How to put this so that it doesn’t sound as bad as it is? I drank.

20 Mar

12:50 am

There, I said it. I did it. I would’ve had six months in a few weeks, too. Why? I guess I just felt…overwhelmed. Depressed. Frustrated. Physical symptoms of maybe a depressive mood swing that just weren’t going away–static brain, sinkhole feeling in my stomach. I had been planning it for weeks, though, so maybe the above, while real, were just excuses.

To be honest, it wasn’t fun–the drunk was boring and mechanical, I never actually felt buzzed, and what little buzz I did feel was abruptly taken away by my blacking out within, oh, about an hour of when I started drinking. Zero to 60 in like, an hour. How lame.

However, I learned a lot. And, while I still have to process some of it (I’ll do that when I’m not hung over) this, in essence, is the gist of it:

1. It still sucks to be hung over. Like, way sucks. I’ve spent today feeling alternately sluggish and anxious. I threw up a little last night (of *course* I don’t remember doing so, just like I don’t remember MOST of the conversation I had with my mom on the phone or passing out on the couch) so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. There’s just a lethargy within, a damp feeling of confusion, uncertainty, sadness–it’s the hangover, and there is simply nothing GOOD here, in this state of mind/being.
2. I can’t drink normally. It doesn’t change. In fact, I went right back to where I left off.
3. Wine takes me to a dark place, a place of the past. I’ve grown used to being in the present, where there is light, where there is looking forward. Last night, I drank and went back, and got upset by events that have happened and aren’t happening anymore, that I haven’t let go. I think I simply NEED to let some things go. Let them be in the past, with no more dwelling.

And, I had SO many “God shots” yesterday, too, it was hilarious in a not-ha-ha kind of way that I drank anyway. From seeing two people I know, driving in their cars to the 5:30 AA meeting downtown as I drove by, en route to the store to buy wine; to having to go BACK to the store a second time to buy a corkscrew; to in between all of this, receiving a long email from one of my friends, complaining about the out-of-control, mean drinkers in her social circle and how proud she is of me for having almost six months sober!

Eh, I’m not really upset about having to start the count over. In fact, counting days is OK for a while, but… I realized today that counting days makes this into too much of a game. This is not a game, this is my life. In ways big but mostly small and subtle, stopping using alcohol as a coping mechanism has changed my life, my lifestyle, my way of viewing my life. And, all I know tonight is, I don’t want to–I can’t–go back to the other way.

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29 Responses to “How to put this so that it doesn’t sound as bad as it is? I drank.”

  1. Kristig March 20, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Me too! I will start counting with you!

  2. carrythemessage March 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    First things first…(((hug)))

    I wanted to thank you for being so honest and courageous in posting what you did. Shame can be a wicked thing…I know people who have drank again and never come back because of shame – they isolate, not go to meetings, or talk to others…and they get sicker. But you shot right back out, right into the meat of life and showed everyone your hand. For that, I thank you. You are showing others who are struggling that you can get right back into it. No need for month or year long sessions…just right back in the game. Awesome.

    Your experience is not unlike what I have heard from others many times – that it wasn’t fun, that they picked up where they left off, that there wasn’t much of a buzz, that they had signs before about alcohol like you did. These are the stories that we often hear, and they certainly serve to show that for many of us, drinking just isn’t an option. We secretly (or not so secretly! lol) wish we can drink like normal people, but it isn’t in our cards. It’s not about being deprived, it’s about a new lifestyle, a new way of looking at life and ourselves and others. If nothing changes, nothing will change, as they say.

    The one thing that really popped out for me, and it’s very wise and astute of you to see this, is that this picking up of a drink wasn’t a spur of the moment thing – it was, as you mention, weeks in the making. And this is very true! They speak of “emotional sobriety” and “emotional relapses” – the thoughts and feelings that precede continued sobriety or picking up a drink. There is a slow, subtle shift in us that we aren’t always aware of, and it can last days, weeks, months or even years and then boom! we have a glass of Merlot in our hands. How did that happen??? That shift is often us getting back to old ideas, old thought patterns, old ways of thinking. You have mentioned often on your blog about old hurts and resentments towards certain people and like you so wisely mention here, it might be time to let some things go…no more dwelling, as you say. That is why in AA they say that resentments are the number one killer of alcoholics.

