Saturday, 21 March 2015

Fed up Friday - Angst and Wobbles

I suppose it was bound to happen. The last 19 days have been tough, but I've been generally positive about what I'm doing. I've been determined, upbeat, sometimes verging on euphoric (see my post from last Sunday on Mindfulness). Then last night I hit a wall.

It was Friday. The end of the week. I've done really well this week. And last week. And the week before. I just felt that I really deserved to be able to treat myself, let my hair down, go wild. Yet we have NO PLANS this weekend. None at all (except the usual kid based activities). I deliberately didn't organise any social events and we've had no invitations. Nada. Does everyone hate me because I'm a drunk? Does everyone hate me because I'm not a drunk? Aaarrrgghhh.

So, I pick #2 up from school. #1 and #3 have playdates (alright for some). I feel an overwhelming need to indulge. The boy and I go to a café and I order a piece of carrot cake. It must be at least half vegetable, right? When it arrives it's almost as big as my head, and doesn't look in the slightest vegetably. How can they serve portions that big? How could I have finished it? I feel physically sick, but no happier.

In the fridge I have 6 Becks Blue beers (alcohol free). I've never tried one of these, but I'd bought them especially for the weekend, thinking that I'd have one at the old 'wine o'clock'. I make it as far as 4.45pm (plus ca change!) and then crack open the (alcohol free) beer. Spookily, it looks just the same (not quite as much 'head'), tastes just the same and even makes me feel light headed. I double check the bottle. It is alcohol free. Either they're playing a sick joke or my head is so finely tuned to expect to feel drunk that it's slipped into that mode automatically!

Once I've drunk the beer and the light headedness has worn off I feel even worse. I'm fed up with being 'boring'. I'm fed up with the constant dialogue in my head about alcohol, with spending hours each day reading about it and writing about it and not getting anything else done. I'm not sure I want to live my life on an even keel rather than a roller coaster.

6.30pm and I have to pick up #1 and #3. I remind myself that in the 'old days' this would have caused me endless angst. Either I would have had to delay drinking on a Friday night until 7.30pm when I got the girls back home OR I would have spent ages working out how much I could drink without being over the limit or looking worse for wear to the girls' hostesses. As it was, I jumped in the car totally sober.

Husband came home, opened fridge and brightened up visibly when he saw the beer. "Just what I need after cycling home from the City!" You should have seen his face when he spotted the 'alcohol free' flash. Oh God, I'm ruining his life too! He sneaks a glass of wine from the kitchen cupboard surreptitiously, so as not to rub it in my face. I think about how much I'd love to rub a glass of wine in my face. Then neck it in one. I reminisce fondly about our decades of evenings sharing a bottle of wine (conveniently forgetting the fact that I'd usually have 'pre-loaded' with at least another half bottle first).

We watch a family movie. #2 and #3 have a god almighty barney about who gets which end of the sofa and spend ages 'accidentally' kicking each other. I wish (again) that I could self-medicate with the bottle of St Emilion that the husband's hid behind his chair. I look back at some of my early posts and I think "OMG I sound so smug."

The wine witch starts whispering in my ear. I try desperately to beat her off. She says: "It's Friday night! You need to be able to celebrate the weekend!" I think back "But it's not just Friday night, is it? It's Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and every other night." She says "Just have one! That can't do any harm." I remind myself "It wouldn't be just one, would it? It would be the whole bottle." She says "You've done nearly three weeks! You'll have re-defined your relationship with alcohol. Now you can moderate!" Well, now she's bought out the big guns. The classic moderation argument. I've been here before - again and again. I know that even if I can 'moderate' for a while it won't be long before I'm back where I started, doing DAY 1 all over again.

So, I remind myself again and again about how bad it got. I re-read Secret Drinker hits the High Bottom. Then I think about all of you guys - about Kags, Justine, Wendy, Laura, Jen, Emily, Bethany and everyone else who's been kind enough to post comments. I think about my lovely friend, Philippa (now 9 years sober and an addiction counsellor) who is the only person I know who has my blog url. And the main reason I don't physically wrestle the Saint Emilion from the husband and drink it from the bottle is that I don't want to let you all down.

