I’m back…I think

20 Jul

12:05 pm

Hi!

Just a very quick post to say, I finally came home from my month-long “volun-tour” adventure. I didn’t have much time to do any blogging, let alone drinking. And, there was, of course, a lot of drinking–but not on my part!

For many reasons, it was easy to not imbibe when it was a full-time party for some. One, I have lost my taste for it. I did “taste test” someone’s drink (always rum) three times, and all three times, I felt ill just smelling the fumes. Like, ZERO desire to go down that road. I also was never a hard booze type; I’ve mentioned before how I was strictly a wine girl (loved wine, in fact), but even when someone sat down next to me one night, slugging down her cup of wine, I could literally smell the fumes like a hound dog–and they made me cringe, from the pit of my stomach to the top of my head. It was white wine, to boot. I would drink white, but never in preference to red. I can feel my stomach getting sour just remembering an entire weekend I spent downing boxed white, never leaving my apartment except for once, on Sunday, at 3 pm, to get more wine. UGH.

Two, I surrounded myself with a group of non-drinkers, or light drinkers, and I felt like my old, dorky self. They know intuitively that drinking to get tanked is just not something one does, if one wants to get any shit done.

I’ve come so far, I realized. So very far.

Yes, I drank that beer–to end the obsession, as it were, which was becoming REALLY unhealthy (kind of also the reason I have been slow to check back in here–uber-focus on Sobriety with a capital “s” can be almost counterproductive to staying sober). YES, I taste-tested someone’s drink three times–once was because I was really quite curious how a pina colada made by a blender rigged to the back of a bicycle (it was a developing country, and there were a lot of “sustainable” types experimenting with alternative materials!) would taste; the other times were because I was taken off guard when someone shoved a drink up my nose, and because I had never tasted this somewhat-local drink everyone was talking about.

Even still, I wonder why I taste-tested. But, I let it go. I had zero desire to continue drinking because I really just have no taste for booze, especially hard stuff. But mainly, I had zero desire to be drunk–which comes with a huge price to pay, physically (hangover) and psychologically (depression, falling off my cloud, denting my force field of sober awesome). Probably mostly, I had NO TIME to be hungover. I literally had NO TIME to waste there, I was that busy with my volunteer writing and then, my trips, my own work here (gotta pay the bills!), and my general sense of, Wow, this place is different, but equally interesting, without the nonsense of drinking.

I am curious about wine, but, not enough to go trying it right now. I have an almost-irritating amount to do, and I also feel like drinking is Just Not The Answer to anything. Especially to continuing to move forward.

For me, IF I continue to make goals and set deadlines for my personal and professional lives, there is NEVER time for alcohol anymore. And, I’ve finally realized what a good thing this is. Am I doing it consciously? Almost. However, a large part of it is my heart, which keeps reining me in when I think about “trying wine again.” I don’t want this amazing sober ride to end, is all!

I can pretty much say that I would NEVER have gone back to where I went if I had not gotten sober. I found–I created, actually–my volunteer position of my own effort. I would never have had the follow-through, the long-term grit, to make it happen if I had not gotten sober. I am able to make much more long-term plans, but I’m also able to stare them down and see them through. (I had to get my picture taken at customs on the way back into the country, and really, my entire face has changed: my stare is so much more direct, cut-the-crap, kind, open, and calm–bring it on, Life. I know that the “sneaky, giggly” expression of my drunken yester-years is officially gone from my face now–once in a while, nostalgia has me wondering if this “new sober me” is TOO sober/serious, but the majority of the time, I marvel at how much more direct and at peace I look.)

I also know that if I “try wine again,” this energy, or commitment, to follow through on things might go away. And I literally can’t afford that to happen.

And, well, I just don’t want this amazing sober ride to end!

Drinking is boring. What is not boring is everything that YOU GET TO MAKE HAPPEN now that you’re sober.

So, that’s a quick update. I’m still sort of between there and here, and not quite sure why, but feeling anxious. I have a ton of work to do here–and some work to do there, that I didn’t finish before I left. And, this horrible flight crash–and all the other horrendous news that I managed to duck out on while abroad, in my bubble of developing-country-world–well, it’s got me feeling a tad bit overwhelmed. Time to process, and appreciate, and then, plan for the next adventure.

Thanks everyone for checking in, and onward we go!

(And, btw, day count busted at over two years counting? The pedantic in me was like, Oh, shit, now I have to start over, after 460 days, AGAIN. And, you know what? The pedantic in me is what made me drink. I think I’m far enough into sobriety where days, while important, aren’t that important. What is important is maintaining my resolve to not drink because…it’s the right choice. Habit and a long stint of continuous sobriety has pounded it into my brain–do not drink, EVER–but now, the training wheels are coming off. Yes, I drank, but…I’m not not drinking to reach a day count or some other cake-and-candles goal; I’m not drinking because I want–and need–to remain sober.)

