into extra time, and everyone was on tenterhooks. I was very very slowly going off the idea of drinking, being so wrapped up in the game. 

Arsenal scored what looked like it would be the winning goal and the pub went absolutely effing wild. My whole body was covered in goosebumps and it was electrifying. At that moment, I was glad I didn’t drink. 

I loved the final few minutes of the match because once again, I’d been reminded of the wonder of life without alcohol. My body had shifted from being a ball of nervous tension to experiencing the profound joy of being part of something exciting in the matter of what, 45 minutes? An hour? 

I went to meet my friends and we had an absolutely brilliant evening, swapping a meal out for takeaway, some philosophical conversations, some plain silly conversations and some ridiculous singing. 

As I checked my phone at the end of the night, my silly prayer to my higher power had been answered. One missed call: James. Seeing his name made me put my head in my hands at the sight, realising what I’d escaped by not drinking. THANKS UNIVERSE.

Sobriety is hard, but drinking is harder. In the space of a week I’ve gone from feeling utterly comfortable in my sobriety to finding it agonising and guess what? That tide will turn again. I was walking to that pub thinking drinking was a foregone conclusion I’d resigned myself to, but my fortunes shifted by finding myself in a life affirming situation, and my desire to numb ebbed away. 

Another day another lesson. Day 124 and still sober. 

31 Responses to “It aint over ’til it’s over”

  1. themiracleisaroundthecorner May 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    I was as nervous as the “footies” while reading that story! Whew, so glad you made it through, great job! Thanks for sharing this story, you made my day!

    • FitFatFood May 18, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

      Glad to hear it, thanks 🙂

      Moments pass, don’t they? I’m starting to think that’s the key to all of this. Life is a series of moments and we deal with one at a time. No feeling lasts forever.

  2. Binki (sobernoodles) May 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    FFF oh my word, what a great blog, I was gripped. I had a fiver on Arsenal yesterday, just wish they could have done it in the 90 minutes, but never mind, at least they beat Steve Bruce’s Hull, and as a Sunderland fan that meant a lot to this family! Anyway….it’s so true that the waves come and go, sometimes we have to deal with tsunamis and it does feel like we will drown. I am thrilled for you that you overcame this experience and no doubt today you feel amazing for not coming home pissed. That final moment with the missed call was brilliant. Thank you for steeling my resolve xxx

    • FitFatFood May 18, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      You really made me giggle with the ‘I had a fiver on Arsenal’ bit.

      I was FLABBERGASTED about the missed call thing. I don’t know if you recall the incident I had with the keys earlier this year? Same thing- higher power at work, if you choose to read it that way, which I do…

  3. Debbie May 18, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    Great story. Very proud of you for not giving in. Thanks for sharing. Best of luck finding a place!

  4. Lisa Neumann May 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    “Appear sober and feel drunk” … wow!

    Glad you made it through. This is such a touching post on the heels of your last one. It might not seem like it, but that’s exactly how we all made it through. You’re doing it. You are really do it. Feel proud, because that was a huge achievement. xox

    • FitFatFood May 18, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

      I love it whenever you comment Lisa, you are so wise 🙂 I’ve said it before to you, but the words you once posted here to me stick with me more than any other bit of sober advice: “honey, you don’t want to drink, you just want to change the way you feel.”

      Last night, as ever, that was true. I changed the way I felt through different means and all was ok.

      Thanks my sober angel x

      • Lisa Neumann May 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

        As you are my sober angel … because we do not navigate recovery alone—no matter how much ‘time’ since our last drink. Thanks for the love, sending some back to you. xo

  5. wren1450 May 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    Great posting. It just goes to show that feelings do pass, if we can ride them out. You should feel absolutely proud of yourself. Good job. And, of course, your post shows that there IS a higher power out there.
    Joan B.

    • FitFatFood May 20, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

      Freaky eh? But comforting too.

      Hope you are well lovely Joan 🙂

  6. lucy2610 May 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    What is it about this week-end? So many people I know are having a really hard time and I too was staring down a drink on Friday night. Weird. So glad you stayed the course 🙂 It feels like such a herculean task when wolfie really comes to town doesn’t it? xx

  7. primrosep May 18, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    phew. and loved the music too! xx

  8. Dragonfly Wanders May 19, 2014 at 2:35 am #

    Thanks for sharing your whole process –feelings, thoughts, section. Very powerful.

    • FitFatFood May 20, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

      Thank you dragons. And today I feel so much better. It passes just as they say it will…

  9. Lilly May 19, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    Oh my dear. I’m so glad you made it through.

    You know, I was feeling a bit shaky myself on the weekend – I think it’s been long enough for us both that the damn ‘was it really so bad’ voices are catching up with us. Was for me anyway. Anyhow, I sat down and reread a lot of my blog and that fixed me because it reminded me that invariably when I go back to drinking it is NOT ACTUALLY VERY GOOD. It is not the fantasy fun/release we think it will be in the grip of craving. And also we both know it’s not just as easy as “Just start over” and that the downside can suuuucccckkk.

    Ok, so because I’m a skeptic… how long was it since you’d heard from James to this day? If it had been some time (and, like, he doesn’t call regularly) then that is truly amazing even to a non believer 🙂

    Big loves to you. The house, the job, all the rest, will be easier and better if you stay on the path you’re on.

    Oh and hey, what happened to that boy you were kindasorta seeing? No word of him lately I just realised?


