pings and pangs

it’s not just me. others in the sober world are also experiencing ‘pangs’ … i nearly said to my husband, as he was going out to do chores, “pick up some wine for tonight.”

He doesn’t need to buy wine, in that we have wine in the house, but that reflex of saying “i want some tonight” is really my way of saying: “make sure there’s enough wine for me tonight, make sure it’s ready and lined up, because i’m going to need some tonight.” Yes, that feeling is strong. This is probably as close to drinking as i’ve been in a long time.

Examination (i.e. keep writing until something makes sense):

  • i’ve had a cold for 4 days and i can’t taste anything and so i have a ‘fuck it’ kind of attitude
  • it was my birthday on the weekend and i swore i was going to not cook the whole day and would buy my cake. and i bought a slice of strawberry cake and the strawberries were BROWN inside. i had to pick the fucking strawberries out of the birthday cake.  i don’t have very high expectations for my birthday, it’s not like i expect anything to really happen, but this year there were no gifts (mom send $, sisters and father just say hi on FB) and my husband and i aren’t buying each other presents as money is too tight and we’re trying to save for next summer’s Big Vacation to go HOME.
  • the cafe that has been hiring me to do weekly catering for them has abruptly stopped.  she didn’t offer an explanation and when i asked if she’d just missed the ordering deadline she admitted that they were slow. it’s been two weeks now.  so i went by on Sunday and there’s a bunch of food there, it’s just not mine. i’m sure it’s easier to order it all from the carrot-cake girl. even if it isn’t as yummy as mine. they’re serving reheated boxed soup instead of mine. too bad for them, my stuff is much nicer.
  • my personal catering clients are keeping me busy, but not wacky busy.  my day job has ramped up a bit and i’ve suddenly got quite a bit of computer work to do. this sitting in front of the computer (versus being in the kitchen) seems to breed the wine feelings … when i’m busy in the kitchen i know i have to be sober to get it all done.  whereas when i’m just doing one job (and not three), the urgency to remain sober isn’t there.
  • THERE IT IS.  if i’ve been filled with by an ‘urgency’ to be sober, then the urgency is fading.  i’m not sure what the point is any more.  i feel like a three year old about to pitch a tantrum.  god is this what happens to me when i’m a bit bored/sick?
  • i think i’d like a break from it all.  i’d like a dark room and a good book and a glass of red wine. When i was quitting smoking over 13 years ago, i would occasionally have one cigarette when i felt like i JUST HAD TO HAVE ONE.  and they were always disappointing and then eventually i just didn’t give in to that feeling.  With quitting drinking, for whatever reason, there seems to be a finiteness that means that i can’t just have a glass tonight and decide it’s not worth it.  if i have a glass tonight, the sober blogging world comes crashing down, AA would consider it a failure, and we’re just not that tolerant a group when it comes to periodic lapses; days counted MEAN something.  i’m not sure why it’s like this — i mean, i’m the same way, i’m not pointing fingers, i’m just observing.
  • i guess i’m rationalizing in my own ridiculous way that i wasn’t a problem drinker, and that i could probably go back to some kind of random bits of wine here and there and the world wouldn’t end.
  • When the bakery/catering work slows down — ah, is this it? — it seems to ‘not be worth it’… as if the bakery work is the only good thing in my life, the only reason to be sober, and without it i might as well be drinking.  Yes, i guess – today – that IS what i believe.
  • i think when i don’t have a cold i’ll feel better. i’ll wait until Friday and then reassess.



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

  • Belle, here’s hoping you feel better today. Happy Birthday, my blogger friend far away and as yet unmet… The days do matter and so does the support you get for each and every one of those days. Rock on. We’re here for you.

  • Days do count. For me in early sobriety meaning weeks in, I felt raw and irritable and yucky. That seems to happen when I was run down, not getting enough sleep, not eating right. What has helped for me is taking it one day at a time, having a sober support system; cause they get it and meditiation.
    ( I just jumped on your blog tonight )
    I’ve been there – you are not alone – hugs to you.

  • What a great encouragement all of you are! It’s people like you that give me hope. It truly doesn’t matter how long a person’s been sober, it’s where they’ve gotten spiritually and emotionally that make all the difference. I’m blessed to get to be here with you all.

  • Thanks so much for the honesty of this post. Life doesn’t always dump gold on your doorstep, sometimes it just dumps. i can relate to your thought process and admire you for being able to hang on when the going gets rough. If you can stay sober during days like these, the ones that come after are that much easier.

  • Hi Belle, happy belated birthday! <3
    we all have struggles and seemingly heretical thoughts, and I don't anyone is really in a position to judge. But I would offer encouragement and ask you to see if you are hearing your wolf-voice? Is it trying to find reasons/excuses to feed itself?

    Remember your post about your little car running down hill? The wolf might be lying on road, blocking your path. Ask yourself, what would Samuel L Jackson do to that wolf if he was driving that car?

    If on Friday you don't feel like a drink…perhaps don't waste time analysing your thoughts from today. It may be you simply felt let down/deflated, sick and a bit out of sorts. Don't invite the wolf to speak I guess is what I'm saying. Take care, Paul.

  • All worthwhile things to acknowledge. Soldier forward. You are beautiful genius no matter how good (or not) business is.

  • Belated birthday wishes! I’m sorry your cake had brown strawberries. That really blows.

