500 days … but still a ‘drinker’

Well howdy doody to everyone. I have absolutely nothing mind blowing or deep to say and my life has been pretty much working, yoga, some meditation and house jobs. A little like Groundhog Day but I’m ok plodding on right now. We lost out guineapig Toffee a few weeks back. It was actually really sad. The boys were very upset and I felt like it was the end of an era! The photo is the graves of our first two guineapigs. Pretty eh? We have a new addition to keep the lone guineapig company. He’s called Scruff. I’m not sure he and Biscuit are overly happy with each other but time will tell.

I noticed on my ‘giving up drinking’ app I started on my first day sober that I am approaching 500 days. I really can’t believe it. I was so addicted to alcohol and wine I had never managed 2 days, let alone a dry Jan. I know my whole relationship with booze has changed beyond belief which is brilliant but I also recognise there are still fundamental aspects of my personality that mean if I tried a glass of wine again, I’d be right back where I started. That’s really hard to come to terms with and I still haven’t accepted it fully.

Don’t get me wrong, I know this is an amazing accomplishment. Not drinking in an evening, not having ‘at home’ drinks … that’s huge for me. I loved both at home and social drinking. Breaking the habit of sitting on the sofa relaxing with wine, or cooking dinner, singing to alexa’s playlist and glugging glass after glass … that was tough. Those cravings have all but disappeared now. The social side of drinking is however still to be addressed. I haven’t really done that. I’ve been out socially (whilst not in lockdown) and met up with friends … but I have ‘suffered’ these occasions and not enjoyed them. I am not at the same comfortable place as my ‘at home’ sobriety. I haven’t had as much experience due to the pandemic. I have anxieties about it.

I also still can’t say ‘forever’. I don’t know why. I realise I’m holding on to some fantasy of moderation. A glass of lovely red on my 50th birthday, celebratory glass of champagne at some fabulous event … you get the picture. 500 days is awesome but I don’t feel 💯 secure in my sobriety even after all this time, maybe I never will!

Claire x

34 thoughts on “500 days … but still a ‘drinker’”

  1. Congrats on the new addition, Claire! So cute!! I can completely relate, of course, to your “still a drinker” feelings. I am a bit worried about how social things will go once I start going to restaurants and to see shows again. And I don’t feel comfortable with forever either. But here we are, doing it day by day. I do know my life is much better than before we started this whole journey. Great job on the 500 days!! Amazing! 🎉🎉🎉🤗❤️

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    1. Ah thanks for the support Leafy. You are absolutely right of course. We are doing it day by day and that’s what we need to focus on. I’m hoping I begin to find the social stuff as enjoyable without the drink … I just haven’t really up until now tbh and with the pandemic haven’t had many opportunities to try it out. One day at a time ❤️❤️

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  2. Howdy doody, Claire! That cracked me up. Happy 500 days!!! Most Excellent 💫 I’m still a bit wobbly when it comes to the socializing scene and being comfortable not drinking. But after 40 years of doing the opposite, I’m giving myself a break and just learning as I go. It helps for me to get in a great sweaty workout beforehand so I can get rid of some of that anxiety, and then I feel better all cleaned and dressed up ready to enjoy and rock the outing. Definitely takes reminding myself how far I’ve come and who I am now and everything I love about sobriety. I have one last secret I must tell you too – that superhero cape can be put into invisible mode😊. Definitely takes away some of the pressure. Again, way to rock 500 days 🙌. I’m smiling and enjoying you my friend. Very grateful we connected ❤️

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    1. Hey Dwight. I’ll remember the invisible factor … good to know my friend 😉. Yep, I think I just need to find my ‘tools’ for embracing the social scene sober. My SSS tools!! I think when I have more experience of good times socialising whilst sober I will feel more confidence. It just feels like a big effort right now and a bit daunting. Good to know it isn’t just me that struggles with it. Love you too friend. Yey to connections 👏❤️😊

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  3. Yay, congrats on approaching 500 days. That’s a fantastic achievement, well done. Yu sound very in-tune with yourself – you recognise where you’re strong and where you’re less so. That’s really great. I think some addicts can (eventually) learn to have moderation, others can’t. It’s good to know yourself and your limits.

