Plugging along, but not thinking about drinking

24 Jan

2:30 pm

And, that’s pretty much it. At this point, compared to how it used to be, I rarely think that drinking would make it better. Even rarer, that I actually want a glass of wine, in the visceral sense of craving the buzz, the numbing, or the euphoria. Somehow, I don’t want that anymore; I don’t feel like I lack it enough to want to seek an outside source. My sobriety has turned into simply, well, living. And, for a while, last summer, I stopped believing I would actually “heal.” It’s unreal how things have changed since last September, which was about oh, 6 months into my second stint (I went for almost 6 months before that).

For me, not drinking has become more of a practical choice–sure, I could talk about being sober for all the other reasons that we do, but at the end of the day, my day-to-day life is practically a gazillion times better. Why?

I have no hangovers.
I can work, mainly because my reward/motivation circuitry (up there, in my brain) is healing or, at the very least, has “bounced back.”
I have no hangovers. (Did I mention that?)
I can work.
I have no hangovers. (Right, no fucking hangovers!)
I can work. (Yes, I said that.)
I can work out.
I can get up early.
I might get up early and feel tired, scared of the day (often), overwhelmed, or sad, but at least…I’m not hung over!
I don’t obsess over fucking wine, and that means: I can go to dinners, to parties, and not want to drink, not be worried about wanting to drink, not be vexed by the fact that I “can’t drink” and others “get to”–it just doesn’t mean that much to me anymore. Why?
I can more and more clearly see just how much–how very, very much–I was compromising my physical health and psychological stability by drinking the way I did. I mean, my fucking GOD, the stress I put my body under just going through one drinking episode, let alone 265 out of 365 days every year. No wonder I need–and am finally beginning to accept the “new” (old) me–nine hours of sleep a night, I have all that catching up to do!
I never say or do anything that I regret, that requires apologies, that jeopardizes my relationships. I never have to say I’m sorry for anything much anymore, because my steps are calculated and my emotions, guarded. I like this; this is how I want to be right now, how I need to be.

I can focus now, and that, my friends, is the best thing about this practical side of quitting drinking. And, it’s mainly because I have somehow come to accept that drinking is ONE way to solve my problems, but it’s not the ONLY way–I can pick another. Drinking is a way to avoid and escape–I don’t want to do that anymore, no matter how pissy I feel inside and grumpy I might come off to people. I’d just rather be…stronger. I’m better than that now. I don’t choose to “cop out” of social situations; I choose to sit there calmly, staring at you kindly (sort of) as you ramble on about shit that is completely irrelevant to my life simply because you are drunk, or as you soliloquy off into flights-of-fancy tangents that are, again, irrelevant to anyone but you. I WAS YOU, remember? I don’t want to be you anymore. And, I’m so glad that I finally can say that. I mean, that doesn’t necessarily imply that I don’t have cravings, but at the end of the day, drinking adds up to one big minus-1000 for me.

So, I’m just plugging along, but not thinking about drinking (all that much). Thinking instead (what else is new?) about work, about my next pitches, about how I’m going to make two weeks’ income in less than one. And, because I no longer have booze fucking with my sense of reality, I can take a deep breath, laugh out loud a little at my own circular thinking, and say, SHH. Quiet, bitches. This thinking is “drinkin’ thinkin’,” which has nothing to do with the real me. I’ll make it happen.

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11 Responses to “Plugging along, but not thinking about drinking”

  1. patrick cullinan January 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    I really like your writing. I appreciate the clearness and your ability to go straight to your thoughts. I have been reading your thoughts for about a month now and they have resonated with me. When I discovered your writing, I was quite pleased to learn that we are traveling a similar road. I too have just reached the 300 day (today 304!) mark of liberation from the shackles of alcohol oppression. I feel as if a hundred pound bag has been lifted from my shoulders. What a horrible, painful burden it was for the last 20 years. I too have little desire to drink. I too feel like I have the opportunity to actually feel, live again. I go to parties and don’t want to be my old self. Boring. Past time to move on and live a new life. There will, of course, always be times of uncertainty; there is no straight line to serenity. But I feel really free-liberated from the alcohol corporations and their efforts to control me. I am very happy we are both within sight of a year. A year ago, I would never, ever believe I could write these words. And deeply believe them. My only regret (can’t look back) is that I was not able to have written them many years ago. Keep up the good fight. I am in solidarity with you. Your writing is excellent. You are an inspiration to me and, hopefully, I to you. 300+ days and moving forward ! Sincerely, Patrick

  2. primrosep January 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    I do think the ultimate goal is indifference to alcohol…being able to look at a glass of wine and shrug. I’m not completely there yet but I have twinges of it and it’s earth-shattering!

  3. Sue January 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    I love the energy and oomph in this post. Thanks. I feel exhilarated after reading it. Go Sober!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 25, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      GREAT! Yeah, it comes and goes, but I usually feel pretty energetic these days–finally! xx

  4. jenisthesoberist January 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    I am so happy that you are feeling good. Yay. I have just been noticing that work is easier for me, sometimes at least, which is a totally rad development. I am more focused and feel sharper, if that makes any sense. It is totally great to see you plugging along doing so well. xx

  5. furtheron January 25, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    Alcohol just doesn’t worry me any more the vast majority of the time. I shrug and walk away it took a long time on to be here. However I have to constantly remember I am an alcoholic to be and stay in that place.

    One day at a time you may reach it too

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      Yes, exactly. I think about my last hangover every day, and know that while I could probably be OK drinking “in moderation” for a while–which could be a day, 30 days, 300 days, who knows?–it’s the “obsessing” that I dread. That, I really don’t think I’ll ever fix, for good. Wine used to work, but it no longer does; physiology speaks. Thanks for your comments…xx

  6. lucyrussell500 January 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    Hello, I’m not sure if you remember me, we were communicating when I made it 45 days last year in January-February but then decided I could drink in moderation and disappeared from the sober blogosphere. Well, I have for the most part been doing that, with a few hangovers throw in. But still I don’t feel good. This whole moderation thing doesn’t work for me– of course my idea of moderation is 2-3 beers every night and I now realize that also is too much for the body to handle on a daily basis.

    I’m so ready to be done so naturally I came looking for your blog again and found this wonderful post which inspired me so much. I want what you have– stability and the energy to get things done. I loved when you said you guarded your emotions, I want to do that so badly. I’ve spent so many years trying to be agreeable, pretty, smart etc. I’m exhausted!

    Thank you so much for blogging. I just love your writing and I’m so glad you’re still doing it. Congratulations on your success!

  7. Lee Davy January 31, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

    Hi not so Drunky Drunk Girl,

    I gave up drinking over four years ago, and relapsed for a period of 2-months, around two and a half years ago now. I haven’t had as much of a chocolate liqueur since.

    I never craved a drink during either sober stint, and I didn’t crave one when I relapsed either (but that’s another story). When I first started mixing with other people who had decided to go sober I just assumed everyone had gone through the same process as me, so it is still unusual for me to read about people who have cravings.

    I learned to quit by understanding alcohol offered me zero benefits and after doing the work to get his drilled ino my thick skull the reward was zero cravings as I realised there was nothing to miss.

    A sober life is an amazing life, but a sober life with zero cravings, now that’s something else. If you can also do some work around the benefits of alcohol perhaps the same hing can happen for you?

    Good luck

    Lee Davy

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