300 days, and it’s getting better

13 Jan

12:42 pm

Well, here we are! Well, were, since 300 days came and went. And, to be honest, it was a day like every other: some ups, some downs, but mainly just stressed about finding money! I don’t know…it was just there.

When I think about how I spent my day, I really have to take a step back and say, Wow, that’s remarkably better than how you were spending your Sunday’s just a few years ago. Yesterday, I got up at the usual time, 10, which was fine. Early enough to have some morning left. I did some chores, took the dogs for a long walk, spent about 45 minutes chatting with my landlord/neighbor/friend, catching up on her holidays and future plans–a really good way to make myself feel more of a part of “things.” I came home, made some lunch (a spinach salad with some basalmic-oil dressing and some pasta), and then, followed up on yesterday morning’s yoga class by trying to replicate it on my own mat. Afterward, I meditated/dozed off on the mat, until about 2. I spent the afternoon trying to boost my mood to get myself to “do shit,” but I just couldn’t find the energy. My boyfriend came home from work, and we/I spent the evening walking the dogs along the back hills, grocery shopping, making dinner, talking to my mother for about an hour (I really need to call her more so that our conversations can be shorter!), and then, “binging” on our Netflix show du jour (Dexter).

I also made sure my dog got her meds in the morning and evening–she’s on doxycycline for tick fever, and she was prescribed a shit-ton of pills (a whole month’s worth, so four a day!).

Why so much detail? Well, if I was drunk/hung over, my day would NOT have included anything related to self-care or care of others/animals. It would have resembled what is unfortunately familiar to all of you: in bed until 3 pm, feeling sick, confused, and panicky, looking through my texts and email to figure out what I might have done or said last night; finally heaving myself out of bed long enough to make ramen and tea, eat that, and then pathetically slump back into my bed, feeling still drunk. I might have gotten up by 5 or 6 pm, as the light was leaving the sky, to get some air, walking a short few blocks up and down the city streets, alone. I probably would have called my mother, and then it’d be about 8 pm. Since I have no dogs to take care of in this scenario (no plants either), no boyfriend to share anything with, and no story pitching to worry about–because I have no freelance business–I’d probably go out to the corner store, buy a bottle of red, and drink that down while binging on a random assortment of Netflix shows (Intervention, Breaking Bad, or Lost were some of my favorites when I was hung over–sad, in a way, except for Lost, which I never quite remembered because I was drunk). Of course, the red would be making me feel at ease, and mainly, helping me to forget my hangover, another wasted day, and the dreadful feeling that I am missing out on SO much.

It’s the little things…but I can’t tell you how they really do add up to one HUGE thing. Like, the fact that it’s just normal now for me, expected that I wake up before 10, to take care of my dogs, to give my girl her meds on time, every day. The fact that it’s a given that I’ll have the desire to prioritize yoga, meditation, and a spinach salad on my day off–and not wine wine wine wine wine. The fact that I have someone to share my day with–that I’m not afraid of intimacy anymore (I was terrified of it, and everything that came with it, when I was drinking–it’s one reason I drank, to both avoid it and hide from my fear of it). The fact that I’m able to talk to my neighbors, that I have an outlet for feeling alone–that I see that others need me as much as I need them, that this is how it works, building community from the inside out. I don’t have to walk around alone in a cold city; I get to do it with someone else, among trees and sun.

I get to choose all this, and I get to choose to approach it with a positive outlook (that often means just ignoring the negative thoughts, the stress, the anticipation of the worst). And, I am aware of all of this, and of how good all of it is, and of how much better it is with this choice. It doesn’t always feel good–I have doubts and anxiety all the time–but it is better, that’s the truth. I look back and think, I may not have known I was dependent on wine, but I knew (believed) that I didn’t have a choice–especially when it came to the negative self-talk about how much my life sucked/how much more I wanted out of life that I didn’t have, which inevitably led to me drinking my nights away, one by one. And then, entire weekends. And sometimes, entire weeks (toward the end, I spent a few ENTIRE WEEKS drunk around the clock=yikes).

So, yeah. I don’t want to overemphasize the negative, but this post is just to say, it creeps up on you, the GOOD, and the BETTER that everyone (at meetings) bangs on about when it comes to getting sober. Sure, you sober up–there are a lot of realities I am facing now, and most of the time, reality comes with fear (whether that reality is actually anxiety-producing outside of my overreacting mind, I am not sure). But, you also GET. You get a lot. And most of it is in small changes, incremental ones that build upon one another until one day you wake up and you’re like, OK, wow, so I might want that glass of red, but honestly, I really can’t see going back to giving up all this–I can see it now, I have it now–in exchange for the “buzz” of alcohol.

As Dan Savage says, it gets better. Sometimes, getting better doesn’t mean what we want/think it should mean, though. Getting better is more complex than just feeling better–isn’t that what we tried to do when we were drinking, feel better? We never GOT better, though.

And, I guess I’ll fix my counter to 365 days on March…18th?

