god isn’t she taking this no-drinking thing a bit too far?

i slipped past the 4 month mark without really noticing. i think this is a good sign. never thought i’d get to this place where i’m not counting days, i’m not looking for rewards any more, and where saying ‘no thanks’ is easy and normal.

last night, out for dinner. the same Mr. who’s been curious all along, chimes in with his standard: “you’re still not drinking? how long are you going to not drink?” I say: “well it’s been 4 months now, so maybe for a year? i don’t know.” he starts to talk about how he wants to quit smoking, and we move on from there.

On my other side, italian friend, very kind and supportive, she seemed to understand my explanation of not drinking as needing to sleep better, and so that i can have more energy for job #3… But then the restaurant owner brings us a free round of champagne. I say no thanks twice but am served anyway.  every one raises their glasses in a toast, and i look around for someone to give my glass to.  italian friend says: “you can have champagne, it’s so light.” meaning that it won’t affect my sleep.

and while this is probably true, that a single glass of champagne probably won’t ruin a night’s sleep, what i have left unsaid is that the single glass of champagne would certainly ruin my next day (or more) by dragging me into a pit of “one glass of champagne means i’m drinking now, which means i can have wine like they are, which means we can have nicer wine than i ordered for them, which means i should have some of that calvados too when i get home – the apple brandy that i bought for baking but it’s so freaking expensive that someone should drink it, and that someone should be me.”

So i’m sorry, italian friend, i know you secretly rolled your eyes, thinking “how could one glass really hurt her, god isn’t she taking this no-drinking thing a bit too far? why is she being so rigid, she needs to lighten up” …

But really, my friend, it was easy for me to say no to the champagne, and to look around and give it to the german girl.  it was easy for me to watch you drink that shitty red wine.  and it’s easy for me to smell the calvados and think “holy christ that smells like paint thinner.”

and really, i’m all the better for it.

I actually, really and truly, no-joking, had two days in a row last week where I was struck abruptly with the fear of dying… because my life is so amazing right now, and i don’t want it to end. i just want to press repeat of those two days, and have them recycle like groundhog day, over and over and over again, and i want to never get older and never have anything change, cuz my life is too amazing, and ooooh there’s so much to do that’s cool and there’s not enough time, and i hope i get to live till i’m 115 so i can get it all done.

have a drink? are you kidding me?

Day 128. Rock on : )

Belle

I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I’m tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

12 thoughts to “god isn’t she taking this no-drinking thing a bit too far?”

  1. Such a slippery slope with thoughts of just one glass. It’s unthinkable after how long we’ve managed without, but then we find ourselves in the middle of a nice evening out and might feel we’re the ones making too much of it. You held strong and with grace, and I’m happy for you. It’s impossible for others to understand, I guess. Lucky for them, but really we are the lucky ones because we’ve known it both ways and can fully appreciate where we are now.

    1. Hi, I am a 47 mother of one one a few hours away from my first 24 hours. My mother was an alcoholic, and my father let me deal with it, so I spent my teens dragging her to AA meetings. She has now been sober for almost 30 years. Her mother died an active alcoholic. I found out in high school that my three best friends also had actively drinking alcoholic mothers, I think mine was the only one to get sober. I knew I was a set up and binge drank (I was a bond trader in NYC in my 20’s), so I started attending AA meetings in my mid-20’s. I wasn’t there yet, I didn’t get it….now I do. I also have fibromyalgia and lupus so I deal with chronic pain. I have always had problems sleeping and have been taking Ambien for 20 years so my tolerance has increased. Then I was put on Klonopin about 10 years ago to reduce anxiety which could lead to flares. I stayed sober for 10 months while pregnant with my only daughter who is now seven, and for the first few years after she was born drinking was always important, but my life was manageable. However in the last few years between the pills and the drinking I started to take a big nose dive. I had set a date of Jan 2 of this year to get clean and sober, but woke up yesterday and decided I was done. I came completely clean with my husband about my usage. He knew I had a problem, but no idea of the quantities. I also called my psychopharmacologist, and told him I had been lying to him about my alcohol usage. He felt that it was best that I check in somewhere for 5 days or so to help me detox. I have an appointment at a well known CT detox facility next Tuesday at 3pm, it was the soonest they could take me. My therapist put me on Librium so that I did not go into major withdrawal. My husband is beyond thrilled, and we have spent the last day laughing and crying….he had no idea how sneaky I had become, or how much I was drinking. Your comment about wanting to live to 115 meant so much to me. For the last 6 months if it wasn’t for my daughter, there were days when I wished I just would never wake up again. I don’t want to put her through what my mother put me through, but she is getting to an age where she is going to start figuring it out, and I am so very lucky to have a husband of almost 20 years who is beyond thrilled that I am taking this step. I am lucky to have the benefit of so many years of sitting in AA in my pocket. But I also understand that I will for now and will forever be, one drink away from where I was yesterday. I still feel like crap, but I feel like a ray of hope is peeking through the window. And it FEELS so good to be honest. I am dreaming of having clarity, being present in the moment, not scheming or hiding or counting pills to see when I could get my next refill. I learned through my years in AA not to take other’s inventory, and I know when I was actively drinking how sorry I felt for those who had quit. Now I can’t wait to join their ranks. I know I will be tested, but living the way I have been for the last year or so is not a life, and I was playing with fire and knew it. Thank you so much for reminding me that there will be a day when I wake up and feel good and excited about like, and not because I have a new case of wine in a closet…….your post helped me enormously!!
      Thank YOU!

