Saturday, August 21, 2010

Yesterday was Day 1. Again.

***Submitted by Trish.

Yesterday was Day 1. Again. I made it through, but all I thought about the entire day was having a drink(s). I intentionally didn't have any wine in the house; I had poured out the small remainder of the third bottle I went through the day before and was determined not to get more. But there is an array of other alcohol in the house I could "enjoy." My drink of preference is wine, but the others are a backup every time I try to stop drinking.

I knew this wasn't going to be easy; it has been a very long time since I didn't drink at least one bottle of wine a day. But there seemed to be so many hurdles. At least that's what it felt like.

I spent the day doing laundry and digging out from the miserable mountain trip that was cut short by a family funeral my DH had to fly off to and my daughter's sniffles and fever that increased her already incredible teenage drama. I organized. I cleaned. I turned on TV and watched a movie about housewives on chrystal meth. I made it to 3:40 PM when I pick up the kids. I was edgy with the kids after school. Their loudness annoyed me. Their cheerfulness annoyed me. Everything annoyed me.

My neighbor called. She had some dish to return and I needed to borrow some dinner ingredients so I went over. When I went over, the first thing she did was offer up a bottle of red. I told her no; I wasn't drinking today. When was I going to drink again? What about our day at her club this week? Aren't you going to have a cocktail with me? (We never have just one). I told her no, again, and that I had to start somewhere and this was it. I didn't elaborate and she seemed shocked and surprised that I thought I had a problem. We chatted and then I got up and went home.

I finished fixing dinner, fed the kids, and meanwhile my neighbor came over again with her glass of wine. I still didn't drink, but sat on the porch with her making plans for the kids who are out of school this week. When my husband drove up, I am sure he thought I was drinking and was immediately annoyed by her presence. When I went in the house soon after, instead of a greeting, he made a snide comment about how he saw I hadn't unpacked from our trip and went to change, pointedly making a bid deal about unpacking from his trip. (I had unpacked in the laundry room but the suitcases weren't carried up, along with the kids' backpacks I had asked them to carry up a bunch of times.)

Since I WAS ALREADY ON MY LAST NERVE, this really set me off. I SO wanted to pour a drink, any drink.

While he puttered around and pouted and helped himself to a drink, I came to this blog and read and reread all the posts since March. After he changed and ate and spent time with the kids, he realized his error and tried to make amends (no apology but compliments about my day's accomplishments and tried to engage me in conversation). Eventually I snapped out of my funk and we talked a little. No mention of me not drinking or that I was trying, again, to moderate or quit. The dynamics of our relationship is another story for another time, but he is basically an enabler most of the time.

At 10, I went to bed and debated about taking an Ambien. I decided to pass and see if I could get to sleep on my own. Eventually, I did but sleep was restless and not the retreat I needed.

So here I am this morning, husband gone to work, kids still asleep, with another day to go through. The vacationing kids will be seeking entertainment and engagement, and I will not have a disguised glass of wine in my hand to mellow me. I will try to engage and enjoy them without that crutch today. I will try to be done with the traits you all mentioned, alternating liquor stores, bargaining with myself for just one drink, hiding evidence of any drinking before happy hour, guzzling drinks ahead of time so it looks like I drink moderately...etc, etc, etc.

I will have more hurdles to overcome... a girls' drinking weekend coming up, pending social occasions where everyone drinks and expects me to, family visits...

As with many of the other posters, I have never thought of myself as an alcoholic; surely I can drink in moderation. I was always the designated driver who could hold her liquor the best. What's the big deal about a glass of wine a day? Except now it is at least a bottle. How did I get to this place and how do I get out? For me it will be one excruciating day at a time.



  1. You did an incredible thing!! All of those instances, those times when it seems the cards are stacked against quitting, they came and reared their ugly head and you faced them head on :) I am so proud of you!
    You are right, one day at a time. And in the beginning, they are excruciating. But eventually it gets better. And a day not drinking, even with the difficult moments to pass, is such a better day than one with a drink in hand.
    (even though it might not seem that way right now...)
    You did great. Just know that :)

  2. Like Corinne says, you did it. You didn't drink that day in spite of everything. You can do this.

    I also think the fact that you are telling people - like your friend who wanted a drinking partner - that you have a drinking problem is really going to help you. I find it much easier not to drink around people who are aware of my difficulties as they don't offer me a drink in the first place, and keep a supportive eye out for me.

    I'm sending you all the best with this comment. I know how hard it can be, but I have every faith that you can succeed in staying sober.

  3. OMG-I think were twins...everything you said is exactly what I was thinking a little over 7 months ago. Keep it up! Your doing great, and it will get easier!

  4. It gets easier by the day -- really...Stay strong...

    The friend/husband thing is tricky...I struggle with the same. But, I agree that telling people really helps. I'm at three months and decided to tell people that I was "taking a break from drinking." If they asked more I said, "I am just finding that I'm drinking too much." Wow--I had a total range of reactions but mainly I received support. What was interesting to me is that a few of friends responded with "yeah, me too -- I might be drinking too much too."

    For some reason telling people lessened my shame and also helped me stay more accountable when I found those sneaky "just have one" thoughts invade my head.

    Enough about me --- you can do this! One day at a time, baby!

  5. Trish,

    Congratulations! It really is one day at a time.

    Day 3 for me. Again. Preference - cold, white wine.

    I had two blissful clean weeks this summer and was able to do and get things done instead of sleeping it off and feeling tormented. I also slept well for a change.

    How I got to this..alcoholism is a progressive disease. It creeps up on me when I think I can conquer it and beats me. This time, I am fed up with myself. Keeping myself busy and staying away from tempting situations. I have yet to join a support group which I know I should. I believe telling people really helps but I am stilling going through shame and want to fix this on my own. We will see...

    Remember, one day at a time. You can do it!


  6. Wow, you did an amazing thing. I know it may not seem like it, but 24 hours is hard, even if you've done it before. My first morning I woke and realized I hadn't drank the night before (and I struggled, cried, was bitchy, you name it), I almost cried with amazement.

    You said, "One excruciating day at a time." It won't always feel that way. I promise. And I quote, "We have been speaking to you of serious, sometimes tragic things. We have been dealing with alcohol in its worst aspect. But we aren't a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn't want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life." And, "Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny." -Alcoholics Anonymous (the big book)

    I'm sorry if it's annoying that I inserted those quotes, but they inspire me over and over again.

    Keep at it, one day at a time, one moment at a time. Things change, you will change. Just trust, just for today.

  7. Trish,
    How are you doing?? Thinking of you & proud of you for searching for another way. One day at a time, as many day 1s as it takes, you will get there.


  8. I get every bit of this. It isn't easy. Especially in those later hours of the day, and particularly if your spouse is enabling or adds to your stress (or both!). It really is a minute at a time, or even a breath at a time at some points.

    Can you skip the girls' drinking weekend? I can't imagine making it through something like that in early sobriety. Do you have to go? If it's already paid for, and you feel you do have to go, can you tell them so you'll have support? Or tell at least one person?

  9. These comments are a comfort. 27 days today and really wanting that glass of wine. Those of you who pray...please so so for me.