too long, didn’t read

What did i learn yesterday.

I’ve been struggling with deep and quite severe computer problems since the end of June, nicely timed with the beginning of my Dry July. I rely 100% on my fancy computer for work, and i’ve been huddled over my husband’s laptop since my fancy machine died.  I live in a non-english-speaking country, and i’m not terribly fluent yet in the new language, so i had been reaching back into my past and calling my tech support guy who lives in North America.  when i lived nearby, my techie guy was great and reliable, if a little overworked.  Now that i’m across the pond, he’s non-responsive, and i’ve fallen to the bottom of his list of priorities. I left 5 messages in the first 2 weeks, and when he finally called back, he suggested a fix that he said he’d walk me through later that day. I waited like a fool for another 2 weeks for him to call. but then never called again. And i’ve stopped trying to reach him.

(Truthfully, i’ve been quite consumed with staying sober — reading blogs, writing, keeping myself distracted —  that i’ve felt like i couldn’t take on any more, including my broken computer, and usually my day’s worth of energy was being completely used up just by staying sober.)

Yesterday, i woke up feeling like i’d been run over. Bad time of the month, combined with getting to bed late, combined with big summer heat. But something snapped in me and I realized I had to solve this computer problem IMMEDIATELY. Went online researching the fix that techie had told me about, found a computer store here that sold the software. Went by train 45 minutes to find the place. Explained with my broken language skills about my broken computer. bought software.

I also had my dead hard drive in my purse, separate computer problem, same timing as the beginning of Dry July, and I left it in a big Disk-Rescue store. Nice clerk helped me fill out the forms (i.e. she let me awkwardly describe what had happened and then she wrote it out in full, grammatically correct sentences with spelling and wacky accents, on the form for me).

Came home and popped in software, let it install overnight, and yes now the fancy computer works. I’m writing this on my big beauty right now! Probably 28 days of irritation and complete frustration solved for about $100 and a trip across town.  [The prognosis on the dead hard drive hasn’t come in yet, probably later today.]

(this post is “too long, didn’t read”)

Here are yesterday’s lesson. Here’s what I learned…

  1. Reach out for help sooner.
  2. Don’t rely on old friends to help you in a new time.
  3. Be brave in the face of language difficulties (i.e. even if you can’t make yourself understood 100%, you can start, you can try).
  4. Don’t wait for the hottest day of the summer to solve problems, start early!

And the greatest lesson of all … give your husband back his laptop before he divorces you, it’s been weeks already, and the guy is patient but he has limits! (i.e. don’t expect everyone else to be terribly patient while you sort out your shit.  do your best to speed things up when possible… and/or sort out your own shit and do your best to NOT let it spill over onto others.)

Thus begins Day #24.  Big computer is back in action, husband has his laptop back. Fingers crossed for the dead hard drive.

And I’m sitting up now, wondering what else I can take on today, as the 100% energy required to REMAIN sober seems to be decreasing slightly, to maybe 75% effort now …  Can anyone else relate ?


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

  • “Truthfully, i’ve been quite consumed with staying sober — reading blogs, writing, keeping myself distracted …………”
    I know that feeling too well and am starting to feel I have to set some limits on how much time I devote to this not drinking thing. On the one hand it is SO important – on the other hand I really do want it to just becomes the norm and not big deal.
    I suppose after all the years of drinking it is a big deal and I just need to be patient.
    So pleased you got all your computer issues sorted out. Another lesson in all this is just how stressful procrastination can be. And I can be one of those!
    Loving your posts!
    Cleo xx

    • oh cleo, i can relate! this is only day 24 for me, but i feel like i’ve been a bit underwater … honestly though i needed it. i needed every second of being focussed to stay on track. only yesterday did i finally feel the veil lifting a bit, and i can start to attack some of the other outstanding (and in some cases) critical things on my plate. but i think that not drinking had to be the MOST important thing i did everyday … up till now. I’m hoping that over time the focus can diminish. I feel like i’m at 75% focus since yesterday, and it’s still OK! I’m drinking tonic water and cranberry juice and i feel like dancing! hugs from me.

  • #2 resonated with me. Most of my friends were people who were actively involved in my drinking life, and I worked with a great deal of them. I moved 2,600 miles away when I was 9 months sober and it became abundantly clear to me that they are all working under the old adage ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ It’s sad, isn’t it? I was forced to do what you did. Step way outside of my comfort zone and test myself.

    I love how the tech lady helped you with the language issues. That was incredibly kind of her.

    • yes this will be interesting for me to see how it plays out over time. I’ve been spending a lot of time at home this month, where I can control my triggers and have all of my rewards at hand (tea, lemonade, bath). I’ve had people in for dinner once, and been out for dinner twice. So far so good in 24 days. I’ve got something social that i need to do out in the world once a week for the rest of the summer, so we’ll see how that goes, but i’m happy to be hovering close to home, at least in these beginning days! Yes, the tech lady was very kind. If you make an effort, some people will go out of their way to be helpful …