Let there be no mistake. Getting sober is not a walk in the park. It’s not easy.
On this blog, I tend to be positive. That’s my way. Yes, at times — particularly if you’re having a shitty day — my tone will be irritating. It might look like my sober life is a fucking bowl of European chocolate covered cherries trimmed with rose petals. And that your sober life is hard and scary and freaky and soaked in dog shit.
Me: In case there is any misunderstanding, my sobriety might look ‘pretty and rosy and divine and twinkling’. But it isn’t. Your sobriety might look heinous and difficult and shitty and not worth it. But it isn’t. We’re both doing the same thing. Trying to get and stay sober. And we’re doing the same thing in our own way.
Not all of my sober penpals are having an easy time. Yes, I post the good numbers: “Hooray for A, she’s on day 157!”
Maybe you can understand, but I don’t post “XXX had a drink yesterday and asked that her number be reset to day 1.” But it happens.
Me: You may stop and start a bit, while you figure out how to get your sober car on the road. It doesn’t matter. There is no right way. There is only your way.”
If you are having a terrible sober day, or you’re having a low-motivation sober week, or if you really wish you could drink today — please don’t think that that means you’re alone. You aren’t.
Those of us who are cheerleader-y by nature are also real people.
Some things you may not know:
While I usually can find a way to focus on the positive — both in my sobriety and in my life — I’m also a big crier. I cried at least twice this week about the tiny-gift-button, AND i even thought about saying fuck-it and that wine would be a good alternative to wading into a sober internet quagmire.
I bet you also didn’t know that I thought about drinking today. Not in a concrete: “i am going to drink” way, but in a “this would be a good time for a glass of wine” way. Then I switched channels in my head, and thought about something else. The feeling didn’t last very long, but it was there. I think that in coming up to my one year anniversary soon, wolfie is starting to say things to me like “well, certainly one year is long enough and since you never really gave moderation a try, you should at least give it a go.”
When i say something (or when I share a quote from a penpal) that is along the lines of “we feel better sober than we did while drinking,” that does NOT mean that we’re always happy about every single moment of every single day. There are some days that fucking suck. Some sober days it seems to you like everyone has a glass of wine in their hands, and that everyone can drink responsibly so why can’t you, and it makes you want to throw something at the TV screen. There are days where you’ve said NO to everything and everyrone, and now you want to say YES to some wine cuz this shit is hard.
I can tell you what I do when this happens to me, when i feel like wine would be a good idea. These techniques have been working for me up to know, and i hope to fuck they continues to work especially as my one year anniversary approaches.
Over time, thankfully, I learn to see wolfie coming from further away, and I make changes quickly and definitively to avoid collision. If i have a series of low days, or if I feel the irritated ‘I want to drink’ idea starting up, then I blog about it. I tell someone — even my husband. I take some action and do something proactive, like pour out the booze in the house (or move its location), or whatever. I start running every day until I’m sure the feeling has passed. Then I go back to normal. Sometimes wolfie is silenced with one email, sometimes it takes a few blogs and a few long runs and a couple of good crying spells.
Whatever it takes.
Please don’t misinterpret the happy tone of my blogs. It is not all sunshine. But the good sober days are very very good, and the bad days when drinking were horrid. I’m choosing to live in the good days. Sometimes i have my rose colored glasses on.
Yes, it sucks for all of us sometimes. For example, today is only 50% good day for me. I feel a bit sick, my chest still hurts from my fall 2 weeks ago (so i alternatively think it’s a heart attack or cancer rather than bruised ribs), the weather is a bit cold, it’s sunday and my weekend is over and i’m not looking forward to this week, i think I’m getting a cold (again).
But — here’s the shiny positive shit that you hate — having a 50% good day is still better than if I was drinking/boozing/hiding. And I count on tomorrow being an 85% good day. That’s where i’m headed. if tomorrow still sucks — and i usually know as soon as I wake up what kind of day it’s going to be — then I will take action and go for a longer run before i even turn on my computer. I’ll have a very healthy breakfast, I’ll skip sugar for a day, I’ll blog more, i’ll say something to my husband about how i’m feeling. and I’ll wait.
To drink now would mean to start again at day 1. and no matter how today feels, i never want to have a day 1 again. Maybe you don’t either. That’s worth putting on some rose-colored glasses for, yes?