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Ups, downs and headaches…

We went to a lunch with friends and kids where everyone was drinking. I was a bit worried about the hassle factor but everyone was fairly chilled about it and I had one chat with a couple of girlfriends about me not drinking and that was it. I wasn’t bothered, didn’t feel left out, no cravings this time. The only thing I did notice was how civilised the drinking was. The wine was flowing but nobody was knocking it back like I would have been! There was a 2 hour delay with the food. I would have been hammered and not given a shit about the delay but no one seemed to use this as an excuse to neck more alcohol?

Here’s how I used to approach a social drinking session…

If it was a lunchtime session, I wouldn’t have anything to drink before kick off. The craving would niggle at me, not enough to drink at home at lunchtime before leaving but instead I would literally count the hours until the drinking started. I would be that excited…how sad is that?

I would reward myself for not drinking at home by having the first couple of drinks in very quick succession and if my husband was around to help with the kids there would be no stopping me. Very rarely would I actually plan to get drunk, but inevitably I would end up drinking way too much and not remembering the end of the party. I wouldn’t care about anything else but the wine and refilling my glass again and again. If we got home before the end of the day, I would either have to continue drinking into the evening or go to bed whatever the time as that was the only way to stop the desire for another drink.

An evening social session would definitely begin with a few warm up wines, one in the bath, another with make-up. I think if I could have gotten away with one in the cab, I’d have done that too, anything to avoid stopping once I’d started!  Again, once underway, I would forget all other rules that I had chatted to myself about. I would shove my sensible self to one side and ignore my own advice to take it easy. Wine, wine and more wine, I couldn’t turn it down and once it was flowing I didn’t have a care in the world. Nothing else mattered, sweet abandonment, longed for escapism, liquid courage, I loved it and I thought it loved me. I never wanted it to end. More often than not, I wouldn’t be in control of how it would end. There are so many mornings that I woke up in my bed with absolutely no idea how I got there. I count myself lucky that I am usually in the company of such sensible, caring friends that they always poured me into a cab or got me a lift home. Good job no one was ever as drunk as me! There are evenings that I still have black outs from because I was just too embarrassed to ask (again!) what had happened.

 So, we ate, some people drank, one guy drank a lot. The food was nice. I had a good time chatting and about an hour after I’d had enough (I need to work on that!) we left. I drove (yippee, love that) had some tea and watched a movie at home before going to bed sober and happy that I’d enjoyed it and hadn’t felt weird or flat about it at all.

The rest of my holiday involves spending time with family members that I don’t see that often and I am getting a bit stressed about it. I have been trying to avoid doing too much that stresses me but after a couple of months it’s not possible to keep avoiding family. I didn’t know I was stressed about it but I had a headache for a couple of days and after a row with my husband over nothing really, I had a mini meltdown about it. I am really struggling with coming out of my shell…I don’t even know that I am struggling, but the headaches seem to indicate when I am not quite right. Shouting, crying, then talking seems to help. Thank God for my husband, who bears the brunt of my stressing and supportively listens to my ramblings. Once we’ve talked, I always feel better, I just don’t seem to have the ability to see it coming?

I thought that when I took the booze away, I would simply have to find the strength to fight the cravings. I didn’t realise quite how gentle I would have to be with myself. I was comfortable in the drinking and all about me phase, when the end result was my pain and self loathing. But putting myself first, doesn’t come easily to this girl who is more partial to a lot of mind numbing and self battering.   Luckily, I have my lovely husband, this blog and all of you to remind me that it’s ok to frustrated even when it’s not about wine directly. Ups and downs, nothing worth drinking over, especially not when you’ve got eighty friggin’ days!!




5 thoughts on “Ups, downs and headaches…

  1. I find it so interesting to watch others drink now that I’m sober. They never drink as much as I would have! It’s wonderful that you recognize the signs your body is telling you about tension. Your body never lies. Keep being gentle with yourself and congratulations on 80 days!

  2. “I wouldn’t care about anything else but the wine and refilling my glass again and again. If we got home before the end of the day, I would either have to continue drinking into the evening or go to bed whatever the time as that was the only way to stop the desire for another drink.”

    Oh boy. This is so me too. I wouldn’t really care about anything but the wine and once I left I would have had to either get more or pass out. Fun.

    Isn’t it funny how some sober nights out are just fine? Others are not and it can be hard to predict beforehand which way it will go. I think it’s a combination of factors – the company, the setting, how we’re feeling etc. It’s also interesting how you really notice that a lot of people simply don’t drink how we did and the ones that do really stand out.

    I think it’s great you’re being gentle with yourself. You really need to be. Keep that up as much as you can even with the family stress. I hope it all goes ok. Remember that with every stress overcome without drinking you are also gaining more sober muscle.

    80 days? WHOO HOO!!!!

    Rock on to 100 my friend!

    Lilly x

  3. “Very rarely would I actually plan to get drunk” – yup, very true! How many times was it “just one drink…one drink won’t kill ya” kind of mentality going on in our minds? That was the alcoholism talking. And of course, as we all know so well, there is no such thing as one drink. Ever. Not for me at least 🙂

    It’s funny how we all drank in similar ways. The circumstances may have been different, but that wanting, wanting, wanting more, more, more….that never changes. Ugh. Reading this post got me tired…the kind of tired I used to get thinking the whole day about my drinking and how I would get my next drink. I am glad those days are over.

    Congrats on your 80 days! 🙂


  4. Oh yeah you are describing me exactly.. same sort of drinking… I was never that keen on lunch time drinking because as you say it would have to stop and then kind of start again.. or continue on and get waaaay to sloppy and messy. Loving that you are becoming aware of the need to be gentle on yourself.. that is what sobriety has been all about for me. I like to think of my sobriety as a lovely snuggly warm blanket that I wrap around myself .. it’s a very private place and we must treat ourselves with the respect and love that we deserve. Great post. Loving your writing, thanks for sharing xxxx

  5. Wow. I think I could’ve written this myself. I used to love lunch dates because it gave me an excuse to start drinking earlier in the day. And, like you, much of my drinking was about escaping real life. I just wanted to fade away – which I did on a regular basis. I too was always the one being shoveled into cars by much sober friends – or my husband. When I first got sober, it was like getting to know a completely new person – I had no idea who I really was without alcohol. You’re so right – you need to be kind and gentle to yourself. Excited to find your blog! Great post! Look forward to following your journey!

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