Being sober and being drunk have one thing in common

21 Dec

2:03 am

Life.

Lately I’ve been getting the sense that life isn’t that much different sober. I mean, I don’t have to deal with being ill and all the remorse and self-loathing and nonsense that comes with drinking and hangovers, sure. That’s definitely different. But, now that I’m passed the withdrawal stage(s), now that I’m moving beyond–over, I’d say–the cravings; I feel like Life (with a capital L) is still the same.

It’s hard to put my finger on it, but I don’t feel all that much different sober, personally. I’m still a hard worker, when I want to be. I’m still goal-oriented. I still like running, and animals, and music, and writing, and traveling…and all the other million things in this world that make me “me.” I’m just not obsessed with drinking at the end of my days! I’m happier, in general, sure, but it’s not like life is SO much better, or SO much different. I can see more clearly, yes, and my moods have improved. I can rely on my plans, mainly because I know that I’ll wake up in the morning and be able to follow through–yet, I would try to follow through anyway, it was just a billion times harder with a raging hangover. Maybe I’m just used to not drinking now, and all that comes with it.

I’m coasting. YIKES. Me? I keep waiting for the wolf to pounce, for the desire to drink to roar up out of the hole I buried it in; for the blood-sucking vampire to emerge, in full form, from the grave. I keep waiting, checking over my shoulder every few days to see if it’s following me, the wolf or the vampire. (Where art thou, Sparkle-toothed Unicorn?) I’m not sure I’m out of the woods. Truth be told, I know I’m not.

See, if I let my guard down and open a bottle of red, I’d down the whole thing, I’m sure. And then, I’d head off in search of another, I know. Sigh. How can I seem so confident and then realize, by the same token, that I’m still beholden to this compulsion? In other words, I can say all I want about how “good” I feel being sober, but I’d probably get drunk if I could. And, even more maddening, it wasn’t ALWAYS like this. There were days, let’s say when I was 28, 29, 30 years old (just 8 years ago), when I NEVER could have imagined that this obsession–this desire to down oceans of wine instead of one or two glasses–would have such a hold on me. I don’t remember thinking about drinking back then, outside of when I was actually drinking.

Anyway… Today marks 10 WEEKS, or 70 days! Wow. It’s the longest I’ve gone. I never tried to not drink, and over the past 10 years, I should have–I really should have. (It takes what it takes, as they say in AA.) The closest I came was 60 days in August, and now I’ve gone past that by 10. I’m looking ahead toward 90, but I’m not expecting it to drop a pot of gold on my head or anything; life is life, death is death, by turns glorious and surreal.

(I do wonder, though, what I’d be like if I was holding down a “real” job (read: office, deadlines, bitchy editor), or if I was living alone in [cold east coast city]. I’ve constructed a life here that’s pretty temptation-less, and so far, somewhat contained. When the time comes, I’ll deal, right? Right. Let go and let God. ;))

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15 Responses to “Being sober and being drunk have one thing in common”

  1. sandee December 21, 2012 at 6:32 am #

    I’ve been sober 5 years, this time. I had 14 years of sobriety, then drank again, had five more, drank still again. Life is still life. But I’m dealing with it in a more realistically now, which means I don’t have the negative backlash.

    I loved red wine too. I used to drink two bottles then go out to the bar and have shots of Jack Daniels. I’m lucky to be alive the way I drank. Wine, which is indeed a very potent alcoholic beverage, was like an appetizer to me.

    Congratulations on your 70 days.

    • runningonsober December 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

      “Life is still life…” Damn ain’t that the truth? Wine was my appetizer, salad, main course and dessert, lol. Thank god for cake. šŸ™‚

      • Drunky Drunk Girl December 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

        LOL. I never got to the salad, main course, or dessert, but wine was definitely my appetizer! And, speaking of cake…I’ve been making them lately, with straight-up buttercream frosting! Holla!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl December 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

      Thank you! I find the “realistic” part a bit boring, but hey, it’s better than all the things I used to do while drunk on red. It never gets old thinking about how much I don’t want to be waking up, blazing drunk and/or hung over, having done something terrible and/or terribly remorseful. Congrats to you for 5 years and going strong…xx

  2. sandee December 21, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    Oops! Of course I meant “I’m dealing with it in a more realistic way…”

  3. facingfactsaboutmyself December 22, 2012 at 4:29 am #

    Hey DDG, Congrats on the 70 days, that is a very admirable achievement and you are right, you’ve pushed through withdrawal (and it doesn’t matter how do that, only that we do) and made some pretty rapid changes in your life or outlook. I think I let the same as you at that time and then I complained that I had plateaued, that life still just happened.

    But after a while there was another period of growth and change and opportunity to make use of my non drunk faculties. No saying when that will be though of course :-). Now life has its ups and downs but in general, I would say without a doubt it is better than had I not changed course. It might be brilliant (whatever that means) but it is better, I’m making the most of the cards I’ve been dealt. I’m really glad you’ve stayed the course and continue to take care, Paul.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl December 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

      Hey, Paul, thanks for being there! Yeah, I think I’m just feeling like life is sort of boring without red wine. BUT, was drinking alone and/or going out and not remembering the horrible things I usually ended up doing or saying “exciting?” I think not. Congrats to you on 5 months and counting… xx

  4. Mrs D December 22, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Congratulations on your 70 days! Sounds like you’re doing so great. Take the coasting for now, things will shift and change, but all we have to do is not drink and we’ll be ok. I’m a bit like you, feel much the same aside from the non-drinking, in my life. But in the year and a bit that I’ve been sober I’ve been at home with kids studying. Will be interesting to see what happens for me when I reeenter the workforce. Anyway, have a great sober Christmas!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl December 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

      Thank you, Mrs. D! Yeah, the longer I go, the more I realize that my life has markedly improved since not getting drunk became a non-priority! Staying the course is my only option… Have a great holiday yourself! xx

  5. Al K Hall December 22, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Way to go on 70 days! Awesome! Your post made me smile a little because i recognize myself in your words. Sometimes i catch myself saying, “Sure, i’m happier and my problems are fewer and farther between, but is my life really better?” Ah, the irony of alcoholics.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl December 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      Hahaha. I know, I know. I do see my “drunk” thoughts coming out, the ones that go to great lengths to intellectualize my way INTO drinking again! LOL Oh, well, at least I can laugh about it. And, thanks for being there! Your comments have been helpful and thoughtful–and mostly, really encouraging–along the way. So, thanks! Have a great holiday! xx

  6. belowhermeans December 23, 2012 at 5:22 am #

    Well done on 70 days! Here’s to 70 more, and 70 more…etc…

  7. Sadie January 5, 2013 at 3:26 am #

    Congratulations on 70 days! That is fantastic. I totally get what you’re saying. Stay the course, I look forward to checking in and supporting you.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 10, 2013 at 5:14 am #

      Thanks again! Means a lot to have one more person in my corner over here… šŸ™‚

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