Back from another vacation

That’s how it feels… like I took a vacation in “let’s see if I can moderate” land.  Only I wasn’t moderating very much.  I also wasn’t totally out of control.  But then again, I’m rarely out of control, and never in public.  I’m always able to appear to the casual observer, even to those close to me, like I’m very much in control.  The truth is, the only one I’m hurting is myself with my drinking.  Maybe occasionally my husband, when we have stupid drunken arguments, but those tend to be when we’re both out together and we come home drunk, tired, and cranky.  We’re both at fault in those situations, and our fights are never much to get upset about later.  

Last time I was here in sober land I was only here a week.  I really don’t know what happened, to be honest.  I sort of just had a case of the fuck-its.  I have had so much going on in my personal life (like deciding to quit my job, which I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years now!) that the effort to remain sober in the face of it all just felt overwhelming.  I missed drinking.  I missed relaxing, connecting with my friends, not having to make excuses for why I couldn’t join at happy hour.  I missed feeling “normal,” or what to me feels normal.  

So here’s what I learned.  I learned that I kept thinking about drinking all the time.  I kept feeling shitty in the morning.  I kept waking up at 2:00 a.m. and feeling panicky, sweaty, thirsty, and anxiety ridden.  Staring at the ceiling until I finally fell back asleep at 5:30 a.m., only half an hour (if I’m lucky) before my dog would wake me up to go out.  I learned that even though I intended to just return to drinking “like a normal person,” my version of that is at least two glasses of wine nightly (on the lightest of nights) to as much as seven to ten drinks on a weekend/celebratory night.  (I find lots of reasons to celebrate.)  And I learned that even though I had some fun times, the times that tempted me the most were at home alone, when it should be easiest for the “normal,” “social” drinker to not think about it.  All in all, the loss in self-confidence, sleep, and ability to stick to my fitness goals were not really worth the temporary fun of drinking.  I just want to feel better overall.  To feel confident when I wake up in the morning instead of when I have at least my first glass of wine down my throat.  To actually be able to stick by my intention to work out instead of blowing it off all the time because I’m slightly hung over.    

During the whole almost month that I had returned to “allowing myself to drink when I felt like it,” I did not miss a single day.  Despite my conscious awareness that I should not drink daily, that I could decide to take the night off.  It was just too hard.  I’m either drinking, or I’m not.  I don’t have an in-between.  It sucks.  I hope that someday I will, and that maybe quitting my way-too-stressful job and getting to a healthier place will allow for that.  But for now I’ve come to accept that I’m gonna have to stay here. 

So here I am, and today is day 4.  My last day of work was January 31, and a Friday, so I planned to start again on February 1.  After my colleagues took me out to celebrate my final day and wish me well.  It was a great send-off, I felt loved, and I am excited about the new things ahead, starting with this: 100 day challenge, take 3.  Or 4.  I can’t remember!  All I know is that it’s a tad humiliating to be here again, back at the beginning.  But it feels good and I missed this, the writing, the reading, the helpful comments from you other wonderful people who know how this feels.  This time I’m also doing Belle’s sober jumpstart to give myself a little extra push.  

Tonight, I made banana muffins while drinking tea.  I got the flu on day one, which helped since I didn’t want a drink anyway from being too sick.  Feeling slightly better now but I think still crummy from detoxing in general.  Doing mundane things and trying to take care of myself… putting not drinking back at the top of that list.  

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10 thoughts on “Back from another vacation”

  1. Not drinking sounds a lot easier than actually is. I am tempted almost everyday, and I have to constantly remind myself that moderation is not a thing I can do. Keep at it you’ll make it there.

  2. Welcome back. Good for you to keep trying. And hearing your report back on how ‘moderating’ was, keeps me here. It helps others remember what it was like. It is too easy to forget!
    Anyway, sober is so much better, come aboard !
    X

    1. Glad to be an example if it helps someone else! It was not worth it. For me, each “day one” has been harder. I can see now why it would be increasingly hard to keep starting again, and you can also really see how crappy you feel drinking after knowing how good you feel sober!

  3. This just rings so many bells for me from when I was trying to moderate. I didn’t want to deny myself alcohol, so though “I’ll drink when I want to.” It turned out that I ALWAYS wanted to.

    As Carrie said, come aboard! I’ve had so many day 1s but now a couple of solid weeks in again am so happy to be on the sober bus.

  4. It’s so hard huh? I, too, find myself thinking about drinking more when I am alone in the evenings. I used to LOVE spending alone time on my couch with a bottle of white. I am sitting at 96 days and STILL have moments of “I can’t wait to get home to my bottle of wine waiting for me.” I also have moments of wondering if moderation is right for me and reading your blog and other blogs about trials with moderation help supply me with a reason to just not even try. I should know myself better than that by now-but I am still in the stages of wanting to be a moderate drinker. Hope to come to terms with the realization that I am who I am and I will never be able to moderate.

    1. 96 days!!! That is so awesome. It inspires me to keep going. I can’t make permanent decisions yet either about whether I’ll moderate eventually, but it has definitely been educational to have these lapses. It is much harder to start being sober again than it is to just keep going! And now having ten days again, I’m reminded how much BETTER I feel this way. Despite the longing for the wine on the couch. Just have to reprogram our minds to focus on the good stuff… and yes, it’s so hard!

  5. Wow! So admirable that you can step outside of yourself, take a good long look and make the decision to change what you need to. Especially with your job. So awesome that even with all those people looking up to you, you put yourself and your health first. That would be too hard for me in my job. Happy that you have such a supportive husband and girlfriend. It’s makes a huge difference. Glad you are feeling well 🙂 keep up the good work!
    *Annabelle

    1. Thanks Annabelle, I do feel lucky that I have the chance to make changes right now. It feels scary to put myself first… Not my M.O. But necessary if I’m going to heal and then pursue my next step! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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