    Anyway, I can’t tell you how glad you’ve posted. Seriously. This is life and death, and you’ve experienced something very vital in recognizing that very fact. Sometimes we forget that people actually die horrible painful deaths every single day because of alcoholism. We’re here and alive and loving and sharing and supporting and connecting – how groovy is that?? Continue the journey, stay on the path, share your experiences…you make my life better knowing you.

    Blessings,
    Paul

    • Drunky Drunk Girl March 21, 2013 at 12:51 am #

      THANK YOU, Paul. What a lovely comment. I’m not one to be too ashamed–I mean, some of the stuff I’ve done while drunk sort of killed that for me a long time ago! And, no, not a month-long thing; I can’t stand the hangovers and really, I have too much to do, to get done, to move forward on. It doesn’t work, whether or not I LIKE that fact is another story. It just doesn’t work anymore!

      Hmm…the “emotional sobriety” thing is interesting and I’ll have to give that more thought.

      Anyway, hugs right back. And, thank YOU for being such a great blogger friend–your comments touch me every time.

      -DDG

  3. Just Some Woman March 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    My opinion?(I’m never shy with it!)This was something you needed to do. I did the same thing after 15 years of sobriety. It was just something I needed to do. Did I learn from it? Damn right! It DIDN’T take me back to where I left off….it took me straight to the point that I would have been if I’d drank all those years. In other words, those AA fuckers were right! I didn’t go to a meeting lastnight because sometimes it just all makes me sick. I imagine those “God-Shots” are right around the corner for me today…to get my lazy ass back to where I should be.
    I KNEW you would figure out that counting is bullshit. It can distract you and make you feel like you need a “reward” for being good. I love watching you learn the nature of this fucked up disease…it is what it is and you’re going to be one of the “winners”, I can just tell.

    • Lisa Neumann March 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      JSW … great comment. Ditto on everything you wrote.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl March 21, 2013 at 12:56 am #

      THANK YOU! Well said! LOL Really, I am in 100% agreement–I needed to see, to experiment, to scratch that “itch” in order to find out just how much drinking doesn’t work for me anymore. I learned a LOT more than I thought I would have, too, so that’s a plus to this time.

      Yeah, the counting thing was sort of driving me crazy. I almost just wanted to drink so I didn’t have the pressure of All Those Days anymore, y’know?

      And, I hate to say it, but maybe I just need to get blitzed once every six months to get my “fix?” I have thought of that, of “those people” who drink like, two or three times a year and that’s all they can manage (they infuriate me).

      Anyway, yes, I guess I hope to be a “winner.” Right now, I just want to come to some sort of acceptance, along the lines of, I can make it without wine, even IF I feel depressed and like my head is caving in.

      Hugs!

  4. Sibyl March 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    Hey drunkydrunkgirl, big (((hug hug hug))) indeed. Alcoholism is a tough, lifelong challenge, and counting is not so important: it is the one day at a time, and today is another day.

    I really appreciate how honest and deep your posts are. So much so that I have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. You can read more about it here: http://thinkingaboutgratitude.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/building-community/

    Hang in there and know that you have friends and fans out here in the larger blogging community, Sibyl

    • Drunky Drunk Girl March 21, 2013 at 12:57 am #

      Thank you so much! What a thoughtful comment and post…

      Hugs to you, and all my friends; you mean a lot more than you can imagine, I think! 🙂

  5. runningonsober March 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Welcome back, DDG!

    It happens. Dust yourself off, get back up, and learn from it. That’s all you can do. Don’t stay down and don’t wallow.

    You hinted at something I think is important. You said sobriety is a lifestyle, not just counting days. I agree. I didn’t stay sober until I finally removed alcohol as any sort of option from my life. It was always there as a Plan B or C or D or Z. And as long as it was in the back of my mind as an option, I knew there was a chance of me drinking again. I know now in the deepest part of me, I can never drink again. It’s not an option. I can do anything else I want. I just can’t drink. No matter what.

    I know the “maybe someday” or “one day at a time” or “100 days” works for some of us, but not me. And while I don’t always like it, I know that it’s for the best. I can’t go back.

