I’m still here and I’m still fighting. I have had a couple of slips in my attempt at sobriety, but overall I like to think that I am doing well.
I’ve been sober more days in the last three months than I have been in the last 20 years. That is something right?
I also have not let the slips derail me completely. I have simply gotten back into the sober game the next day and not given up. In the past it would have just been an excuse to keep drinking. “Oh well, I fucked up. Might as well get drunk tonight as well. Since I have to start my count all over again, I might as well start a streak of drinking again.
Not to say those thoughts DIDN’T occur to me, I just was able to squash them down with actual logic. Having so many sober days under my belt have shown me how good I feel while NOT drinking, so it’s kinda easy to get back on the wagon after.
That’s the other thing. I haven’t even really enjoyed my slips. The drinking that I remember enjoying so much isn’t actually the reality and it hasn’t been for quite some time.
It’s so funny how our mind tricks us into remembering our drinking sessions as so much funner than they actually were. I mean, I know at one point in our drinking careers, they were fun or why would we have continued right? But after a while for me it just literally became a habit. Go to work, come home, drink and pass out. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. There was never a question of whether I WANTED to do it or not. I just did it. I had done it for so long that of course I must want to.
Having said that, here are some observations on my new found sobriety:
1) This one would seem like a given, but please remember that I have been drinking almost every single day for the last 20 years. Waking up without a hangover is nothing short of amazing. Seriously! When I wake up in the mornings now I am refreshed. I only hit the snooze button half of the times I used to and I have even (gasp!) worked out in the mornings! This also translates into the rest of my day as well. I get to work in a good mood and am a lot more productive in my work day.
2)The time I spend with my husband is quality. Let’s face it, my husband has put up with my shit for far longer than I would have. He became sober around 13 years ago due to a health issue. He didn’t want to, but he had no choice. We met and bonded over our mutual love of drinking 19 years ago and although I swore I would give up the drink when he did, I didn’t. I honestly can’t imagine how he has done it. He usually went to bed before I did at night because he didn’t want to deal with drunk sloppy me and he shouldn’t have to. He has always claimed my drinking doesn’t bother him as long as I’m not belligerent and as long as it isn’t a threat to my health, but I know it had to get to him. How could it not?
Now our nights are actually filled with conversation as we prepare dinner together and talk about our days. We still spend our “unwinding” time apart, me on the computer writing and him no the back porch playing Candy Crush and chilling with the dogs, but we communicate so much better. Oh, and the fact that I remember all of the conversations is a super plus in our relationship!
3) I love sober sleep!!! OMG, I feel like I have never been so rested in my whole life! At the very start it was really hard to get to sleep. I hear this is normal. You spent so many nights just passing out that your body doesn’t remember how to get to sleep normally. But once it remembered, it has given me the most restful sleep of all time! Seriously, I cannot wait to go to sleep at night! I sleep solidly and as stated in #1, I wake up super refreshed. I used to pass out for 8 or 9 hours a night but never feel like I had gotten a good nights sleep…because I hadn’t. Drunk sleep is shit. Sober sleep is where it’s at!
4)Remembering shit is awesome. I was a black out drunk. Even when I didn’t feel like I was that drunk, I would wake up and not remember large chunks of the evening. My husband would tell me that I seemed just fine the night before and when I told him I didn’t remember, he would be shocked. Over the years I got fairly well at hiding my blackouts by omission. If he mentioned something from the night before that I didn’t remember, I would just pretend like I did and try and figure out the details later. The worst part was when I would have conversations with other people that didn’t know I was a drinker and then not remember them. Thankfully for me, most of those conversations were online and I was able to pull up the chat transcripts the next day for better or worse and determine if I had promised anything to anyone such as meeting for brunch or giving them a ride somewhere.
I cannot tell you how nice it is not to worry about that. It sounds stupid to put that in writing and only a blackout drinker can relate, but it’s so true.
Also eating food at night is and remembering it is fantastic. I used to eat at the very end of my drunk and never remember it. I would eat solely to soak up the booze so I didn’t stink in the morning. Talk about wasting calories! Between the booze and the food I didn’t remember eating, it’s not wonder I had gained so much weight at one point!!
5)I’m and avid reader again. Ever since I COULD read, I did. I devoured books like candy and was always hungry for more. My mother was constantly complaining about how much money she spent at the book fairs at my school. After I took up drinking, reading at night was a no go due to the previously mentioned blackouts. I would still occasionally read on my lunch breaks at work, but it wasn’t the same. I couldn’t allow myself to get swept up in a story only to read it in a 15 minute increments. It wasn’t fair. Audio books did become a thing in my recent past because I could put in earbuds at work and listen, but while that wasn’t against the rules, it was frowned upon so I tried not to take advantage.
I now eat an early dinner(and remember it) to retire to the bedroom so I can read at night around 8:00PM. In my drinking days, I would have just been hitting my stride at that point and couldn’t imagine stopping my drinking to go read. Now I crave it. To the point where I am starting to have to enforce a cut off time for my reading. I get so involved that I’ll read well into the night after my husband has joined me in bed. I will find myself looking at the clock and finding it is 10 or 11 at night and realize I have to get up for work in the morning and I need to get to sleep. Oh, what a delicious problem to have!
6) This one sort of piggybacks on the above, but I no longer really watch TV. It was an activity that I usually only did while lit and it was an exercise in futility. I say that because I wouldn’t start watching TV until I was pretty well wasted and then would only remember half of what I watched the next day and have to re-watch it, possibly more than once. If that sounds foolish and dumb, it’s because it is.
If I stuck to 30 minute shows I would usually be okay, but the hour long dramas, forget it…and I did! I would check my netflix Q and find that I had watched and episode but only partially remember it. I would start it again and Marty would walk in and say: “Didn’t you just watch this last night?” and I would feel that horrible shame and either ignore him or come up with a reason I was re-watching it. “I needed to see her face when she made that decision…it’s been bugging me all day.” or something equally asinine.
I’m sure that I will start watching again eventually, but in my sober mind, it is an activity that I did while drunk and I’m not ready to start integrating the two. I hope that makes sense. At any rate, with my reading, I haven’t missed it at all.
Okay, I’m pretty sure I could go on for days, but I’m going to close this out for now because it’s getting close to the time I need to go read in bed. 😉