    Belle, it’s so amazing to read through this post and see the realisations emerging. I agree with Mrs D and wonder if learning to live with the quiet times, with yourself, is the next part of sober living for you (if that’s how you choose to continue). What do we do if there’s no imperative to remain sober? I’ve been pondering this a lot, mainly because i do have so much time on my hands! I’m amazed that i stopped because i’m not working so hangovers would not affect my performance and every day could be party day if i chose that. And with hubby not working, our life this year has been one big holiday. But i turned it around used the time to deal with the addiction instead. Man, how did i manage to make this all about me??

    I can’t tell you what’s best for you, but I can tell you I agree that days counted DO mean something. They add up and represent moments like these where we struggle, question, and rail against the voice in our heads that tells us that ‘just one’ is manageable. And maybe ‘just one’ is manageable for you. It wasn’t in the past, but perhaps armed with all your new knowledge it could be done. I don’t know, that’s for you to decide/discover. Whatever your choice, this sober blogger will NOT come crashing down on you and my support is a given.

    And today is a new day and i have faith that you wrote this post last night, went to bed sober, and have awoken this morning, refreshed and hopefully free of your cold. Hugs to you xo

  • All I can say is that I am “cheery leading” for you! I know you will make sense of this. I say this with genuine care for you – as I was reading this post, I thought of my own big sister and how it seems like she has always followed the rules and done everything the right way because that was what was expected of her and to be a model to me and my other sister. It’s true Belle, you are a model to many of us but you are also a woman who is on her own path to sober living and if you have bumps in the road, then you have bumps. Your car has so much momentum, just coast for a bit, but don’t put on the brakes! (Sorry if this a big ramble that doesn’t make sense!)

  • I’m not sure what blogging world would come crashing down but you won’t get and crashing from me. You do what you need to do. Not my job to judge…just to support you and be your friend.

    What I can do is share my own experience. In the early days of my sobriety I thought this way a lot. I even had that one glass a couple of times. Unfortunately for me my disease is progressive and I could never stop at one…didn’t take long for me to be back up to one or two bottles a night and that sucked ass.

    But worse than that was the freaking dialog that went on in my head 24/7. Should I drink or not? Should I have another glass? Of course I should! Blah, blah, blah. Now that the bitch is finally quiet, no way I want to wake her up.

    Hang in there and know that we will support you whether you have 100 days or 100 seconds.


      • Well said Sherry. Hope you are doing ok Belle. For me it was always sitting in the quiet moments that I found the hardest, how I learned that I had to find contentment just in my own head (and embrace the sad person inside of me). Is that part of what’s going on? That you’ve been crazy busy, so busy it’s been relatively easy to stay off the booze? Anyway dear Belle, I would never judge if you did start drinking again or have one or two or whatever. i know what a sneaky sly bloody addiction this booze addiction is. Sending love, hugs, strength, support and grit from afar xxxx (can you send grit?!)

    • I’m new to blogging,1st time, not sure how to follow all this or find things again. Anyway, I made it 7 days and blew it. You described EXACTLY what happened to me 2 days ago!! So disappointed that I bought 2 additional bottles of wine yesterday.


  • Hi Belle: Sorry to hear you are sick, back in the States on the WC, my girls are puking their guts out…(TMI-IK!) I think the Pangs are going around, your post is the 3 or 4th I have read in the last 48 hours….Stay well.

  • Ok, firstly, knowing that you’re having these thoughts/cravings so much, it concerns me that there’s wine in the house. If there’s no way your hubby would be willing to remove it, for a few months, at least, is there maybe a shed or trunk or the car or somewhere less ACCESSIBLE that he could keep it? You’re so very new to this new life, and it sounds like you’re teetering? (And anyone would be!)
    You said ” i feel like a three year old about to pitch a tantrum. ” Well, you SHOULD feel like an infant- you’ve only been learning this new way of life for…how long?
    Early in recovery/sobriety, we all feel like we’ve been stripped of our warm, fluffy blanket, and thrust into a freezing cold, windy place. The booze kept us warm and cushioned all of our feelings. Now reality comes in and we wonder why we feel like a raw, exposed nerve, a lot of the time.
    One more thing that I was so grateful for, in having a group of folks around who knew JUST what I was feeling. I felt like a big baby, because really, that’s just where I was in the journey of sobriety. Those who were there before me reassured me that it would PASS, and it wouldn’t always be like that. I’m here to tell you that as long as you keep it simple-not a DROP for a day (repeat)-things will get easier.
    Just keep up the good work, honey.

  • A few things that have stuck with me through my last 21 days sober. I have been going to AA meetings (which in a million years I never thought I would be there) but I am loving it! One lady said ” My worst sober day is still much better than my best drunk” So true! Also play the tape all the way through… least this is how it goes for me: So I drink and I tell myself “who cares?” I am no hurting anyone. Its my time, my thing. So I start with one and then the bottle and I continue down the same crappy road I have been on before. Waking up at 2 in the morning hating myself again! You are strong and it is our mind telling us its not worth it but You are worth much more! Another thing I have tried to grab a hold of is the minute I am feeling like “poor me” I do something for someone..doesnt have to be big at all but something to get my mind off myself. Its life to have crappy days and its ok:) So feel it and then move forward! I believe in you!