Thursday, April 26, 2012

Two Days Sober


Submitted by Imogen, who blogs over at  imogen2012.blogspot.co.uk


I don't drink.

Reading people's stories on forums yesterday made me think that perhaps my drinking habits are not that bad. The stories didn't shock me - although they did make me sad - but they did give me a moment's pause: I don't physically or mentally abuse people, I don't get violent, I don't lose jobs, marriages, yell at my kids, etc.

Then I began thinking: 

I don't have kids – they would have got in the way of my drinking career

I'm only recently married at age 43 – previous boyfriends didn't want to stick around to witness the sideshow that was my life

I couldn't lose friendships – my 'friends' were all heavy drinkers

I didn’t lose jobs – my career has gone nowhere because I was happy to 'get by' in roles with little responsibility because I was always too hungover to deal with anything more senior

I don't abuse my nearest and dearest – I essentially cut myself off from the positive and happy people in my life in order to drink.

Alcohol has been the most significant relationship in my life.

In my twenties, every social event was reviewed as to whether it was alcohol-friendly, e.g., if a friend invited me for coffee I would generally make excuses not to go. If they asked me to meet them at the pub, however, I was the first one there! Even going to the cinema was off limits because I couldn't take a bottle of wine in with me.

In my thirties, I still reviewed some activities by alcohol availability, but I was generally more willing to go out because I had a cunning solution! I would be sociable and happy at dinners with family and friends just having a glass of wine or two, then I would get home and the real, heavy drinking would begin. This is when the secrecy, and consequently the shame, really began to take hold. 

Now in my early forties, the pain of living with the shame is finally greater than the perceived pain of living without alcohol. It has been so draining on every level to maintain my excessive drinking and I don’t have the energy for it anymore. To be honest, I think it will be easier and will take less energy to not drink than it was to live with the constant daily struggle of self-loathing and fear.

I need to wake up not hating myself

I need to stop wondering what the hell I am punishing myself for

I need to be the person I’ve always wanted to be, but was too scared to let the world see

I need to treat myself as I treat someone I really care about.


26 comments:

  1. Two days marks a start. Keep at it and soon it will be a week. Then more. One day, one hour, one minute at a time some moments, but strung together equal success.

    Good luck to you as you embark on this new journey.

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  2. You GO girl!! You nailed it!!! Totally been there.

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  3. You are where I was when I decided to stop drinking. I was more tired of the pain than I was afraid of living without alcohol, though that was a very real fear. And what all sober people tell you is true...life gets even better than you could have imagined and certainly better than when you were drinking. Over time, you won't miss drinking.

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    1. I could have written this myself - totally agree with all of it. Well said!

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  4. One day at a time was the hardest concept for me to live with. try AA and you won't have to go it alone.

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  5. So many of us are in the same boat, and hopefully was can paddle ourselve's back to shore.

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  6. I think we have all been where you are - congratulations on your two days of sobriety! Take things one day at a time - don't think, "Oh no, how can I not EVER drink again???" Just think, "For today, I will not drink." Maybe try finding a good women's AA group in your area so you can make some friends who are sober. They will help you more than you can even know. Hang in there - life is much better on this side of things!

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  7. Congratulations on Day 2. I don't know if this is your first Day 2, if it is, it probably won't be your last. I have years of Day 1's and Day 2's and Day 15's, I am now on Day 238. I hope I never have another Day 2, but if I do, at least it will mean that I still haven't given up. And that is the most important thing, Do Not Give Up! When you fall, you get back up and you start over and you keep going until you fall less and less until finally your able to walk without stumbling. You can do this. You deserve a good life, you don't deserve to be a drunk.

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    1. I really like your response. I'm on my day 4 for at least 4 times since I got real serious about wanting to stop drinking and being drunk that was Feb 5, 2012. I hate the way I feel the next morning after drinking and I love how I feel when I'm going to bed sober. I'm trying to remember to only worry about tomorrow when it becomes today. One day at a time too much into the future scares me and makes me feel like a failure.

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    2. If you'd like to read about all my Day 1 and 2's and all my stumbles and getting back ups I have a blog http://godwalkedintothisbar.blogspot.mx/ . It's a long hard journey but you learn from every bump in the road and the road gets smoother the further you go.

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    3. I would love too! Thanks for sharing all of this is making my journey easier and it makes believe this is possible for me when at times I never believed it would or could be.

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  8. Simply beautiful and familiar at the same time. You said more in your essay than I could say in a novel.

    You don't have to do this alone. There are millions of us out here recovering and we can't do it without sharing what was given to us; a fellowship of acceptance, shared experiences, and most of all HOPE. If you look for us near the beginning of the phone book, you'll find us. And I hope you will join us on this amazing journey.

    You do not have to suffer sober.

    Peace and blessings to you and thank you for your courage and honesty. xo

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  9. I have such hope for you! Time to let go of the shame and self-loathing. Now you can breathe....

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    1. I don't know how you do it, but you so get it. Thank you.

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  10. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and comments. They mean more to me than you could know. Or you probably do know. You've been there too. Today is day 4 and I'm feeling fantastic but i will hold onto and cherish these offerings for those times when I need them x

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  11. Glad you are still going strong! Four days is awesome.

    I can completely relate to this post. I definitely passed on non-drinking events. Alcohol was everything to me until it turned on me. It took time for me to accept that things had turned bad and I couldn't go back. So sobriety is a better choice for me now.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  12. boy, do I recognize myself in this. I mostly didn't even realize I was doing it, this filtering, though occasionally it would bubble to the surface in fully articulated form. Like, I was trying but failing to get pregnant, and I'd think, maybe this wouldn't be so bad, because then I could drink as much as I wanted. But then I'd stuff that back down and ignore it.

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  13. I'm on day 8121. that happeneded one day at a time. It IS simpler. It's just not easy. I go to AA meetings. They help me. They might help you too. Good Luck!

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  14. I hope you have added to your days! I am on 40 months, going on 41. I totally relate with not wanting to wake up hating myself. The self loathing and making deals with God almost drove.me.crazy. Very literally.

    Hang in there.
    there IS hope~

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  15. I read all these comments every day because they really help. I can't thank you enough for your support and wisdom. It also helps to write everyday and now I've woken up to day 6 of sobriety. It has been a rollercoaster week but mainly ace.
    Ellie deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for creating this site. What a lifesaver.

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  16. day 2 for me and i feel so tired but these posts make me look forward to what lies down the path of sobriety.

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  17. I commented somewhere on your blog recently. Can't find it now. Perhaps because I was under the influence at the time.
    Anyway today is my day one. You've inspired me. thanks.

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    1. Well done on day one! I'm proud of you, keep in touch. You can do this x

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  18. I hope you are still sober. My second day was May 3, 2007. I was in a hospital. I have over five years uninterrupted sobriety. I no longer hide from the world. I no longer loath myself. I'm working and learning again. My life is not perfect. So whose life is? Don't drink today. That's 90% of my program. If you are not sober, try again. It's worth it.

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