Sunday, 14 June 2015

Wavering

Day 106, and, all of a sudden I've been wavering.

I know this story. I've read it before. Bet you have too.

You get to the stage where sober starts to be the new normal. It's not such an effort any more. You think back to the drinking days and they're no longer as vivid. That drunk girl in the movie of your memory just doesn't feel like you.

But whilst you can't remember the bad times so well, you sure as hell remember the good ones. The first drink of the evening. The first rosé of the summer. The first glass of champagne on Christmas Day. And then you hear the whisper....

......you've overreacted! Silly old you. Sure you needed to cut down, hell doesn't everyone? But quit totally? Forever? What were you thinking?

So I go re-read 'Secret Drinker hits the High Bottom'. I go back to '5 Signs You're a Problem Drinker'. And I say look! There's the evidence! I was a mess.

And the voice replies: but you're not an alcoholic. You never blacked out, got the shakes or had sex with strangers.....

And I say oh for f**ks sake, not this one again. I drank every day. I drank most lunchtimes, as well as every evening. I drank a bottle of wine a day. More at weekends. And Fridays. And special occasions. That is not 'normal drinking.'

So the voice wheels out the big guns.

I agree you drank too much, but now you've had 106 days off you can moderate! Just drink once in a while. Special occasions. Easy peasy.

The old moderation thing again. I'm so bored of this one.

I've tried moderation. It works for a few weeks, sure, but before too long I'll be back to where I started. But worse. This path only goes one way, and it's downhill, I reply, getting cross.

I'm sure that's true for real alcoholics. But not you. You can be a 'normal drinker' again.

But do you think 'normal' drinkers start sober blogs and find ninety-five different ways to write about alcohol? Do 'normal' drinkers spend hours every week reading other blogs, books and articles about drinking?

But the voice is not giving up: That's just you getting obsessed. Getting your knickers in a right old twist about nothing! Tell you what. Why not just try moderating. Give it one more go. Just to be sure. If it doesn't work you can just quit again. You know you can do it now....

I change tack. I'm older and wiser now. I've done 106 days, for goodness sake!

I say: But why would I want to start drinking again, even if I could do it in moderation? I'm getting used to being sober. I feel healthier. I sleep better. I'm skinnier. I'm nicer. I'm a better Mum, a better wife....

Then it gets insulting: But it's vanilla. You're boring. Live a little! You've never lived inside the lines before. It's just not you.

Then I remember all of you: What about my online friends? They rely on me. I'd be letting them down.

It laughs. Don't flatter yourself! You're not the only sober blogger. You're a mere drop in the ocean of the World Wide Web. And your 'real life' friends would love to have you back drinking again. They've missed the real you. You've missed the real you. Then, even more quietly: bet the husband does too...

Then I get a moment of clarity, and I reply through gritted teeth: If I wasn't an addict I wouldn't be having this conversation with you for the hundredth time, because you would never have taken up residence in my head. So bugger off, and let me get on with the rest of my life!

I'm sorry. I know you've heard all this before. I've heard all this before. I'm boring you. I'm boring myself.

Sometimes it feels like the easier it gets, the harder it becomes. Two steps forward, one step back.

Love SM x




28 comments:

  1. Don't feel bad for having these thoughts. You have been doing so well. Tell that voice to f$%k off and leave you alone. Stay strong. 106 days is brilliant. The wine witch knows how well you are doing and is trying to be heard. But you're stronger. Keep going. We are all here cheering you on! A x

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  2. Its normal to have these thoughts, I still do but the voice gets quieter over time. This is where writing blogs is so useful as we do forget and you can go back and read about just how rubbish you felt. I was re reading my blogs on soberistas this morning abd there were things I had forgotten. As time goes on the what is the point in drinking gets much stronger as it really is a futile hobby!! Keep strong, I slumped around the 3 month mark but you will feel strong again. X

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  3. SM take it from us you are doing great! Believe me, I have tried "moderation" after being sober for a while and it does NOT work. It is NOT worth it. Almost instantly I felt i could slip back into my old ways. Lets the change forever (holding hands) for the good of us, our families and our friends. Keep going, you are such a trooper x

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  4. Think summer and Christmas are going to be really hard. And let's face it, although we know the truth and reality about alcohol there are some fun memories about some fun times. I'm reading Jason vale and totally get what he's saying but I don't totally agree with there only being negatives to drinking alcohol otherwise it would be easy to quit. I'm only a few weeks in but sometimes just have to focus on today. Forever still a big promise. I also focus on not dying of an alcohol related disease while my kids are young, not being over the limit in the morning on the school run and hopefully showing my kids there is another option. Reread your blogs! They are inspiring ;-) Take care xxx

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  5. Thanks for a brilliantly laid out conversation that I agree we all have with the wine witch and super well done for arguing it out! A strong reason not to go backwards and try moderating again is that the likelyhood is that you end up drinking even more than you did before and it's A LOT harder to get sober again after that! Stay strong and please keep blogging - I love your daily updates!! Big hugs, Nikki xxx

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  6. Very selfishly I don't want you to give in to the evil WW as then she will have more ammunition the next time she whispers in my ear xxx

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  7. omg! I felt the exact same way this weekend! The only thing that stopped me from listening to those damn voices was the number 169! I'm not losing my days of sobriety....not if I can help it.
    Hugs

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  8. omg! I felt the exact same way this weekend! The only thing that stopped me from listening to those damn voices was the number 169! I'm not losing my days of sobriety....not if I can help it.
    Hugs