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19 Responses to “I’m back…I think”

  1. jenisthesoberist July 20, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Gah- I love the description of your face now that you are sober. Not just your face but your essence…direct, calm and peaceful. I feel more like that, too and it is pretty great. I used to avert people’s eyes a lot, and now I don’t. I am happy that you aren’t going back to drinking because I don’t want you to lose that. Thanks for the update. It sounds like your trip went great. Big hugs to you.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 26, 2014 at 7:33 am #

      It’s so cool how EVERYTHING changes…I can’t even begin to go into it in this comment! Hugs back atcha, girl!

  2. Sober Politico July 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    Welcome back πŸ™‚

  3. carrieonsober July 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    I loved the face description too – just nails that feeling of nothing hiding here anymore. You can look right in, shame, guilt…gone! Yippee!!
    Sounds like you’ve had an amazing experience and grown so much
    Well done for embracing not drinking like the cool sober chick that you are πŸ™‚
    I am thrilled at how far you’ve come and glad to have been alongside your journey. It doesn’t end here…
    Go you !!!
    Carrie xxx

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 26, 2014 at 7:32 am #

      Oh, Carrie, thank you! We are here, still rocking it! Happy 500 days, woman. Mine would have been July 31st, but…I’m happy celebrating my journey/progress in spite of one beer! πŸ™‚

  4. novemberdry July 20, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    Hi DDG- I’m so glad you checked in because I love hearing from you! The best part is how you don’t catastrophize having a sip of something or having had that beer. Or, if your instinct is to do that, you’ve come so far in recognizing that all of this obsessive counting and need for outside validation is what drives a woman to drink! I don’t think I’m where you are yet, but thank you for giving me a little shot of strength whenever I read your posts.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 26, 2014 at 7:31 am #

      Thank YOU for being here! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, if you can “hack” some sort of moderation management-type approach, I think it’s can be really helpful to learning first-hand that booze does not have to mean drunkenness, and that drinking might actually not be fun/a reward anymore.

  5. freebreezi July 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    Hey DDG,
    Wow, such a lot going on in that post. Awesome descriptions. I think it’s neat that you didn’t beat yourself up for having that drink but were able to philosophise and move on. Great attitude about not drinking. I’m 22 days without but have yet to tell anybody. At the moment I am playing it safe if anyone comments I’m just doing Dry July but in my heart I know I’m in it for the long haul. These blogs are a good place to come to soak up some support, understanding and guidance in a gentle unobtrusive way.

  6. Mrs D July 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Oh that’s so funny that you’ve posted I was just thinking about you in bed this morning.. (sorry if that sounds weird but I was thinking about all the ‘old timer’ bloggers because there are lots of new ones around.. and wondering what you were up to).. anyway.. I was worried because of that beer you had that you’d decided falling down a boozy booze hole was a good idea – but no!!!! Yippee!!!! You have come so far.. booze is shit and it doesn’t offer us anything that we can’t naturally take for ourselves.. we just got lost in the drug (as so many millions of humans have) and couldn’t see that.. Great to hear from you xxx

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 26, 2014 at 7:22 am #

      Hey! No, no falling down any kind of holes here! I think my progress is highlighted by what Lilly mentioned: I simply can’t give into the thoughts of “trying wine” again without thinking (a LOT) about all the negative consequences that go with it! And, I can’t afford to waste time anymore, drinking, basically. So, that one beer? Eh, SO many more important things to do. (Plus, it helped that I simply know too much about where overdrinking/reckless drinking can lead in an “unsupervised” environment, especially one that is developing world/post-disaster setting, which is where I was. It means, you’re REALLY on your own if something un-take-back-able happens.) LOVE YOU, Mrs. D. Look forward to your book–huge, amazed congrats! πŸ™‚

  7. thesoberboss July 20, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    A sober force field seems like an excellent and safe place to be. Great way to describe it!! I’m starting to enjoy mine and continue to look to bloggers like you for inspiration! Thank you!

  8. Lilly July 21, 2014 at 1:09 am #

    I am *so* happy to hear from you and hear all this. It’s not that I thought you’d drink necessarily but I was projecting my own experience a little, whereby I’ve drunk a bit, and that’s been no big deal, so I’ve drunk again, and it’s soon spiralled into worse drunks that have been harder to pull out of, so I was a little concerned that you’d gone quiet. But this is all great!