    I’ve been reflecting on the fact that even when I was (psychologically) addicted to DXM, I could still hold myself roughly to a semi-sensible schedule. I’d tried doing it 2 days in a row… the high was shit and the comedown was 5x as bad as usual, totally not worth it. Ideally people shouldn’t do DXM more than once per month to allow those neurotransmitters to replenish. And I genuinely think that I could stick to that now. But first, I need my mental health to have been consistently stable for many months. And there’s zero chance of me taking drugs again without my wife’s explicit agreement. Breaking her trust was easily the worst part of my addiction.

    Thank you for including photos of your two guinea pigs. They’re so cute!

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    1. Yeah, I think as addicts we have to be super careful about trying moderation and if we attempt any of it in secret then it can only be a ‘bad’ thing. Being accountable for and honest about any choices and decisions we make is definitely the right way to go. I haven’t heard of DXM so I don’t know much about it. I feel I am lucky I didn’t come across drugs really or was not tempted to try them as I sense I may have struggled to moderate that as well! 🙈 x

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  4. Amazing achievement. I truly believe that one day people won’t drink. It’ll go the same way as smoking. You’re just ahead of the game. Drinking has added nothing positive to my life. I just remember that all those memories I’d rather forget are solely due to drinking.

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    1. I do think it is becoming more acceptable and less ‘odd’ to be sober without having a good reason ready to give people. It still remains the one ‘drug’ that you have to defend your choice to not take! Weird huh? One thing I did notice when I stopped was that people didn’t always drink a much as I thought they were and that I was often the instigator of lots of alcohol being consumed. Not in all cases but definitely in some. That was quite eye opening for me.

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      1. There is a social stigma to not drinking. People don’t want to have to consider their own choices and you not drinking makes them feel bad about themselves.

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    1. I am guilty of assuming not drinking makes an evening boring. I also am ashamed to now admit that I use the phrase ‘I don’t trust people who don’t drink’ on a couple of occasions. What a pathetic thing to say … the words of an addict right there 😂. Now I find myself defending my choice to be sober and not take a drug that poisons me. Strange really. Ah thanks, Scruff is adorable but a bit of a monkey with the other one. 🤦‍♀️

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    1. Yep. Part of me is anxious about social occasions and being sober, but part of me wants to go and experience them, enjoy them and build up my confidence that it can all be done without having to drink. If that makes sense? ❤️

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  5. it’s def a concern.. and there is so much to be said about it. i know a huge amount of people who just holed up at home and drank as much as they wanted during the pandemic because “we cant go anywhere or do anything so who cares?” For me, that wasn’t really the reason i slowly relapsed.. hell it took me about 6 months of still barely drinking but being to casual until suddenly i hit the 6 pack a week binge night habit again and that lasted 3 months. My problem was definitely more related to wanting to be “care free and relaxed” in my new relationship.So, still kind of a social issue. Lately though, what you are saying here has been really on my brain..had another strong trigger this weekend visiting my BF’s hometown- every single stop we made people were either drinking, offering us drinks or ( mostly) getting high. I was such a wreck i barely said anything the whole 10 hour tour. In fact i even mentioned i might want a 6 pack later to my BF- thank GOD i came to my senses…

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    1. I can totally connect with that being a trigger Lovie. I would find that really tough. I too end up uptight and stressy when I’m surrounded by it. I did the same on a trip to Belfast just over a year ago. We were with Steve’s family for a christening and I ended up leaving the after party early and going back to sit in the hotel on my own. I couldn’t cope with staying out with them all. I’m very concerned I’ll always feel that way! It’s not how I want to deal with social occasions! Xx

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  6. Congratulations.
    I’m not sure when my perspective changed from I can’t drink to I don’t want to drink, but it has.
    I think, why ruin my 50th birthday (which is this year) with booze, when a nice ginger ale would be so nice?

    I guess I know that the self destructive part of my mental makeup still exists and booze would only feed it. This was very clear to me when I was devastated by Craig. I didn’t want to be me, it was too painful, and I considered trying to drown that with booze. I decided I love myself too much to do that. That was a big revelation.

