i know i can’t drink.

I’m experiencing not drinking in kind of a different way today. There is something in me that knows I can not drink. This feeling is both sad and relieved at the same time. It’s like if I were allergic to peanuts. I might really love peanuts, miss their taste, and feel a bit envious when people are eating peanut butter sandwiches, but I wouldn’t attempt to eat peanut butter because I KNOW how detrimental and dangerous that would be for me. There is a letting go that is happening with booze, like saying goodbye to an old friend and an old enemy at the same time. What will be there instead?

All day today I’ve thought about drinking. I had a particularly stressful day. Still new on the job, still learning and making mistakes. I am incredibly hard on myself. I thought I said something stupid today in a meeting and I berated myself for it for way too long.

Immediately I wanted to drink.

I thought about getting bottle of wine after work (who’s kidding who, I am still thinking about it), drinking it down, forgetting about my stress, listening to some tunes (getting drunk and listening to/exploring new music was my latest pastime).

And then I thought about how sad I sometimes feel when I drink alone. Desperate. Out of control. I think about how bad things got for me about a month ago. It was a nasty time for me. How utterly alone, crazy, and reckless I felt. How I thought it might be better if I went away somewhere- to rehab maybe, or away for good. How careless I was with my emotions and some of my relationships. Crying on the couch in the middle of the night, wishing to be somewhere else, or someone else. Feeling like I’d fucked myself up so badly how was I ever going to recover? And then thinking about how I would wake up in the morning and feel like death. Nauseous and with a splitting headache. Blurry eyes. Dehydrated. Making it to work but loathing every minute of it. Making even more mistakes because I am not focussed. Feeling like a fraud, a failure. Making my original issue- stress of being new on the job- about 100x worse by adding in all that drama and pain and sadness and reduced ability to do my job.

And all I have to do, to not invite all that craziness into my life… is not drink today.

The solution is simple. Not easy, but simple. I can’t drink.

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5 thoughts on “i know i can’t drink.

  1. all of those dark times can be behind you. what a great feeling that is! and the longer you keep not drinking the easier you will find it to take care of yourself, including not beating yourself up. keep at it, you are doing so well!

    • Thanks primrose!! Your support means a lot to me. I think what I noticed about being sober was that although I still beat myself up and had that negative voice chastising me for saying something dumb, I was able to observe this behaviour and eventually put a little distance between the negative voice and myself. I lose the ability to be objective when I am hungover or drinking and would wallow in self-loathing for a much longer time. Sober, I was more able to talk myself out of it and fight the negativity.

  2. Every word of this reflects some of my own experiences, and like you I know I cannot drink. It’s so great being sober, bloody hard but great. Stick with it 🙂 x

    • It is tough for sure. Even right now wolfie is telling me to have a glass of wine. But I just don’t want to muck it up! I know I’m making gains and I want to see what it’s like being sober for an extended period of time. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Clear Lee,
    I am relating to your post from April in many ways. The tea thing has been massive in quitting for me and working out has helped too. I have not drank for a little over 2 months. I really only struggle with wanting one when seeing others drink (my wife still drinks 1 here or there). My struggle is I don’t want to be the guy that walks in the room and everyone feels the need to hide their drinks! I am now the socially weird guy and I don’t know how I got here. I used to be the guy that was getting everyone a drink as they walked in the door and ready to party it up. I’d still like to be that guy ready to have a good time but I’m now the guy with a “problem”. I guess this is the part where you have to get comfortable in your own skin again thing?! The other problem I’m having is when I do open up to people close to me I know everything I’m saying is completely foreign to them (I mean all my family and friends that still drink). Also, talking about my feelings either sounds to them like I’m preaching about drinking or feeling sorry for myself. I am not a preacher and despise the concept of projecting what others should do onto them! So, I feel like I am just talking myself through the quitting process and sometimes sharing it with those close to me only to be looked at as if I’m some hollier than thou sober preaching fantastic person! The reality is I’d like to swipe that glass of wine right out of their hands and drink it down only to follow with the rest of the bottle! I guess I don’t want to be looked at as some completely different person! I am the same person but just don’t have a drink in my hands! Again, maybe I just have to get used to the fact that I am completely different and need to be happy with it! I also have to realize that quitting is a very personal thing and it can be a lonely ordeal. I need to find strength in the fact that I am doing this alone and I have been strong enough to this point to not drink while others are drinking in front of me (sometimes out in the open and sometimes they think they are hiding it as if I can’t smell it from 3000 ft away). I don’t know why but I almost find it a little insulting they think they can hide a drink from me. I am the king of thinking I can hide something right under of your nose! Anyway, I know in time that comfort will come back as long as I don’t lift the glass to my mouth time will move forward and this socially awkwardness will become easier or maybe even a not so new normal. Sorry to ramble my thoughts on your page but hell, they aren’t being well received verbally around here! So Thanks for the outlet!

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