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  9. I can see it clearly now. That voice is the wine witch in disguise. I hadn't really appreciated that until this blog. I've been having the same conversation this weekend. She is so devious. Now we're ignoring her she's changed her attack. I was sober for 13 days over christmas (this was before my 100 day challenge) after a horrendus 'mad friday'. It didn't bother me not drinking over the festive season as I was so ashamed (and probably suffering from alcohol poisoning) of my recent bender. I had this same conversation and the WW promided that if moderation didn't work then I would just give up again. One drink led to another.....2 months later I was on the bottom floor. I don't think I've hit rock bottom yet but if I had carried on drinking it would only have been a matter of time. Stay strong. x

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  10. She's sneaky, that old Wine Witch! Blog her to death!! xx

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  11. There is no such thing as a real alcoholic.
    But there are many of us ex wine drinkers whose life just is better sober.
    Hold on to the better.
    Anne

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  12. Hi SM
    42 days without a drink and I'm doing well, and without a doubt, I would not be here were it not for your wonderful, honest blogs, Soberistas and Mrs D. We're so lucky to have the internet which gives us access to the insights and wisdoms of these brave, articulate women - thank you so much.

    There is one topic I am struggling with, and that is the vexed issue of weight. Whilst my head is so much clearer, my waistline seems to be expanding, and I don't know why. I've not done a nose-dive into chocolate - or at least, no more than it did before I stopped drinking, nor has my diet changed much. Surely the absence of the calorific value of 7 bottles of wine a week should be making a difference by now?? Your thought/insights/wisdom on this subject would be much appreciated.

    Much love
    Penny

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    1. Hi Penny! Huge congrats on 42 days - awesome work! The weight thing is complex. I read loads from people who develop a huge sweet tooth. I haven't too badly (certainly not enough to counteract the decrease in wine calories), but even so I've lost no weight in the last month. I lost 8 pounds in the first 2 months (v gradually!)
      My theory is that we've hugely screwed our metabolisms and it takes a while to start functioning efficiently again. I'm sure exercise helps.
      I'll do some research and then post on it, but in the meantime if anyone else can advise it'd be much appreciated! Xx

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    2. Hi Penny -
      I've had the same problem as you. I quit drinking and actually gained weight - ugh! I have started weight watchers, and have lost about 7 pounds, but am not down the weight I have gained (and I still have a way to go from there). For me, I think I placed one addictive behavior with another...going from drinking to overeating (mostly unhealthy sweets). Much like my drinking, my eating was without abandon, noshing I whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. It's almost like I felt like I had to have that one area in my life where I can have a complete release - before it was drinking, then it switched to food. Even now on weight watchers, I have to battle with what I eat. I CRAVE sweet foods and have to fight hard not to eat them, often times losing the battle, even though I know eating them is not serving me or what I want for myself...it's a compulsion, driving me to eat. Good Lord - I sound totally crazy! Writing down/tracking what I eat has proven helpful and made me more aware. Another strategy that has helped some is planning for meals, etc. Good luck on your journey!

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  13. I'm the same Penny. Although I do enjoy chocolate and sweet treats but not enough to replace my calories from wine (plus I'm working out!) x

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  14. I still get it 3 and a bit years on and I don't think it ever really goes away. I think on my first reply to you a few weeks ago I was feeling quite pissed off. Doesn't mean I'll act on it. It's normal to have those feelings. Not helped by effing 'wine, and special for summer, Pimms o'clock' everywhere. My psychiatrist told me to beware most of the days you're feeling happy, the summer days maybe when you are relaxed and guard is down and everyone's enjoying a drink apart from you.
    There's no timetable for this, you've just got to try to keep going, a day, maybe an hour at a time. Xx

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    1. Completely agree I was always a "happy" drinker. Well I was before I started the wine but then miserable by the end of the bottle. Even more stupid really when I think of it like that.

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    2. Hi SM...you'll know from an email I sent you a while back that it's bloody hard to get back on wagon...I was AF for 6 months. I gave in to the voicecin my head for two weeks. Got straight back on the wagon & it's so much harder now. I wish I hadn't listened to the voice. It's a trick. Xx

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    5. Hi SM...you'll know from an email I sent you a while back that it's bloody hard to get back on wagon...I was AF for 6 months. I gave in to the voicecin my head for two weeks. Got straight back on the wagon & it's so much harder now. I wish I hadn't listened to the voice. It's a trick. Xx

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    6. Hi SM...you'll know from an email I sent you a while back that it's bloody hard to get back on wagon...I was AF for 6 months. I gave in to the voicecin my head for two weeks. Got straight back on the wagon & it's so much harder now. I wish I hadn't listened to the voice. It's a trick. Xx

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  15. Wow... you have basically written down the exact internal dialogue that has been running through my head! "You're not an alcoholic because you never _____", as well as the whole boring thing - I've been feeling bored of myself! I also think, maybe I should try drinking one more time, just to make sure. But, in reality, I know that I don't even want to try to attempt to moderate - I want to have as much chardonnay as I want, when I want it! I think you are right though, other "normal" drinkers wouldn't be having these conversations with themselves, reading and writing sober blogs, reading books about sobriety, etc. Keep on keeping on SoberMummy - you have a gift for writing!

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  16. Was just having that same tedious argument in my head!! It's like arguing with a very persistent and naughty teenager who very badly wants her way. Haha!

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  18. Hello SM. I'm reading all your blogs from the start. I'm 16 days today and feeling good. Last time I got to 103 days and the WW started chatting again. I gave I n and it took me nearly three months to get back to being AF. I won't make that mistake again. Thank you for being you and your amazing blog x

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  19. Day 111 here and feeling a bit flat. I’ve gone back to your day 1 and am reading every post - i can’t begin to tell you what a help it is. H xxxx

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