About 18 months ago I started a hand written diary. I had been reading sober blogs for about 6 months at that point and was beginning to realise that I needed to do something about my drinking. So I dug out this hard covered notebook I'd had for ages and gave it the title 'My alcohol free day journal'. The first month was May and I wrote out the calendar month and circled the alcohol free days in red pen. I didn't do too badly. I managed 3 days the first time, then drank for 4 then another few off and so it went. June wasn't great with only a couple of red circles. Then I did Dry July and that was wonderful with a red circle around EVERY day!! By then I had started writing this blog, but I kept up the hand written journal and faithfully circled the AF days.
Yesterday I printed off my pledge to not drink for 100 days, cut it to size and using my sons glue stick, pasted it into my journal. This is the 2nd time I've done this and I found my thinking... if something ever happened to me, someone will find this journal and think 'what the hell?!' And I felt silly. In this modern day of electronics and blogs, why continue with my little book? Because it somehow works. When I printed out the pledge and stuck it into that book, no one else but me knows it is there. But 'I' know it is there and I made a promise to myself. And circling each day in red pen somehow helps me. I hated not having any red circles for the last couple of months. And now I have 5! I don't know how long I will continue doing this, but for now, it works. So no matter how silly it may seem I will keep doing it.
So today is day 6. Last Saturday I was getting ready to go a fancy ball that had been in the planning since we went to it the year before. And in my heart, if I'm really honest with myself, I knew I couldn't do it alcohol free. Even though I signed up to Belle's 100 day challenge and planned to not drink, in my heart I knew it wasn't going to be forever because we had the ball in November. But I kept saying to myself, after the ball I will quit again. So in a way I set myself up for failure. Why? Why couldn't I imagine going to that ball sober? By then I would have had 8 months sober if I'd continued on from the 100 day challenge, so surely I would have been able to manage it. I don't know. I am just realising (I'm a bit slow I know!) that there is always going to be a fancy ball around the corner to test me, and if I want this sober lifestyle, I am going to have to work really really hard to not give in to these temptations. To learn to navigate life without booze.
I have a hard time with the concept of 'recovery', and that you have to be in 'recovery' forever. I have a hard time applying it to myself. But whatever the case, what I was doing before wasn't working so I am going to have to do things differently this time. So I need to be open to new ideas, and to allow myself to try different approaches. Like meetings. I'd really like to give meetings a go. But I don't want to tell my husband just yet. He knows I'm having a 'break' but I want to keep the meeting idea private for now. So my aim is to try and get to a meeting one day next week.
We went out for dinner last night with my oldest friend from primary school and her husband. We hadn't seen them for over a year but it didn't matter. We just picked up from where we left off. They had a couple of drinks and I stuck to my diet coke. The good thing was that they didn't make a big thing about it. I just explained to my friend that I'd been drinking every night and that I needed a break and she was fine with that. It was good actually, because in the past when we have caught up, lots of alcohol was always involved. It's good to know that I don't need to drink around these people to have a good time. I won't lie though, I did fleetingly think how nice a glass of wine would be but that was it. I know it wouldn't have been one glass. It would have been 2 or 3 and then more at home, and then I'd be feeling awful this morning. So happy not to have a hangover!
Anyway, I am kind of waffling on and jumping from one point to another, so I might leave it there for now.
I am really tired, but I am sober!
Have a great weekend everyone.