    I think starting your day count over would be totally counter-productive and unnecessary due to all you’ve said here and you should just be celebrating two years of amazing progress. Both our paths with this, to different extents, have not been straightforward like some – done, quit, boom, counting clear days on up and over the horizon. While continuous sobriety is definitely important to forward momentum, sometimes I think all the focus on days can miss the bigger picture in some cases.

    I touched on that and another thing you brought up in my own last post – about how now when I think about drinking I more often than not feel I can’t because I have this or that to do the next day. But that never stopped us when we were drinking heavily and regularly, right? So that right there is massive progress as it’s a whole different perspective and awareness on our drinking. I think we both know that – slips/tastes/even mini relapses here or there notwithstanding – that we cannot afford to go back to serious regular drinking now because by getting sober we’ve discovered how much else there is we want and need to do.

    I’m proud of, and very happy for, you my friend.

    Lilly x

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 26, 2014 at 7:18 am #

      True to all of this! Yes, we mature out of our disordered thinking when the booze finally wears off–and by that I mean, when we get past that “24/7 obsessing” phase and into the “wow, this is OK like this, I can live here” phase. I totally weigh the consequences of drinking now, when the idea of “moderation” comes to mind: do I really want to be hung over, do I really want to waste a day and not get my work done, do I really want to “break” my momentum (I had SUCH concentration problems and I really don’t think I could go through that again, AND keep doing this kind of work), do I really want to act like a dick and possibly hurt myself and/or others, do I really want to “let them win,” do I really want to maybe get back into that obsessing zone, where I am always forever thinking about when I can drink again? No. So I choose, day after day, to let the “trying wine” thoughts go. I also know that most likely, if it’s anything like the beer or sips of hard booze I’ve tried, it won’t affect me the same way it used to–big disappointment there, and something I would really like to explore more scientifically! I think my brain and body has changed so completely after getting sober that I simply cannot drink the way I used to/at all.

      I am so proud of you, staying out here, regardless of whether or not you’re “drinking” again. I think that points to your massive progress/healing…for real! xx

  9. Amanda July 23, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    All of this “testing” screams red flag to me. Please be careful.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 26, 2014 at 7:27 am #

      I hear ya! Not going to give into them for now. Thanks for being here. πŸ™‚

  10. patticrowley July 25, 2014 at 2:27 am #

    I agree with Amanda…. it is great that you want sobriety… but a true alcoholic cannot and should not ever do a taste test. Our brains are wired different. One sip leads to one drink, which leads to multiple drinks, which leads to DRUNK. We can justify it all we want… that you were curious about how the pina colada tasted. I’ve made those justifications before… and in my case, it was all bullshit. I don’t even allow myself to get close enough to smell the stuff.

  11. Rebecca A. Watson July 25, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    Hey girlie! I’m happy to hear you’re back. How are you settling in now that you’ve had a few days (a week?) to be home? I’m glad you’re posting again πŸ™‚ yay! I’m also glad you’ve decided you’re not going to try wine. I think that might be like poking the sleeping bear with a stick. I know there have been some times where I’ve caught the smell of my hubby’s nice dry red and oooooh I want it! But wine was my go-to, my drink of choice, and there’s no going back there unless I wanna just cash in my chips. Not saying you’re the same as I am, but hell, who knows what’ll happen? Better just keep the sober ride going πŸ˜‰

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 26, 2014 at 7:03 am #

      Yup, I hear you. I am trying to put it out of my mind. Frankly, there just never seems to be a “good” time to try it. I can’t think of anything worse than having a day ruined by a hangover. Yeah…I LIKE this sober ride (see Belle’s post today–I LOVE finally being over the “I want wine” 24/7 hump, and being in the “Look what I get to do today, at 6:30 am! phase!) HUGS, and thanks for checking in!

  12. BDC July 29, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    Hey, Im glad your back!

    I have been following your blog for about 4 months now, and I think most of the time you have been out of town for one reason or another. I recently have started a sobriety blog of my own, and have been going to school on how you interact with your readers, and it has been a pleasure.

    I wouldn’t worry about the days either if I were you. At first the days are extremely important because we need that time to untangle ourselves from that life. However, as we progress and mature in our sobriety the goal isn’t days anymore; its more about a lifestyle. We all have the ability to rationalize a drink every once in awhile, and it sounds like you made a mistake and you have realized it….no need to beat yourself up…just keep on keepin’ on!! It sounds like you know that though;)

    I have 8 months of sobriety right now (third sobriety), and I don’t know that I could walk up to that cliff like you did without falling off completely. I admire your resolve, and I think there are many of us out here that have a lot to learn from this experience. Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to more awesome content in the future.

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