    I’m glad you shared your story, thank you. I’m proud of you.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl March 21, 2013 at 1:01 am #

      Thank you! Yes, I’m back, and not staying down for long–too much to do. Not to mention (and I KNEW this would suffer), I missed two days of my half-marathon training schedule due to being hung over. Bummed about that. BUT, I’ll get back on the unicorn tomorrow.

      I just can’t seem to remove the “option” completely. I’d love to, but I can’t. Not yet. So, it is there, lurking. I’m not sure what it’ll take, and maybe that’s why this never-ever-forever thing messes with me so much.

      Anyway, I think I learned some lessons about what my triggers are, as well as, I’m coming out as a sober person (like, doing stuff again, real life stuff) and that is NOT easy. That stresses me out and causes me to want to drink; I know I can’t, and I know that if I try harder, I can get through the stressers wine-free. It’s good to see this more clearly now.

      So, thank you! Love being part of this blogging community.

      • runningonsober March 21, 2013 at 1:34 am #

        ((Hugs))! Get back to your training! I started training again too–posted some running songs earlier if you need some new tunes.

        You got some great responses, it really is an amazing community isn’t it? We’re all rooting for you!

  6. Lisa Neumann March 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    You are one woman who will never have to say she was a liar. Loving the lowdown on the drinking. As always, I hope you find some serenity in your sober life. Life is just hard. We have to work at unlearning all the BS that keeps us hostage. AND, in some ultra-sick way you helped me stay sober today. Those bullet point reminders of what’s waiting for me at the bottle of a bottle of wine. My goodness, I never want to feel that way again—ever. You have a friend in me. Love ya. glad you’re ok and didn’t crash the car. Sending over a big hug!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl March 21, 2013 at 1:05 am #

      Haha. Thanks, Lisa! No, no cars involved–thank GOD. I see nothing terribly wrong with drinking last night; and yes, there is NOTHING good waiting at the end of a bottle. It leads, literally, to nowhere, nothing. So, here I am, back on it.

      Life IS hard. I realized that my stressers–self-imposed, and must continually work on unlearning being scared of things that I’ve made scary all in my own mind–CAN be dealt with in a more straightforward manner. I don’t have to drink. It will get very uncomfortable, but, drinking is not an option AND, I know that I can and must move forward and merge back into the highway traffic, so to speak.

      Thanks for being there! xx

  7. Kate March 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    I agree with everyone above. I also no longer count days. I used to be “day 1, day 2,…” I know some sober friends can rattle off “it’s been 3332 days since I last had a drink” and they ask me and I say not really sure. 5-6 months? For me, counting is just another way to give it so much importance over your life. Like a jail sentence. Well, I’m 3332 days in, only 36,457 days to go…. I also don’t like the word relapse because I think it has such negative implications. You went almost 6 months without a drink!! Celebrate that! Instead, focus on how you feel. It was a slip, don’t let it define you. Look at how your life has changed in the last year! Keep rocking on and keep blogging. Pleace

    • Drunky Drunk Girl March 21, 2013 at 1:11 am #

      Yes, I DID go almost 6 months without a drink! HOW AWESOME is that? How GOOD for my body and mind is that?

      And, you’re totally right: a slip that doesn’t have to define me or my next 180 days.

      One thing that I don’t like about AA and about counting is this: I am not a sober person, I am a person. I don’t drink, but that does not define me. It DID, in the beginning, but now, well, I don’t drink because I choose not to. Why do I choose not to? Well, that’s not as important anymore as the choice and the outcome(s)–all positive–of that choice.

      Anyway, yeah, I’m going to start counting again, mainly because I think I still need to, but…when I think about it, I’ve only drunk about 10 times since last June. How amazing is that?

      Hugs!

  8. Amy March 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    Lord girl. Let’s not do that again. Whoops. I tripped over that wine bottle and all the wine flew right into my mouth. Twice. 😉

    Meh, what can you do? Not be mean to self. Be extra nice to you, because if there’s one thing you learn when you’re sober it’s to be kind to yourself, especially when you’re at your blah-est. And maybe listen when the universe is all, “ahem! AHEM! All these signs point to NOT drinking that. Um, hellooooooo? I’m talkin’ to you!” You drove back for a corkscrew. Talk about a woman on a mission.

