On again, off again

I keep going back and forth about this blog.  I’ll be so relieved it’s here when I need it, when I want to be sober.  Then when I “change my mind” and start to relax and let myself drink again, I feel like I should take it down.  That my drinking isn’t bad enough to justify this whole sober blog thing.  It’s quite confusing and I’m so tired of hearing my own voice about it, so I’m sure anyone who’s read this blog for a while feels a bit tired of it, too.

I have learned so much this past year, though.  I have had lots of periods of sobriety, more strung together days than I’ve ever had, and more times.  I’ve learned that I can get some sober time together.  I’ve learned how amazingly good it feels to sleep sober.  How productive I am.  How motivated to live life and be creative and follow my heart.  I’ve learned to breathe deeply and without anxiety caused by alcohol withdrawal during a bad hangover.  Slowly but surely, I’ve started to like life better without alcohol.

I don’t know if I’m an alcoholic.  I don’t think so, really.  I think I had a pretty serious emotional dependence on it and that my drinking was not to a place where I had it under complete control.  But each time I’ve drank again, I feel like that’s less and less true.  Like I dislike it more and more.  Like I recognize that ugly pull a bit sooner, and I’m more cautious.

I know this may not be the most popular approach and I’m certainly not suggesting that moderation is a good idea for most people who feel that they need a sober blog.  In fact I think moderation is dangerous for most of us.  And maybe, for me.  I’m still sorting that out.  But for now, I’m one week sober again and feeling pretty damn amazing.  I’m starting to feel like this is a positive choice, rather than a death sentence, and for me, that’s real progress.

I’m one week sober, and I’m heading to a movie, with a friend who is also not drinking for health reasons.  It feels great to head outside in the crisp, fall air, to go out without the stress of being around alcohol.  It feels like freedom.  Like I can’t wait to see a movie and wake up in time for yoga tomorrow.

That’s what life’s looking like right now.  Since my last blog, I’ve had sober days and drinking days.  No big incidents.  Less anxiety about it in general.  But also a deep realization that the drinking days were not worth the sluggish, lazy brain the next day, nor the setback to my fitness goals.  I never thought I’d start to feel this way, but I feel the slightest glimmer of hope that I may feel slightly… over it.  I realize this feeling probably won’t last at all.  But it’s nice that it’s there.  And I plan to feed it, this wolf who doesn’t like alcohol.  Hopefully he’ll grow big and strong.

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7 thoughts on “On again, off again”

  1. I don’t think anyone but ourselves can say whether or not we are an alcoholic. It’s something that only we can figure out. Certainly to those who are definitely alcoholic, moderation doesn’t apply. And perhaps there are some who can. Hard drinkers, who can sometimes mimic an alcoholic in consumption and consequences, can (with sufficient reason) moderate or even stop.

    I see that you are working this out…I wish you the best of luck!

    Cheers
    Paul

    1. Thanks Paul, it certainly has been a long road of shifting thoughts and flip-flopping that’s for sure. For now, I’m going to just venture to admit to myself that it seems like a no-brainer to stop letting my ambivalence with the label interfere with doing what I so clearly should — stop drinking. If I’ve spent a year obsessing and quitting and starting and quitting, there’s a problem and quitting for good will erase the need to have this internal debate with myself, if nothing else. So I’m trying again. I appreciate your supportive words!

  2. I’ve had quite similar thoughts, but I do consider myself an alcoholic.
    In the past, I’ve been sober for years, then was able to drink in moderation (briefly). However, I could never predict when I’d be drinking in moderation, or when that would turn into an awful regret-filled night. It’s like a Russian roulette, and I don’t like to take that gamble.
    I just started reading your blog more and, for what it’s worth, I think you could continue it, even if it’s just a post here and there.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Take care,
    Moody Thursday

    1. Thank you, I appreciate the insight and this week my thinking has shifted. I truly think that I am in a dangerous place with alcohol and that if I keep drinking, I am only headed in that direction. Because as you said, I never know if I’ll be able to have the two glasses and call it quits. Sometimes I do, but often I don’t and I end up feeling like crap for days. It’s simply not worth it anymore and not the life I want. Thanks again for your input, very helpful!

  3. I think you should use your blog to figure things out. It is your space.
    I don’t think much about whether or not I am an alcoholic. I know my life is better sober. That’s good enough for me.

    1. I like that and kept repeating it to myself today: I am not my best self when I’m drinking. Period. My life is better sober. I think that’s good enough for me, too. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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