the smell of defeat lurking about …

Sober penpal VP (day #14) says that some days she feels OK about being sober, but other times she can “smell defeat lurking.”

Funny thing that.  I can smell it too, sometimes.  I’ve been feeling like wine would be a good idea for a couple of days now.  Of course, wine would be a TERRIBLE idea, but it’s been on my mind. I have weeks and days where i’m like la-la-la-la life is great, and then there’s a whiff of “defeat” and a twinge of “fuck it” …

what i wrote to VP, and what i’ll write now, again, so that i’m saying it to me too is:  you may smell defeat lurking, but it’s just a feeling, not a decision.  the smell will pass! especially if you talk about it (with others, with hubby), and if you open the windows (i.e. get outside and don’t isolate), and if you reach out for help 🙂  

VP will be fine and I will be fine.  i have moments, though, like everyone else.  I will feel crummy for a bit.  I’ll go to bed early. my brain will throw a temper tantrum. then i’ll be fine.  I will reread my post about moods/feelings and decisions. and i’ll pretend that someone else wrote it.

happy day 17 to Lilly, day 13 to Leigh Ann, and day 296 to Thirteen… and happy day 269 to me 🙂


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

  • Thanks Lynda! That is all good advice. Eating, yes, I hadn’t really thought about that but it’s very true that if I am full and satiated I am less prone to craving. I’m also going to take a super yummy mocktail for myself to lessen any “deprivation” feelings.

  • Kudos to all mentioned above for all these wonderfully sober days and weeks and months; we’re doing what’s best for ourselves.

    Sleep is an honest way of dealing with those times of day when temptation is strongest, when my willpower may be at its weakest, when the weather changes and my pain worsens and I’m cranky and can’t help it… I take to my pre-warmed bed where I do nothing but sleep and cuddle hubby, and allow my natural processes to take over and relieve me of the burden of dealing psychologically and physically with life.

    I was reminded of this today when a forum member read a blog post of mine wherein I talk about sleep and wrote to me that it helped her understand better why her sister in recovery sleeps during the daylight hours. It felt so good to be able to help someone.

    You are helping so many people here with your great blog and your emailing each other and supporting all these super efforts and successes and restarts without recriminations. It’s a great place to be.

  • Yip there is a big differnce between craving a glass and deciding to have one. We need to understand that the inner toddler (I want, I want, give me NOW!) does not always have to get their way!

  • Wow, is it day 17 already? So it is!

    I think I needed to read this today. I have a long weekend coming up here with potential trigger situations. I know the ‘oh fuck its’ are a risk in one particular situation so I have resolved to take some time to actively combat them and work out how I might handle them BEFOREHAND for a change.

    Anyone got any particular tips on this front. Besides just ‘stay home’ that is 🙂 (And no, not an option in this case and I don’t want to – I want to go and not drink and feel good about it and not torture myself with even the possibility.)

    Go Team 100!

    • Lilly, I have found that if i eat something that I really enjoy Before I go to an event, I have banished a lot of the demon that asks me to drink–I think some of our drinking is hunger related as in HALT-hunger is listed first for a reason. So be full of something you like then stick to juice-cranberry is yummy-tasting with a splash of OJ tossed on top of it. Squeezing a lime into plain or fizzy water is good too if you like that. The sliced fruit at the bar can be a wonderful distraction.

      Most important to me is a way to go vacate without disrupting anyone else’s experience. Then if it gets to be too much, I can leave for a few mins, for an hour or for the rest of the event. People are generally pleased and supportive of us in recovery. If they are not-best to find others to party with.

      Hope there’s something here for you. I applaud you and wish you the best, Lilly.

  • I wish I had read this earlier before my three week optimistic streak ended in lurking defeat. I am cautiously re-entering, taking nothing for granted. I went with the “fuck it” voice in my head a few times, and now know that I need to be more mindful, no matter how that early euphoria works. Thanks for posting this- I’m going to go read your thinking post…

  • I well recall that ‘smell’ – and it’s been over 8 years since I had a drink! Some things are just burned so deeply inside us, we never fully forget them.

    Hang in there, and congrats on Day 269!!

  • Kudos to you on 269!

    When I am feel low and vulnerable I try to be mindful of H.A.L.T.

    Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, & Tiredness in Recovery
    If I don’t take care of the above it puts me in danger of a relapse.
    Have a great night!