Day 88

I’m still here and still sober but I haven’t really felt like blogging as much in the last couple of weeks. I’m on day 88 now and not drinking is becoming more normal and routine. Over the last 12 weeks I’ve spent almost as much time thinking about not drinking as I did thinking about drinking and I feel like I’m ready to move on to the next stage, whatever that is.

I still get those ‘Ooh, wine would fit nicely into this moment’ kind of thoughts but I’m now noticing they seem to be more a result of ingrained habitual thinking than a real desire. Those thoughts are fading in intensity and have less power over me. I’m recognising a subtle separation between that restless, uncomfortable ‘gap that needs filling’ feeling and its association with wine. It panics me less and I am able to think, ‘Yeah, yeah, mind the gap, it’ll pass’. When I’ve started to ‘play the movie’ in my head I’ve sometimes even noticed an aversion to the thought of drinking. Deep down I know that looking to alcohol in these moments is pointless and futile and will never solve anything.

I’m starting to recognise the difficult moments as an opportunity to be mindful and a chance to stand up and build something new and better rather than taking the old, familiar and ‘easier’ option. It’s really not easy. I feel like I’m climbing a mountain at the moment. I seem to frequently fall into a trough of TV or game bingeing, pizza and chocolate bingeing or just lethargy, flatness and laziness. I also somehow always seem to find a way to pull myself out of it. I’m hungry for knowledge and experimentation whether it’s in psychology, spirituality, nutrition or any form of behaviour change. Maybe I’m finally ready to make the climb, to do the work that I’ve spent most of my life avoiding? No matter how hard the climb feels at times I’ve come far enough and seen enough benefits to not want to get drunk and slide backwards down the mountain. I can feel a shift towards being motivated by positive and constructive desires to build and grow rather than shying away from negativity and fear.

Now I’m starting to be a bit less preoccupied with not drinking I’m moving back towards some other projects in my life. My artwork is always waiting for me. I’m back on the decluttering mission. I’m also starting a new writing project which I won’t detail here as it won’t be written anonymously. I know that none of this would get the chance to happen if I let alcohol back into my life at the moment. I don’t know what my longer term future relationship with alcohol will be but I know that it has no place in my life for the forseeable future.

I’m still reading other sober blogs every day even though I haven’t been writing. It has been very interesting to read about the experiences of people who have managed increasingly large chunks of sobriety and then returned to drinking for various reasons. Some of their relationships with alcohol seem to have changed for the better and I’m hoping for it to continue for them. I really do wish the best for them but I’m also aware (as I’m sure they are) that alcohol can be deceptive like that while it’s in the process of creeping back in.

I have noticed that people tend to back away from blogging once they reach a point where they are aware they don’t fit neatly into one of the many labels around alcoholism and addiction. I also know many people couldn’t continue to read if a blog described a return to a new relationship with alcohol. For some it would be dangerous and triggery, for others not so much. Like religion, this is one of those subjects that tends to forge extremely strong opinions and the potential for conflict with people holding opposing views. Myself, I can’t help but be curious about the grey areas while respecting, appreciating and learning from all the different points of view from this wonderful community. I would certainly continue to read and be open to a variety of possibilities for how this journey could ultimately unfold.

Maybe addiction isn’t a black and white matter after all and could be more of a spectrum, like autism? Is it possible that once one has repaired the ‘hole in the soul’ then a previously problematic substance or behaviour may end up being no more dangerous than a luxurious soak in the bath? Can we get to a stage where it’s just a non-issue, like me and the smoking that I quit 15 years ago? I don’t spend my life in fear of cigarettes and know it’s going to be zero effort to never smoke again. Will that / could that happen with alcohol?

I know this is trigger territory for many and I apologise if it’s hard to read but I have read so many different views and opinions on addiction that I don’t know what I really believe. I feel more able to ponder questions like this at the moment as I’m genuinely open and curious rather than just looking for a way to talk myself back into the bottle. For now I’ve made my peace with the perspective that I can choose alcohol or spiritual/life/health growth and remind myself of this with my new Spiritus Contra Spiritum bracelet 🙂

bracelet

Take care everybody, be well x

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16 thoughts on “Day 88

  1. soberisland September 11, 2016 / 5:30 pm

    Nice post. It’s shitty down here. Don’t do it. The cravings are harsher since I jumped. I think there is a spectrum to alcoholism. It makes me unhappy. I don’t have a stop button once I start. I also don’t drink and drive and get on social media and act a fool or get into arguments or declare my love. I could continue to drink and the outside world would not really give it too much thought. Internally though, it’s keeping me stuck. Stay on that side of sobriety. You aren’t missing anything over here- I’m on day 3.

