I feel like the last couple weeks, my posts have been a Debbie-downer 🙂 I think about all those people out there who are beginning their journey, beginning AGAIN, or still in the really early days. And, here I am saying how awful I feel that I still white knuckle it and how hard it’s been even at day 77+. I must take this time to restate how I am really coping and what I’m learning about myself along the way. I do this in hopes of helping others the way so many of the bloggers here in our sobersphere have helped me.
Yes, I do still crave ‘the drink.’ But what’s different is that I understand WHEN and WHY I crave it and know that I can use that as my strong arm to avoid it. It’s hard, yes, but it doesn’t compare to those first few weeks. I do have more control. I like that I now (finally) fall asleep faster, get a complete night’s sleep and wake up un-hungover. I like that I do not feel guilty every morning because I, once again, over indulged the night before. I like that when I go to work, I don’t have to pretend that I’m feeling well, because I am.
I am still grappling with how to get back on the life train. First it was my kids that kept me from jumping on. Well, THEY themselves didn’t stop me, I stopped myself because I was focused on their lives and not my own. Then, as I slowly became the empty-nester, drinking became my habitual go-to, my reason for not getting more involved with life. I would rather drink alone than get out and do. . . anything. And that’s what’s kept me from boarding that train. Pretty soon, I didn’t even hear the whistle blow, it was so far away. Today, I hear the whistle as though it’s calling my name. I do fear the train a bit. Well, maybe it’s more anxiousness than actual fear. Getting on it is a huge step, and then becoming a part of it, shew, that’s really huge. But, I am becoming more and more ready every day. Making plans, setting small goals. I think it is achievable. And I could not have said that 10 weeks ago.
The other thing that has helped was this article that was on Carrieonsober’s blog, Faulty Gene. I think knowing it could be a faulty gene and NOT me really helped put some stuff in perspective. We all think we are defective somehow because it is so difficult for us to quit. We think we don’t have the strength or will power to beat the alcohol demon. But that’s not it at all. We can’t defeat the gene, it’s there whether we like it or not. But we can certainly minimize its affect on us. Knowing that we have it and working around it is the goal. No more beating ourselves up for not being strong enough, determined enough, having willpower, not any of that. It’s a one day at a time process where we learn to control it, learn to ignore it, learn to cope with it. I am capable of doing this, and I no longer need to beat myself up about it. It’s no longer MY fault. And that’s a great weight off my shoulders.
So, in summary, I just wanted to let those of you in the beginning stages of the 100 day challenge to know, from someone who is still a newbie but closing in on 100, that freedom from Ms Crazy aka wolfie is possible. That gene becomes less dominant every day (with a surge or two or a zillion to remind you to remain in control and remain cognizant) So don’t despair. You can do this!