“I do have power over alcohol — I have the power to not drink it”

Heidi sent me an email as part of her sober update for today. With her permission, here’s an extract:

I had a dream. [I was in a hotel room, on my way out for the evening.] As I passed the fridge I thought, “what the hell? I’ll just have 2 here and no one will be the wiser.  Then I won’t have to drink in front of everyone else so no one will know that I didn’t stay sober.”  I cracked the beer and felt it work its way through my veins.  It tasted so good…and I quickly finished my second drink.

I headed out the door with a smile, finally feeling relaxed.  A thought quickly caught my attention. “What the heck am I going to tell Belle?”

That’s so weird, since I have never met you and actually know very little about you … I was worried about a promise I made to you, someone I don’t know, but yet I was able to break so many promises to the people I love over the years.

I woke up a little shaken (as I do after having “using” dreams).  I was trying to figure out what it all meant.

I decided the meaning was this: I am ready.  Truly ready to stop drinking.  Ready and willing.  It’s not about me keeping a promise to someone I don’t know versus breaking a promise to my loved ones.  It’s that I have finally found myself in a place of willingness and peace … a place where no one and nothing is going to stop me from being sober.  I am in control and with the help of others I can do this.  I can stay sober.  I love going to AA but I do have a hard time with the idea of powerlessness.  I am not powerless over alcohol — but when I drink, I give up that power.  I do have power over alcohol — I have the power to not drink it.  That’s a damn good feeling.

So yes, I am sober on day 13 [of the 100 day challenge] — you were right.  The temper tantrums in my head have gone down a little bit, and I can have feelings of happiness.  I’ll take it.  This is way better than being drunk.

As for me, i’m having a lovely Sunday. Day 267. Right when Heidi’s email came in, i was getting ready to make whipped cream for a cake. thought about adding some liqueur to the whipped cream but since the alcohol won’t be cooked off, I won’t.  I really debated it for a few seconds, well it’s only half a teaspoon… anyway the answer is no.  While I do sometimes ‘cook’ with alcohol, I don’t just add it ‘raw/uncooked’ to things. I don’t want to taste it. Well, I do want to taste it but I know not to taste it.  Thanks wolfie, you can go back into hiding now!

[I know that not everyone feels comfortable cooking with alcohol, in any form (even boiled/cooked), and lots of people aren’t comfortable having any booze in the house at all. I do a lot of catering and there is alcohol in my house. I know me, and I’m OK with it. You may not be like me.]

Hooray to Heidi, and thanks for letting me share your email on the blog 🙂


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

  • The number of days clean aren’t a good measure. It’s the quality of those days that matters. A long march starts with the first step. Just say “I quit for ever” and start living. Don’t waste your life away counting days.

  • Control of the wolf inside our head–yes, that’s the key to maintaining for me. What a great email to receive from a fellow abstainer.

  • NICE. This post is going to be my “armor” against wolf today, at the beach, and later, at a pub, when all will be drinking and I’ll be…being me, having fun, and not drinking!