Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eleven Months

**submitted by Adrianne

So, two days ago I hit 11 months. Only a few more weeks until I make it an entire year without a drink. It’s becoming more difficult, more of a struggle. Not having a hangover is not much of a motivator anymore. Remembering everything is not much of a motivator, either. In fact, it would be nice to blur some of the more emotionally raw moments. So I am back to where I started…doing it for my two small children. 

I have been really careful about not putting myself in social situations that might be tempting or might end with me being an asshole because I can’t join in the fun. And right now that is the biggest part of the struggle - fun. I am just not having much of it. Haven’t entertained because I can’t enjoy the vino with my friends. Haven’t gone to dinner at the new hot spot because I can’t enjoy the vino. Left town during the biggest party of the year - Kentucky Derby - because I was right at six months and knew it would be miserable. I am accustomed to not having the reward at the end of every day. I am used to weekend activities revolving around the kids - birthday parties, fall festivals, family outings. Sure, I go to movies and meet friends for coffee and ice cream. It’s just that it’s not so fun. 

Boredom was a big trigger for me in the beginning but it was the beginning and I was focused on putting days together. Guess the “not having fun” is just another form of “being bored.” Intellectually, I know that meeting friends out and getting lit is not the answer. Know I can’t have just one. Hell, I don’t even pretend I want one. When I tell my husband or friends I am struggling, I say I want a nice BOTTLE of red to go along with the new chill in the air. I loved the way a nice buzz would break up an afternoon or evening, either speeding it up or slowing it down. Everybody drinks for the effect. Normal peeps unwind at the end of the day or celebrate their birthdays with booze. Normal peeps may pop a xanax if they are having a hard day. So, I get it. I am not normal. But what are us boozehounds to do for fun without the booze?

When I hear people talk about “sober fun” I want to run to the nearest exit in the church basement or hang up the phone. What I want is fun, straight up. I mean, bowling. Hell no. Didn’t enjoy it when I could do it while drinking a few cold pilsners so I don’t want to do it now. I am ready for the time when I’ll be ready to go out to dinner and have friends over on the weekend, but I’m not there yet. 

Sometimes I wish my bottom was a little lower. When I quit, I was drinking a bottle of wine a night, give or take a glass or two, still having people over and going out with friends. Most of the time, things were okay, but the unpredictable or rather more predictable blackout was putting a damper on this. And oh yeah, that moral hangover was worse than the physical one. Bottom line, drinking is not an option for me. I am incredibly thankful to be clear-headed and present for my children in the evenings. It’s just that this being present and clear-headed gig is also not much fun.

When I was feeling a little squirrelly today, I decided to try to put it into words. It’s difficult to do. This site and the women who share on their blogs or post comments have been a tremendous help in me making it this far. Want to say a huge thanks to all of you for putting your words out here.

17 comments:

  1. Your story reached me, thank you. Hope you find peace.

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  2. So beautifully honest. I'm not an alcoholic, but I've had to stop drinking due to medication that I'm on, and I could relate to this in so many ways. Drinking is such a social thing, and as an adult, when you can't do it, it's strangely isolating. You have amazing strength. And some very lucky children.

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  3. I love your post; it's so honest. I had so many feelings like that (still do, sometimes) -- that I'd never have fun again, that I was sentenced to a life of coffee and church basements. It had such a grip on me, this idea that my life was over, until I opened up and started talking about it. I thought I would be shunned, but of course I wasn't. Now, at three years sober, those same people I opened up to are treasured friends. And we laugh all the time.

    -Ellie

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  4. Thank you for sharing. Boredom is a sneaky one. Hope you can continue fighting it.

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  5. Your post resonates with me. Esp the part about not wanting to do social things because you don't want to be an ass because you can't drink...I am that person! Your honesty is just what I needed today.

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  6. At AA we talk ad nauseum about being happy, joyous and free. When I first heard that I wanted to punch someone, I felt as you do that happiness, fun, and sobriety don't go hand in hand. But I find that after almost five months of going to AA, I am having fun, life is fun. Fun has a much different definition, but life feels so good. I think of sobriety much differently that I used to. Sobriety should be fun, it should feel good, you are just dry. I would rather drink than just try and clutch to not drinking. Try AA, you may feel better

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  7. this is adrianne to anonymous: i have a wonderful sponsor and a great group of women friends in AA. after reading what i wrote, it's obvious that it all comes down to acceptance. it's not about being dry...it's more about being in the middle of a 4th step and being sober 11 months:)

    i am so touched that my post resonated with some of you.

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  8. As soon as I wrote that I felt like a huge A-hole. Sometimes it's hard to remember that I don't know everything and I should have God lead my lips. I apologize for writing such a rude and insenitive comment to your honest and thoughtful post.
    Maggie

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  9. You should be so very proud of 11 months. I have only 70 days and the lure of the red wine is calling me.... it's so very hard. I felt like I was reading something I wrote. Unfortunately, my bottom was a DUI, which also comes with more shame, interlock and consequences. I have a little boy that I am doing this for and I MUST think of him when I want to turn on BRAVO, open some Shiraz and "relax". Keep up the amazingly good fight. You're much much stronger than you think.

