I hate drunkenness

I’ve stopped drinking a few times, for a few days at a time.  I often have to take clients out to eat as part of my job, and i can go for dinner, be a good entertainer, and not drink at all. For a few days.

The longest i’ve ever stopped before was 9 days, a few months ago. I remember I thought I’d try 30-days alcohol free, and I made it 9 days. then i drank for several days, then i took another 6 days off. But that’s it.

I read yesterday that the more times you try to quit, the closer you may be to really giving it up. Maybe we need to practice quitting …

Other than these two recent and brief attempts at more than a week sober, i’ve been drinking daily for about 3 years. Before that, for the previous 15 years, it was 6 out of 7 nights per week (i used to take one night off a week; recently, not so much).

I never set out to get blotto. In fact I hate drunkenness. I always leave parties when the disorderly behavior starts. If someone throws up from drinking too much, I’m thoroughly disgusted. I’d never do that, I say to myself. I’d never let THAT happen to ME.

On the other hand, I am beyond tipsy most evenings, whether we’re home playing cards or out in restaurants with clients. My version of tipsy is enough to feel fuzzy, but not so much that i fall over.

And lots of nights at 4 am, when i wake for no reason, hot and irritated … and lots of mornings when i wake dehydrated and miserable, i say “ok, this is enough.”

What was the turning point this time? We were on vacation last month, and I was overdoing it. I was actually looking forward to coming home so that I could stop drinking so much. And so often.

As usual, I was cruising the ‘sober’ literature online.  I read something about Dry July, and figured “I can do that. I can take a whole month off. How hard can it be? Harder than running a marathon?”

I’m 9 days into July, and now I realize it’s irritatingly hard. I started this blog on day 7 when I realized that I was about to bail on my 30-day plan (again). I wondered if asking the (online) universe for help would help.

So why is it so irritatingly hard to quit drinking? Why don’t my higher level goals just automatically overrule the noise in my head when faced with this challenge? I mean, I don’t speed on the highway, even if it’s fun and exhilarating and will get me there faster, because my higher level goals can say quite firmly “that’ll get you killed” – and i listen …



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

  • Watch a Dispatches video on YouTube about the liver. It might just do the trick. I’ll find the link.

  • I’m back for my own Day 9!

    Made it through last night, which was a Friday. Which I spent at my friend’s house. And during which I normally consume 8+ beers. But I didn’t even want one last night.

    I heard Wolfie’s voice a little bit before I went over there, but that’s because my “witching hours” are late afternoon to early evening (3:00 – 6:00pm). So by the time I got there, I was perfectly fine with my fizzy water.

    It was great to wake up at 8:00am this morning only slightly sleepy, but certainly without any of the physical symptoms or mental angst that comes with a night of indulging. I even listened to music while I was getting my day started! I realized that I haven’t listened to music in maybe half a year. It’s like there was already enough noise in my head that I couldn’t handle anything extra.

    Thank you, Belle, for this blog. I’ve known for awhile that I needed to change things, but your blog was the added push that actually made me take those first (and second and third) steps.

  • I am on Day 9 and even though a couple of other days (2 & 4) have been really hard, I am having my first moment of “I really want to drink. I think I might screw this up.” I am reading through your Month 1 and then I’m going to read Month 2. I am trying to do anything I can to not start drinking again. I’m gulping sparkling water mixed with Cranberry Juice–one after the other. It literally feels like if I stop reading about being sober then I’m going to stop being sober…

    • i probably read sober blogs for 1-2 hrs a day when i first quit. it was like my sobriety insurance, reminding me what i was doing (and why) – and that it feels better if we keep going … hugs, belle xo

  • Belle – I just received the email with your first month of posts. I’m so grateful to you for sharing your story. If it is true that the more you try to quit the closer you are to giving it up then I should have success this time around!

  • I’m getting goosebumps reading your posts because our drinking life is eerily the same – the clients, just wanting the constant buzz, trying to quit several times. If I can be of any encouragement, the first 30 days completely suck. I’m at day 51 now and it’s beginning to get easier, doesn’t COMPLETELY govern my mind anymore. I still think about it a lot, but there’s less frustration.

  • I agree with everyone before me. Alcoholisim is a diease. It’s not our fault, and it’s progressive. The more we drink, the less we feel it, and therefore have to drink more. I’m 25 and quitting. Thinking about life forever without alcohol is so overwhelming.. that’s why i take it day by day…and yes the reaching out certainly does help!!

  • Because once that little voice in our head realizes it can control us so easily, it is never, EVER silent and it gets really, really loud at the times it knows it can get you to do what it wants, which ultimately is feed it more alcohol. Learning to ignore that voice is so difficult, but I believe we can do it.

    I have to believe, because the alternative isn’t a life I want to continue to live.

    I tend to tell my voice to shut the f up…maybe I’ll name her. *L*

  • Congratulations on day 9 . You rock. I can so relate to what you’ve written here and appreciate your honesty. I think it’s so hard to quit because it’s a habit, an addiction, an escape, a cure, and/or a defence. And it’s bloody sneaky, too.
    All the best living sober. You can do this.

    • thanks, i don’t feel very rocking. but it’s a sunny day and i know for sure i’m not drinking today. that’s all i know for now : ) thanks for your kind words…

  • Thanks Mrs D. I live in a non-english speaking country so i’ll need to order my books online (the limited english-language library doesn’t have Vale’s book). Alcohol is everywhere. In every store window, on every table, a glass in everyone’s hand. It’s hard to imagine choosing to live on the ‘outside’ of what everyone else is doing … and yet that’s what i’m doing, at least for now … Thanks for your kind encouragement!

  • Welcome to the online community of sober love!!! Why is is so hard to stop? coz it’s a bloody drug and we like it! It makes life fun! (except when it doesn’t). It is a harmess habit! (which progresses… progresses…progresses). It’s everywhere, a part of every social scene, sold on practically every corner. I really recommend Jason Vale’s book ‘kick the drink – easy’ .. it really helped me early on in retraining my brain to look at alcohol differently. The way I do it now .. I do pretty much absolutely everything socially that I used to do as a boozer, it’s just that my glass happens to not contain alcohol. And that is totally fine. Good parties are still fun. Dinners are still totally yummy and chatty and great. Anyway .. look forward to following your journey. You can do it!! xxx

  • Thanks for this. It’s really a tiny simple gift you give, being out there, reading this blog. but for me it’s literally the difference between Wine and Not Wine.

    Yesterday my husband and i went out for lunch, he had beer, i had perrier. i would normally have had beer, in fact was quite craving one yesterday, and i thought of this blog. As basic and unformed as it is now, i didn’t want to come back here and say “well, i had beer at lunch …”

    Maybe this ‘reaching out’ part is just the thing we need : )

  • I’ve just read through your blog and can I say how much I respect your honesty. I can relate to how you’re feeling. In response to something you mentioned in an earlier post I’m rooting for you to get through another day : )