    • FitFatFood May 19, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      Ahhh Lily thanks. You’re right about reading back the blog- Jesus, my voice is so different when I’ve drunk (or am drinking as I’ve posted before drunk…). I’m so depressed in that place.

      So on the James thing- I have heard from him 3 times in 4 months. Twice on a day I was going to drink. I mean seriously…. Wtf? My concept of a higher power is that it works much more subtly and mysteriously than that, but it definitely helps to see the name that turns my blood cold pop up at those crucial moments.

      Hang in there- I reread a lot of your earlier blog posts recently and I get the impression that for you and me both if we don’t commit to sobriety we’ll still want to stop, endlessly going round in circles.

      And as for the other boy, we’ve both been so busy nothing really got off the ground. If I’m truthful I’m not really ready yet, so that’s no bad thing.

      Take care and speak soon 🙂

      • Lilly May 19, 2014 at 8:34 am #

        Yes, I think you’re exactly right about the going around and around, which is so miserable.It’s kind of hard to image either of us going back to drinking and going ‘Voila, it’s all fine now, no drama, no bad effects’, right? And the hamster wheel is MISERABLE. I also think that now that we know how bad drinking is for us in a conscious, having blogged about it way that the drinking is just never going to be that fun. For me when I drank at the start of the year and actually mostly it wasn’t that bad – in terms of terrible drunks or any awful consequences other than hangovers and feeling low – I had all this anxiety about it. There’s nothing like attempted sobriety to kill a good buzz, damnit 😉 OTOH, the difference… OMG yes. I noticed that this weekend too reading various people’s posts – the HUGE chasm between the drinking and miserable posts and the sober sparkly posts.

        *Shivers* re James and too bad re the new guy. But who knows what will happen in the fullness of time, right? xx

  10. soberandawkward May 19, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    Thank you for sharing and for your honesty. I am so glad you chose not to pick up! xo

    • Lulu May 19, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

      “There’s nothing like attempted sobriety to kill a good buzz, damnit….” Tee hee hee Lilly that is funny! I love it! So fu@k!ng true!

  11. Lulu May 19, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    The first thing that occurred to me as I read your post was how terrifying it is to have the ability to choose. I don’t think we, as drinkers, thought about choice or made choices when we were drinking, it was just resignation. But now, with full knowledge and sobriety the responsibility falls upon us to make the right choice. There is no one stopping us from drinking, only ourselves, and that is terrifying (at least to me!) Yay for you– you were strong in the face of temptation! You kicked alcohol’s ass. That is awesome.

    • FitFatFood May 20, 2014 at 8:44 am #

      It would have been a choice you’re right and that’s scary because to be honest in the moment I didn’t really care. But clearly all this work has helped and I DO care- something deeper stopped me picking up x

  12. Vodka Goggles May 19, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    I got goosebumps when I read that James had called. I believe the universe spoke.

    Congrats for making it through another weekend!

    • FitFatFood May 20, 2014 at 5:52 am #

      It really bloody freaked me out! Amazing though…

  13. carrieonsober May 19, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    So proud of you for ordering that soft drink and riding out a craving IN A PUB!!!
    If you can get through that?…
    Anyway, that’s just inspiring that you can turn that shit around and put such a positive spin on it. So glad you had fun, you don’t need it, you’re fab as you are!
    I am sorry to hear about the house stress, nightmare but the right place is out there for you 🙂
    It’s not always going to be your go-to stress reliever – there does come a time where you just don’t crave it in your veins anymore. It will be a fleeting fancy and that’s it.
    Had a couple of those myself this weekend – must be the changing weather or a full moon 😉
    124???!!!!! How fucking wonderful xxxx

    • FitFatFood May 20, 2014 at 8:43 am #

      Thanks Carrie- it shocked me a little bit but at the same time I could feel it coming.

      More sleep is key this week…

  14. Rebecca A. Watson May 20, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Wow, what a great post! Honestly, how amazing are you feeling right now? The Universe is really connecting with you and you made it through such a tough moment too! Amazing. Sending you loads of good house vibes. Thanks for sharing…hugs!

    • FitFatFood May 20, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

      Thanks Rebecca, UMMM PRETTY AMAZING 😉

      Seriously though, it was another lesson learnt and a spiritual moment too.

  15. Annie May 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    I’ve just come across your blog. I’m 24 days into my journey, and I also had a really tricky weekend, so your post really resonated with me. I’m so impressed with the way in which you tackled that drinking urge! My mind was going mad last Friday, telling me that my sober plan was ridiculous, that I could easily drink again and be ‘sensible’ about it, etc. etc. But I managed to crawl through Friday, and then go to a big party on Saturday in which my husband and I (he is not drinking at the moment, to support me) were the ONLY people not drinking, and I nearly went mad talking to people who breathed wine fumes on my face. But I stuck to it, though I was SO CLOSE to taking a sip of the champagne I was offered on arrival, I literally had to push my own arm down with my other hand, to stop myself accepting the glass! Thanks for inspiring me!

    • FitFatFood May 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      So glad to read this.

      I’ve been here many times and the more I do it the more I realise it’s worth it.

      Social situations can be tough but they get easier too- socially, I find now I wear my sobriety with pride and that helps get other people off my back who used to want me to join in. There’s no magic cure for annoying drunk people though!

      Keep reading the blogs and commenting( do you have a blog?) we all support each other here 🙂 x x x x

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