Ah, Friday

Today is another milestone – 40 days since my last drink. This is the second-longest period of abstinence ever in my adult life, and by some margin the longest of intentional sobriety. (I was af for 87 days in 2015 as part of a paleo/whole30 lifestyle reset but that was all about getting fit and healthy and had nothing to do with my relationship with alcohol, which was clearly not a problem. At all. I just happened to count every single day that I didn’t drink, and then remember the count for two years because… Well, you know.)

So here I am! I feel pretty good. I am less anxious and my emotions are more stable. My thoughts (and my skin! Ha!) are much clearer and I have quite a bit more energy. My sleep issues have not resolved and I am beginning to accept that I may have to take further steps to improve things on that front. My therapist is fairly strongly of the opinion that I would benefit from a regimen of antidepressants and/or anti-anxiety medication but I am reluctant. I am trying to think clearly and honestly about my reasons, and when I get a chance may try to hammer them out in a post: perhaps someone reading has thoughts/experience on the matter and would be willing to weigh in. I think at this stage my chief objection is that I have only just begun to feel that I am truly “at the wheel,” if that makes sense, and I am not ready to relinquish this newfound sense of control (also something I would like to come back to, as the control I have gained through surrender has been a profound and unexpected shift for which I am deeply grateful.) I recognize that there is place for nuance here, but I think I am only just beginning to reckon with how much of an impact alcohol had on my behavior and personality and emotional landscape and I don’t really want to introduce another mind-altering substance until I have a proper handle on who I am. In any case, although inadequate sleep is definitely impacting me, it’s not a new problem – the hideous 3am wake ups were one of the things that motivated me to make this change – and underslept beats the pants off underslept and hungover, it turns out.

I’m sitting in the car park of the railway station waiting for my husband’s train and I’ve run out of time. I’ll try to come back to this tonight. Leaving aside all of the other aspects of this journey I do not know how I found the time to drink the way I did.

**Saturday** Day 41 is begun! I should probably wrap this up anyway as it’s getting a bit long. On reflection, I found the time to drink because I was resigned to not achieving or creating anything beyond the minimum required to get three little boys and a household through the day. (Not nothing, I’ll grant, but a level of “rolling down the hill” is possible that doesn’t demand a lot of brainpower.)

I just want to share this one last thing because it was so affirming and perfectly timed. It will be a good moment to come back to and may hopefully even encourage someone else!

(*Tuesday* I have woken up in the middle of the night thinking about this post. There was a great, valuable lesson for me in what I had posted but it used details about other people’s drinking which, even in this anonymous setting, I do not feel good about. We’re all on our own journeys. I was around people drinking and I was jealous, and then I was beautifully reminded that it is not the elixir of relaxation and happiness it appears to be. I’m grateful for that.)

Saturday morning, and I am so happy and grateful not to be hungover or scheming and wondering how early we can start drinking again. Have a wonderful sober weekend! x

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17 thoughts on “Ah, Friday”

  1. Yay, Congratulations on Day 40!!! You’ve been on my mind, and I’ve been meaning to check in on you since its been rather quiet, then I saw your post early this morning. πŸ™‚
    What a lovely perspective of the distraction and interruption alcohol brings, so true, and so many subtle clues from us adults that kids pick up on regarding the centered importance of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. I feel like I’m being kind of swept along at the moment. No time for drinking but not a lot of time for thinking / writing either. It’s making me a bit uncomfortable as I think this early part needs a lot of nurturing and reflecting. I’ve really appreciated your last few posts. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi again, thank you for reaching out to me.
        I forgot to mention from this post of yours that I agree with the no medication for sleep. It kind of takes away the effort of clearing the alcohol out of your body just to put in a drug for sleep.
        I’ve had many issues with sleep, since I regularly switch over from night shift to daytime mommy hours, sure I’ve self-medicated with alcohol because of it, but the most I’ve ever intentionally tried was ZzzQuil or Benadryl, but always feel foggy the next day.
        What I’ve found that has been working great is a regular Magnesium supplement at bedtime. My sleep feels deeper and more restful and no side effects the next day. It’s just a regular mineral our body requires, and alcohol significantly depletes it. I believe mine is a Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc combo, which most women are usually lower in their levels anyways, so I can’t find anything negative to say about it.
        Here’s wishing you a better night’s sleep soon. xo.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats it took me nearl 41 yrs too stop and every single day sober is another day i can rem😊 i was sober 1yr on the 1st june my first time sober on one of my sons birthdays who was born on that date…he was 11 …41 days is a long time sober and i am proud of you ☺ ..new to this blogging caper h8 computers tbh ….a wee storys like urs make my day thank you x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Darren! Congratulations on a year and how wonderful to be sober for your child’s birthday. My boys are still quite little but I think a lot about the moments I have missed out on being drunk or hungover. x

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  3. I can totally understand your resistance to go on meds. I have the same stance on it. I want to see if I can do this thing called living with just fresh air and good food. No more little chemicals swimming in my brain changing things around.
    Observing other drinkers is a big part of getting sober. The brainwashing is so prevalent that you have to consciously LOOK at what it’s doing for them, not in a judgey way but from a witness point of view. Once you can truly see how hooked most of them are you are better off in the knowldege that ethanol thing is the same for all human beings. It’s highly addctive and destrauctive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats! As far as medication goes, only a doctor can tell you that. Don’t let anyone else tell you to take or not take meds. If you have a diagnosis, you may need meds. For now, I think you’re wise to get to know yourself better before deciding. And let your doctor know you’re in recovery so she/he doesn’t prescribe something habit-forming. I had a friend who had bipolar disorder who went off her meds, became suicidal and killed herself because she thought medication was wrong. Certain prescriptions can be addictive and risky, like klonapin for example I would stay away from. But some people, myself included, benefit from antidepressants like Prozac. Educate yourself and talk to your doctor about it. As far as sleep goes, try something like magnesium. Calm by Natural Vitality works pretty well, and most people are deficient in magnesium… best wishes to you. πŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on sober days! I feel like I could have written this and identify big time. Thank you for writing (even when it feels too personal) because it’s nice to not feel like such a fish out of water when I’m around (temporarily) nothing but people who drink heavily.

    As for the sleep thing – I really like warm tea with saffron. That has helped me with my anxiety and sleeplessness. It’s not medical advice of course, and you should totally not take some random person’s advice from the internet, but it is what has been working for me. πŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I know what you mean – I have been so grateful for the incredibly generous sharing in this space. It was (and is!) such a massive relief to read other people’s stories and feel I am not alone, although in “real life” I have only told my husband and two closest friends what I am doing.

      Thank you so much for the tea tip. It turns out (this is so blindingly obvious as to be a bit embarrassing) that I was drinking way too much coffee. Cutting back (a lot!) seems to have made a massive difference. I will see about ordering some saffron as it will be nice to have a nighttime drink. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

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