So thank you all, because today I feel much better. Apart from the fact that I seem to have gained a pound in the last 24 hours - damned carrot cake.

Onwards and upwards, soberly.....

16 comments:

  1. Well done SM you should be singing "I am woman, hear me roar!" It is not easy to stare down the wine witch and win.

    I was thinking yesterday that I need something other than wine to look forward to and reminding myself of things I liked to do in the past that I gave up in order to devote myself more fully to my wine habit.

    You do not sound smug in the least. Determined and purposeful yes, but smug, no. I am in the early-days enthusiasm stage but I know the gloss will wear off and the wine witch and I will have some serious words about the end our our relationship.

    I am cheering you on from the sidelines. "Go Sober Mummy!" Have a great weekend, try not to kill the kids. x

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    1. I love you Laura! You rock. And well done you for getting through Friday night. "I am woman. Hear me roar!" Here's my guilty secret: I imagine myself as Madonna in her 1980s heyday wearing leather hotpants and one of those pointy cone shaped bras, only mine has laser beams firing out of them. Try that one - it works for me xxx

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  2. Wow...You did it.... and you got to really be the "watcher of the thinker" (mindfulness) and get through that horrible time. Love you and your honesty...xxx

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    1. Love you too, Rods & Reels Sportfishing Adventures - Guatemala ;-) xx

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  3. I'm so pleased that you fought off that nasty lying wine witch imagine just how you would have felt this morning with not only a hangover but a massive guilt trip too x this probably is the danger time now the novelty of feeling fresh and sober will be becoming the norm and the whole "just one won't hurt " will be going around and around - but you didn't give in and that is the important bit what amazing strength and courage x please don't ever think your blog seems smug that's not how we read it at all . It's an honest account of how you feel which in turn we all nod to in total agreement . Your blog is the one thing that I sometimes think keeps me sane in this crazy roller coaster of staying sober x I hope you get to relax this weekend with a hot chocolate and damn it some lovely cake don't worry about the calories you are gaining clarity and that is worth so much more x

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    1. Thanks do much Kags! Hope your weekend is going ok? Hugs SM x

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  4. You are stronger than you think!
    I always keep the "icky" stuff in mind and I go through what I would have done.
    Kudos to you!
    It's hard work! But the longer I go, the happier I am!
    Hugs,
    Wendy

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  5. Thanks sm my weekend is good thank you just keeping buzy at the moment to keep the wine o clock out of my head instead having an appletiser and ironing !!! Hope yours is good to

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    1. You know, I used to hate ironing, but now I find it sort of soothing - a bit like a 1950s housewife version of meditation! Hugs SM x

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  6. Well done, she's very cunning our WW, she's bitten me in the arse once or twice when I wasent being vigilant. You did exactly the right thing by playing it forward, cos it's never one drink is it? Keep blogging. Dobo xx

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  7. Sounds like a rough night, but you made it!! Must've felt great waking up the next morning. <3 Xx

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  8. Wow well done you! We've all been there-that head battle, the amount of times I've tried to moderate! Moderation just isn't in my vocab!!

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  9. Hi SM, it’s good to hear from you. I’ve missed your posts the last few days. It’s funny, but I’ve been thinking back to my teenage self too. It’s probably because this was the last time ( apart from pregnancy) when alcohol didn’t play any part in my life. I’ve been thinking really hard about my teenage self and what she can teach this 49 year old women. It’s odd this sober thing isn’t it? There’s so much more to it that simply not drinking. Flossie x

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    1. Hi Flossie! You're so true (as #1 would say). I often feel like I don't know who I am any more, and need to work it out. How are you doing?

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  10. Hi SoberMummy,
    I found out about your blog from your friend Phillipa at Hazeldon in Minnesota (I was in the family program there because of my husband's drinking). During my session with Phillipa I suggested that maybe I could have a bit of a problem and she recommended your blog. I started reading a year ago and could relate to so much of it but not ready to do anything about my own use. I can easily polish off a bottle of wine a day, sometimes more. I just started re-reading your blog from the beginning and am 5 days with no alcohol. Doing ok so far!

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    1. Oh, lovely Philippa! We've been friends for thirty years! Huge congrats on 5 days - that's the hardest bit done! Hugs xxx

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