Yesterday was quite a remarkable day in this whole trying to stay sober thing.
For the first time, out loud, I met people who are having the same problem. I finally met the wonderful Belle and other lovely Team 100ers to have tea and cinnamon buns, and talk.
It was so important to me for so many reasons.
The first, was the realisation that I’m really not alone in having been crept up on by wolfie. That wolfie catches all sorts of together-looking, kind, bright, wonderful women. That these women have all struggled in their own way to beat the problem, have stumbled, fallen and got back up again. That several of them have stuck to the challenge, been through its ups and downs and got far beyond 100 days.
The experience was really valuable to me, but a strange thing happened while I was there, in that warm, beautiful smelling café with all these wonderful women. In the back of my mind, I had a voice almost the whole time I was there, an urge telling me that after this meeting, I would go to the pub and drink a cold pint, or warming glass of red. That I needed that final warm embrace of alcohol before I gave up for good. That this time, it would be my last.
I had the inevitable sense of feeling you’ve failed before the drinking incident has happened. There’s something about drinking where the second it enters my head to have a drink, I know I’ll do it, and I’ll drink the whole bottle.
I left the café really conflicted. On the one hand, it would be an insult to the women I’d spent the past couple of hours with, but on the other, it would mean I got once last chance to say goodbye. I was tired, emotionally vulnerable, and just really really wanted a drink.
I decided to eat some chocolate, to try and give myself a lift. That helped. Then I remembered all the “last time” drinks I’ve had over the past year. The last bottles.
I promised myself a bath and a cup of Pukka love tea when I got home. I promised myself a take away if I wanted one (I never eat take away, but I had the urge for something comforting and a bit naughty). I knew I had fresh bed sheets waiting for me at home.
And I resisted. I refound the skill that I had lost after going back to drinking. The skill that got me through my first block of sobriety: the ability to cling on to anything that will stop me drinking during my dark 2 hours where the urge is overwhelming. To stop me drinking until I can have a meal, which always crushes the urge.
Yesterday was important in so many ways, and I just want to thank Belle and her amazing team 100 supporters for their company and their words of encouragement, their wisdom on stopping.
Here I am with one more day sober (admittedly, I was still drinking until last week), one day feeling like this whole thing might actually be within my grasp.