Fun While It Lasted…

Not to worry, still sober, just not feeling terribly enthusiastic about it today. The freshness and excitement of a new activity, in my case sobriety, has started to dull a bit on Day 11. I craved the relaxation of a nice glass (bottle) of wine (vodka). I fantasized about downing shot after shot as the world gradually melted around the edges. Then I did the unthinkable, I forced myself to finish the fantasy – to play it out to the natural conclusion, and it went something like this:

6pm – Get that first strong drink down and feel the tension melt away as if by magic.

8pm – Begin slurring and stumbling in front of the children.

9pm – Overshare on Facebook.

10pm – Make ill-advised internet purchases.

11pm – Pass out with a moderate case of the spins.

3am – Wake up with a full bladder, headache, and dry mouth. Stumble to bathroom. Chug full glass of water. Lay awake awash in shame and regret.

4am – Still awake. Have to pee again. Somehow still thirsty. Damn water.

5am – Realize I won’t be falling asleep. Take Ibuprofen. More water. Check news on phone. Trump is still president. Fuck.

6am – Fall back asleep.

6:30am – Alarm goes off. Hit snooze 7 times. Hate myself.

7am – Lie in bed although it is becoming alarmingly late and will most likely be late to work. Open phone and see several Facebook notifications. Have vague memory of posting. Check post. Nearly die of embarrassment. Delete post and hope everyone else on feed was also drunk and doesn’t remember.

7:30am – Jump suddenly out of bed realizing the time. Get lightheaded. Sit back down. Through on stretchy work pants and cardigan. Hair in ponytail. Makeup will have to be done en route.

8am – Hate myself and swear I’m never drinking again while sitting in miserable traffic.

9am – Coworkers ask if I’m well. I murmur vague excuse about having a headache while sipping Gatorade. No one is fooled.

12pm – Check bank account. See unknown charges. Become detective to see what Drunk Me bought. Wonder why Drunk Me thought I needed a box of baked cheese snacks and a sweater for the cat.

2pm – Start craving a glass (bottle) of wine (vodka).

6pm – Rinse and repeat.

Am I really willing to give up nearly 11 days of sobriety for a fleeting moment of “relaxation” just to fall back into the miserable cycle? That’s what addiction does to the mind. The beginning almost seems easier, because the pain of the addiction is fresh and real. The further out you get from the acute withdrawal the less it seems like a big deal. The wine witch creeps in and starts whispering.

Maybe I’m overreacting? Surely I can drink on occasion. I’m not a real alcoholic. It wasn’t really that bad. I just needed to recalibrate. I’m fine now. Just one glass. Just one more glass. I’ve earned it.

No. I’ve earned sobriety. I deserve to be the best version of myself I can be. I’ve shed too much blood, sweat, and tears building my career and getting my education to pickle my brain and risk my job. My family deserves to have me fully present. I’ve taken the classes. I’ve read the books. I’ve survived the days of early withdrawal. I’ve have hundreds of Day 1’s and I’ve failed every. damn. time. And maybe I’ll fail again, but not today.

Day 9 – Well, Here I Am

Yes, that title is a bit confusing, particularly as this is obviously my first blog post. It is, however, my 9th day of sobriety. I had my last alcoholic beverage on December 28th, 2018 and I have no intention of looking back. I’m tired of it – tired of the 3am guilt, tired of the dehydrated mornings, tired of the space alcohol takes up in my brain. I think about it from the moment I get up (regretting my weakness from the night before and promising to make a change) until the time I pass out at night (after a bottle or 2 of wine and several Amazon purchases I will not remember in the morning). So, I’m making a change and putting my journey on the internet for some added accountability.

This isn’t something I feel like I can share in “real life” due to the nature of my career. I am a social worker by education and in management at a large nonprofit organization. I literally work with people needing addiction treatment and have helped many clients down the path to sobriety, followed by going home and downing a bottle of wine just to “cope” with the stress. It takes a special level of cognitive dissonance to be an overly-enthusiastic drinker while in this field, but I am nothing if not the master of excusing my own behavior. Yes, I drink more than the guidelines, but those are only guidelines, suggestions really. I can do it all! I can raise a family, manage a household, work full-time, complete my doctorate, and drink everyone under the table while doing it! I’ve earned the right to relax at the end of a hard day (and during a normal day, and all day on the weekends…).

The truth is I’m a big old hypocrite. How can I teach others what I am unwilling to implement in my own life? How can I dispense wisdom about mindfulness, healthy coping mechanisms, and living your truth when I shamefully drown my stress and anxiety with alcohol. So here I am. I’m looking forward to the journey (and scared shitless).