Day 401 – have I done enough?

Warning – this post may be triggering!

I am currently in a really strange frame of mind. Generally, things have been good recently – Mr W had the operation, and I felt a huge sense of relief. Even though we don’t know for sure whether it has been successful yet, and even if it is, we still might not be able to conceive. But I feel we have done what we set out to do and there is more to be hopeful about than afraid of.

Other news – a gathering at a friend’s on Monday was lovely, lots of kids around, and I think I’m doing slightly better all the time in that area. The house is coming along, I’m trying to decide whether to ask the builder to finish our patio as well and just stick the bill on a credit card. I’m not normally prone to running up credit card bills, but it’s something that would take us ages to do and I’m less able to put up with these things not being completed now, for some reason(?). You only live once, right? I want to enjoy my home in a state of completeness, not with a big square of mud outside the back door!!

But the reason I’m in an odd state of mind is to do with sobriety. At least it feels that way to me. I know people would tell me that I’m not reaching out for support enough, I’m not asking for help, I should be going to meetings etc.

It’s not that I’m really craving a drink. And I know I can do events sober – I’ve been through family bereavement, a funeral, a wedding, a children’s birthday party, carnival day, a couple of (admittedly very short) holidays. I’ve done a Christmas, and New Year, although I did stay home on New Years Eve. I’ve been to countless family meals out, a birthday party, done hot summer days, cosy winter evenings, all of it – all 401 days – sober. I know that I can.

I’m just not sure whether I want to be that person anymore, whether I need to be quite so strict about not drinking. I know people try moderating and fail, and I’m conscious that that’s a problem too. But since Mr W had his operation I’ve felt like I might want to re-join the world of ‘normies’. Maybe I’m asking ‘have I done enough’. Have I? Or can I literally never drink again? This whole journey started off with me signing up to do 100 days, I really wasn’t looking far beyond that. At all. I just focused on one day at a time and I reached that goal. Then I realised 100 days wasn’t enough. I hadn’t found whatever I’d been searching for so I carried on. And on… and here I am. I feel calmer, and yet life is in such high definition – constantly – that I can feel on edge. It’s all very stark, which I can cope with…but whereas I would normally just want to escape into self care, this feeling has coincided with a desire to return to ‘normality’.

I would like to have a drink. But I also think I may have ruined it for myself. I’m now agonising slightly because I know it would be such a huge thing to break hundreds of days. So I may not even enjoy it in the end, perhaps the guilt would be too great?! On the other hand (oh my God this is painful – are you irritated now because I’m irritating MYSELF!) I don’t know that adding up more and more days has the same effect as it used to, and maybe I’m even starting to feel overwhelmed as the number increases.

Either way, I don’t want it to be such a ‘big thing’ anymore. And I am aware on some level, that I am the one who is creating this ‘big thing’. No one else gives a rats ass. Drink or stay sober, no one is bothered, it’s up to me. And that’s the tricky part. Being sober is so great. It really is, it has done wonders for me. I have really benefitted from this past year, and found out so much about myself. I would not have changed one single minute of it. But… Oh I don’t know.

This is when posting on a blog called ‘waking up, being sober’ gets a bit confusing, I know. It’s not the ideal thing to be sharing. Then again, there might be someone out there who has been through a similar experience. I know of one blogger at least who has gone back ‘out there’. Does anyone have any thoughts?

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13 thoughts on “Day 401 – have I done enough?”

  1. I don’t count days, although I reached 21 months yesterday. I know, because it’s the1 St.

    I have embraced a life of seeking. Of enlightenment and fulfillment. For me, that means I indulge in spiritual books. I practice yoga. I take it off the mat.

    This wasn’t me when I was drinking. I am an engineer. I was practical.

    But this life feels right. And I really cherish it. So I have chosen to be a non drinker, non drug user. I don’t want to blur anything. Even if that means things are sometimes clearer and sharper than I might like.

    What might happen if I drank again? I can’t say. I have addressed some life long depression and anxiety. I have found my inner voice. I love myself. I honour myself. Surely that would count.

    But the risk is there. I can still remember wanting to drink compulsively. Drinking more than I planned. Feeling horrible and not remembering going to bed the night before.

    I am not willing to bring that back into my life.

    Life Maya Angelou says – when you know better, do better.

    For me, knowing life is so much better sober, means my choice is made.

    Anne

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks, Anne. I appreciate your wisdom.
    I don’t want anything to become blurred either. But all or nothing suddenly feels sort of…oppressive?
    So perhaps it’s the ‘even if that means things are sometimes clearer and sharper than I might like’ that I’m struggling with.
    Thank you πŸ™‚

    Like

  3. Hi WU,
    I do have a few thoughts and I’m putting these out here for you to sort through, see if something fits.

    I have turned it around. When I think the Oooh-if-I-can-stop-so-easily,-I-might-as-well-drink-again’ thought I realise that there is something in my life which does not want to be dealt with sober / does not want to be seen / does not want to be felt or experienced. It is like politics: sometimes you should not look at the content of what ‘people’ say (or the addict within) but the reason why they say it. Looking at it from that side means in my life that this thought shows exactly that I’m not done with my addictive behaviour yet. Unfortunately, not drinking is not enough to get rid of an addiction and an addictive personality. :-/ And no, I don’t want to accept that (either?) :-(. This is my personal struggle since my anniversary last week.

