Painful truths

Today one of my students gave a speech about how she escaped her abusive alcoholic mother. She was proud and determined as she spoke. She does not want to be pitied, she simply wants to tell her story. She kept referring to her mother clutching her ‘poison’ and how this demon took her mother away and left someone who just wanted to die. Her words brought back the memory of feeling the iron fingers of alcohol clutching around my freedom.

I have cried so much today. I have cried for my courageous and inspirational student, for her poor mother who is still battling with her terrible disease and has lost her children, and with utter total gratefulness for being sober.

Thank you sober community, everyday is precious and I will never forget to be grateful.

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Ducks in a row.

My dad has always said that you need to have all of your ducks lined up in a row before you can achieve something. I told some more friends about stopping drinking and it feels a bit like my ducks are all lining up.

I haven’t had a drink for 61 days. This is the longest that I have ever had without a drink since I started drinking regularly which was about 18 years ago. The crazy thing is that right now, I don’t want a drink; the thought of getting drunk and having a hangover fills me with cold dread. And because I’ve had a relapse by slipping into the net of thinking that I can moderate and realising that I most definitely can’t, I am absolutely okay with the knowledge that I can’t have ‘just one drink’.

I never ever thought that I would be thinking this way. I have found my freedom and I am damn well hanging on to it tooth and nail.

Telling people

Yesterday I told my best friend that I’d stopped drinking. It’s taken me eight weeks to work up the courage to do this. This is the woman who has carried me home many a time, held my hair while I vomited and even had to call an ambulance following a particularly over excited jump off the bed incident which resulted in me headbutting the wardrobe and knocking myself out. I have been very worried that she would think I was being over emotional and poo poo my sober decision. I know this sounds utterly ridiculous but it’s the truth and part of my sobriety commitment is to the truth.

Of course though, she was fabulous and listened to me explain that I felt that I wasn’t entirely in control of alcohol and so therefore it was time to stop. She said that it was a great decision and she was really impressed that I had taken this step.

I am too.

Finding my sober stride.

I’ve been a bit negligent of my blog recently. My husband has been away on work and it’s been manically busy with the kids and work. I have been keeping up with reading sober blogs to make sure that the little devil voice doesn’t convince me that I’m ‘fiiiine, totally cool to drink.’ The first night on my own was a bit of a struggle but the feeling of waking up sober and knowing what I would have felt like was definitely enough to keep my resolve for the rest of the week until he got home.

My small sober steps are starting to become more confident strides. It’s such an enlightening feeling. A friend is coming down to my town for a holiday soon and she has put the call out for a boozy night out. For once, the butterflies of panic didn’t start up in my stomach as I know that I can manage staying sober while still having a good time. I know that it will still be challenging and I will have to be vigilant and use my sober tool box. But, I can do it, I will do it and I will be fine.

I still look at other people and their ‘normal’ drinking and feel sadness that I’m not one of them, but I have an acceptance that I’m not a normal drinker and therefore I can’t ever be one of them. It’s okay, it’s just how it is and I can’t fight it. Being sober is awesome and the best decision I’ve ever made.

Trigger trigger trigger, bugger milo will have to do.

My dearest husband is away on work for a week. A whole week!! What a trigger indeed. I can remember various times that he has been away where I’ve happily imbibed a whole lot more than I would were he there.

But of course, now I don’t drink.

So on the way home from dropping him at the airport, I didn’t stop and buy a couple of bottles of red. But oh my god, I thought about it. And then while I was bathing the children I imagined that there was a big glass of red waiting upstairs for me to sink onto the sofa with.

ARRRGGGGHHHH.

So here I am on the sofa with chocolate, milo and a stupid movie.

Determined mindset.

I’m at day 41. I can’t quite believe how quickly the time is going. But, at the same time, I can believe it’s been this long because that dastardly drinking voice is back, having successfully wiped all the terrible memories and whispering how lush a nice red would be…. just about…. now.

I had lunch at my bestie’s house today with another friend. This is the third time that I have been in a social situation with them and not drunk alcohol.

“What do you want to drink?” She asked us after we arrived. “I’ve got a lovely cold reisling and half a bottle of pinot grigio or beer?”

The sun was beating in and birds twittered in the trees outside. You can picture it, can’t you? “Oooh the reisling sounds good,” my other friend replied.

“I’ll have a sparkling water thanks.” I said.

You see, I still haven’t told her that I’ve stopped drinking. This sounds ridiculous but a large part of our relationship has been built around being drinking buddies for the last 20 or so years. I know that she’ll be more than understanding but I still can’t quite work out the best time to tell her. I don’t want her partner to be there, but I also don’t want to tell her during a quick lunch on a workday. And, in all honesty, I’m a bit nervous that she’ll feel sorry for me. ARGGH the ups and downs of this blasted no drinking!!

On the drive home, I thought long and hard about giving up drinking. The voice whispered to me that it’s been six weeks (SIX WEEKS!!) which obviously shows that a glass now won’t hurt. But as I watched my friends put away a bottle of wine with lunch (and who knows how much more after I left), I knew in my soul that one glass is enough to pull me right back in and send me back to the beginning.

So, I must now go and read the start of my blog, remind myself of the anguish and pain and why I stopped drinking and then make myself a nice blackcurrant fizz to settle onto the sofa with.

No alcohol in my life. None. Kaput. Over.