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26 Responses to “300 days, and it’s getting better”

  1. Belle January 13, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    hooray for you 🙂 you rock 🙂 honestly no one deserves this more than you. let there be cake and money and freelance work and daytime naps in your future. hugs from me xo

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

      Thank you, Belle! You rock, and honestly, I would not be here without your support all throughout those rocky first days/months–and now! xx

  2. AuntieLex January 13, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    DDG… I need you to know how happy this post makes me.. I also want to tell you that you were my inspiration in starting my path In sobriety… I found Belle thru you, and have watched your blog inspired and hopeful… You have done it.. You are doing it.. It’s all for you and you deserve this peace.. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.. Xo
    Lex

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      Aww, that is such a great comment to read–thank you. I am glad it inspires. And, we all deserve this level of “OKness” with being sober. You, too, and I KNOW you will be right behind me soon. It does get better, it honestly does. Easier. I am rooting for you! xx

  3. Chris January 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    it’s great to more in a day when it would take me a week!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      I know, right? The time I wasted…ugh. Oh, well, put that behind me a long time ago and am looking toward making the most of the time I have left! xx

  4. soberjournalist January 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Woohoo I love this comparison. The new you- that gets up and gets shit done – sounds great! X

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      YES it is! I’m still learning “how” to take a break and turn it off–easily, not forcibly–but…I’ll get there. Yes, to getting shit done! xx

  5. themiracleisaroundthecorner January 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    Everyone new to sobriety should read this post… so uplifting, so full of hope! Thanks for brightening my day, and congratulations on 300 days (and best wishes to your dog!)!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      Aww, thank you! It makes me smile that I have actually brightened someone’s day with my horror stories of drinkin’! Thanks for being part of my blogging world, btw–love reading your posts. And, onward to a whole year, 365 days…!

  6. Off-Dry January 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    You’re about a hundred days ahead of me, so I’m using you and a few others as a sort of beacon (hope you don’t mind 🙂 ). This was so inspiring and happy-making to read. Thank you!
    Kristi

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 13, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

      Oh, Kristi, that is what this community is for–we are all beacons for each other. Thank you so much, just you’re being here, me knowing that you are reading and getting something out of it, means so much. CONGRATS on 200 days!!! xx

  7. fern January 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    Thanks for putting things in perspective. It sounds like your life is so much fuller without alcohol. I am glad for you. Congrats on 30 days.

  8. Sue January 13, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    Congratulations on 300 days. Loved reading this post, and it was really good to get reminded of the importance of noticing all the little details that add up to a much better life than before.

  9. carrieonsober January 13, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Only a measly 60 something days to the big year celebration. I’m not sure it’s even enough time to choose a ‘sober is the new black’ dress, dancing shoes and a sparkling sober tiara!! Where is the time going? See you at the parade 🙂
    Xx

  10. Lilly January 13, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    I love this. Love that you mentioned Dan too (heart him). This is a nice reminder for me right now. I was thinking about more or less just this yesterday – that sobriety offers all these great things but they’re often not the big, dramatic things we (or at least I when I first started this) expected. They’re often kind of quiet, small and incremental, so can be hard to see when you’re in the slump of having drunk or wanting to drink or freshly trying to quit. The big payoff is really a whole lot of cumulative teeny tiny payoffs that add up and up over time.

    YOU, lady, are sounding so great riding high up there on your sober unicorn.

    xx

  11. Beyond The Bottles January 13, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

    Congratulations! I have been a lurker of your blog for awhile now, and I actually found Belle through reading your blog too! Now I’m on day 18 of my own 100 day challenge but day 300 still seems like light-years away. Thank you for being a positive motivator for random people out there like me. Keep up the good work.

  12. furtheron January 14, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Great for you – great description as well in this post. I hope I can walk beside you towards 18th March

  13. carrythemessage January 14, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    Congrats on 300, my fair lady!!

    And I love how you put it in context…it’s those little things that we do. You know, living and all? lol. Feeding the dogs, getting work done, cleaning, making calls, paying bill, etc. These are the unavoidable stuff, but we get to do them…sober. Being fully present and in the now. We aren’t cramming our minds with the shame, guilt and remorse of our past actions. We get to do the things we need to do and then grow from there. Reignite our old passions or find new ones. We get to be more playful and energetic and just laugh and cry as needed. No chemicals involved.

    Wonderful stuff, DDG.

    Blessings,
    Paul

  14. justanewme January 14, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    Congratulations on 300!

  15. Janet January 14, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    Congratulations on 300 days! It sounds like you had an awesome day. Appreciating the little things and achieving the clarity to truly connect with people and animals in our lives is the gift that sobriety brings us. I am so happy for you! Thank you for your inspiration and for guiding me to my fourth month without wine.

  16. Iambizi January 15, 2014 at 12:15 am #

    congratulations are definitely in order!
    Well done!
    bizi

  17. Lee Davy January 15, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    DDG,

    I am new to the site and so will make an assumption that your 300-days is a reference to you not having a drink of poison. If so then well done to you.

    Sundays….oh the Sundays.

    Man, this is the one day of the week I used to think I was dying, and bizarrely when I wasn’t dying it was the best day of the week to get shit-faced.

    My Sundays were similar to yours except most of my ‘awake’ time was spent vomiting blood and bile into a blue bowl coated in white paint. I never used to have Ramen and tea either, instead it was cans of coke and a Chinese Take Away.

    I remember one hangover not knowing what to order from the take away so I ordered all my favourites from each of them in one go. I know it’s nuts but I did it. I ordered Singapore Chow Mein and Beef Curry from Po Wings, Hot and Sour Soup with Chicken Balls from the Happy Wok, a mixed kebab from Mississippi Kebab shop, Chicken Shashlik from the local Indian and a huge Cod and Chips from the chippy.

    It lasted me the entire week.

    Netflix junkie aye…check out Parenthood. It’s the most amazing show that will touch your heart every single episode.

    Keep on inspiring people.

    Lee Davy
    http://www.needyhelper.com

  18. Glenn January 19, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    What a great way to wrap up your post! It is an ongoing process of getting better for me. As the world around me changes, moment to moment, I am confronted with scenarios to which I need to adapt and to learn how to grow in so yes, it is all about getting better.

  19. Clare January 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    I love this post, so much. Happy to be amongst the sun and trees too. ❤

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