Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Struggling in Very Early Sobriety.

***Submitted by Anonymous

A note from Ellie: I received this submission last week, and since that time she has started over again at Day 1 yesterday.  I've been there, and I can totally relate to struggling like this - just trying to put some days together.  It's so hard, and any words of comfort and advice are so welcome.  Thank you.

Sitting here contemplating getting a drink. 


For the simple reason it's Friday night and this is my "me" time. 

But I've gone 3 days - I know, big deal, but I don't want to fail this time :( 

I'm sick of it. 

Although my last night of drinking wasn't a rock bottom by any means for me. I'd had 2 glasses of wine, watched the finale of a show and off to bed I went, feeling perfectly fine.

However the Sunday previous to that was one of my typical, I remember up to so much. Being at a friends house for dinner but the next thing remembering taking my jewelery off to go to bed and then waking up is not a good thing. 

I mean, it's a 90 minute ride home! Hubby never mentioned it, as usual, but I know he's disappointed in me yet again. 

I have the typical questions everyone that has a problem with alcohol has - why can't I just have a couple drinks and be fine with that? 

Some days I can, but others I can't, and those are the days I hate. 

I figure writing here is helping, lets me see what a mess I've made of things. I looked back on my blogs from last year when I "quit forever" - or at least the 70 days I made it through  and I swore it was going to be it then, yet here I am again.............

I can't promise how long this will last, I know I want it to, but I just don't know if I have it in me.


  1. You can do it. I know you can. I have faith in your strength even when you don't. If writing helps you then write-to Ellie, to me, to anyone who can give you what you need to help you get thru the moment.

    Some moments are like that-hard to get thru but you only have to get thru them one at a time.

    Stay strong, the life on the other side is what you want for yourself. We can help you get there.

    Hugging you thru the etherspace as II was hugged and supported when I quit.

    We are here for you.

  2. Rereading your post brought me this question again and so I feel led to respond to it.
    "Why can't [you] have a few drinks like normal people ?~!"

    Well, WE have a disease that people who can have a few drinks and be content don't have.

    I can't even take communion in a faith that uses real wine or I am off the wagon and into the gutter; good thing I am not religious like that, huh?

    We just CAN'T, cuz we are not healthy enough to have a drink and not lose our sobriety.

    We can do other things: Eat reasonably and responsibly; Drive our cars safely and sanely; Return our library books and videos on time; Keep our homes clean and organized for our families; Express our feelings in an adult fashion; Grow our gardens.

    Lots of people can['t do those things consistently and correctly but maybe you can. So we let them have a couple drinks and be ok and we grocery shop and cook like we own that goodness. It all evens out in the end.

    Come, join the group of us who have supported each other and been able to sustain sobriety. You can do it. I know you can. Email me if you want to. I'll answer you and we can be email pals if you like. I can always use a new friend.

  3. "Me" time. "Some days I can and others I can't." "Why can't I..." Yep, yep, yep. Totally relate. We keep trying, and failing, and asking. In truth, we are just different, so we have to accept it. We learn to redesign our "me time" so that it is still something just for us but doesn't include drinking a poison to feel sophisticated or numb out. We relieve ourselves of all of that trying and questioning. We get pissed off when we can't just do what we always did, but we remember why we wanted to get off the merry-go-round. Posting here tells me that you want off. And we're here to catch you. xo

  4. Everyone always says the beginning is the hardest time and if you can grit your teeth, buy a punching bag, extra rubber gloves for cleaning (cleaning hard out between 5-7pm is what got me through the early stages), lots of delicious food, extra music, books WHATEVER to get you through a few weeks I promise after that things will start to smooth out a bit and you will begin to see what life without alcohol can do for you. For your self esteem, for your contentment, for your sleep, for your skin, for your loved ones. Grit through this early part do whatever it takes .. it can be done, it can be done, it can be done. xxxx

  5. I so agree with everyone but especially Mrs. D. Find something that occupies the cocktail hour. Clean, read, eat (this is NOT the time to worry about calories - chocolate is your friend), crochet, run...whatever it takes.

