I’m the happiest I’ve been to be sober in ages. I read back some old posts last night when I was struggling and feel like it’s been a LONG time since I saw that pink cloud. This week has been so difficult. SO difficult.
Well the storm might have cleared… Pink cloud, I see ya peeking at me from behind the grey ones!
Thanks to all the amazing support and suggestions I got last night, I’ve learnt some new sober lessons that have been invaluable:
- Ask for help– if you say it out loud, that you want to drink, either by blogging or by contacting a sober friend, you’ll get all the support and reasons you need not to drink. A particularly strongly worded message by Carrie last night really helped me as I told Wolfie where to go. I sort of knew this before, but last night I realised that the second I type the words ‘I want to drink’, I know I won’t. Just telling someone is enough to remind myself why I shouldn’t.
- Do what works- for me, that’s been eating dinner. As soon as I’ve eaten, drinking would be ‘pointless’- it’s only worth drinking on an empty stomach, according to my alcoholic brain. So when I crave alcohol, I eat something and then it goes. This is a huge revelation to me, because I never used to eat dinner. Ever. So the very act of eating in the evening feels like a treat in itself and it helps me avoid booze. Win win!
- Pinpoint what’s bothering you– Last night alot of people recommended listening to The Bubble Hour, which has been helping me alot this attempt at sobriety. But, last night I started listening to one about rehab which doesn’t feel relevant to me and my type of drinking. I was frustrated- this is one of my sober tools, why isn’t it working?! And then I sat back, thought about why I was toying with drinking, and realised it was the fact I was pissed off with needing to stay sober, with how much work it’s taken to get here. So I dug out one of the Bubble Hour podcasts entitled ‘Accepting Acceptance.’ It was just what I needed at that moment, and has made me think about sobriety in lots of new ways. So, pick your tool wisely- choose the one that best responds to your particular feeling that’s driving the desire to drink. Trial and error works- keep trying until you find one or the desire to drink goes.
- Tot up your victories- Last night I was sick of feeling the way I was feeling, constantly fighting the desire to drink. Then I realised that I’d felt just like this lots of times in the past month or so, and not given in. 38 nights of not giving in, and never once regretting it. So one more night wouldn’t kill me. That worked. And today has been so much better.
Yesterday might have been about the struggle, but today has been all about counting the blessings.
A quick inventory of what I’m grateful for in sobriety today: sleeping well, feeling more focused, feeling more motivated, feeling slimmer, having a less puffy face (I found a picture of myself in my last week or so of drinking and I look like a chipmunk from my swollen cheeks!), feeling I can achieve pretty much anything I want to if I put my mind to it, feeling sobriety is worth it, feeling I am giving myself a gift that will just keep paying dividends, and learning things about myself that I’d never have learnt without taking this crazy, difficult and frustrating journey. That’s quite the list eh?
My therapist introduced me to the idea of maybe things are “exactly as they’re supposed to be, right now.” I think she might be right. This struggle is hard, but it’s proving worth it. That’s a pretty brilliant feeling to close the day with.