I received this email from A. today.
She writes: “I am usually suspicious of the type of thinking that subscribes to the notion that things always happen for some cosmic reason. I believe that most of the time, crap just happens.
However, I just had a hell of a shitty day yesterday… and I drank (please reset me to Day 1 in the challenge.) My husband and daughter forgot that it was Mother’s Day and I got very upset. (I know, I’m an adult. I should realize that people don’t do things like that on purpose and just GROW UP, but yesterday it really hurt.)
I used my upset as an excuse — a fuck everything and everybody excuse. And I spiraled into the very typical alcoholic thinking that I suck, I’m a bad mother, I’m a bad wife, no one appreciates me, blah, blah, blah. I drank because I felt I deserved to be able to drink since everything else was so sucky.
So when I was lying awake in bed this morning and beating myself up some more, I figured that I better close this email account and stop pretending that I could ever quit drinking because everyone else seems to get in their sober car and never look back — and I keep turning the fucking car around. I felt I ought to just tattoo a big L on my forehead for loser and go crawl in a hole.
Then I logged onto the computer and saw your post from yesterday…
“You may stop and start a bit, while you figure out how to get your sober car on the road. It doesn’t matter.”
Wow — talking directly to what I was feeling (is there a cosmic reason at work?) Maybe I’m not such a gigantic loser… (although, I do have to own the fact that I failed yesterday.) I can’t say that I’m feeling confident — I’m not sure how to get there in my mind. But certainly more hopeful that I felt earlier.
And you can quote me because today, you got me back in the car.
~ from A.
I ‘do’ believe in signs, but more in the way that when you’re ready to hear something, then the message makes sense. You might have read the same thing a month ago, but today it makes sense to you…
PS/ And those little shits for forgetting Mother’s Day! Really. If it was me, though, I’d have been reminding them for weeks. I announce my birthday for one full month in advance. I also post a list of gifts on the fridge that would suit me. Nobody fucking forgets my birthday, I assure you. Those shits…
Here are some Mother’s Day flowers for A.:
I have to say, what no one ever seems to talk about, is: I want to drink! Jesus, of course, I do! I really want to drink…but I don’t. I won’t. I can’t. I remember all the way back in 2007, I was marking on my phone, Day 1–this was during the spring of 2007, and then I had to go all the way to the summer of 2008, where I made a miserable (yes, I was miserable sober) 30 days without a drink. It took a whole other however many years until last summer, when I was like, It’s time. I’ve just had enough of this shit.
It just takes time…and during that time, you *come to know* the desire to not drink (well, to desire to stay sober). And, that’s when it gets easier to maintain a sense of hopefulness and resilience in the face of the urges and obsessing over drinking-to-make-it-better.
Hugs to A. Hugs to all of us! We are doin’ our best.
Thank you for sharing this… And thank you A for getting right back on the horse, and not giving up. I can soo relate to the way you felt. I didn’t have the best of Mother’s days either, and I totally had the same thoughts going thru my head. Instead of embracing the day anyways, and doing what I wanted, I sat in self pity, that no one planned it out for me. Ugh. I need to stop using others as an excuse because they did not measure up to my expectations. I have to remember that, because I didnt drink, but I sure made the day miserable for myself. Many hugs to you A – keep moving forward, it took me many tries, hang in!
I can only echo what was said above in the previous comments – keep getting back up. It will eventually be the time that it will be “that” time. I too had many sober days in a row – 10 days, 15, 6 months, 6 weeks, 3 months, 2 days etc. Today it is 57 days (I have to check with Belle) because I’m not really counting this time. There is a different light for me this time around. I just know deep down that this is my time, I never want to feel that angst, dread and self loathing ever again. Done.
I have to comment on what you said Belle about reminders for your birthday. I love that!! There’s no way in hell that your husband is ever going to forget your birthday and you actually make it easy for him by reminding him and guiding him in appropriate gift choices. That is funny!
You are such a breath of fresh air.
I, too am on the 100 Day Challenge. I have had to reset my ‘clock’ once – maybe twice? – but trust me, that is ONLY the ones since I’ve met Belle. I have this Iphone app from AA (I don’t currently go to AA, but I did a few times, and don’t knock it at all) and it has a ‘sobriety calculator’. I can’t count the times on my fingers and toes how many times I’ve re-set it. I’ve reset it sober, drunk AND hungover…and I would say it’s taken me a good two years of ups and downs and slowing and speeding to get where I am today, which is (I had to go check!) 26 days! Yes, I had to check because I’m not really counting day to day, I’m just living. I’d had 12 days, 18 days, and this one seems to be sticking. I seem to have found this ‘lightness’ – this feeling of normalcy that I am my old self, that I’m guarding but also just living. My biggest challenge was the night time – the witching hour, yes, but also the 9pm after my family went to sleep and I had four hours (I’m a night owl, still am, too, even sober, sometimes) and bedtime. I didn’t think I could go to sleep sober. I couldn’t remember a time in two years I didn’t go to bed with either drinking, ambien or even xanax to knock me out. Numb my evening. But, apparently, I can. And I have, for nearly a month.
It’s NOT just jumping in the sober car and driving. It’s getting in the sober car, buckling your seatbelt, rolling down the window, turning on the radio to a tune that makes you smile and sing along, and remembering that place, perhaps when you were 25, perhaps when you were 16, maybe when you were 12, that gives you the love of life, adventure, happiness, ups and downs……
Oh yes, and looking in the rear view mirror to glance at your past, but not let it block your vision. Don’t forget to occasionally look at the side mirror, too, because those blind spots can be closer than you think, and that ‘wolfie’, or ‘crazy’ or whatever you call that urge to drink can sneak up on you, too. Keep your eye on them – but look forward for the best view.
I must say to “A” that you are NOT alone. I have felt that way too. Why am I the only person that has to start over on the challenge? I made it 35 days and failed. Well, I didn’t fail, I call it a momentary lapse in judgement. Because I, like you, got right back up (well, not really as I was terribly hung over) and started again. I am on Day 24!
It’s not how many times we slip and don’t stay sober, it’s about believing that it is possible! My husband (who is pissed at me and extreme skeptic right now) said something to me today that made sense. “Everybody has their moment. The time that they take their last drink and don’t pick it up again. Believe that this is your time and it just might be.” For someone who doesn’t get it, he seems to know something. 🙂
You should be proud. You drank. You picked yourself up and you started again. If you didn’t drink today, I would call that a total win!
Love you Belle – thank you for touching my life!