One more lesson learned

I had three glasses of wine on Friday night. I’m not planning to have any more.

Friday would have been day 63. 

I felt off all last week. A constant headache and low mood for absolutely no reason at all, which was a rude shock after feeling so fabulous for so long. Looking back, there were a few things going subtly wrong. Too much work, not enough exercise, definitely not enough sleep, miserable weather, a really stressful situation where a friend has gone completely off the rails with alcohol and drugs and has a tiny baby thrown into the mix. I didn’t actually think about drinking at all until I got home from work all tearful and frustrated and poured it before I’d really had a chance to think about what I was doing. 

I’m often a mess on Friday nights. My job is emotionally exhausting – let’s face it, nobody needs a lawyer when everything is going swimmingly. There is a disproportionate number of high conflict personalities – because nobody needs a lawyer if both sides are reasonable people who can compromise. And I am still learning what I’m doing in a lot of ways, which is totally frustrating, because by 33 I imagined I’d be CEO of the universe and not clinging to the bottom rung of my career ladder. As a result, I often come home with none of my self-soothing resources left, and if I don’t drink then I smoke a bunch of cigarettes or eat a stupid amount of chocolate or get into an argument about something I don’t even care about on social media. 

It’s not like I don’t know what the solution is. Or solutions. There are heaps of them and they have been working for nine weeks. Making plans to do something  which involves being totally sober – like ice skating or pole dancing. Or retreating to the bath to slather my face in a mud mask and read a novel and drink tea. Gosh, it’s not rocket science.

I didn’t realise how annoyed I was at myself until I sat down to write this and started crying hot tears of frustration. Three glasses of wine isn’t the end of the world. For me, though, it was enough to bring back the awfully painful gastritis symptoms I get from drinking, which don’t exist when I’m not drinking. I’d forgotten how puffy I get from drinking  – my socks leave elastic marks around my swollen ankles and my sunglasses leave marks on my face. These are more things that don’t happen when I don’t drink. And those are only the physical symptoms – if I was feeling flat before the wine, I felt downright miserable after it.

I liked that my sobriety date was my birthday. I liked how strong and brave and a little bit smug I was feeling. I liked myself, even. I have experienced too much of how great being sober can be to throw it away at this point.

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17 thoughts on “One more lesson learned

  1. As one of my friends on the message boards pointed out today to another person who had broken her abstinence streak, “How would you have felt 9 weeks ago if someone had told you, you’re going to go 9 weeks without drinking and then you’re going to have 3 glasses of wine, but then you’re going to go right back to not drinking.”
    What would that scenario have looked like 9 or 10 weeks ago? Impossible? Well, now you’ve accomplished the impossible. You can do it again.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I did the same on Friday night at day 125 but I’m glad. I needed the experience. See my blog. We just move forward. Girl, who wrote rules that said this is all or nothing? It’s just about each of us getting out of the pit we found ourselves in! We can all do it differently! Be proud of yourself! No beating up allowed!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. DO NOT PANIC! It’s just a slip, I had a few myself in the first 3 months. It solidified for me that I did not want to return to my former drinky ways, that I really didn’t like how alcohol made me feel (you can really feel the diff after you haven’t drank for a while) and that I was hopping right back on that wagon.
    Regarding the stress- it’s out there, we all have it whether we’re lawyers or tradespeople, parents or not, married or not. Stress is not going anywhere, challenges and problems and hard times will always surface, it will always be something. But nothing will come to you that can’t handle.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Buggeration re the three glasses… But they will have whatever power, for good or bad, that YOU ascribe to them. They can be a lesson learned, indeed.

    I remember that feeling in early sobriety of letting my self-care slip as much as I dared. I visualised it as a wall between me and Wolfie, getting gradually lower and lower. Him pacing along beside me, eying it, trying to judge if he could leap it yet. Me thinking, no, it’s ok, I can let it get a little lower… Then what happened with you is BAM, he’s leapt it, while you thought you were still protected…. Build up that wall every day, my dear. Make it taller and stronger than you think you need. Add some dinky crenellations on the top because what’s not to love about crenellations? Every sparkly castle wall should have some! Big love and chin up! Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You haven’t undone all that you have learned or experienced these past weeks. As you say, one more lesson learned. Maybe you could call this day 65minus1?
    Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Don’t count from day 1 again. It’s just a slip, carry on with the counting, day 63 bar a little slip, use it to remind you how crap drinking is, forget about it and move on 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Trying to get sober can be such a mind-game (as all of addiction is really)…I too spent about 8 months trying, then going back for a “few”, then thinking I was okay as long as I had some periods of sobriety. On one hand, I didn’t want to beat myself up. On the other hand, if I wasn’t dead serious about sobriety, I would never achieve it. Its hard. But it can be done. The times I returned to drinking sometimes were okay to start, but became ugly before long. I always inched my way back to hangovers, embarrassment, blackouts, poor sleep, regret…I am here to tell you that alcohol does nothing to help with the stress and anxiety…it’s one thing to know that on an intellectual level…but a whole different thing to live sober for an extended period of time and really begin to accept in your heart that the situation with alcohol is what it is. I don’t know if its the same for you…I had to look deep within myself and know the truth that for me, alcohol isn’t just another thing like sugar or bread (or any “health” choice)…anyway…sending you hugs and comfort.
    Sorry for the long reply.
    Jenn

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are still strong. Still self confident.
    The booze kindles the little inner thought of isolation, and loneliness and being somehow incomplete.
    It’s not true. You are a beautiful, strong, vital person.

    So pull up your socks and give yourself a hug and don’t drink.
    Love
    Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You learn something from every single day sober, and from every slip. The past is done, learn from it and move forward… You have many sober days under your belt , and you will have many more . It will be ok. Lily 🌷xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As those above have said… Don’t discount what you have, what you’ve done, nor who you are. You know what you want, and you have been actively seeking it. I love how well you know yourself, your mind, your body. I mean, can you believe the changes in even 9 weeks? Like you said, You’re still here and that is perhaps 99% of the battle. Sending hugs and love.*

    Liked by 1 person

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