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  10. First, congratulations on 11 months! And it sounds like you hit a rough spot, and the 4th step is not easy.

    I do remember the first time that I went to a party held by my boss for our group. I didn't want to go, was afraid of drinking, and didn't want to be around those that did drink. But alas it was socially obligatory. You know what? They ran out of diet Coke long before they ran out of beer and wine. I was absolutely shocked to find out how many did not drink or drank modestly. Almost 30 years later I find it is often the same, I only thought everyone drank like I did, but I was wrong.

    Eventually I found that I didn't drink to have fun, I drank to escape from who I was. It was in AA that I found out how to laugh. I don't remember what I laughed at, but I do remember that even the next day my stomach muscles still hurt from laughing so hard.

    I still don't like being around drunks, but they do remind me of who I used to be, and how miserable I was. Some drunks I can laugh with or at, others make me sad for them, and grateful that but for the grace of God go I.

    Good luck, and again, congratulations.

    Hugs,

    Mike L

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  11. Thank you for your honesty! I'm at 4 months...I find that at times I can be social and have fun without a cocktail but sometimes it just plain sucks. And at those moments I long for the burn of martini to bring on the fun...The reward is that I love waking up without the "moral hangover." Love that phrase by the way.
    Thanks for sharing in such an honest way.

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  12. Adrianne, I feel for you. I don't remember when I started having fun, but it was a roller coaster the first few months. Hell, the first year wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be, although I did have a lot of fun sandwiched in between the pain.

    I have dragged my steps out for 2 1/2 years for various reasons (all of them my responsibility), but after recently doing my 2nd 5th step and now working on my 1st 9th step ever, I feel the raw emotion that the program can bring about. I met with my sponsor today to go over my 8th step and plan my 9th. I feel like I'm about to go before a firing squad, but I know that's just fear. Needless to say, I think when we're doing steps 4-9, things get a little hairy for us on the inside and I've been reassured that it's okay that I'm not having fun cleaning house. But The Promises are coming for us both. I think it's great that you are in acceptance of where you are in your recovery right now. I know lots of people who were uncomfortable for long periods of time the first year or two and perhaps didn't have a lot of fun, but definitely do now.

    All that said, despite being about to make my amends to those I've hurt and feeling consequently vulnerable and freaked out (much like being in the middle of my 4th step), I have a blast quite frequently now. I really enjoy the fellowship of the program and I enjoy doing retreats/conferences/conventions/parties/what-have-you. This may not be your bag. But it's helped me tremendously. There are some wild, weird, fun people at those functions and we laugh until we cry.

    Give things some time. I truly believe you are going to have more fun in the near future than you ever dreamed possible. If sobriety wasn't fun, nobody would stay. I'm in this for the big buzz of a sober life. Hang tough and congrats on 11 months! Truly phenomenal!

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  13. i am blown away by your responses. had no idea that putting this out there could be so powerful in taking away the "i'm not having fun" feelings. really took some of the power away. i laugh (and then try to forget) about the fact that those closest to me with a lot of sobriety have not sugarcoated the reality that for them the first TWO years were the hardest. a ton of gratitude to those who replied. the encouragement and stories have given me strength. thank you. -adrianne

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  14. Gratitude has been the antidote to a lot of my "bad" feelings lately. Glad you're feelin' it!

    A thought occurred to me this morning while thinking about fun in sobriety. There are times I have GREAT fun with my sober friends, or even old friends that stuck around when I got sober. When I wake up in the morning, there are the rare times that I cringe and think, "Okay, I had fun. But what did I do? Oh wait. Nothing. I know what I did. No horrific memories or missing memories. Okay. Everything's okay. That was genuine fun. Okay, I'm good!" *exhale*

    I sometimes have a knee-jerk reflex to try to attach that old morning-after guilt, remorse, and shame to having fun and I'm so grateful it's just an old reflex that will die out eventually, and not my way of life anymore. I hope that makes sense. Wishing you peace and fun this weekend.

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  15. Congrats on your upcoming year! I have just over 5 months and I can so relate to your story. I too had a high bottom and while I'm thankful I don't have any "Horror" stories, I almost wish I did because it'd make me 100% sure I needed to stop. Quitting early leaves that little bit of doubt...even though I *know* I needed to stop.

    I too had more of a moral hangover - I didn't so much make an ass out of myself but rather didn't like how I acted when I drank and didn't like how unpredictable my drinking would be.

    I'm a SAHM so it's hard for me to get out, but when I do I hit AA mtgs but socially I try and plan dinners with my friends - that is easier to not drink b/c of driving, etc. I still need to find good replacements for unwinding - reading a book or watching tv just isn't always as much fun as drinking! But I try and remember where a drink would lead.

    Thanks for your honesty - you are not alone!

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