Sure, I can quit any time

I am an unlikely candidate to have started a sober blog. Call it desperation if you like, I just had NO IDEA how to stay sober on my own.

I don’t drink that much, I say to myself. Yet I drink mostly every day. Some weeks I manage a few off-days but I hate them. Why can everyone else drink except for me? And then I cave as soon as someone offers me a drink. I read my morning pages, and I have written “drink less” and “you drink differently from other people” and “from now on I will only drink wine only on special occasions or when we have company or when on vacation or if it’s a really good reason.”

Yeah, that never worked. Ever. Not once. Never. Not one time.

Alcoholic? Well of COURSE I’m not an alcoholic. I mean, for christ’s sake, just look at at that guy panhandling in front of the liquor store. I’m not him. I don’t drink from a brown paper bag. I never miss work.

I’ve got alcoholism in my family and I’ve seen what it looks like. It’s grim. That’s not me. I just drink a bit more than I should. Sometimes. And not all the time. Sometimes I drink a regular amount. Mostly. I would never quit drinking forever. That would be like cutting off my right arm to deal with a hangnail. I just need to learn how to ‘manage’ my drinking.

Whatever.

I see something called Dry July and I think, hey that won’t be so hard. I’ll do that. It’ll be good for me. I could really do with a drying out period.

I don’t feel desperate when I decide to quit. I just feel tired of all the wine. And I really think I’ll like the challenge of it, like marathon training had been, like learning a new language, getting married, moving to Europe. All challenges. Giving up wine for a month? Should be pretty straight forward.

Sure, I can quit any time. Until it’s actually TIME to quit, and then man it kinda sucks. In a big way. It sucks ass.

I’d done a bunch of self-discipline things before. I’d quit for a couple days here and there. It’s not that I couldn’t manage my drinking (I told myself very smugly). I could manage it all right, I just hated managing it. Who wants to skip a day? Who wants to have one glass and then stop? I resented managing my wine consumption and I resented every person on the planet who happened to be drinking at that second. And every person past or future who might drink. Because I wasn’t.

Sure, I can quit any time. Until I’m sitting in the bathtub on day 7, really pissed off and irritated. It’s 7:30 pm or so. I decide: fuck it, sobriety is just too hard. I’m going to get out of the tub and go buy wine. You deserve it. This is too hard. You hardly had a problem anyway. You can quit again later. I decide to stay sober. I change my mind to drink. I change my mind to stay sober.

I’m about as irritated as I’ve ever felt. Maybe in my whole life. I feel like my skin is going to fall off from irritation. That I’m itchy on the inside.

I dry off, put on pyjamas, come in the office, right here, in front of this Apple cinema display screen, with this Dell wireless keyboard, and I read a sober blog.

Yes, apparently there are other people in the world who have quit drinking and have lived to tell about it. Fuck, they even seem to LIKE being sober. What’s the matter with these people?

I keep reading. I believe the words on my screen, and don’t believe them at the same time. It worked for her, it won’t work for me. I’m different, special, different, this is me, I’m not like that.

The next morning I write my first sober blog post.

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

17 thoughts to “Sure, I can quit any time”

  1. I still deal with that resentment and irritability. I figure it’s wolf-scratch fever. I have to distract myself when that discomfort strikes.

  2. Here I am,day one… Reading about your history with drinking sounds so much like mine. That helps in such a deep way, knowing that I fit somewhere. That I’m not alone in all this. Maybe I can have a better life too. Thank you, Belle

  3. “I read my morning pages, and I have written “drink less” and “you drink differently from other people” and “from now on I will only drink wine only on special occasions or when we have company or when on vacation or if it’s a really good reason.”

    Hahaha I have sooo many notebooks from when I was still drinking that has this same thought written in it over and over. “Alcohol is the worst”, “Why can’t we all find a way to have fun without alcohol?”, “Why can’t I drink like normal people.”, “I’ll only drink one day this week”.

    NEVER did it work. Not once. You are so right. It’s kind of nice to see I wasn’t alone.

    “I believe the words on my screen, and don’t believe them at the same time. It worked for her, it won’t work for me. I’m different, special, different, this is me, I’m not like that.”

    I’m still incredibly guilty of this. Every meeting I go to, every post I read, I know I relate to the majority of what they are thinking or feeling but wolfie will find one thing they say that I just can’t relate to and suddenly I think I’m not an alcoholic.

    Thanks, Belle.
    <3

  4. I agree….thank heavens. If I do quit drinking before dying of alcoholism, it will be thanks to you and the other wonderful sober bloggers out there.
    Joan B.

    1. wren, you change that “IF i do quit” to “WHEN i do quit” … you add more support, you try, and you add even more support till you find the right combination of things that works for you.

  5. Quitting is easy; I’ve done it dozens of times. Oh, I also resumed drinking shortly thereafter with the same result that I was back up to speed or better with the usual hangovers soon thereafter. Sober is so much easier! I’m starting to have days where I don’t have any thoughts of drinking. As they say in the rooms which I have not recently entered, it get’s better. I like being clear and present in my life.

  6. I am also enjoying being clear and present in my life. Still amazed by how much of my life I was missing out on by jumping into a bottle everyday.

  7. Fabulous post!

    I read the amazing, life-changing book by Jason Vale (Kick the Drink Easily) and he makes a point that basically swivelled my world the right way around: he insists that being addicted to alcohol requires constant self-discipline because alcohol is a drug and with a drug, the only way is DOWN.

    So you have to always, always ‘watch’ that your drinking doesn’t totally derail you. You can only drink as much as your wallet/job/relationship will just about allow, until the damn breaks of course.

    The only state of being that means you’re truly free and don’t have to exercise permanent gritted-teeth control is NOT DRINKING. OMG, when I really got that point it was a huge moment!

  8. It’s amazing to be 12o plus days sober and I still have days that I’m thinking I could drink if I wanted to… Really it’s been a hard day and a glass of wine would be soo nice. This is all just self imposed.. I don’t have to do this. Then I hear your voice and I remember that I just have to be sober today. I can think about drinking tomorrow but today I’m not going to drink. I’m going to drink tea and sit on the couch with husband eat pizza and watch basketball. The universe put you and your blog out here for me and so many others. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Denise

  9. Thank to Belle! So glad I found you tonight because you’re going to help me stick to my guns. I’m so so so tired of saying I’ll drink once this week, only on weekends, only special events, maybe just stuck with wine, I’ll have just 2 because that’s my limit. Blah blah blah. I am so tired of it. I gets really depressed from it and it lingers for days and I am SICK of it! It effects me poorly anymore and I can’t let it. I have a family, I love being fit, I want to be happy! Alcohol robs me of so much. I signed up for the challenge. Day 1 is tomorrow because I had a glass of wine I said I wouldn’t have…

  10. Thank u soooo much belle for this site. It means sooo much 2 me. Reading ur blogs. On my 6th day alcohol free. Love ur saying 2day im not going 2 drink. I feel im not putting 2 much pressure on my self. Weekend is nearly here. Oh my god this wil b sooo difficult for me. The nagging voice in my head has a fight on its hands and not going 2 win. Lots of hugs 2 u all xxx

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