    I am less social. I socialize more one on one. My life is quieter. At least today.

    Stillness and peace.
    Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think my life will be quieter and in a strange way I want to ‘get on’ with doing the social side of sober to build the experience and confidence. I am in a much stronger place than I was just over a year ago when I was socialising but newly sober. I think I’m more relaxed and comfortable with myself sober which will help. I know I too still have a self destructive part of my mental makeup also.
      Thanks for the words of wisdom xxx

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  7. Congratulations on 500 days, so impressive! I worry too about social situations post-pandemic, alcohol really was my go too for social anxiety – In Charlotte Gray’s book, she wrote that she learned that it was best for her to avoid certain social situations early on in her sobriety, or she just left a party early if she found it too challenging. She always had an escape route planned out in case, and that helped her anxiety about the night out. Forever is too final for me too, especially when I think about my favourite red or a nice glass of champagne. I am hoping this fades with time. Well done again xx

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    1. Hey. Yep I have followed Catherine’s advice up until now but I don’t really want to avoid social situations or opt out early for the rest of my life. I want to enjoy them and participate without having a drink. I think I’ll be able to eventually. That said, I have realised that some evenings are pretty rubbish and only survived by being pissed! They are evenings we are better off not wasting our time on anyway!!! 😂 Maybe that’s the best way to view it. If it was a good event, we’d enjoy it regardless. Social anxiety is tough. I don’t really feel that but I can imagine it’s hard work to manage. X

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  8. Oh how cute little Scruff is! I have heard they can get lonely by themselves. Awesome on 500 days! That’s just amazing! With this pandemic going on for so long socializing is going to feel so different! Even before the pandemic I was not a big socializer. I like coffee and lunches with a friend and such. It will be interesting when I do get invited to an event or such like that. I also see it’s getting a bit more acceptable not to drink so that helps. I know you’ll do great once you get going to a few sober! You always keep inspiring me Claire! Thank you!! ❤️

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    1. He is soooo cute. Yep they are social animals and are not very happy being on their own. I think there are certain events I won’t bother with now, I guess if you can only suffer them when drunk they prob aren’t worth your time anyway!? Love ya xxx

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  9. Hi Claire

    I’ve just received an email from Laura McKowen, don’t know if you subscribe. She’s hosting a sober post pandemic guide starting this Thursday. It’s free you just have to register. It’s going to cover she several topics with guests. It’s part of we are the luckiest club.

    It might be worth having a look since you commented on your post about socialising after the restrictions lift.

    Ange

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I can see by the number of comments here you hit on a hot topic. So many find socializing hard. And so many don’t feel completely secure in sobriety. The nature of the beast, I think. I will share that I found that the only way to feel more comfortable socializing sober is to do it. It gets easier the more we put ourselves out there. I will also say though, that the nature of what I wanted to do once I stopped drinking changed. I have no desire to participate in evenings or events where the agenda is alcohol, i.e. winetasting, cocktail hour(s), pub crawls, bars, clubs, etc. I’ve become more respectful and responsive to what I want and need, and less inclined to put myself through something I don’t enjoy just to be social. If it’s a celebration of some sort though (wedding, shower, anniversary, birthday), you just have to show up and be prepared for the reality that most others will be drinking (but surprisingly not all) and know that it gets easier as you go! As for romanticizing drinking, it’s something we all do, but what we don’t do often enough is think of all the subsequent drinks, knowing it’s never just one, and how we are just misrepresenting reality when we think about that pleasurable “drink.” Sorry for the long response. I just want you to know I think you’re one amazing woman and I applaud you for feeling and thinking through all the things! Big hugs to you!! XX

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    1. Never apologise for long responses! I love them. I totally agree with your comments too. I think I’m ‘behind’ in my security with social sobriety because I haven’t had to opportunity to get used to it and have positive experiences with it. Sobriety at home is fine now but I have had almost 17 months of experience in that! And I agree, there are social events I don’t want to do now. That’s ok, I can give my apologies. Those other celebrations… you are right, many people don’t actually drink that much. I never noticed it because I was always focused on my own drinking and ensuring I always had plenty!! You are awesome too. 😊❤️

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