    Start the journey on a Monday because by Friday you'll already have several days in and going back with seem less like an option.

    Find an AA meeting and GO. It doesn't hurt. If you don't like it you don't have to go back.

    Read blogs and comment. You're welcome to read mine but there are a lot of other really good ones out there as well. This community is a wonderful resource and they will get you through A LOT of hard times. Use them.

    Make a list of why you want to stay sober and post it in several different places around the house. On the fridge, in the car, keep a copy in your wallet where your cash is (in case you find yourself in line buying booze). These reasons will be the ones that carry you through the bad times...make them visible.

    Above all - believe in yourself. You can do this. You really, really can. And once you are on the other side you'll know why you need to stay there.


  6. You can do this, WE can do this. I had 120 days. I got comfortable thinking I had this under control. "I can have a few drinks, here and there." Nope. Right back to where I started. A drink making dinner. A drink to help me to relax. A drink to celebrate. A drink because I'm sad. I am a professional who has never missed a day because of a hangover, happy, well dressed, mom, wife, etc. etc. I am a functional alcoholic. I hate those words but it is true, and since this relapse, I believe it now. No more denial. I cannot have just one drink.
    I found this blog by accident and I love it, I need it. Thank you everyone for sharing, keep sharing. You have all helped me to say....this is day 1 AGAIN.

  7. Nice to meet you! And I'm glad you're here!

    I was that type of drunk. Could have the appropriate two glasses of wine and be done. Next time out, its never enough. I could go weeks and not drink. Random. Very unpredictable. Consequently, I set out for decades to try and get "this thing" - drink like my peers, normally?!! It is , after all, the goal of every alcoholic.

    Until we fully SURRENDER with an outspoken understanding that WE ARE ALCOHOLICS - therefore, we may not drink. ever. Not one! It is the hardest part of recovery and we all arrive there in different ways and at different times - we, that is, who embrace a program of sober living.

    Frankly, I did not need help to stop drinking - I really didn't.
    I NEEDED HELP LIVING. I was not capable, or lacking the skills required to "deal" with life - which, as you know, can throw a curve ball when we least expect it. Today I have those skills, tools, and more importantly, I KNOW WHO I AM and its good, its really good and I like where I have come and what I have accomplished.

    Don't over think this - you do not have to wake up again wondering how to piece together those missing hours. Feeling that tension between you and your loved ones. If I were going to guess, to read between the lines - I would speculate your husband has tendencies to be codependant and it may be linked to having grown up with an alcoholic. A guess,, but it makes sense for his seemingly passive approach.

    Once you have FULLY let go and accepted your disease , there are endless resources out here for you to get support. This part canNOT be done alone. It sounds like you do not have any serious consequences , , , , yet.

    I would beg you to recognize that your luck will run out. If we continue drinking, the outcome is bleak and none of us escape the negative consequences for long. There are millions of us who have gone before you. Read, listen, read,, listen listen . . then surrender and eestablish your own program of effective recovery.

    Sobriety is amazing, rewarding, beautiful, serene, and DOABLE !!!

    Keep the faith my friend,

  8. I'm so glad you came and shared where you are. What I can tell you is that I got sober when I'd just had enough of the day-to-day soul-rotting fear. But there were many years I was sick of my drinking, but I wasn't ready or willing to do what I needed to do to get sober. But it took every last drink to get me to that point. I was broken and desperate when I'd finally had enough. If you start to feel that way, you'll know. I hope you'll keep sharing where you are and find some inspiration in all the brave souls that walk this path with us. Sending love and understanding.

  9. I relate to your dilemma... if this is helpful at all, I have finally come to see some differences in the language I was using... "quitting" and "stopping" lead me back .... quitting has a negative connotation. Stopping... well think of it this way: when you stop at a stop sign, you go again!! I now think of not drinking as an ENDING OF DRINKING and, more importantly, A NEW BEGINNING. Honestly, I don't feel great YET which is suprising but sobering : ) I now know it is temporary. Booze Free Brigade, literature on people getting sober (try Ellie's "Let Me Get This Straight") has been so helpful to me in the last few weeks. Get support, from family, friends, therapist, meetings. read read read... you will find yourself "there". blessings to you.