    Liked by 5 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater September 11, 2016 / 5:49 pm

      Hi! If the stop button is still broken then there’s not really much room for doubt I guess 😦 I know that I would go the same way if I went there at the moment, the hole is not even close to being repaired. Welcome back to the lighter side, don’t be stuck, keep going. Hugs x

      Liked by 3 people

    • ainsobriety September 11, 2016 / 6:58 pm

      I understand. I, too, was only hurting myself…and those who love me.
      But that is a sad place to be. To not be able to love, trust or have compassion for myself meant life was very grey and hard.

      The world needs each and every one of us to shine our light. Sobriety helps.

      Hug

      Liked by 4 people

  2. ainsobriety September 11, 2016 / 6:59 pm

    I seldom come across a blogger who finds a new relationship with alcohol.
    Like your smoking analogy, the thought of a drink does disappear.
    But, like smoking, do you think smoking again occasionally would be a good plan?
    Sometimes none is the simplest choice.

    Anne

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater September 11, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      Yes, I have zero difficulty not smoking but if I did have an occasional smoke then I’m pretty sure I’d be back on a pack a day before long. I suspect it will be the same with alcohol and none is almost certainly the simpler choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Untipsyteacher September 13, 2016 / 11:30 pm

    Dear TOTW,
    I am all for simpler, too!
    I love that you have a quest for learning!
    Keep on that path!
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. nursinggrudgesandliquor September 14, 2016 / 3:28 am

    When I decided 2 months ago to “take a break” from alcohol, I was thinking 2 weeks, a month. Forever didn’t enter my mind. Alcoholic is not a label I’m going to claim. I drank too much for a while, now I don’t drink. For right now I prefer being sober for all the reasons you list. Good luck to you, keep climbing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater September 15, 2016 / 6:44 pm

      Hi! It’s also a label I find I’m not able to comfortably adopt. Indefinitely feels more manageable than forever though they may end up being the same thing in practice. Good luck to you too 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. nomore4116 September 20, 2016 / 12:17 am

    I’m on 78 days! Go you, I believe you’ll be around 96 right about now! I’m so proud of you!

    I think its all a matter of personal perspective. Sort of like cake. Some people are okay with one piece, others struggle trying to turn down a second piece, ultimately eating the second… some eat no cake at all and don’t think anything of it …and some eat the whole damn thing.

    Maybe not perspective, but personal taste? Tolerance. Ability to control one’s actions? gluttony?

    I am in full agreement on the smoking thing. I also quit smoking a LONG time ago. When I quit, I never looked back. In fact, I can be around smokers all day long and not think twice about it. And that was the case in the early days as well. I was married previously and in my divorce I thought it a good idea to have a smoke to calm my nerves. It was disgusting and I put it out after 2 puffs realizing it was no longer for me. That was about 2 years into quitting smoking.

    I’m not sure why alcohol is so much harder. Likely because it’s so widely accepted in society.

    But I do also agree on the thinking about drinking thing. I mean, we start off not wanting to drink, not wanting to moderate, not wanting to think about it. But then we spend all of our time thinking about NOT drinking just to make it happen.

    Eventually it has to seize. Hopefully much like our smoking experiences, with a little more time it’ll just stop being a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I Quit Wineing September 28, 2016 / 12:44 am

    I fell off the wagon after 3 solid months. I thought I could ne a moderate drinker. I joined MM (moderation management) I failed. I have a huge problem with alcohol. I can’t stop. I definitely can not moderate. It is a lonely, scary place. Nobody in sober land wants to know you. I am glad I went through that time because it is now my foundation for a new future. But I wouldn’t wish it on anyone xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater September 28, 2016 / 1:11 am

      This is very interesting and confirms some of the stuff I was thinking about, thank you for your honest sharing. It sounds like that period was an important learning stage in your individual journey and it’s a shame that you felt isolated during it. I’m happy for you that you came out the other side to a better place for you. Be well, hugs x

      Like

    • tiredoftreadingwater November 26, 2016 / 7:08 am

      Hi! Sorry, I haven’t checked in here in a while. I’m pretty good thanks, not quite where I wanted to be but also not where I feared I would be. I’m going to post soon on my experiment of the last 2 months or so. Thanks for checking in on me, I really appreciate it. How are you? I hope things are going well with you. Hugs x

      Liked by 1 person

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