    I’m certain you’ll be fine. And that you need a nice night of sleep and a leisurely run. And another hug. Welcome to the planet, human.

    xoxoxoxoxo
    Amy

    • Drunky Drunk Girl March 21, 2013 at 1:17 am #

      Yes, woman on a mission for sure! Yes, in fact, it WAS two bottles. I am on day two of this hangover. Meh!

      No, not beating self up. Just feeling like now I’m behind and I lost two training days and…man, no WONDER I was always chasing my tail and cleaning up after my own messes, and NEVER getting things done. No wonder! Drinking and dealing with the after-drinking messes–this takes up all your time and energy. Duh. Been there, done that.

      Yes, I need to manage my isolating and depressive tendencies better. And, I can. I need to work at that, but luckily, I’m a quick learner and I know the pendulum shifts back and forth pretty quickly.

      Looking forward to tomorrow.

      HUGS!

  9. Carrie March 20, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Everybody’s journey is different. Some suceed first time without any blips. Some have a few false starts. So, you start over again and you do it whatever way works for you. Just don’t give up trying. Forget the past (really it doesn’t deserve you!) and keep on doing what you were doing. One slip doesn’t mean you have blown all that hard work. You are awesome at being sober and you know it!
    Carrie

    • Drunky Drunk Girl March 21, 2013 at 1:21 am #

      I am awesome and I do know it! 😉 Ride, unicorn, ride!

      I know, it just sucks to be like, aww man, now I have to START OVER. But, that’s just AA nonsense and I don’t have to start anything “over.” I’ve gone almost a full year, having drunk only about 10 times; a solid 5.5 months of no booze. I can keep on keepin’ on. And, the best part is, I kind of totally want to keep on keepin’ on. I’d love to find a “replacement” for drinking, sure; what I know is, drinking, right now, does not serve me AT ALL. Doesn’t work. Done been there and tried it. What*else* then can I do when I’m feeling the way I was feeling last night? I’m looking forward to finding the answer to that question…

      xx

  10. Jackie March 21, 2013 at 1:41 am #

    I am so new to this blogging thing but have followed your blog for awhile. I just wanted to tell you although it is so different the only way I was ever able to quit smoking was to take the pressure off and not count days. I am thinking maybe being alcohol free will be the same. I don’t want to count days like I am missing something, I just want to wake up and not have to think about it. Take the pressure off whether I will drink today, tomorrow, next week. Maybe I will. But right now just knowing I am not drinking is an easier choice for me. And thats how it was with smoking. I always felt like counting the days was saying I “gave up” something. I did, but to trick myself mentally I just thought of myself as a non smoker. Maybe this can apply to alcohol. Well hope your hangover is gone and good luck training for your marathon. I am training for a half marathon on April 14th. Good night and tomorrow is a new day 🙂

    • Drunky Drunk Girl March 21, 2013 at 4:51 am #

      Thanks for the support! I know, I feel the same way about counting days. Yet, in the beginning at least, it gives one a goal–I need goals. For me, it’s more, like you said, feeling like you’re focusing on it so much that it becomes MORE of a problem in your mind than less.

      Tomorrow is a new day, and good luck on your half training!!!

  11. Jenna March 21, 2013 at 4:55 am #

    Your blog was linked to a Women for Sobriety forum that I “frequent.” And I’m really happy they linked it! What a cool network you’ve got going on here!!!

    Regarding this particular post, what strikes me most profoundly is how you mention: “I can’t drink normally. It doesn’t change. In fact, I went right back to where I left off.” and “This is not a game, this is my life… I don’t want to–I can’t–go back to the other way.”

