I started writing about the ideas of early sobriety (less than 15 days) on Suzy’s blog, and also on Jen’s, but want to elaborate …
Right when you first quit, there are lot of questions, a lot of unknowns. part of why we ALL struggle in the first days is because it’s all so new, so foreign to how we usually live.
Questions like: “How will i go to a party and not drink? I won’t be any fun! How will i manage sober sex? Sober dating? How will i deal with stress?” and my personal favorite: “Is this no-drinking thing forever?”
And so on.
The initial question-asking stage of sobriety is deafening. there are a billion things to consider. Or so it seems.
and yet, bit by bit, it gets easier. we read a few books and we blog and/or read other sober blogs, and we comment, and maybe we do a meeting (or not). We run more (or not), we sleep better, we begin to feel more comfortable in our own skin.
in a few more days, some of hazy grayness starts to lift. For me it was around day 34 but i started off intending to quit only for a month, and so i farted around a lot in the first month with what-if ideas, and maybe everyone does that, or maybe you’re more focused than I was and your grayness will lift sooner.
Now here’s my metaphor:
Sobriety is like a little car, rolling downhill, that gathers momentum as it goes. But if you stop the car too soon (by giving up, by having just one drink), then you never get to experience the momentum it can gather with time, and you’ll just get to experience (repeatedly) the ‘starting over part’. which we agree, stinks.
it doesn’t take very long to feel better and to have a clearer head. so keep the car rolling, and feel your way through the grayness.
Sobriety is like a little car, and if you’ve got the little car already on its way downhill, however slowly, don’t do anything to stall. don’t change your medication, don’t suddenly quit your job, don’t buy a dog, don’t stop going to meetings. You want the car to keep moving, right? Downhill, yeah? Slowly gathering momentum. Don’t get impatient that other people don’t notice how great you are. Don’t confront your spouse about their radically different life plan. Not now. Not now.
protect your little sober car.
(and now, to mix metaphors) You need to walk around like a blind person with your arms outstretched, saying “don’t come near me with your drama, your shit, your demands. Stay the fuck away from me. I’m protecting me. See my outstretched hands grasping for the wall, grasping for something solid? Stay over there and gently guide me if you like, but do NOT dare come inside my arms-stretched-out space and fuck with my sobriety. Don’t tease me, don’t cajole me, and don’t bait me.”
(back to our regularly scheduled metaphor)
“Because i’ve got a little car of sobriety rolling downhill,” you say. “And some days it’s all i can do to keep going. but i ain’t pulling over. Not now, not for you. If this car stalls, it might not start again.”
Get out of my way. Sober car coming through …