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