I Can’t Do This Alone

And I can’t do it all at once. I know that. Obviously. But. It feels as though it is all happening TO ME, and all at once. It is overwhelming. Day 26, and I do not feel wonderful or free. I feel terrified and as though my entire world, outer and inner, may come crashing down on me at any moment. I read something on In Others’ Words this morning* about getting sober feeling like reaching the top of Mount Olympus and then realizing it’s actually just emerging from Mordor, and perhaps that is where I am at. 

By grace or dark comedy we started seeing a therapist on the same day I stopped drinking, ostensibly to talk about some difficulties my middle son has been experiencing, but by the time I’d spent the first 15 minutes of the appointment weeping ugly crying it became fairly clear that the old “put on your own oxygen mask first” chestnut may apply. The result is that I have been dredging up a lot of very painful stuff during the past 26 days (Wrote weeks there and had to come back and correct it. That pretty much sums it up!) not all of which relates to my drinking except to the extent that eventually everything relates to our drinking, whether it is caused by it or what we are using it to try and run from. 

I think on its own, the realization – which felt like a bolt from the blue although I know it cannot truly have been – that I have a “proper” drinking problem would have been a lot. This… has been a really lot. I am mindful that my continued, worsening (incredibly) insomnia is also making things feel more catastrophic and making it more challenging for me to deal with what I am experiencing, but that is nonetheless where I find myself today and understanding that lack of sleep is part of what is hurting doesn’t make it go away, sadly. 

Conversely, thanks to the many warriors who have come before me and written about their journeys so beautifully and bravely I have the framework (is that the right word?) to make sense of a lot of it, at least intellectually – especially the very fact of the noise level of all of the feelings and thoughts and fears and whatever else that I was drinking to drown out. (“Yes it is loud in here, honey. Drinking didn’t make that stop, it just meant you couldn’t hear it you could pretend to ignore it.)

This is a bit of a rambly and self-serving post, but I have to run to fetch the boys and my straggly drafts folder (already!) tells me if I don’t post this now, odds are, I won’t. I want to be able to come back to these days because I believe (mostly; I am trying to believe) that it will get better, even for me, and I don’t want to forget. I am WORKING ON BEING grateful to be here. 


*I spent the morning binge reading the first few months of her archives so I can’t say with certainty where from, but possibly her most recent post. Today is her two-year soberversary and it is a beautiful post. It is a beautiful blog. Thank you Prim for the link.)

Edited to add: Holy cow! 26 days!!! 26 mornings without a hangover. I am! I am SO GRATEFUL TO BE HERE. 


9 thoughts on “I Can’t Do This Alone”

  1. Stormy weather with you it seems… well done for getting it down. My experience has been that the not-mere-at-all act of identifying and describing on my blog what I am going through is a HUGE step in working out where I am, which is vital in working out what step to take next.

    Glad you are reading Laura’s blog. It is pretty damn wonderful, yes?

    Therapy in first month of recovery is a lot to deal with. Reading this post reminded me that when I was going to therapy I used to write at the top of my daily to do list the acronym ‘TVGCOM’, standing for ‘Take Very Good Care Of Myself’. Thanks for that reminder and hope you can remember as much as possible to do the same. Xx

    PS maybe grace AND dark comedy?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to write this, Prim. I was feeling a bit silly for feeling so dreadfully sorry for myself and posting about it, but it did help and YOU have helped, both by sharing Laura’s (damn wonderful!) blog and with your comment that I have woken up to on much calmer seas this morning. I think the therapy has been really helpful and quite… disorienting is the best word I can think of. If I could have planned it I’d probably have given myself a month or two off the wine first, but then perhaps I wouldn’t have made it that far. Grace and dark comedy indeed! Thanks again and happy sober Saturday to you! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG emerging from Mordor just made me belly laugh! That IS it! You are in the waiting room…the amazing effects of being sober hasnt kicked in and you are left to look around your life with sober eyes. This is a scary place BUT stick with it. You will come out the other side. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hopefully days 27 and 28 were fabulous!

    It feels like I keep saying it to folks, but watch out for the symptoms of PAWS. It feels a lot like you’re back in your first week of sobriety: Irritability, insomnia, flu-like feelings, general FUCK THIS attitude. Take good care of yourself. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Penelope! Much better this week. 😅 I am reading quite a bit about PAWS – very grateful to be forewarned. Well done on hitting 90 days, too. That is fabulous! xxx


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