I have a cold. my colds are never very bad, or long, 3-4 days maximum. they thankfully don’t turn into ear infections or require antibiotics. they’re just garden variety head colds.
But having a cold is NOT good news for me, because i’ve had 2 before, since getting sober, and i know that both previous times i got a gigantic case of the ‘fuck its’ and decided to drink again. i set a date 7 days into the future and said “i’m drinking then.” and then the cold goes away, and the date comes and goes, and i remain sober. thankfully.
But there’s something about being sick that gives me a feeling of despair and woe-is-me. i usually still run if it’s only a head cold (versus a chest cold). and running always makes me feel better. I usually still work, jobs #1 and #2 and my passion job #3 thingy. having a cold doesn’t keep me from getting things done, but the internal dialogue, the noise in my head … man, it ramps up into a frenzy.
During my 24 hour mini-vacation on the weekend, i could feel the cold coming on. and i had an mini-anxiety attack to go with my mini-vacation… “oh no a cold is coming, you know what that means, better get prepared, get some meals ready, get your sober supports in place, get the catering wine out of the fridge (done!).”
Today is day 2 of said cold. and while last night i had a very teary, despairing moment about this blog (!) and about the AA ideas of ego (what do i know about that? i’ve never been to AA!), and fleeting despair about the sober challenge … well, let’s just say i got scared. I tried to explain it to my husband but he’s a normal drinker so he just doesn’t get it, though he does try really, really hard.
I said “what if i start drinking again? this team 100 thing? it’ll be a disaster.” And husband is like “yes, but you won’t.”
Me: “But i feel sick, so maybe i’ll just start opening the wine and drinking. i could do that right now.”
Husband: “and you won’t.”
And he’s right. i won’t.
i think i learned something concrete last night: Being afraid of relapse is not the same thing as relapsing. In fact, being afraid of relapsing is probably a good thing. it means i’m aware, i’m conscious. I start to circle the wagons sooner. i’m afraid, and therefore i read blogs online, i get the house cleaned up, and i get my cold medications ready. i empty the fridge of catering wine and i go to bed and sleep 11 hours (again, last night).
i also know, deep down, that i won’t drink. But i gotta tell you i really hate feeling like it’s a possibility — even if the feeling is temporary. I have a good cry and and big sleep and it goes away. thank god.
Today is day 290 for me. That’s 6,960 hours of sobriety, give or take. i’ve had 2 colds already and i have survived. i will survive this one. This is not the zombie ap0calypse. it’s not worth drinking over.
frankly, nothing is worth drinking over.
hooray, cold medicine is working well today, and after 11 hrs sleep i feel significantly better than i did last night. and that’s good news.
And every day I wake up to a some delightful sober messages, like these ones, please keep emailing so i can keep sharing:
J: “You know, in all the years of trying to quit drinking, your advice of going to bed RIGHT NOW is the most effective I’ve ever heard – sounds silly but it absolutely works, so thanks!”
Julie: “Ok, Belle, I’m sorry, but I laughed at “evil pig fucker”! You (we) made it through … fuck you wolfie.”
MG: “I can’t describe this feeling. It’s just an uber calm and peaceful sense. Like I can’t believe how many years I was an anxious dreary mess. And how excited i am to be moving on with this new me. Again, the church message (hard to explain unless you were there) was kinda alluding to that “one thing” that you know needs fixing. And I have heard that message time and again and WANTED to do something. And finally I feel like I am.”
Terri: “… The question of whether I will stay stopped or not is still rattling round in my head … I joined [the challenge] because my original goal of 90 days was looming and I couldn’t figure out what to do next … I still get pangs sometimes, but compared to the beginning when it was a white-knuckle ride, I can brush them away much more easily. At the moment because the answer to this eternal question is not definitive, I am not drinking. I don’t want to throw away what I’ve achieved unless I am absolutely certain I can either manage it or jump back on the wagon without falling off a million times. I read a great quote the other day – alcoholism is just death on an instalment plan. That is powerful and really stopped me in my tracks. So in answer to the question what is better now than it was in the beginning – not having to work so hard to surf those urges is probably the best, waking up clear, sleeping more soundly and feeling better about myself for finally keeping a promise I made to me.”
Team 100 update: We now have 36 people on this sober vacation, welcome to newest members: Lauren (23), Brandy (7), Sunny Sue (42), and Cindy (who is on day 2). I’d like to hear again from SoberinMtl, Vivien, TMcA, and Leigh.