As I was out walking my dog today, soaking in some much-needed fresh air and sunshine, I started thinking about what the day would have been like if I was still drinking.  In the past, time off from work meant, more or less, no restrictions on my drinking.  I used it as an excuse to be as irresponsible and unencumbered as possible, as a “reward” for how hard I work.  What that translated to was days upon end spent drinking, watching movies or TV online, and accomplishing less-than-little.

Even though I haven’t exactly climbed a mountain today, I’ve managed to have a relaxing morning that still had some bursts of productivity.  If I had been drinking, I would have woken up around 5 feeling awful, then spent the next 5-6 hours tossing and turning – feeling like I’d been run over by a truck, but unable to fall into any type of cohesive sleep.  I’d drag myself out of bed for something to eat, either whatever was on hand in the house or some takeout / fast food  because there was no way I’d have the energy or motivation to cook, and my stomach would still have a vague hollow feeling after I’d stuffed my face.  Sometime after noon, once the liquor store was (finally) open, I’d go buy some wine and spend the rest of the afternoon and evening drinking and doing absolutely.nothing.  Lather, rinse, repeat for the rest of my week off.  Go back to work feeling anxious, guilty, ashamed, and like I completely wasted my vacation (I did).

Today’s sober counterpart?  Slept in until 8 (still battling the pretty-much-constant lack of energy, but like I emphasized before… it’s a “good tired”.  I feel like sleep is deep, restorative, and necessary).  Drank some coffee, poked around on the internet, called around for some quotes to repair the small leak in my roof (ugh), took the dog for a nice, long walk, ordered his tick prevention refills, and now I’m about to eat lunch before deciding how I want to spend my afternoon.  I’ll probably stop at the grocery store when I pop out to pick up the puppy meds, maybe grabbing some mixings for a nice NA treat and some sushi because I deserve it :)

So it’s times like this, when I reflect on the alternative to sobriety, that my sulkiness starts to lift and I can see glimpses of how this is definitely worth the “sacrifice” (but, really, what am I sacrificing?  Hangovers?  Lethargy?  Poor health?  Regret?).  I suppose it’s probably a little sad that being a functional human being feels like an accomplishment, but right now I’m happy with each small step forward.

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7 thoughts on “

  1. You’re doing great, and the self reflection is amazing too. I was exhausted and grumpy and lethargic and sulky and toddler-tantrummy and Waaaaah when does my amazing new life start for, oh, at least the first month. Okay, two months. Okay, sometimes I’m still like that. A day of just getting through and taking care of yourself is exactly what you should be doing right now, and it’s real proper work. That sounds like a great afternoon, to me.

    • Thanks! It’s so encouraging to hear that all is not necessarily sunshine and unicorns right away… I’ve tried to stop a few times before, but never managed to get enough sober time under my belt to really see any significant benefit; I think that the blogs around here have been hugely helpful in that respect. Knowing that things aren’t going to gain much momentum until a month or two has passed helps me to keep my head down, and swat away those thoughts of a “relaxing” drink. Also really, critically thinking about what my day would have been like had I not been sober is eye-opening as well. I tend to romanticize what drinking was like / would be like, so this blog has also been helpful to swap out the rose-colored lenses from my glasses.

  2. Hi- thankyou for sharing your story so far and as so much of what you have written so far resonates with my own understanding of my ‘own issues’ and i, like you will be happy with each step forward. I’m on day 3 , woo-hoo! and started my own blog so that it keeps me focused. Today i feel exhausted yet i was n bed at 9pm. I tossed and turned from 2.30 but still feel ok. Its as if my body is still suffering from late night ‘drinking’ even though i never drank a drop. odd feeling! Any way thankyou,

  3. welcome~ I just found you! I am now 5 months sober and still have those thoughts~ if I was still drinking I would of not got this done or did that. it is great reminders that things are better now~ now I think if I drank and was hung-over~ the guilt and anger would be unbearable. I don’t want that, can’t even imagine that. sober is so much better~ people say that all the time and now I believe it and can preach it too! xoxo

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