      1. you’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome : ) wow, that’s just the best comment to a blog posting, ever! I’m touched beyond belief that my little post about wanting to be 115 could have any impact… and you’ve not only set a quit date, but you moved up the date, you’re on your way, and you’re asking for help (of all kinds! husband, facility, doctor and blogs). you already know how valuable the support is – in fact, i think that support is absolutely *required*. and you’re smart enough to ask for it. how super exciting for you, can’t wait to hear how you do as you go along. a new adventure awaits. good things are coming up! hugs to you, your kidlet, and your supportive hubby.

      2. Thank you for your unbelievable kindness, honesty and wonderfulness!!! Tomorrow at 12 will be 4 days (I am still at the point where i am taking the fact that I had my last glass of wine on Friday at noon as a1/2 day). And I still have my appointment Tuesday at 3. Having spent so many years at AA with my mom and then briefly for myself, I am lucky to know a lot about the disease. But just like knowing a lot about cancer, it didn’t prevent me from getting it. I had my first real urge yesterday, I just adopted 8 stray (neutered and all shots and healthy) cats that would have never been adopted 6 weeks ago, and I spent 2 hours cleaning the shed. A lot still want out (I had the shed heated, they are dry, warm, fed and played with daily, but used to “living in the streets”), so they will always want to go out. There are 2 that I believe were pets at some point and after I work with them I will find good homes for them. So of the others are truly feral. I live outside NYC and the weather is near 20 degrees right now. It was dirty work, and a lot of hauling and I am very very allergic, but love animals. When I got back to the house it would have been a perfect time to pour a honking glass of vino to “reward” myself. Instead I went up, too a shower and spent an hour cleaning fridge. The moment passed and I went to bed sober. I had to go back to the doctor again yesterday after 9 days on antibiotics I still had a nasty cough and sinus infection. I told this new doctor everything as well. He was wonderful, changed my antibiotic, and I am already feeling better. Normally I would have just medicated myself with pills and booze, I was extolling the virtues of whiskey to my painter last week as a cure for what ails you….It’s 1am, I have always had terrible insomnia which is partially how I got into this mess to begin with. I would drink if the sleeping pills weren’t working, and then it became a nightly thing. Then a nap during the day because I was hungover, and some wine to help me nap. God the insanity of it all. I had my blood taken 2 years ago and was fine but have been petrified to go to a doctor and have blood drawn in the last year as I figured my liver enzymes would scream out alcoholic. Lord, am I glad to get off this train. I love your blog and your posts,and I love being honest again. The energy of worrying about “more,more,more”, hiding it, letting people down because I was so hungover…..feeling ashamed because I look like crap right now, so ready for a new beginning. I know this sounds nuts, but I grew up going to Howard Johnsons with my mom and her buddies from AA after meetings, that was my high school night out….so I know how many honest, kind and that some of the funniest people I have ever met are in “the rooms”. I know not to take other’s inventory, but I know that some of my drinking buddies are just that, drinking buddies, and that for a while, until I have some good time under my belt I am going to need to change people and places. Right now, everything is attached to alcohol, good day, bad day, wedding, funeral, vacations, parties, holidays. I can’t even imagine not being hungover on Christmas morning….I have a long way to go. But right now I am concentrating on this hour, this day, and because of your wonderful blog, and so many of the others here, I know I am not alone. God, I am in awe of the honesty and bravery of people on this site, and so happy I found it. It is like being able to go to a meeting 24/7………Thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening, and keep posting. AND I AM SO GLAD YOU HAD ANOTHER AWESOME DAY!!!!

  2. You have such a clarity about you and your focus is admirable. I have so enjoyed reading your blog. All good things to you…

  3. As I graciously slip my glass to the German I would secretly want to scream at the Italian, “I’m an AL-CO-HOL-IC you moron!!! Back the fuck the off!!”

    But I wouldn’t, and its nice to see that you didn’t either lol.

    You go on four months, sister. Well worth it, I say.

  4. There are those who do not understand that even one drink can be the one too many. I leave it entirely alone too. And those who do not get it, well, I don’t need them in my life egging me into trying behavior I will regret. They are not the one waking up the next day feeling shitty and ill from the effects of the “one little glass”. For me, there’s no one little glass-one is too many and a thousand will never be enough. So no, thanks, I don’t want even one little glass of anything alcoholic. Water, cran juice, milkshake… lotsa choices out there for non-drinkers and to those who don’t want to be with us, well, ok.

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