Still learning

Today I’m on day 4.  At this point I feel a bit sick of writing the same, tired story.  Am I or aren’t I?  Can I or can’t I?  Should I even bother, or shouldn’t I?  It’s really the questioning part of me that lands me back in the same place, starting over.  I inevitably get tired of thinking about not drinking, of the restrictive feeling of it, and give in.  I don’t want to be a non-drinker.  I just don’t want to keep ending up feeling like crap and arguing with my husband and losing motivation to run my business and all the other negative effects that seem to befall me when I drink these days.

But oh, the grief.  I feel such a deep, intense grief when I think about a life without wine, without that carefree feeling that has carried me through so many hard times, and given me so many good times.  It’s so easy to overlook the negative.  When I’ve quit before, when I started this process, I at least felt a strong motivation to be sober, to live sober.  I imagined drastic improvements in my life, my mood, my creativity, and my energy level.  And all those things are true I suppose, but more and more I’ve come to realize that improving all that stuff also takes work, it’s not magic.  And that some of those improvements, when I work at them, remain with me even in my times of drinking.  But each time, it tends to escalate, and inevitably I feel so low during the day.  Run down.  Exhausted.  My self-confidence run completely dry.  No inspiration to write, work, or do laundry, or exercise.  I’m grouchy.  Snappy with my husband.  Negative.  How is it that all those negative effects seem worth it in moments like these?

Here it is, wine-o-clock.  My husband’s not home and I’m about to start dinner.  This is when.  The longing is so great.  The voice is in my head telling me that it’s no big deal.  That I have the right to relax.  That I won’t drink too much.  That it’s been a few days and I deserve it.  I haven’t been fighting that voice very hard lately, not wanting to have to fight.  Not wanting to have to deal with the effort.  But here I am, again.  Again.  Again. Trying to give it a chance.  I suppose, if I really want to give this a try, then I have to TRY.  Like, now.  During these rough moments when I just want to have my private glass(es) of wine while cooking and unwind.  To forget the awfulness of the lunch conversation I had with my mother.  To lift my spirits.  To lift the loneliness of working from home.  To distract me.

So I’m here, learning.  Writing.  Reaching out.  Again.  Tired of hearing my own story repeat itself, but not too tired to try again.


13 thoughts on “Still learning”

  1. The witching hour. I still remember the itchy discomfort of it, though it’s been gone a long time. Replacement rituals were key for me, as was breaking from old routines for awhile. It made me sad not to watch movies on the couch with my husband because I thought it was always going to be that way. And it wasn’t. It passed, things returned to normal, only better.

    1. Thank you. I need to surround myself with people like you who can remind me that it isn’t the end of the world and that things will eventually feel normal. While I’m currently white knuckling it, this is reassuring.

  2. Yep, same here. I am in the moderation phase at the moment. I quit drinking for 31 days, whoo hoo. I decided I didn’t want to totally quit. I wish I had answers. I am trying to have more non drinking days than drinking days….

  3. I feel your pain. It took me forever (4years) from the first time I tried to finally get sober. What I have learned is that people do unwind without wine! Many people, (including me) I just never knew any because I was always drinking.

    Yes, it unfortunately takes work and BBB has some great advice above.
    When I was in rehab, during the group sessions we sat in a circle, there was always a tissue box on the floor, anytime someone said I’ll try,” the counselor would ask them to try to pick up the box. That really stuck with me, because you can’t try to pick up the box, you either do or do not pick it up. That has helped me tremendously, it keeps me pushing through the tough days.

    Hang in, give it more time, things will get better! They really do! 🙂

  4. It is so hard. All I can say is keep trying. Keep adding tools, trying different approaches, talking to people. For me (and I am only on day 33 so I’m no expert obviously), what has helped me this time is I hit a low enough place emotionally that I just can’t imagine drinking again and feeling that way. When I am missing wine, and like you say, that carefreeness, I remind myself it is just a fantasy. It might feel good for an hour but that’s it. I’ve been trying to conjure up, and put into action, what other things makes me feel alive, clear headed, and full hearted.

    1. Good for you on day 33 — or further on by now! I’m still racking up day 1s, but I refuse to give up. You are right, the “good times” wine bring have kept diminishing each time I drink. All too soon I’m in hours of hell instead. Hoping it sinks in soon that it’s just not worth it.

  5. The romanticism of drinking is just one way that alcoholism / ego / mind likes to get a leg up on us. As you said so well, we gloss over the negative. We think of that sparkling, sweaty glass of _____ and forget the rest. The reoccuring thought we all had back in the day was “this time it will different”, as if it were whispered to us by a secret lover. And that’s the lie. Because this always gets worse. If it didn’t, I would still be drinking 🙂

    I used to drink like a fish when cooking (well, I drank like a fish all the time), and so when I got sober, I was afraid to cook! And I’m a chef…lol. So I had to get past those first few days in my kitchen, alone, with no booze. But it wasn’t as bad the more I did it. Played music, drank copious amounts of coffee, phoned others when I had the itch, etc…and soon enough I was able to break that association.

    Welcome back 🙂


  6. Oh the repeating and resetting and the constant obsessing about can I, should I, I want to, but…I shouldn’t have, I hate myself, I am a loser, I have been good, so I deserve it. Hang in there girl! Hoping this week gets better for you. I am hanging on by a thread with the weekend looming. Kis kaha!! 🙂

  7. Giving up people, places and things. I know those wine o’clock cravings well. Because I don’t hold down a paying job, my wine o’clock bounced around. Finished the lawn mowing, wine! Vacuumed the house, wine! Watching Toddlers and Tiaras, I really need wine!
    I changed it all, to get rid of the cravings.
    It gets easier, I know everyone says that, and I was skeptical at best, but it is true.
    Stay strong, and it will get easier.

    1. I so get that… my wine-o-clock can come at any time depending the situation. Good to hear you were skeptical.. I’m crazy skeptical but I have to trust that all of you are telling the truth, right? 🙂

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