    1. You have all been amazing! Sarah, Lisa and Dawn!
      December 5 was not my Day 1.......I hate this disease. The first time I quit, I had been to the doctor. I have high blood pressure that is controlled through medication. It was still so high he could not figure out why. I had to come clean and tell him my "little secret". It was the first time I admitted it to anyone, including myself. So 120 days started that day. I got a little overconfident after that and thought I had "licked this thing" . I could have just one and be done. NOPE. So here I am back to my old habits. I woke up last night with "soul rotting fear". Heart palpatations, sweaty. I think this has to be day 1 again. I have a winetasting party tomorrow night. I don't even like wine!!!!! Is it day 1 today or on Sunday? Help......I know what the answer is, I just feel so weak right now.

    2. Me again...I have to figure out how to put my name on these. My name is Jan!!!!

  10. Boy, I can relate. One of the gifts of sobriety for me is to be free from the should I/shouldn't I, Can I/why can't I, will I/won't I debates. The disease of alcoholism is insidious. I was like you, some days I could manage a glass or two of wine and some days I couldn't remember tucking my kids into bed. Once I surrendered -- admitted I was an alcoholic and would never drink, like a normal person, things shifted. It isn't easy but it is very simple. One day at a time, don't drink. It will get easier and easier and soon the mental obsession will let up, the "debates" will stop and you'll have a sober life that is beyond your dreams. It is so worth it. Sending love and hope.

  11. I hate the debates! Thanks Alisun for another great insight . I think my first attempt was done without supports, replacement activities for my drinking hours, and people to talk to. We are new to this community. My husband accepted a job position here. We knew no one and have never been here before.
    Away from all my family, alone. And my father was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Alcohol was my stress reliever. The "I deserve this time" reasoning. I feel a different attitude coming this time. Wish me luck!

  12. Hi Jan,

    I really feel for you - I've never decided to quit before now, I have just one baby week of sobriety under my belt. I too have high blood pressure which has left countless doctor's scratching their heads ("you're clearly fit and healthy... this doesn't make any sense").

    I hope we can do this thing together! I have been listening to the bubble hour, and they highly recommend the booze free brigade on yahoo, I'm still to check it out. Maybe that's another avenue for you.

    Thanks for writing your post - the responses you have received have been really helpful for me, too. Dawn, your quote: "I needed help living", really speaks to me.

    IT's so great being able to come back here -Back in April this year was when I first began stalking these pages (I even started my own blog on the subject). But I have been in the desert for the past 8 months, proving to myself once and for all that I really can't be a moderate drinking as much as I might wish to be).

    Now I'm ready, I feel like I have a full arsenal of tools at my disposal - thanks to Ellie and all the contributors here...

  13. Hi Jan,

    The struggle before the surrender...that was the worst part for me. I struggled with many attempts to moderate and justify and rationalize my drinking. I recently read something someone wrote about their attempts to "moderate" which was to keep it to "only" one bottle of wine a night. I could so relate, as I can to what you have said. Why can't you be the kind of person that stops at one or two? Honestly, you've already figured out you're not that person. And don't worry if that makes you pissed. I was, too, for the longest time! I think anger at not being a "normal" drinker is part of the healing process of this disease. In time, the anger and the obsession to drink fade. For real.

    With an in-person recovery community (AA for me), therapy, on-line sober blogs and the BFB (booze free brigade) group, I have climbed out of my isolation and have found the strength to tackle my alcoholism one day at a time. I'm coming on 13 months of sobriety and do not forget how hard it was the first few months. I still reach out and am vigilant as I KNOW I am only one drink away from a relapse. This is a fact I no longer need to test. There is help and hope and you are not alone. You have a lot on your plate. Reaching out is so awesome...please keep doing it! Christine