    The thought of ‘wanting to be like a normie’ for me is an indication too that I somehow feel that the selfcare or restraint I (think I) need to keep me from not drinking or to make me do stuff in my life has been (too?) hard on me. For me it mainly has to do with judgements, shame, secret despise of my addictive personality. These are nasty subjects and the more nasty is that they don’t like to be seen. By nobody. I’m learning however that shame is very destructive and it makes me tired. Denying it when drinking feels like it is not there. While it is secretly doing its destructive work. :-/

    I’m not sure if I sense this correcly but I find this ‘Whoah, let’s have some fun and not think about tomorrow’ aspect -which is very much related to drinking- reflected in your patio arguments. And, well, you read my posts so you do know that I am not the one who does any of this any different… πŸ˜€ / 😦

    Last but not least, you might want to look in to the dynamics which bring on the thought of drinking exactly (!) now not drinking would be generally acceptable because of your family plans. Obviously I’m not an expert but when reading your post that is what struck me most, I found it a most interesting timing.

    It is my personal, well, obviously still meagre, experience that the mechanisms of addiction are cunning. Like somebody said to me: ‘While you just live your life, your addiction is doing push-ups in the back of your brain, waiting for a moment of weakness.’ For some people that is major crisis, for some people that is major party, for some people it is boredom and for some people it is the need to want to fit in and be ‘normal’. I’m thinking it is important for everybody to find their own triggers and see how they want to / can deal with them.

    Those where my thoughts, hope you find/found something in here which can help you on your way. πŸ™‚

    xx, Feeling

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, feeling πŸ™‚ yes I can see where the ‘I just want to have some fun’ is coming through. But it feels more like ‘I want to be normal’, or, ‘I want to be like the normies’. And you’re right to pick up on that timing. Maybe I do just want a few glasses before I have no choice but to be sober. I will make sure I’m sober around any time that pregnancy would be possible…listen to me talking like this – I don’t know if it will work!
      Also apart from a couple of days when Mr W had just come home, the builder has been here for the last six weeks and the house is in major disarray. Maybe self care has been a bit more difficult in these circumstances…
      Thank you for this, I will do some more thinking πŸ™‚ xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. πŸ™‚ You do some more thinking. πŸ™‚

        Btw: did you know that the chance in pregnancy droppes 40% when having 8 or more glasses of alcohol a week? That’s how poisonous it is. The body says: ‘Whaaaaaaa! If you live in such poisonous environment it is not good for a baby to come!’
        And no, you will not be able to have ‘safe’ sex with 20 glasses a week ;-).
        xx, Feeling

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I totally get it – me not being sober would not involve drinking 8+ glasses of wine per week! But thanks for the statistic, that really does put it into perspective.
        Update: had blueberry cordial with soda water, now stuffing my face with sweet popcorn and drinking tea. Mr W asked me to smell the red wine to see if I thought it was corked, and that was as far as I got. No drinking tonight! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Waking Up,
    Only you know you.
    Were you a binge drinker, or a 3 glasses or more a night drinker.
    Why exactly did you decide to get sober.
    What would you gain by drinking?
    What would you lose?
    I find that when the “I wish I was a normie” thoughts come to me, I must be extra honest with myself.
    For today, the best part of being sober, is peace of mind.
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi feeling! Sorry for the late reply… I am well thanks, although I haven’t kept up with the blog, or reading blogs. Mainly because I have been drinking occasionally, and I wasn’t sure what to write about that on a sobriety blog.
      I should probably do a post about it at least, and yet I sort of don’t really want to go into too much detail about my recent drinking experiences, obviously because of anyone reading who could be triggered by it.
      I just read that again and I’m thinking that calling them ‘drinking experiences’ feels like giving too much weight to them, too much importance. And it’s not that important. If it became important to me, that would be the signal to quit again.
      Generally, life is good πŸ™‚ I’m still the same, up and down, but the extremes aren’t particularly extreme. I must catch up on reading how you are doing – I hope everything is going well for you? πŸ™‚ lots of love, waking xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi WU,
        Ghegheghe, now ‘catching up’ is the worst thing I believe you can try to do with my blog because I have not been blogging, I have been writing novels – bad ones at that. πŸ™‚ I’m fine-ish though. Still trying to understand how addiction and transferred addiction works. Good news: 4 days no sugar and the mist in my head is clearing away. That is good :-).
        For me I think to know for sure that if I drink again I will get depressed very badly and I can’t afford that. So no booze here. πŸ™‚
        Drinking or no drinking I think your experience with decisions and whether or not the work is of value to people here. You could always put a trigger warning on top?
        Hope to hear from you,
        xx, Feeling

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The novel writing sounds great! what genre are they? I’m sure they’re not bad πŸ™‚ it’s a good point you make about continuing to blog as it might be of interest to some people. And addiction – I have transfered mine to those candy – soda – cookie – crush type games on my tablet. Plus a hidden object game. They are such time wasters, I may have to delete them! Work on the house is still not quite finished, which is annoying because I just want to clean up and move on to the decorating phase. But I can’t really do anything yet until the builder has finish so I feel in a bit of a limbo.
        But life is good, work is busy but enjoyable, so I really can’t complain!
        Have a great weekend feeling πŸ™‚
        Xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

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