    And then just a few posts later, there’s this: “And, I hate to say it, but maybe I just need to get blitzed once every six months to get my “fix?” ”

    And then… “I just can’t seem to remove the “option” completely. I’d love to, but I can’t. Not yet. So, it is there, lurking. I’m not sure what it’ll take,…”

    Well, I’m not sure either, but what I’ve learned is sometimes we don’t get a burning bush or a lightning strike. We just get a lot of crappy days all strung together until we’re sick of feeling crappy to the point that we’ll accept that alcohol is the source of the self inflicted crap we throw at ourselves and that we can choose to not drink again ever, no matter what. So, relapse, slip, count days, don’t count days, ponder triggers, don’t ponder triggers… but at the end of the day the only thing that keeps us from not having to regret drunken actions is to not have taken a drink that day. And that means removing the option completely. I don’t want to sound like the boss of you, but sweetie, do you not see the alcoholism poking it’s nasty face back into your wonderful life? It’s already got you going from “I’m not going back to that crap this is my life not a game!!!!” to “yeah, but you know, maybe I’ll drink again… soooooooooooooo…” And this is what happens when we lapse. So yes yes yes, you have great practice in living without alcohol. And you can draw on that experience absolutely. That experience has gone NOWHERE. But don’t be deceived that what happened on that drinky night was a “pffffffffffffft”. Lapses aren’t nothing. Yes, they happen. But they’re not nothing. And I tell you from experience you don’t want to make a habit of them.

    OK, that’s enough out of me! I’m looking forward to reading more of these wonderful blogs!!!

  12. Dacey March 22, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Jason Vale says that alcoholism is the most bizarre prison in the world
    You start counting days when you get out..!!!

  13. facingfactsaboutmyself March 25, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    Hey DDG, hugs from me. I feel like I’ve been incredibly slack as I’ve only now just caught up on your blog. This stuff happens, and could happen to anyone. I have thoughts every now and again… What if…or was it really so bad?

    It sounds like you are dealing with it in the best possible way. The best thing is to love yourself and be proud of your ongoing resolve, having reaffirmed your choices to live your life. And be proud for the effect you’ve had on these people who you’ve never met but whom I’m sure care about you and who have benefited from your journey. I definitely include myself in that group! Take care, and remember it doesn’t if you’re on day one or day one thousand, the fact that alcohol is no good for you persists. We are all at risk of forgetting that. Thanks for sharing your story, Paul.

  14. Lilly March 26, 2013 at 3:42 am #

    Oh man, I can’t believe I missed this until now. For some reason I can’t work out your posts – and sometimes those of one or two others – don’t reliably turn up in my reader so I often miss them if I don’t go looking as I just did. This annoys me no end as I hate missing posts by one of my favourite bloggers, especially big-deal ones like this.

    I second everything that’s been said about your post being brave and honest. I hate to think you could have just slunk away in shame and kept drinking. I have to be honest I kind of saw this coming for you – as you did clearly too – there was a certain apathy in your posts about it all and of course your comments about contemplating drinking. I was worried it was in the cards.

    The BEST possible thing that can happen is if you scratched that itch, realised it gave you NOTHING, as evidenced in those bullet points and get right back on track with new knowledge. Ideally, ruling out alcohol out as an option because you can see it just doesn’t work for you at all.

    Because, I have to say, what Jenna pointed out in your post struck me too reading it, and it reminded me of my own thinking post drinking. How *fuck this shit no more EVER* can rapidly become *maybe just every once in awhile*.

    This particularly worries me: “And, I hate to say it, but maybe I just need to get blitzed once every six months to get my “fix?”

    Already you are leaving the door wide open again…

    Because you know as well as I do that we are alcoholics by virtue of the fact we can’t control our drinking. We can’t control it once we start so why do you think you can control it even if it’s just “once every six months”? What happens when that “once” becomes twice becomes impossible to stop again? Just think about it. Just because you feel like you got away with it this once and can quickly stop again – and I really, really hope that’s the case – doesn’t mean it will be the case next time, right?

    Ok, enough nagging.

    As for count days, don’t count days… Meh, I say do what works best to keep your sobriety intact. If that’s count days, do it. If that’s you being able to say in six months ish that you have a year sober minus that one day you drunk, then do that.

    Whatever you do I am here for you cheering you on. And THANK YOU for posting that because it’s also a valuable lesson/reminder for me in this whole process.

    Lots of love,

    Lilly xoxo

  15. cleo March 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Hi DDG
    Good to meet you. there is some catching up to do from my side – but your story sounds very similar to mine. I did 5 months last eyar not drinking. But unlike you too anouth 5 months to get back here. Looks like we ahve lots to talk about…………. xxx

  16. cassieroll April 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post.

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