It’s March 6th, which means I’ve now gone 5 whole days without alcohol. I had insane withdrawal symptoms the weekend before (the last weekend of February) when I decided to try a few days sober. And then it tempered off and I had the mood issues still, but the physical symptoms have (thankfully) lessened.
I still crave it, although not as much now as say, Friday night. Whenever I’m in a place or with people I normally drink with, my body throws a little internal temper tantrum, and I have to remind myself of all the reasons I plan on staying sober – this month, definitely. After, I’ll play it by ear. My husband isn’t drinking right now and hasn’t since our wedding (except one night) which makes it so much easier.
I’ve been having tea or kombucha dates with girlfriends instead of meeting at the bar. It’s actually been incredibly helpful that Dave has made a ‘bet’ with me. If either of us drink this month we have to go to the other person’s exercise class. I value his friendship and admire his integrity and so I won’t cheat him. He knows that. And it’s given me an easy out around the people I drink with most often, my co-workers. I just say “I’m not drinking this month, Dave and I have a bet.” And it’s just something they accept. He doesn’t need this nearly as much as I do, and he knows that. He’s just in it for solidarity. And as much as I want to see him at my dance class (hilarity would ensue), it’s really helpful that my deterrent is 6:30am hill runs outside in the cold. I don’t want booze that badly.
I have a complicated relationship with alcohol. I think I always have. I think I always will. I didn’t drink a lot in high school, in university I definitely tested my limits. But I watched my parents drink, every night. My mom downs between half a bottle and a bottle a night. My dad one or two glasses, he’s never really been the one with the problem, just the enabler. At some point I watched them keep dealing with things by drinking and was like “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” They could afford it and it never affected their work but I fear my mom is so numb to it now, she’s going to end up never being able to quit.
My relationship with them is strained, right now. They aren’t fans of my husband at the moment. And I don’t really know what to do, or say, or how to act. I know what they expect, but I’m not sure that resonates for me anymore.
As much as this journey has sucked sometimes (and it has sucked a LOT sometimes), it’s actually really helpful to be able to see where my habits and patterns come from. Why I lied. Where my OCD behaviours originated. Why I drink and why I started. Where the self harm originated and why it continued. It’s helpful.
I’m aiming to make it to April 1st sober, and then I think I’ll continue until I’m on vacation. I might reassess then. It feels like the right choice. A hard choice, but the right choice.