Archive | October, 2014


27 Oct

I’ve started to think drinking would be a good idea.

I don’t know whether it’s my emotional roller-coaster of a week, the fact I haven’t been to a meeting for almost 2 weeks or the date I went on with a wine expert (I know, I know…) but it’s creeping in there.

I know it’s not even a remote possibility for me, but suddenly it feels tempting.

I’m going back to the old “why can’t I drink?!”, the foot-stomping toddler in me piping up.

I need to focus on recovery to quieten that voice. Shhhhhhhh wolfie…

Births Deaths and Marriages

25 Oct

What a couple of weeks. Not only has my work life been more full on that ever, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster of celebrating friends’ babies (jealousy- tinged joy), marriages (jealousy-tinged joy) and attending the funeral of someone very dear to me (all-consuming grief). I’m feeling more raw than I have for a while.

Alongside these big events, has come being ditched by the man I was seeing, and the falling through of the next big work project. Both of these were blessings in disguise- I wrote a few weeks ago about my intuition that neither of these things were right for me, but I was willing to go along with them because they gave me the security I craved. I really wanted to have someone there for me, and I really wanted the next job to fall into my lap. But both have serendipitiously crumbled, forcing me to not only turn the ‘truth’ magnifying glass upon these situations and realising that as usual, my instincts were right, but my will was wrong. It’s been a brilliant exercise in knowing myself. Listening to what I know to be true, and not overriding my gut instincts.
On more than one occasion, I’ve wished the warm arms of red wine could soothe me, especially as the crisp autumn days and smoky smells are upon us. And yet we all know that this is not the solution. The solution is getting more sleep, it’s feeling my feelings, it’s helping others, it’s slowing down my mile-a-minute existence.
I’ve had such a fantastic year, and today as I looked at the 2014 calendar, I found it impossible to believe that not a drop of alcohol has entered my system since January 14th. It’s amazing what I’ve achieved this year and I can feel proud because this time, I’m doing it sober, rather than having Alcoholic Imposter Syndrome which has tempered all my achievements of recent years.
I’m in control. I’m an alcoholic, taking control of that. I know I’m an alcoholic because there’s a man sitting next to me on the train who hasn’t touched the mini bottle of wine he purchased 45 MINUTES ago. I know i”m alcoholic because I’ve been turning over in my mind buying a bottle of wine now, but knowing that tomorrow, I’m going somewhere I can’t drink all day, and that would be torture. The only way to get over a hangover is to drink, right? I know I’m an alcoholic because I want to temper all my emotions with booze.
I’m so grateful to be sober now, because I think of the path of growth ahead of me if I stay on this path. I’ve grown and emotionally matured so much in a year, gained so much and I want to keep stepping forward, not falling back.
My life is so full, overly full sometimes, and I remember writing just over a year ago that suddenly, drinking had made my big world small. I was sitting cocooned in my tiny room, furtively drinking red wine and not knowing how I’d got to this place. In the past 12 months, I have spent just 34 days drinking, having had a relapse after I stopped last November. I’ve got my sober muscles flexed and ready to take on the challenges that will come before the end of the year. And that feels empowering. Yeeeha!

9 months sober

15 Oct

I have been woefully absent from the blogging world, stealing brief moments to read and comment.

I’ve been marking recovery milestones with posts, and it feels fantastic to type the words ‘9 months sober.’ 9 whole months. That’s insane.

Sobriety seemed so out of reach- without trying, I had become addicted to alcohol, with no sense of how I could escape. Yet here I stand.

Today’s post is very brief. All I want to say is:


100 Days to One Year Sober

6 Oct

When I first tried to stop drinking, quitting for 100 days was completely inconceivable. In July 2013 when I first committed to Belle’s 100 Day Challenge, all I saw ahead of me was a long summer of Birthdays and BBQS and Reasons to Drink. Needless to say, I didn’t make it past the first month.

With time and patience and getting things wrong, I have learnt to string together sober days so that NOT drinking is normal to me. I’m 265 days sober which means it’s 100 days until I celebrate a year, if I keep it together. That feels wonderfully achievable where once it was unthinkable.

The battle is never won, but I can say that for me it gets easier every day. Time really does count for so much. Time and practice and strong sober routine has been my saviour.

So I suppose what I want to say today is this: if you convince yourself sobriety isn’t possible, it stays out of reach. Days seem too long to commit, there’s always a reason to drink in those early painful weeks of sobriety.

But those reasons to drink will fade and you’ll develop a whole wonderful arsenal of reasons to stay sober in their place.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other. I know I will. I want to feel what being sober a whole year is like 🙂

Happy Monday!

Happiness Forgets

3 Oct


For me, drinking was often about maximising happiness. I’d get excited, and want to either temper or exaggerate that feeling. But the natural consequence of alcohol for me was that happy high was soon followed by a deep depression.

I cannot stress enough how my alcoholism is/was tied up in mood. I never understood this fully until I stopped. Alcohol did not adversely effect my behaviour. I didn’t get teary, fighty or particularly sad whilst drinking. But my mood in the days afterwards would plummet. I didn’t think I could have an alcohol problem if I didn’t behave badly. But I unequivocally do.

I saw doctors for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder, but never worked out the role alcohol played in this painful puzzle. I’d feel ok for a few days, then drink again and plunge back into desperation.

Now I’m sober, I haven’t ONCE felt those lows again. I hope the creep of darker days and winter won’t tip me back into problematic territory. I won’t know until I spend my first entire winter sober. If the last (nearly!) 9 months have been anything to go by, it will be immeasurably better than winters before.

I’m writing this post because at moments during my drinking and depression I thought I’d never feel “normal.” That I’d been born this way. That there was a fundamental disparity between the bubbly, confident person I could sometimes be and the cowering soul that shook alone in bed, lurching through the depths of a hangover in despair.

Now I know it wasn’t me that was the problem. It was the alcohol. I can work on the bits of me I don’t like, but only now the Doom Juice is out of the picture.

I am so happy at the moment. Life is so fast paced and stressful and brilliant and I love it. I feel like I’m in some sort of golden period where all is just as I want it to be, happy and fulfilling and just great.

And with this happiness comes the temptation to drink. The furtive wink of a glass of champagne at a party, the slow beckoning of a dewy glass of Pinot Grigio, the seductive smell of my favourite red. It’s always an arm’s length away, calling me.

I posted last week about my momentary frustration with AA and the need to prioritise sober work. But as I write this post I understand. One of the key pillars of sobriety is remembering the value of what we have, so the siren call of alcohol can’t lure us and wreck our little boats upon the rocks.

Thanks to putting pen to paper during my darkest moments and these wonderful blogs, it’s something I can remind myself of daily. I fully intent to stay on the sober side.

Happy Friday!

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