I am still here, still sober and happy to report that it’s still ok, definitely more positives than negatives, totally worth it. I get passing thoughts of wine here and there but I bat them away. Occasionally, I have a bout of woe is me…not being able to join in the “fun”, but it’s nothing that I have to majorly wrestle with. Time is passing, life is good. Ups and downs nothing eventful. All of this is a result of the commitment to not drinking, knowing there is no room for compromise and the continuing acceptance that it just isn’t right for me anymore. Maybe it’s forever, maybe not…I don’t ponder on that too often. Instead I keep doing what’s been working for me. Reading about people in recovery, nodding my head, taking the advice. I keep up to date with the blogs I have always read because this reminds me that I am where I need to be. It’s time consuming and I sometimes want to take a break from the thinking about not drinking but I know when I do that…this stops working so well and the doubts and the voice starts to creep back in.
There are a couple of things that on my mind.
The first is ( and this one is dangerous!)…
Was I ever really that bad?
The further I have gotten away from my chaotic drinking life, I am having trouble recalling exactly why I quit. This doesn’t mean that I think it was a hasty decision or an overreaction, just I can’t remember exactly what it was that pushed me far enough to the edge to stop? I have loads of bad memories from the binge drinking nights where I was mortified the next day at my behaviour. I am still disgusted at the nights where there are huge black holes towards the end of the evening where I blacked out. I was often too scared to ask the next day what had happened. I remember the numerous drives to work following a work do, and the feeling of dread at the recount of the evening I would be subjected to when I arrived, or my relief if nothing was mentioned and then I could finally stop feeling the guilt and shame at the unrecalled drunken behaviour.
But, other people that I am surrounded by are still behaving this way? I am not partaking anymore and I am avoiding these evenings like I promised myself I would. But when I hear them reliving the evening with the stories of the wine, the shots, the dancing, the singing, the funny drunken antics, I am filled with worry that perhaps this is normal behaviour, once in a while?? Ok, for me it pretty much guaranteed to end in the drunken, embarrassing way but this is still pretty acceptable behaviour on a night out?
It just makes me feel a bit precious when I say, “oh I don’t want to do that any more” or “I just felt like I’d had enough of overindulging all the time and behaving like someone’s’ drunken auntie, I am getting too old for that”
I feel like a bit of a fraud…in not being totally honest with people. Because I didn’t hit rock bottom as people see it, there must have still been time for me to have saved myself. Time to hit the rewind button on my drinking. Cut down etc, why give up completely, that is so drastic!
Without admitting to them that I have the disease of alcoholism and I think I did a mighty fine job to have realised it and gotten help before it was too late.
The second thing is and this relates to the above…
Do I really need to put so much emphasis on my recovery?
Even calling it recovery makes me feel like a fraud. Like because I didn’t do detox or rehab, I don’t deserve it. I am having a hard time with allowing myself to wallow in it. I know that I need to be kind to myself and expect it from others too, especially my family who sort of get what I am doing. I am trying to protect myself from triggers, situations, people, etc who might make me feel weak or bad and in turn crave a drink to get over upsetting emotions. I am spending time working on myself and doing the things that are good for me and my mind, like running, the gym, reading, meditating.
It’s just that it feels like I am exaggerating the whole situation and this is connected to the whole, if I wasn’t that bad and hadn’t sunk that low, then surely I must need a less intense method of recovery?
It occurs to me that while you might not need the detox etc for the physical addition aspect, the mental side of it seems to require the same amount of intense effort to overcome whether you have a high or low bottom. I am finding that hard to get to grips with and without “coming out” I am not sure, long term, how to keep getting the support that I need or how to stay on track?
It’s not something I am panicked about, it is just something that I need to get my head round.
But for today, all is good. Off to a Summer party and totally not bothered about not drinking. Oh the boredom of worrying if the wine will be decent, will there be enough, is it rude to refill my glass again, where is the host? , let’s go home where I can drink however much I like!
Happy Sunny Sunday