Saturday, 2 April 2016

Dealing With 'Forever'

One of the things everyone struggles with when they quit drinking is the idea of forever.

Forever - to quote Prince - is a very long time. (Or at least we hope so).

That's why we all learn, at least initially, to only deal with one day at a time.

Well, next time you accidentally think about forever, and start freaking out, then try my new trick...

It's inspired by a comedy sketch I heard on the radio. Two ladies were having a few drinks in a wine bar, and one says to the other "OMG, just look at those two dreadful old lushes sitting over there!" The other replies, "It's a mirror."

It struck me that when we think about drinking being all glamorous and hedonistic, we're thinking about young people. Beautiful, skinny people, dancing and going wild.

When we think about ourselves drinking, we think of our 'best looking' selves, all dressed up and gorgeous, casually sipping on a glass of champagne.

Well, instead of imagining that scene, and going all teary eyed, mournful and nostalgic, picture this:

A lady around the age of sixty five (or older, depending on where you are now!), huge wine belly and puffy, red face, at a smart drinks party. She's talking too loudly, slurring and is slightly unsteady. When the music starts she does some really embarrassing dance moves and starts singing, out of tune.

Now, next time you start worrying about forever, think about the alternative. Because that's the alternative. It's not rebellious and wild - it's just a bit....sad and embarrassing.

And that's not the old age I want to imagine. I like to see myself more as a Mary Berry oldie. All chic, composed and dignified. A wise, kind and respected matriarch.

I bet Mary doesn't down a bottle of wine of an evening. She's more of the 'one glass of champagne on special occasions' type. I can't imagine her ever being drunk, or out of control.

Or Helen Mirren. Interestingly Helen says her motto is 'do everything. But not too much of anything.' Sadly it's a bit too late for that advice.

And don't worry. The fear of forever does fade. Eventually, ironically, it's replaced by the fear of going back to drinking again!

But, until then, just take it day by day. Baby steps. And think of Mary.

Love SM x

20 comments:

  1. If I'd have set out thinking I would never drink again I am certain I would not have managed a month, never mind the 100 days target I'd initially set myself. I still don't use the 'f' word and am now 13 months sober. I absolutely agree that the fear of drinking becomes stronger than the compulsion to drink. For me anyway. Peace and love LNM x

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  2. So true! Everything you said- especially about the young and glamorous part! I do know a couple of women getting up there who look and act exactly as you describe and they have come to mind- In fact, that was one- just one- of the incentives for me to quit! Not quite able to use that "f" word yet!

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  3. Can I also apologise for my recent lapse in personal etiquette. I don't know what came over me. I am not in the habit of being mean to people. Sincere apologies if I offended anyone. I had spiritual healing yesterday and my chakra was rebalanced so all is good now. x

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    1. No need to apologise, LNM! Love you, and your balanced chakras ;-) xxx

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  4. This is the first time I've ever commented on a blog. I'm compelled to reach out because this is my 4th day 1 this week. I can't seem to control the Wine Witch. I feel paralyzed. It's noon here in the U.S. and I'm still in bed reading about getting sober. I'm hoping that I'll have the strength today. Thanks for being here.

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    1. Hi Kburke! You CAN do it. Read Jason Vale's book 'Kick the Drink' if you haven't already, and do whatever you need to take your mind off it - running, yoga, hot baths, reading, swimming, whatever. Don't have any booze in the house, and remember that you're only feeling bad because you're killing the wine witch. Go to bed really early with a hot chocolate. Tomorrow morning you will feel amazing - and be on Day 2! Huge hugs xxx

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    2. Thank you so much for responding! I guess this is real. You are such an inspiration.

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    3. Not just me. There are loads of us who were all in exactly the same pickle as you. You're not alone x

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    4. Hello Kburke - I'm on Day one again too, so I know how you're feeling. Sending you love. Annie x

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    5. One of these tries....you'll make it THROUGH Day One. Promse!! Just had a thought....perhaps our mental image should be a little step up...and each day a step a bit higher, the previous steps supporting each new one...

      Or maybe I'm blathering. But really, every day one notches DOES help. And all that 'reading about getting sober? It def helped me -- this blog and a few others. Makes you know: you are NOT alone!

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  5. Made it to 3 months, and was slightly wobbly at the forever thought but reading this has made me feel much better!! Xx

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    1. Yay! Huge congrats on 3 months, Goddess! AA would give you a coin. I'm giving you a whole bag of cash: 💰

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    2. Just read your profile, HMtoG. Don't you find that silenced 'you're a bad person' voice one of the very best rewards??!

      I'm at three months (and a day!) too...and find it almost unbelievable. I have to add an asterisk, however: I am succeeding at what I want/need: NO drinking at home. At all. Period.

      In my rather quiet, so non-raucous life, I have a cocktail, one, when out to dinner with friends. No situations where any more is tempting (and am almost always driving myself, so there's that to keep me on track, were it needed). But it was over-doing at home, on a daily basis that I felt was doing me in. So that's what success - oh happy, i never thought i could do it! success - looks like for me.

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  6. One if the things that I know now is that the forever thing is very daunting in the beginning of sobriety. That first year, the obsession & the counting of days was ever present. Once you hit 2, 3, 4 years you don't think of the days. You just know you could never undo that. Sometimes I refer back to my counter just to see how many days it is, but the constant obsession about not drinking isn't present anymore. I'm just a nondrinker period and so grateful for that everyday.

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  8. I agree with this about replaying what could be if we pick up again! The thought of going down that road again makes me say to myself No Way! I still keep it to One day at a time to handle my life right now.
    I can't believe I've got 1 year and 2 weeks! Thanks to SM and her blog and many people like me it's a REALITY. Thank God!
    Boston Strong Boston Sober

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  9. Hi SM x Can't believe I've finally got around to posting! I've been a fan of yours for like...forever! Back from the early days of NM's and then the wonderful Soberistas. Since 2012 I've been trying to kick start my sober life! And I'm currently on attempt 4 and on Day 7. I love your blog and can associate so much with what you write. I'm also a 40 something mum of 3 living in London with a huge love for Cornwall :) Looking forward to getting serious this time and hopefully being "in touch" with you this time around will keep me on track X

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  10. I don't want to be an old fat lush and for sure that's where I was heading. Have heard that mirror joke before and it's funny and so true. Now that I have lost weight and the daily urge to drink (it still rears it's ugly head just less often) I have big plans for future especially when I think of myself in my 50s 60s and beyond. Like you said in your last post I am visualising myself slim fit healthy and happy. There is an older lady I want to be like and plenty I don't. I have great holiday plans - I would love to walk the camino de santiago with my sister so I'm putting that one out there. Holidays were always about being pissed for 2 whole weeks. It was fun but it's not what I wish for any more!

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    1. Love the dreams you have for yourself! A year sober I'm beginning to believe in myself!

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