“I want to not WANT to drink …”

Things to worry about.

J sent me this: “My biggest fear is that I won’t quit wanting to drink…I really want to want to not drink.”

ok, yeah. i know this feeling. i know it entirely. i can get inside that feeling and walk around.

I have been on day 1 and day 7 and day 37 and day 287. I remember exactly how i felt. I felt like there were two versions of me: The ‘real’ version of me was the drinker … and the ‘new/shadow’ version of me walking alongside was the sober me.  it took a LONG time until i really really really felt that the new sober me was the ‘real’ me. But thankfully, while i was going along, it didn’t matter. I continued to drive along in my sober car, with both versions of me still present, and I just kept going until the fake drinking me faded entirely.

That you can see both versions doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. just keep going.

And the idea of wanting to stop thinking about drinking? for me it was right around day 60 that the worst of it was done. I still thought about ‘not’ drinking, but with less intensity. then as I went on, there’d be whole days where – holy shit – i didn’t think about drinking once. there have been vacations and events and i don’t think about it.

and when I do think “this might be a time when i would have been drinking” it’s more like a bug that flies into my view, then i bat it away, and keep going. the drinking thoughts now, when they do come infrequently, are more like irritating mosquitoes than white-knuckling-desires-for-alcohol. That part really does stop.

That you can see both versions doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. just keep going.

that you hear a voice saying “it won’t get better. this is too hard” doesn’t mean that voice is telling the truth. it means that wolfie is fighting with any tools available.

those of us who are longer term sober wouldn’t stay like this unless it was better. and it is.

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

23 thoughts to ““I want to not WANT to drink …””

  1. I’m there. There with wanting to not want it. But I’ve also seen glimmers of freedom. Hence, i am on day 2 for the, hmmm, 9th time or so. Wooo! Keep going! AEB (aka. Stinkydrink)

  2. This has resonated more with me than any other post or experience. Bloody hard, but it does get easier – and I’m still learnng to challenge my thoughts with this. ‘Forcing myself’ not to drink is gradually being replaced by naturally ‘choosing’ not to and now, most often, being truly glad not to. This took time. Hugs to you on day 7 – it does get easier and happier – stick with it and stick with Belle xo

  3. I saw a woman yesterday with a bag that said “don’t believe everything that you think”. I liked that and it reminded me how I should have stopped believing what I was thinking about alcohol and its role in my life a long time ago. It really does get better with time doesn’t it.

  4. It really does get easier. I won’t say that thoughts of having a drink don’t come – they do. What has gotten easier for me is the ability to step back from that thought, and not give way to the formerly immediate response. I like the absence of hangovers. I like sleeping sober. Being able to make the considered choice is a great thing!

  5. Wow.
    Thanks so much for answering my question in this thoughtful, clear, and empowering way. Your thoughts were as inspirational as they were helpful. You have a gift.
    J. Day 40

    1. Just read the comments…such great perspectives. Thanks for them. I have to share early recovery for me has been the friggin pits regarding my sleep patterns. Every night, middle of night, I awaken.Guess it’s a Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome thing??? But hark! JUST last night, I slept whole night through! First time in 39 days. Is THAT normal? Maureen, your comment reminded me that sleeping without alcohol in my system is a blessing and a gift. Thanks for that.
      J Day 40

  6. This is such a great reminder that I needed TODAY! I’m on day 23, and I was feeling better then BOOM- the weekend and yesterday totally sucked and I started hearing the voice again, “if I’m gonna feel this bad, why not drink- if I’m gonna feel bad anyway”….I actually thought about drinking yesterday. But, instead, went and returned something I didn’t need and got some cash and then was elated to be able to buy 2 new sober memoirs. I forgot about drinking. It is imperative I go through those times and make it to the next day without drinking so that I can have these experiences of conquering those voices- conquering wolfie. This morning I feel well rested and proud of myself. This is a good day. Thanks Belle and J!

  7. I too want to not want to drink. Lots of times I don’t want to, then it comes sneaking into my mind, the thought about drinking, the voice is so sly. I actually afraid of it. I’ve been trying so hard to quit. For such a long time. I have much more support now, which is really helpful, still there is a part of me that fears so deeply that I will drink again. Sober sleep is so good, it helps me to remember that if I do drink, I will wake up at 3 am, sweaty and full of shame. I really don’t want that! So today I am sober. Tonight and tomorrow too. Hopefully I’ll get to that place where I am not thinking about drinking so much.

  8. Even after 365 days, I STILL feel “My biggest fear is that I won’t quit wanting to drink” I want to drink. Yes, it’s less than it was on day 1 or day 30 or day 200, but I continue to want to drink. Maybe by 730 days, it will be gone?

    1. for me, soberversaries are particularly weird, and i also felt very wobbly right around my 1 year mark. you’ll get your stride again. face forward 🙂 good stuff coming right up …

      1. Thanks for this post. I would LOVE to not want to drink … not there yet in these early days, but I have to trust that all you beautiful people who tell me it is worth it are telling the truth. Hugs to all.

  9. The obsession to drink is removed by a power greater than yourself, even if it’s THIS GROUP … you can not do it on your own power. If you had that kind of power…you would not have a drinking problem NORMAL drinkers do not think about drinking compulsively as we do. The desire to drink comes and goes depending on the action you are taking for your recovery.

  10. Thank You
    I have just found this site and Thank You .. I have never commented or put myself “out There” but Today is a new day and my day 1
    it was the title that caught me as it is the burning question in my head ..
    It has been encouraging reading all of your comments
    Thanks

  11. This is day 24 for me, almost 1/4 of the way. It has been the weirdest battle ever. it has always been about chasing the buzz for me. I have never been sober this long since I can’t remember. I was never falling down drunk but I did throw up in bed before. I am totally disgusted to say that out loud… And yet I can still hear wolfie growling at me. (Drinking makes me fat… )That’s my new mantra.. Before I go to bed I read everyone’s post and I pray that we all make it Another day, truly your posts have kept me going.
    Love you all
    Diana aka sashaD

    1. Re: ‘I won’t say that thoughts of having a drink don’t come – they do. What has gotten easier for me is the ability to step back from that thought, and not give way to the formerly immediate response’.

      My penn’orth for what it’s worth… It’s worth remembering we boozers tend to be impulsive in our pursuit of pleasure!… really useful to be able to step back from the urge (I use mindfulness, urge-surfing also v useful, which is kind of a luxury model version of counting to ten). Hard though it can be to believe sometimes, the urge DOES pass quite quickly if you can step back and observe it rather than get caught up in it.
      John

  12. I want to not want to drink has been my mantra for YEARS, years! These posts help so much. A few things have finally occurred to me 1) If I never really try, I won’t know if it gets easier and 2) others want to drink like I do and they don’t…day after day. Right now my mantra is Do the Next Right Thing. It helps as does reading this post as I will likely do 50 times day.

  13. I’m starting my 100 days on 21 Dec. The shortest day of the year on winter solstice. Each day will have more sunlight. Each day I will be more sober. I’ve planned this for a long time. I’m excited and scared.

  14. Me too. It’s the parties, catching up with friends that are hard for me. I don’t want to explain it, but, I know one thing, I don’t want to wake up feeling meh anymore. I have really good days, then I’ll see a glass of wine or a bottle of beer and think just one, I’ll be fine, but I have been able to talk myself out of it so far, phew!
    Interestingly before I discovered your blog, I did find my camera again, so who knows I may send a pic or two your way.

    Day 73.

    M

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