Celebrates this occasion with some n/a beer, a book I have been waiting for for such a long time and buying insanely overpriced flowers. I don’t really now how to treat myself so what I’m doing now is visualising what someone else would do as a sober treat and then do that. Trying new stuff, you know?
Not that books and beer are new to me but to make something of an event doing it is new. Now if I could just put all of this plus myself and maybe some crisps in a hot bath it would be heaven. A little soggy perhaps, but still. Heaven I tell you.
So. I thought I should give all of you just starting out a small piece of advice. Me, now being the seasoned veteran and having a whole month under my belt … But if I can be serious for just one moment I’ll actually do this even though I’m obviously a beginner.
If you still are in the very early stages and everything is pretty wobbly, please do the following. Write down a list of all the shameful things that you have done, all the shame. All of it. Write down how it makes you feel. What it is you think about at 4 am. What you look like when you see yourself in the mirror in the morning. What it is you’d like to avoid feeling in the future and why. Think of it as a Best of-compilation of your drunken mess. Save the file on your computer and call it something extremely boring so that no-one will ever open it by mistake.
Because you know what? I have already started to forget. I have forgotten what it felt like waking up at dawn and having a panic attack. Hating yourself, wishing you could die just to stop drinking (instead of actually, you know, stop drinking), the amount of shame and time spent on doing damage control and feeling inferior and scared.
I reread my list yesterday and it made me feel lots of things. Ashamed of course, and frightened. But mostly I just couldn’t believe that I am the same person that had done all those things. Made ALL those bad decisions. Persisted on keeping doing the same mistakes over and over again. It just doesn’t seem reasonable that I was the one who kept on degrading myself and doing that crap for so long; just sitting back and observing as things spiralled downwards. I don’t want to live my life in constant fear of relapsing but I do believe it is important to have that honest testimony and go back and read it once in a while. Because you forget how that desperation feels, you really do.
Take care, possums.
I forgot! Now I’ll go back to eating my own weight in cheap chocolate and working away. But still. My first month, I did it!
*dances inappropriately *
For being a blog about quitting wining there sure has been a lot of whining lately. I need to get over myself. Just one last thing before I stop: today someone thought I was my children’s grandmother. That’s the second time this has happened to me in the last two months. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY FACE?
I’m sober, I’m working, I’m extremely busy. But I’m doing alright. Just wanted to check in and share something that Belle wrote in one of her e-mails which really summed up so much of that dissonance that always has been a part of me. The desire to connect without having the guts to open up. The feeling of utter loneliness and yet the reluctance to be honest.
We roll around and moan and say things like “why doesn’t anybody understand me” and yet we haven’t TOLD anybody the TRUTH of us.
So this is what I’m doing different this time. I’m trying to tell the truth about me.
I worked like a mad woman. No jumping off the wagon this time. But these last few days have been HARD. Really hard, like I just wanted to give up and scream and kick and destroy something and drink myself into oblivion. But I didn’t. Because
1) I don’t want to, I just don’t want to feel whatever it is I’m feeling at that moment. I want the feeling to go away. Fly away on wings made of chablis.
2) I found this absolutely brilliant person and she and I have made a pact. We will not have that first drink without telling the other person, but it quickly became more than that. These past few days she has been a little like those lifelines on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. We have e-mailed back and forth and I have used lots of very bad words and lots of ANGRY CAPITAL LETTERS and in writing and reading I have been able to get that pause that I need to catch up with myself and what I really want. That pause gives me the ability to put things in perspective, to see the bigger picture – and for that I am grateful. Thank you.
Now let’s all listen to this rather crap song and get on with our day.
Feelings. So many. This morning my husband for some reason said ka-chow! when he was able to catch the milk before it tipped over. For all of you that are so blessed as to not have been forced to watch the movie Cars every single day for over a year – this doesn’t mean anything, but for me, this morning, it meant everything.
My 10-year old is going through a rough time. He’s unhappy at school and acting out at home and being super neurotic and worries about all sorts of things and he has night terrors and yes. He’s in a very bad place and we’re doing our best to help him and get help but it’s really taking quite a toll on all of us. That simple memory of how much he used to love that movie and knew every line and how happy and innocent he was when he was a baby. Ah. The pain. Like a little knife. In my heart and in my nose. I almost never cry so I have almost forgotten how it is done so my poor body tried to fight it and it felt like someone had put acid up my nose. So very weird. One tear and extremely intense pain in the nose. This is really hard.
Tomorrow we have our wedding anniversary. First time without Bollinger. I don’t know how to celebrate stuff if it doesn’t not involve bubbly, how sad is that?
24 days and counting.
and to celebrate this lovely day I got a visit from the wicked witch, the chimp, the wolf and Lucy – my very own spoiled toddler with no prefrontal cortex what so ever.
I’ve been chatting with them all day but I’m finally getting the feeling that they’re about to leave. So there. I am now sober, but I am also a person that has started to not only talk to imaginary creatures of the mind – but to also write about the fact that I talk to imaginary creatures. There you go.
Just a quick note to myself that things actually DO change. Today was the first day I experienced something new. The absence of things like: the constant angst, the waking up, the intense self-loathing – sure I notice them as well but they’re not add-ons, they’re just absentees and therefore a lot more subtle. Anyway. Today when I went to pick up my youngest one she handed me a note that she had written all by herself. She just turned five and her interest in letters and reading is rather new so I was very surprised. The note was a very pretty pink and purple one with butterflies and then she had written JAG ÄLSKAR DIG MAMMA. I love you mum. And not to be all braggy, but I have received these lovely notes before, because all children love their mothers even when they happen to be neurotic alcoholics with a tendency to sulk and tell them to clean their rooms. And I’ve said thank you and appreciated it. Anyway. Today I actually teared up. Just out of the blue. She was so happy and proud and I felt. I FELT. FEELINGS! And they were of the good kind. Now I’m tearing up again. Jesus, I have been so shut off for so long. Today I am grateful. And I love her too. More than I know.
This is what I need. To truly understand that I can not cheat, I can not make time go faster, I can not skip certain parts, I can not be anyone else.
Still here. Still sober. Just not really LOVIN’ LIFE at the moment. Feelings all over the place but they are mostly (only) un-pleasant ones.
Re-discovered L7 yesterday and have been listening to this ever since. Ah, how I loved this album. They were the first band I ever interviewed and I must have been 18? Yeah, it was 1991 – the year punk broke.