I really struggled from the start of the family holiday to be honest. Eeverywhere I looked people were happily drinking champagne, wine or beers. I used to really like to lap it up at a time like this (alcoholic + free booze = party time!) Really, I would go for it with no thoughts at all of how crappy, dehydrated and hungover I was going to feel. This was a huge trigger for me and one that I didn’t anticipate. I think for a very tiny moment, I contemplated having some wine and just throwing it all away in the name of the holiday and resetting my counter when I returned. You see how even then I knew that I would have Day 1 to face all over again, because I don’t even entertain the idea of managing to moderate. I have see the light there and I won’t fool myself that I can return to normal drinking. If I have a “fuck it”, I know exactly where it will take me. That party is over.
Anyhow, I didn’t drink. Another victory stored away and I know that the next time will be a whole lot easier, cause that is just how it works…lather, rinse, repeat. But, boy oh boy did that little bit of doubt in my resolve, set the fucking wolves on me! I opened the door a tiny crack and for the rest of the first week, I really struggled, not to stay sober, but to be content, feel safe, relax.
Also, I had thought that a break from the whole process of staying sober, tired of thinking about not drinking and all that, would be nice. That didn’t work either. I found that without my daily fix of blog reading, emailing, commenting and sometimes writing about my own feelings, I felt very vulnerable.
I don’t know if it was all to do with getting/staying sober? Why does everything have to be about that? Surely I can’t blame everything on quitting booze. But, I needed to feel better so I went back to my sober tools, stayed close to my sober network and did all of the things that I know work for me. My recovery is part of me now, a huge part in fact and I need it with me at all times. It’s my friend and it always has my best interests at heart. So, I read blogs, I contacted Lilly who was so kind and supportive and I listened to the Bubble Hour on loop until after a couple of days I started to feel like me again.
Me? Who is that now? Maybe that is part of the problem when we are thrown into a situation that we aren’t around much anymore. I don’t recognise myself when I am outside of my comfort zone and I have to be reminded that I don’t behave like that anymore. I have new habits, I have changed and I like the new me better than the old me. Even when it requires a bit of extra effort on my part, I don’t have to choose the easy option of just reverting to form. I have to choose sober everytime. I don’t drink anymore and if that is hard sometimes, then so be it.
The more sober I become, the more of a problem I realise that I had. I am still hugely addicted to wine. That really does make me want to work harder to get as far away from there as I can. If I ever have any doubts about whether I had a problem or not then I can remind myself hard it is to stay sober sometimes, how strong the pull to wine is, and I realise that I am where I need to be!
I love that without booze on holiday, I arrived without a hangover and had a clear head throughout. I was in sync with the kids eating, drinking, bedtime even! I woke refreshed everyday, had energy to play with them and I wasn’t chasing the next glass of wine all the time. I took baths after dinner, early morning walks on the beach and ate loads of cake. And on a very shallow note…I didn’t gain any weight!!
Oh and I don’t miss that feeling you get when you return from hols on a boozing roll, drinking every lunchtime and evening and you have to try and get yourself back on track. I used to dread the feeling of having to cut back again and of course, I would have also used the holiday as an excuse to put off any attempt at sorting out my drinking problem. What a depressing comedown that always was, then I’d have to admit to myself that there wasn’t really any excuse to drink, other than my inability not to.